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HERE's 2015-16 Season to Feature Three Premieres & More

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HERE announces its 2015-2016 producing season, featuring three HERE Resident Artist productions, an Artistic Director production, the fourth annual PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival and HERE's yearly CULTUREMART festival, which gives audiences a first look at new work in process from artists in the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). The multidisciplinary works in HERE's 2015-2016 season represent the culmination of commissions and developmental residencies of up to three years through HARP, and/or the Dream Music Puppetry Program.

HERE is located at 145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street. For more, please visit www.here.org.

HERE's 2015-2016 season:

Genet Porno

September 9 - 26, 2015

A Resident Artist Production by Yvan Greenberg

Love and betrayal are no strangers to Divine, the cross-dressing gay prostitute at the heart of Jean Genet's 1943 novel, Our Lady of the Flowers. Her story of forsaken desire collides with the 21st century confessional video blog of a real-life porn star in Genet Porno, a psychosexual melodrama that exposes our contemporary culture of narcissism and the consequences of blurring our public and private lives in an epic emotional journey from light into darkness.

Yvan Greenberg founded Laboratory Theater in 2001 and has directed the ensemble in eleven original pieces. His work has been presented in New York by PS 122, The Brick Theater, Dixon Place, The Tank, HERE Arts Center, chashama, New Dramatists, The Performing Garage, The Knitting Factory, and Movement Research, among others. Greenberg received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2006. In 2007, Laboratory Theater helped Dixon Place initiate and establish its on-going artist residency program. In addition to his work with Laboratory Theater, Greenberg has directed Una Corda, a solo performance ritual written & performed by Austin-based artist kt shorb, (premiered September 2010 at Blue Theater in Austin, Texas) and Murphy, an experimental music-theater piece by composer Corey Dargel and playwright Honor Molloy, (awarded the New Dramatists' 2007 Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theater). Greenberg has choreographed two other pieces by Dargel, Thirteen Near-Death Experiences (PS 122, 2009) and Removable Parts (HERE, 2008), directed by Emma Griffin. He collaborated with composer Eve Beglarian on The Sirens, or Pleasure as part of her RiverProject at Abrons Art Center in January 2012.

Chang(e)

November 4 - 22, 2015

A Resident Artist Production by Soomi Kim

Fighting for global social transformation, performance artist and activist Kathy Change (formerly Kathleen Chang) was on a mission to save the world from disaster. As a final act of protest, she self-immolated on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in October 1996. Chang(e) is a live-staged biographical docudrama that slips between reality and fantasy, plunging viewers inside the mind of Kathy Change. Through a phantasmagorical blend of original text, along with interview and performance transcriptions and Change's own writings, dance, video and original score, Change's prescient defiance comes to life in a theatrical account of a passionate and marginalized woman battling her own cultural and psychological demons. Chang(e) is written and performed by Soomi Kim and directed by Suzi Takahashi. Video by Gein Wong. Cast includes Brendan McGeever, with others to be announced.

Soomi Kim is a Korean born, New York City based actor and movement artist (dancer, stage combat/martial arts, choreographer, gymnast). She works as a company member with several artists as well as producing, creating and performing her own work, almost always in the collaborative setting. Kim's multidisciplinary dance theater collaboration, Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky (adaptation of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's seminal work of poetry) premiered in Los Angeles at the 3rd National Asian American Theater Festival, June 2011. Dictee... was conceived and choreographed by Kim, created in collaboration with director by Suzi Takahashi and musician Jen Shyu. In October 2008, her original multidisciplinary performance play Lee/gendary (based on the life of Bruce Lee, also a Kim/Takahashi collaboration) ran for 3 weeks at HERE, where Kim served as producer & performer in this show. This performance garnered 6 New York Innovative Theater award nominations (2009) and 3 wins, including Outstanding Production of a Play. Kim was also nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role (as Bruce Lee) as well as Outstanding Choreography (alongside Airon Armstrong). Lee/gendary first ran at the First National Asian American Theater Festival (FNAATF) held in New York City. Kim is a company member with Ex.pgirl and has performed in several productions, workshops and residencies with this past HERE Artist Resident troupe. Kim has performed and worked extensively with composer/choreographer Grisha Coleman in her work echo-system: the desert. Kim is an Urban Arts Initiative grant recipient and has been featured in KoreAm Journal, Asiance, Kung Fu magazine, The Korea Times and The Los Angeles Times.

