Letter of Marque Theater to Present Immersive Holiday Experience GIFTS, 12/4-21

By: Nov. 24, 2014
Installation artist, Sean Naftel, and musician/composer Sam Day Harmet, are teaming up with Letter of Marque Theater Company to make their new show, "Gifts," an immersive and magical holiday experience. These two budding artists are both worth keeping tabs on as they continue to show remarkable talent and promise in their careers. Letter of Marque, a theater company that sprang out of Gowanus, Brooklyn last year, is thrilled to be working with both of them and excited to add these elements to their original play based on the O'Henry's classic, The Gift of the Magi.

Sean Naftel, who was recently featured in the New York Times for his piece "yard sale" at De Buck Gallery in Chelsea, will be transforming the lobby of the Access Theater (where "Gifts" is taking place), with an elaborate art installation. "I'm looking to make a space that feels like Twin Peaks: A Christmas Story; Kitsch meets hyper-reality," describes Sean.

After the audience is transported to a new and magical world via the art-installed lobby, they are further transported by the musical score of "Gifts," written by mandolin virtuoso, Sam Harmet. Harmet, who leads the klezmer-electro-funk band, Shtetlblasters, has brought together a quartet of some of New York's finest up-and-coming jazz musicians to play a score that lifts the show into a cross-disciplinary and bold new kind of theater.

"My hope is that the music will elevate the emotional experience for the audience." says Sam. "As someone who typically writes following my own open-ended creative frameworks, it's been a fun, interesting process writing in a way that's been guided by the text and emotional tone of the scenes. My goal is to bring out the character already present in the scenes," explains Sam.

"Gifts," written and directed by Letter of Marque co-founder Nolan Kennedy, follows the lives of an idyllic New York couple from Christmas Eve to Christmas Eve as they learn and re-learn what it means to give, to receive, and what they really want for themselves and for each other. The show has plenty of holiday magic, but it also has a vulnerable heart. Kennedy can barely keep still when he says, "You know that feeling in the rehearsal room when everyone realizes we're creating a really, really magical piece of art? Yea, that's happening every time we work a scene!"

"Gifts" runs December 4th through 21st, playing Thursday through Mondays. 7:30pm (Curtain 8pm) and Sunday Matinee 4:30pm (Curtain 5pm) at the Access Theater | 380 Broadway, New York, NY 10013. Free with online RSVP or $20 at the door. Visit www.LoMTheater.org for more.

LETTER OF MARQUE THEATER CO, is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary crew of actors, musicians, writers and directors that functions as a performance ensemble to produce new, original and re-imagined theater. LOM's mission is to create accessible, affordable and dynamic theater at little or no charge to their audiences. Last year, the innovative ensemble toured an original show, "Bully Me Down," to 11 bars across Brooklyn. Other past productions include The Pyrate Trials, for The Waterfront Museum; Gifts, at 5th Estate Bar; Don't Feed the Cats in Iraq, at The Place in Greenpoint, a collaboration with Vic Ruggerio (of the Slackers) on a staged reading based on Ruggerio's album and the writing Phil Nerges.

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