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Abrons Arts Center's 2017-18 Season to Showcase 29 Premieres Across Disciplines


Abrons Arts Center's 2017-18 Season to Showcase 29 Premieres Across Disciplines

On February 12, 1915, the Abrons Arts Center's Henry Street Settlement Playhouse opened its doors on the Lower East Side. Since that day, it has remained a vital cultural resource, providing audiences with artistically bold work while offering artists opportunities to dynamically grow. The OBIE Award-winning institution has drawn a diverse audience to its historic home at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side and has garnered a wealth of critical acclaim across artistic disciplines. The work Abrons presents reflects the social and political challenges of our times in ways that are programmatically integrated into broader conversations that affect New York City and beyond.

Abrons Arts Center's 2017-18 season, the first season to be curated by new Artistic Director Craig Peterson, celebrates the idea that a community is a place of intersecting ideas and action. Peterson believes that artists push society forward in ways that challenge our assumptions, politics and social welfare; that artists make room for voices that are too often silenced or sidelined. Gun violence, gentrification, immigration, income and power inequality, freedom, gender, and race are just some of the social issues artists are grappling with this season.

Peterson remarks, "Over the last 101 years, Abrons Arts Center has been a home to experimental artists, radical ideas and burgeoning social movements. Abrons is both a physical place - with three theaters, galleries and classrooms - and also a space that makes room for imagination, free expression and diverging opinions. As we launch our season, we continue our legacy of challenging the status quo by confronting the issues that are shaping our lives. Gun control, immigration and gentrification are central themes in the performances and exhibitions that will take over our stages and galleries in the coming months. We are also thrilled to present a variety of family and neighborhood events that will entertain and delight - including a Holiday show in our historic Playhouse that celebrates the vibrancy of the Lower East Side. Come to Abrons to explore, laugh and engage. You are welcome here."

The lineup, comprised entirely of premieres, includes:

Eleven Groundbreaking Theatrical Works

An eerily relevant drama unfolds in Brooklyn-based theater company Caborca's adaptation of Roberto Bolaño's novel Distant Star, a wrenching tale of political protest. (September 14-October 1)

Drag fabulist Dickie Beau brings icons like Marilyn Monroe to life in Blackouts, an ethereal revitalization of lip-syncing, and impersonation performance. (October 5-8)

The Power of Emotion: The Apartment is the third and final iteration of a collaborative, multi-part project led by director Katherine Brook, writer Shonni Enelow, and composer Taylor Brook exploring how humans watch, hear, and perform emotion. (October 11-21)

Why Why Always, created by Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty and featuring Jim Fletcher, is a live cine-performance and sci-fi misadventure of secret agents and seductresses, where Alphaville meets ASMR. (October 12-29)

Experience radical joy in Jack and the Beanstalk created by disabled actor and writer Mat Fraser and feminist art star Julie Atlas Muz. This riotous all-ages morality tale brings together the whole family, taking part in the 300-year-old theatrical tradition of the panto. (December 6-23)

In Pollock, written by Fabrice Melquiot and directed by Paul Desveaux, the beautifully tragic relationship of infamous artists Jackson Pollock (Jim Fletcher) and Lee Krasner (Birgit Huppuch) is rendered craft fully on stage. (February 15-25)

Writer and actor Modesto Flako Jimenez performs his autobiographical and uncompromising collection of poetry, Listen For My Dear Brooklyn. (March 14-31)

In The Wholehearted, from co-creators Deborah Stein and Suli Holum, spectators have a ringside seat for this "dazzling tour-de-force" (Los Angeles Times), a blood pumping revenge tragedy and intimate tribute to lost love. (March 15-April 1)

In Aloha, Aloha or When I Was Queen, playwright and performer Eliza Bent uses a childhood home movie along with the travel writings of Mark Twain as forensic documents to lead audiences on a journey that grapples with personal history, legacy, and cultural appropriation. (April 4-21)

Written by Kate Scelsa for Elevator Repair Service and directed by John Collins, Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf features veterans of the ensemble. In this irreverent parody of Edward Albee's iconic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, no one is left unscathed by Martha's feminist ambitions. (Late May-June 17)

Harnessing the vital energies of the healing center, the motivational seminar, the telethon, and the tent revival, Month of A Million Likes from the Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble will be installed in Abrons' Gallery and Experimental Theater, June 7-30.