Science Fair

April 13 - 24, 2016

A Resident Artist Production by Hai-Ting Chinn

Science Fair is an opera singer's love-song to science. Conceived and performed by mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, with composer Matthew Schickele and pianist Erika Switzer, Science Fair melds Science and Opera into a surprising evening of songs, slides, and live experiments. The words of scientists, writers, and teachers become songs about the phases of the moon, the evolution of whales, the physics of the operatic voice, and, above all, the wonder of the scientific worldview.

American mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn has been heard and seen in opera, concert, recital, and a number of unclassifiable hybrid shows. Career highlights include the title role in The Wooster Group's production of La Didone (music of Francesco Cavalli); Aloès in New York City Opera's L'Étoile (Emanuel Chabrier); and the title role in Opera Omnia's Coronation of Poppea at Le Poisson Rouge. At HERE, Hai-Ting appeared in Yoav Gal's Mosheh in January 2011, and she is currently singing live and acting on screen with Toni Dove in her emerging electronic extravaganza, Lucid Possession. Hai-Ting also co-hosts a weekly podcast, Scopes Monkey Choir, a lighthearted discussion of the science of music.

Idiot

April 27 - May 21, 2016

A HERE Artistic Director Production by Kristin Marting (Co-Creator, Director) & Robert Lyons (Co-Creator, Writer)

Prince Myshkin squares-off with a notorious woman, a spoiled socialite, and a jealous rival in an intricate and violent quartet, as he dances the knife's edge between torrid tragedy and mystical epiphany. This hybrid response to The Idiot by Dostoevsky features gestural choreography, original text and innovative video, invoking a complex and penetrating brain-scan of Prince Myshkin's "truly beautiful soul."

Kristin Marting (Co-Creator / Director) has constructed 26 works for the stage, including 13 original hybrid works, 8 adaptations of novels and short stories and 5 classic plays. She works in a collaborative, process-driven way to fuse different disciplines into a cohesive whole. Projects include last season's hit Trade Practices, a site-specific work on Governors Island; Lush Valley, a live art participatory performance; Orpheus, an alt-musical co-created with David Evans Morris; and James Scruggs's Disposable Men. She directed Sounding and Dead Tech, both of which received MAP Fund awards. Her works have toured the US. She has collaborated on several large-scale political action art events, including The Line (2004). For over 20 years, she has been developing a unique hybrid directorial/choreographic form that features a "gestural vocabulary" as an emotional signifier & as a choreographic element. She was named Person of the Decade (2014) and Person on the Year by nytheatre.com (2011) and honored with a BAX10 Award. She is a co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE, where she cultivates artists and programs for two performance spaces-including 18 OBIE-award winners - for an annual audience of 35,000. She created and co-curates HERE's Artist Residency Program. For 19 years, she curated The American Living Room, an annual summer festival featuring works by emerging artists; and for 8 years, QUEER@HERE, an annual festival of LGBT work. She serves on panels for NEA, NYSCA, DCA, and TCG. Previously, Marting co-founded and served as co-artistic director of Tiny Mythic Theatre Company. She served as Robert Wilson's assistant for HAMLETMACHINE and Salome. She graduated from NYU with honors in 1988. She teaches at NYU and lectures at Harvard, Columbia, Brown and Williams College, among others.

Robert Lyons (Creator/Writer) is a playwright, director, and the Artistic Director of the New Ohio Theatre in Manhattan's West Village. As a playwright, Robert has more than twenty New York premieres to his credit, most recently as one of the playwrights of Trade Practices, produced on Governor's Island, and as co-writer of Lush Valley, both produced by HERE Arts Center and directed by Kristin Marting. Other New York productions include Nostradamus Predicts the Death of Soho, Red-Haired Thomas ("a sweetly fractured fairy tale" - The New York Times) and Doorman's Double Duty ("A gem" - The New York Times). Other full-length and short plays include PR Man, No Meat No Irony, The Naked Anarchist, Dream Conspiracy, Creature of the Deep, no thanks/thanks, Vater Knows Best and Floorboards, which have been presented by the Ohio Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Clubbed Thumb, The Foundry Theatre, Synapse Productions, among others. Robert's work has been developed in residencies at the Orchard Project, The Playwright's Center of Minneapolis, MASS MoCA, the Bogliasco Foundation, The Farm and MacDowell Colony. His favorite directing projects include Vaclav Havel's Protest (with Havel in attendance!), and multiple plays and performances of Lenora Champagne. Robert has an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College (program dir. Mac Wellman), and currently serves as Creative Director of the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Season.

