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Graphic Novel-Inspired Experience and More Set for Ars Nova's 10th Annual ANT Fest; Lineup Announced!

Ars Nova has announced the line-up for its 10th Annual ANT Fest (June 5-29), four non-stop, throw-down weeks of live entertainment mayhem, featuring fresh material from the next wave of dynamic, indie-theater makers. All New Talent, all the time.

This year, the festival once again expands to include more intimate performances from ANT Fest Alumni in the ANT Fest Lounge, including Chamber Band, Andrew R. Butler, Emily Oliveira, and Jennifer Kidwell. Additionally, U R ?, a musical graphic-novel inspired experience designed for audiences of just six people per showing will be in residence in the ANT Fest Lounge for limited nights of the festival. Plus, Ars Nova's ongoing variety-show-meets-party Showgasm. will get festified with two special late-night performances hosted by Cole Escola (June 8) & Nicole Spiezio (June 22).

Now in its tenth year, ANT Fest, Ars Nova's annual celebration of All New Talent, is a prime destination for an eclectic mix of brand new shows from some of the most intrepid, adventurous artists in New York City. Through its open submission process, ANT Fest offers a wide range of early career artists a point of entry onto the Ars Nova stage and into the greater New York City arts community. This year's call for submissions drew over 400 applicants.

Since its inception, ANT Fest has increasingly provided a crucial first step toward an extended artistic relationship with Ars Nova. The "in all ways sensational" (New York Times) New York premiere of Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard was discovered in ANT Fest 2014. Ars Nova's 2014 hit Charlatan, a world premiere written by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg and directed by Andrew Neisler, was developed after Vinny DePonto's ANT Fest 2012 show Mysterious Delights. Ars Nova's Fall 2013 world premiere production Eager to Lose, created by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Wes Grantom, Portia Krieger and Tansy, first took the stage in ANT Fest 2011 before going onto further development.

ANT Fest plays June 5-29, with performances Monday - Saturday at 7:00pm. Regular tickets are $15. Tickets at the door are $20. Showgasm - ANT Fest Edition takes place June 8 and June 22, at 9:00pm with Foreplay at 8:00pm. Tickets to Showgasm + Foreplay are $5, or you can purchase a $20 package that includes 2 drinks and a slice of pizza with your Showgasm + Foreplay ticket. U R ? takes place June 12, 13, 14, 17, 21, 24 at 6:30pm. All tickets go on sale today, May 12 and may be purchased at arsnovanyc.com/antfest or (212) 352-3101.


ANT FEST 2017 LINE-UP:

Monday, June 5

Riot Antigone

Created & Directed & Lyrics by SEONJAE KIM

Music by Jane CarDONA, MORE EINSIDLER, SEONJAE KIM, Erato A. Kremmyda & J.L. MARLOR

Choreography by BRANDON POWERS

Punk energy courses through the veins of this Riot Grrrl-inspired take on Sophocles' tragedy. In an explosive one-night-only concert, a Chorus Leader and her all-grrrl band expose the power of an individual who dares to carry a revolution on her own.

Tuesday, June 6

Come Back Richard Simmons

Written & Created by EMILY ZEMBA

Created & Directed by KELLY KERWIN

In this dance-workout-meets-existential-play, Brooklyn-based pop-up company The Party Line takes an exclusive immersive and surreal look at the peppy motivator who helped humanity lose 12 million pounds and then abandoned them.

Wednesday, June 7

Gravity of Me Gone

Written by ISABELLA D'ESPOSITO

Directed by SEBASTIAN PRAY

Movement by JUSTIN FAIRCLOTH

The Peregrine Courier is a spaceship destined for destruction. This is the story of the lives onboard. Country music meets science fiction in this kaleidoscopic cabaret about lovers, daydreamers and space cowboys.

Thursday, June 8

True Right

Created & Performed by BESS AND GEORGE THEATRE COMPANY: BRITTANY K. ALLEN, GEMMA KANEKO & Adin Lenahan

Sam Shepard's True West- but retold by George and Jeb Bush, as played by two women of color. Combining satire, political inquiry and karaoke swansong, True Right aims to locate the soul of a dying moderate conservatism among the American electorate, but, you know, in a fun way.

Showgasm - ANT Fest Edition

with Cole Escola & crew

Cole Escola guest hosts our untamed monthly variety show-meets party, introducing us to their who's-who of the weird and wonderful - from comedy to burlesque and everything (and anything) in between.

Friday, June 9

Alpha Centauri

Directed & Performed by TRISTAN POWELL

Music by ARIEL ZETINA

Nightclub meets other-worldly dance recital in this shimmering, queer exploration of girlhood pulsing with a live DJ soundscape.

