La MaMa Extends FOOD FOR THE GODS Through November 18th
FOOD FOR THE GODS, written and directed by Nehprii Amenii, will perform two additional shows as part of La MaMa's celebrated Puppet Festival, November 15 - 18, at The Downtairs (66 E. 4 St.), in the East Village. Originally scheduled to perform Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.; FOOD FOR THE GODS will play additional shows Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.
FOOD FOR THE GODS is a part of La MaMa's 2018 Puppet Festival which occurs biannually and showcases new contemporary puppet theatre by American and International Artists, curated by Denise Greber. Expect the unexpected: Food for the Gods includes a dinner table of puppets, 14 actors/puppeteers, and an immersive design that transforms from a bamboo forest to a fleet of ships and then into a labyrinth. This work weaves together an emotional triptych of indifference, rage, and celestial knowing: a girl is just trying to catch the train, a mother casts magic, and many many brethren await.
"I did not write this play to incite anger, but rather to incite care, and push for honest conversations free of shame," said Nephrii Amenii. "I began writing this piece in 2012. Between January and June of that year 120 black men had been killed in the United States by law enforcement." says playwright Nehprii Amenii. In 2018, despite greater awareness and new hashtag campaigns and protests, such as Black Lives Matter, the violence has continued.
"People can take in a puppet-paper, wires and string-much easier than an actual person. I'm using puppetry as a way of disarming the audience, as a means of helping everyone to lower their guard a bit ... so they can see, hear and feel," Amenii says. "I have come to realize that we do not care as much about issues as we do about people, once the people become real and relatable. I did not write this play to incite anger, but rather to incite care, and push for honest conversations free of shame. Puppets can get away with saying things that people cannot."
Food for the Gods features choreography by Amparo "Chigui" Santiago, scenic design by Andrew Murdock, lighting design by Joshua Langman, sound design by Giovanni Kavota, costume design by Angela M. Fludd, Creative Engineering by Enoch Reise, puppet design and fabrication by Nehprii Amenii and April Tillies. Performers include Omar Noel, Kymbali Craig, Maya Posey, and Alexis Cofield plus a talented troupe of puppeteers: Leah Alfieri, Andrea Ang, Mateo Ervin, Aiden Hart, Monica Lerch, Kayla Prestel, Enoch Riese, Eddie Rodriguez, Charon Scerra, and Rebecca Stuart.
Nehprii Amenii is a writer, director, puppeteer, and artistic director of Khunum Productions -- a platform for creative anthropology, that employs visual theatre to promote human connectivity. Khunum Production team members include Patricia Shuford as Company Producer, Cassandra Medley as Resident Playwright, and Abby Felder as Company Manager. For more information about Khunum Productions and Food for the Gods, visit khunumproductions.com.
LISTINGS INFORMATION: Food for the Gods is part of the La MaMa 2018 Puppet Festival with performances on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The La MaMa Puppet Festival runs Nov. 1 through 25, 2018.
La MaMa Downstairs Theatre, 66 East 4th St., basement level, New York, NY 10003.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for students and seniors. La MaMa also offers 10@10 tickets pre-sale only, first-come, first-served. For tickets, visit lamama.org or call 212-352-3101.
Photo Credit: Jenny Sharp