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now

January 6 - 17, 2016 / HERE & additional venues

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now is the premier global festival of opera-theater and music-theater in New York City, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects. The fourth edition of PROTOTYPE runs January 6-17, 2016. Lineup to be announced.

Last year's PROTOTYPE festival featured two world premieres - Stefan Weisman and librettist David Cote's The Scarlet Ibis and Bora Yoon's Sunken Cathedral. The festival also included Toxic Psalms, an international co-presentation with Slovenian company Carmina Slovenica and St. Ann's Warehouse; Kansas City Choir Boy, a theatricalized concept album by Todd Almond and featuring Courtney Love; two work-in-progress presentations of Beth Morrison Projects operas in development: Winter's Child, by Ellen Reid and Amanda Jane Shank, co-presented with Trinity Wall Street, and Aging Magician, by Paola Prestini, Rinde Eckert, and Julian Crouch, co-presented with Park Avenue Armory and Opera America's New Works Forum; and a one-night-only performance by Timur and the Dime Museum at Joe's Pub. Past PROTOTYPE festivals featured the world premieres of Mohammed Fairouz's opera Sumeida's Song and Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz's Thumbprint, the New York premieres of David T. Little's Soldier Songs, Gregory Spears's Paul's Case, and international presentations of Collective 33 1/3's Bluebeard and Operamanija's Have a Good Day! New York Magazine named PROTOTYPE one of the 10 Best Classical Performances of Last Year: "an extravaganza...show[ing] how much life there is in New York's underground opera scene."

Co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CULTUREMART Festival

March 1-13, 2016 / HERE

Annual Resident Artist Festival

Live arts. Up close. CULTUREMART is the annual festival of hybrid works in progress by artists in the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). Process becomes the focus as projects spanning dance and technology, opera for young people, visual art installation, puppetry and object theater, and works representing everything in-between are shown at various stages of development on their way to full production.

Additional projects currently in development from artists in the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP):

HERE's current HARP artists, with projects in development, include: Composer Leah Coloff (ThisTree); Choreographer Sean Donovan & Director Sebastian Calderón Bentin (The Reception); Playwright Sara Farrington & Multimedia Director Reid Farrington (CasablancaBox); Composer Lainie Fefferman (Elements); Visual Performance Artist Chris M. Green (American Weather); Composer Matt Marks & Director/Librettist Paul Peers (Mata Hari); Composer Paul Pinto (Thomas Paine in Violence); Music-Theatre Artists Rady & Bloom (O); Multimedia director Rob Roth (Soundstage); Puppet Artist Jessica Scott (Ship of Fools); Choreographer Amanda Szeglowski /cakeface (Stairway to Stardom); Multimedia Ensemble Adam J. Thompson / Deconstructive Theatre Ensemble (Venice Double Feature).

ThisTree by Leah Coloff

ThisTree is a multi-media performance ritual exploring family and remembrance while contemplating the circumstance of leaving no genetic legacy. It is anchored in songs written by cellist/singer Leah Coloff and amplified by personal stories where pioneer spirit meets immigrant dreams in the Pacific Northwest. ThisTree takes place in the forest. In this forest is a clearing where intimate visions created by super 8 home movie footage, handmade objects and personal talismanic props serve to investigate and propagate new meaning for identity and inheritance.

The Reception by Sean Donovan & Sebastian Calderón Bentin

Donovan and Calderón are in development on a new mixed form theater project entitled Abaddon (working title), which uses Luis Buñuel's 1962 film The Exterminating Angel as its point of departure. Working with a multi-generational cast the piece will explore the notions of entrapment, enclosure, and the breakdown of social institutions intrinsic to the film.

CasablancaBox by Sara Farrington & Reid Farrington

CasablancaBox is a hybrid video-theatre piece by new media artist Reid Farrington and old media artist Sara Farrington. The classic 1942 film Casablanca is the spine, from which stories branch off: Bogart's violent third wife, Peter Lorre's scene-stealing and homelessness, Bergman's scandalous affairs, the mercurial and cruel Jack Warner and hundreds more. Blending live performers and intricate video design that projects the film's characters, CasablancaBox studies the success, failure, struggle, glory, despair and madness of being an actor.

Elements by Lainie Fefferman

Based on the Ancient Greek geometry treatise by Euclid, Elements is an evening-length math opera, scored for soprano trio (Martha Cluver, Mellissa Hughes, Caroline Shaw) and percussion quartet (Mantra Percussion). By representing mathematical abstraction with musical abstraction, choreography, and lighting design, the project endeavors to bring mathematics to life in all its aesthetic glory and stark beauty. Lainie Fefferman, the composer, and Eric Southern, the lighting designer, work closely together to create an audio-visual experience that leaves audiences feeling the geometry more than thinking it.