Saturday, June 10

Welcome to the Gun Show: A Chekhovian Song Cycle

Composed & Performed by SHANE CHAPMAN & Julia Sirna-Frest

Directed by PATRICK VASSEL

Chekhov's signature longing and angst is turned up to 11 as his characters' inner thoughts are transformed into a cathartic explosion of Chekhovian proportions filled with rock n' roll and, of course, vodka! It's the greatest (and only) Chekhovian song cycle of 2017.

Monday, June 12

SKiNFoLK: An American Show

Created & Performed by Jillian Walker

Directed by Awoye Timpo

Fall down a rabbit hole in the floor of a jook joint as the sounds of the Bad Band take us on a jagged tour of found documents, hair rituals and mythical light-skinned heroes. A robust and surreal concert-play in the roots of a tangled American family tree.

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Tuesday, June 13

Interabang

Created & Performed by RY SZELONG

Directed & Produced by BRYN HERDRICH

A memory play. A drag performance. A ghost story. Interabang is a fragmented portrait of the fragmented identity of a mixed-race family, and of the half-true ancestral curse that lurks under their kitchen sink.

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Wednesday, June 14

The Commission on Presidential Debates Presents: A Debate with 3 Andy Warhols

Created by JOHN ALDOUS & LUCAS SEGALL

Choreography by LISA FAGAN

It's the final debate of the campaign season and Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol & Andy Warhol have one last chance to make their case for America by putting the electro-pop in populist. Presidential debate meets concert in this unholy union of C-SPAN and American Idol.

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Thursday, June 15

Pasic and Platt: Orgy

Created & Performed by MO FRY PASIC & Tim Platt

A modern couple is organizing an orgy for, undeniably, all the wrong reasons, and you're invited. It promises to be awkward and funny and titillating. You know. Like orgies. Please come anyway.

Friday, June 16

RED EMMA & THE MAD MONK

Created & Directed by KATIE LINDSAY

Written & Created by ALEXIS ROBLAN

Music by TERESA LOTZ

Tweets. Assassination attempts. A Phantom Rasputin crashing your 6th grade history report. Time, space and ideology dissolve into a Russo-American cabaret that asks: What exactly is the difference between a tweet and an assassination attempt again? And do either ever actually make a difference?

Chamber Band

With unchecked charisma, Brooklyn indie-punk-folk mainstays, Chamber Band, will battle capitalism and summon demons in a far out evening of music.

Saturday, June 17

DISCOUNT GHOST STORIES: WELL WORN WORDS

Conceived & Performed by Jessica Kahkoska & Alexander Sage Oyen

Music & Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen

Directed by Austin Regan

These spectral rockers re-imagine legends forgotten by history, weaving historical text and folk-songs to tell the (mostly) true story of Clifford Griffin, a melancholic miner who ended his life in 1885 in the mountains of Colorado. An epic and intimate story of obsession, wilderness and grief.

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Monday, June 19

AMERIKA!: Episode 2

Created & Performed by CHURCH OF THE MILLENNIALS: ABBY ADLER, ANTONIO IRIZARRY, KEDIAN KEOHAN, REEVES MORRIS-STAN, ETHAN ROGERS, DAISY ROSATO & DANA SAVAGE

Seven ingénues stranded in the belly of the American Dream now venture west, seduced by the promise of life beyond The Farm. Devised theater ensemble Church of the Millennials presents a rambunctious fable about scrabbling for Manifest Destiny with seven pairs of eyes and only one pair of binoculars.

Tuesday, June 20

The Other Side of Paradise

Written & Performed by Angela Sclafani

Directed by HUNTER BIRD

The woman behind the man behind the book of a century invites you to a roaring concert party. This is the wild story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald - forty violent years of booze, books and bonfires - in one jazz band blaze of glory.

Heaven is Here!: A Eurodance Party and Spiritual Rebirth Seminar

Created by EMILY OLIVEIRA & MAX BRANIGAN

Koko the sign language gorilla is a divine liaison to the spiritual world. Communicating through her YouTube videos, Koko has commanded us to spread her word through dance music. She has named us All Ball. Dance to All Ball, learn the word of Koko, drive out fear, live in perfect love, Heaven is Here!!!

Wednesday, June 21

Do You Want A Cookie?: a Cabaret about Cabaret

Created & Performed by John Jarboe

Co-Creator & Dramturg SALLY OLLOVE

Music by HEATH ALLEN

The Philly-based whizzes of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret present a poisoned cookie for your consumption. Carefully administered and hastily swallowed, one bite will have you whirling through this meta-cabaret that asks: What even is a cabaret? Why does it matter, and where is it taking us?