Nine Visceral Dance Events

a canary torsi, led by choreographer Yanira Castro, presents the world premiere of STAGE, a visual and aural fantasia that positions the Abrons Playhouse as a center for spectacle. (September 14-16, 21-23)

In Brand New Sidewalk, three-time Bessie Award-winning choreographer Beth Gill creates a sparse, elegant diptych that questions the value of formalism in dance. (September 28-October 1)

Inspired by Moroccan trance rituals, Bouchra Ouizguen's Corbeaux (Crows) is a hypnotic, site-specific living sculpture that interrupts and transforms public spaces. (September 30, October 1)

In Staying Alive, Croatian artist Jasna L. Vinovrški and her collaborators-a book and an electronic tablet-tackle the migration debate. (November 17 & 18)

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko's Séancers collapses lyrical poetry and psychic movement forms to investigate concepts of black magic, resurrection, and paranormal activity. (December 6-9)

The ninth annual American Realness festival, (January)

Created in response to tragic events and emotions from within Alex Romania's personal life and the larger political climate, KLUTZ challenges the effects of mental illness within American culture through layers of calculated but nonsensical performance. (April 26-29)

In Mariangela Lopez's Colossal, the performance will become a platform for participants to share individual experiences, personal memories and perceptions of their own environments. (May 10-13)

Niall Jones's Sis Minor, in Fall follows questions and fascinations inextricably linked to notions of fantasy, seriality, and the materiality of imposed environments and minor architectures. (Early May)

Two Durational Political Charged Acts of Performance Art

In honor of National Constitution Day, interdisciplinary artist Maya Ciarrocchi presents A Remedy for a Constitutional Crisis, an eight-hour reading of the United States Constitution. (September 17)

Performance artist George Emilio Sanchez's BANG, BANG, GUN AMOK is a 24-hour "performance filibuster" attempting to incorporate all necessary means to expose the reality of gun violence embedded in American culture. (December 8)

Two Mind-Expanding Music Events

OpenICE, which aims to share the most essential elements of ICE's creative process, features the UNcaged Toy Piano Festival and the world premiere performance of Wojtek Blecharz' Music for Invisible Places. (September 7-10, December 14-15)

Lincoln Center's Boro-Linc performance, La Casita, an impressive lineup of artists convenes to explore the far-reaching social, political, and expressive powers of oral and visual tradition. (September 16)

Six Diverse and Innovative Gallery Exhibitions

Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars: Quilt Installation by Emily Johnson/Catalyst and Makwa Studio (September 1 - October 8)

Volley with participating artists Nadia Ayari, Ben Browne, Mira Dayal, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Ellie Krakow, Emily Kohl Mattingley, Russell Perkins, Amanda Turner Pohan, & Edwin Smalling (September 1 - November 17)

An extension of performing artist Aaron Landsman's Perfect City project, The Original New Yorkers is an ongoing portrait series of New York natives who have been affected by gentrification. (October 14 - November 17)

Abrons' AIRspace curatorial residents Christian Camacho-Light & Alexis Wilkinson present collaborative and independent projects. (October 14 - November 17)

IMPERCEPTIBLE with participating artists Irini Muga, Daniel Cerrajón, Victor Esther, Cristina Camacho, & Claudia Peña Salinas. Curated by Xavier Acarín (November 22 - December 26)

SAYS WHO? SEZ ME! is a live-format extension of the SEZ ME web series, designed for combating anti-queer pundits who try to use children to justify discrimination against queer people. (November 22 - December 26)

Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Tickets are now on sale can be purchased by calling 212.352.3101 or visiting

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