American Weather by Chris M. Green

American Weather is a work of material theater directed and composed by Chris M. Green about five disparate individuals working in the shadows of the American empire as it crosses over its apex. Using ready-mades, figurative puppets, live projections, customized technologies, spoken text and original music for brass and voice, five performers visualize and embody the weather-like American condition through overlapping, surreal sub-plots that together come to form an overall arc. The aesthetic of material theater (a form of puppetry where any type of object or natural matter can become animated) provides a persistent allusion to American materialism. Although scenes and images may address themes that are political by nature, the piece is not designed to promote a set of political opinions about America. Rather, American Weather investigates a growing national ambiguity, and our increasing need as Americans to become comfortable with it.

Mata Hari by Matt Marks & Paul Peers

An interdisciplinary opera-theater piece, Mata Hari is inspired by the life of Mata Hari, the exotic dancer who was executed for espionage during World War I. The story is placed during last months of her life while incarcerated in St. Lazare prison in Paris. It focuses on her relationships with the five men that lead to her execution in 1917.

Thomas Paine in Violence by Paul Pinto

Set in and around the mind of revolutionary activist Thomas Paine (1737-1809), Thomas Paine in Violence is a mad psychedelic opera, depicting the final days of the American Founding Father's life, the strange events of his "afterlife," the censorship of his work, his philosophies, his complaints and his profanities. In this electronic-heavy work, Paine's actual words are embedded in stylized rants. The words of his activist pamphleteering are juxtaposed with the shock jock punditry of our contemporary media landscape, distorted and often censored. Thomas Paine in Violence looks at to the inability to communicate ideas of the "perfect state" to citizenry, and how it feels to see those ideas torn apart by the body politic.

O by Rady & Bloom

Inspired by the pages of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and old Jacques Cousteau film reels washed up on a beach somewhere, O is replete with music and puppetry and painting that reveals new worlds. Can this Ocean be an abstraction, or is it just water? Can it be a metaphor, or is it necessarily an ecosystem? And also: Could a play let the Ocean be both? Could a play honor the human impulse to spin poetry out of our world while honoring the wet world itself, which sloshes along independent of human imagining? Can we make a play that could conjure a whole Imaginative Ocean out of Nothingness, but also make a play that won't deny the Very Actual Somethingness of a planet out of whack, of living oceans slowly rising. O accommodates jostling ideas of what narrative is, and might be. It puts all of us rival playmakers quite literally in the same boat - living as we do on a shared planet.?

Soundstage by Rob Roth

This is considered the second episode in the triptych of 'female lead' studies that began with Roth's award-winning visual rock spectacle, Screen Test. Whereas Screen Test's focus was on 'the Goddess and the grace within,' Soundstage begins to ask the question, 'What are the merits of temptation and how does it lead to the perceived fall from grace?' Is what seems to be destiny self-oriented or is this just a grand experiment by an outside force?

Ship of Fools by Jessica Scott

Ship of Fools is a multidisciplinary theater piece involving live music, puppetry, movement and strong visual design that seeks to illuminate the age-old practice of pathologizing women. The audience travels with the performers, weaving through re-imagined moments in history, interrupted by moments of jarring fantasy that turn the narrative on its head.

Stairway to Stardom by Amanda Szeglowski / cakeface

Stairway to Stardom is a mixed media dance-theatre tour of shattered dreams, inspired by and sourcing footage from the public-access television series by the same name, which aired in New York City from 1979 to the early 1990s. This new work synthesizes intricate choreography, immersive video, and original texts delivered via cakeface's signature style of linguistic performance art. ??

Venice Double Feature by Adam J. Thompson/The Deconstructive Theatre Project

Venice Double Feature is a live hybrid media performance work inspired by two extant literary sources: Death in Venice by Thomas Mann and Watermark by Joseph Brodsky. Death in Venice tells Mann's fictional narrative of aging artist Gustav von Aschenbach who visits and ultimately dies in the city of Venice in the early twentieth century and Watermark is a series of episodic essays that detail Brodsky's ten-year love affair with the same city in the late twentieth century. Venice Double Feature combines these two literary sources into two individual yet codependent and simultaneously experienced live films whose worlds bleed into and out of and ultimately affect the destinies of one another and of the eternal city that unites them. The production is the third in The Deconstructive Theatre Project's series of live cinema projects exploring relationships between live performance, neuroscience, and interactive technology.


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