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Thursday, June 22

Night Soap

Created & Performed by MATT ROGERS & BOWEN YANG

Night Soap follows the Hersheys and the Nestles, two warring family dynasties with a common ambition: to sell the first chocolate products in space. High drama, high camp and high hair abound in this live soap opera.

Showgasm - ANT Fest Edition

with Nicole Spiezio & crew

Nicole Spiezio guest hosts our untamed monthly variety show-meets party, introducing us to their who's-who of the weird and wonderful - from comedy to burlesque and everything (and anything) in between.

Friday, June 23

Xander Xyst: Dragon, 1

Written by JEREMY O. HARRIS

Directed by JESSE RASMUSSEN

Xander Xyst is a porn star. His brother, Matt, is a musician. They're both on dates. As night turns to nightmare, the dark side of desire bares its teeth in this yearning LA fairy tale with a hypnotic electronica heartbeat.

(Parkland/Weathers)

Written by Andrew R. Butler

Directed by JORDAN FEIN

(Parkland/Weathers) is a nesting doll double-bill of sci-fi folk music concerts that unpacks the lives and relationship of singer-songwriters Rags Parkland and Beaux Weathers. In the 2200s, music is their best shot at winning over a world that insists only one of them is human.

Saturday, June 24

East o', West o'!

Written by MICHELLE J. RODRIGUEZ

Directed by SIVAN BATTAT

Weaving together Appalachian harmonies, bluegrass and contemporary folk, a Norwegian tale becomes an American myth in this joyful musical, celebrating a big-hearted heroine navigating the spaces between womanhood, belonging and home.

U R ?

Created & Performed by KENNY FINKLE

U R ? is a musical, graphic-novel experience designed for audiences of 6 people per performance and told through music and hand-drawn visuals. An experiment in the relationship between audience and artist and an exploration of what it means to grapple with darkness, U R ? takes you on an interactive journey that is both whimsical and intensely personal.

Monday, June 26

HOW THE WHITE GIRL GOT HER SPOTS AND OTHER 90s TRIVIA

Created by SHAYOK MISHA CHOWDHURY & LAURA GRILL JAYE

What did the brown bump say to the white skin? In this musical mythography, Grill and Chowder ride a jazzy, indie-folk score across waves of nostalgia in search of a history that holds them, even when they'd rather it let them go.

Tuesday, June 27

Black Girl Magic Show!

Written & Directed by nicHi douglas

How many wigs can one Black woman wear during a single show? (Sooo many.) Black Girl Magic Show! unpacks everything and nothing you never knew you didn't want to know about Black women. There will be dancing. And magic. And WIGS.

Fire Burns Hot: Little Reno!

Performed by Jennifer Kidwell, DITO VAN REIGERSBERG, NATHAN RENNER-JOHNSON, DAN ROTHENBURG & JOHNNY DRAGO

What starts as a mere spark of passion quickly erupts into a raging dumpster fire of lust and betrayal. Old flames are fanned and new loves are stoked in this pop-up quick-change soap opera of unquenchable proportions!

Wednesday, June 28

Fantasy Grandma's Live From The Silent View Home For The Elderly

Created & Performed by FANTASY GRANDMA THEATER COMPANY

The beloved geriatric powerhouses Fantasy Grandma will take you on a life and death journey inside their nursing home for hilarious original music, comedy, hard candies and deep shame if you don't finish your Jell-O.

Thursday, June 29

HORSETALE

Created by HIT THE LIGHTS! THEATER COMPANY: Samantha Blain, Kristopher Dean, ClaRon Hayden, Casey Scott Leach, Carli Rhoades, Mikayla Stanley

How far would you go to restore the piece of yourself you hold dearest? In Hit the Lights! Theater Co.'s new shadow play with music, a horse and his tail become separated and, in their search for each other, find themselves.


Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the Early Stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support cross-pollination and outside-the-box thinking to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a "fertile incubator of offbeat theater," Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: New York Times' "Best of 2016" Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special; Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the New York Times and New York Post's "Best of 2015" Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl; Time Out New York's "Best of 2014," Jacuzzi by The Debate Society; Drama Desk nominated Charlatan by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg; the award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now playing on Broadway and nominated for 12 TONY Awards including Best Musical); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle nominated From Up Here by Liz Flahive; audience favorite Dixie's Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; the show that pur Bridget Everett on the map At Least It's Pink by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda's and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.


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