SHADOW PLAY Opens TSTC's 2013 Season

SHADOW PLAY Opens TSTC's 2013 Season

Beginning March 2, 2013, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (TSTC) will present two original productions for very young audiences and families as a spring season in partnership with The Performance Project at University Settlement. The series is especially intended for children ages 2-5 and includes performances of TSTC's Shadow Play and Off the Map. Performances will be held at Speyer Hall at University Settlement, located at 184 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002.

TSTC will remount their production of Shadow Play-an original play developed as part of the artist-in-residence program at The Performance Project at University Settlement in the spring of 2012. This much-loved production will return for a limited run over four consecutive Saturdays (March 2, 9, 16, and 23) at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

On April 20, 2013, The Performance Project at University Settlement and TSTC will co-present the world premiere production of Off the Map. The production will run over three consecutive Saturdays (April 20, 27, and May 4) at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Off the Map will also be featured in the New Museum's Binennal Ideas City Festival, themed "Untapped Capital."

Tickets for both Shadow Play and Off the Map can be purchased online at [Shadow Play:; Off the Map: or at the Speyer Hall box office one hour prior to each performance throughout the season.

Have you ever wondered what happens to your shadow when you go to sleep? It turns out that some shadows are more mischievous than others. Soon after moving into his new home, Flash discovers that his shadow has moving plans of his own. In the middle of the night, Flash's shadow packs up a few belongings and goes in search of a new home on the moon. Will they ever reunite? Follow Flash on a quest to bring his shadow home in this playful production that utilizes stunning animation, video production and an original score to create a highly sensory, multi-media experience designed with a very young audience in mind.

Shadow Play is directed by TSTC Artistic Director Jonathan Shmidt and based on an original concept by Shmidt and Edie Demas. Shmidt brings many years of experience to his work as a creator of theatre for young audiences, having worked with The New Victory Theater, Wheelock Family Theater, Immediate Medium and New York University's New Plays for Young Audiences Series. Demas is a leader in the field of arts education and theater for young audiences, currently working to develop new education programming at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Most recently, she served as the Director of Education for The New Victory Theater (2001-2010), during which time she more than doubled the number of school and community-based partners and launched the New Vic in the Classroom Program.

Playing the role of Flash is Drew Petersen, a New York City based theater practitioner, musician, and educator. Drew serves as TSTC's Associate Artistic Director and has co-created and performed in Trusty Sidekick's productions The Little One and the Sea of Letters, The House of Ichabod Crane, and BEAST. He is also an extended company member with Philadelphia-based Curio Theater Company. In the past, he has worked creatively and/or educationally with People's Light and Theater Company, Villanova Theater, Mumpuppet Theater, Commonwealth Classic Theater Company, Egopo Productions and Hedgerow Theater. The multimedia team includes Zach Ramadan, video projection; Noah Press, animation; and Chris Gabriel, score composition.

When the subway trains begin to fall off the map, it's up to a few unexpected heroes to get them back on track. Surprising destinations and unthinkable discoveries transform the world underground in this new performance for little ones. Puppetry, live music, and imaginative storytelling create an extraordinary new landscape within the setting of the New York City subway system, extending beyond the limits of our city maps. How far can the subway really take you?

Off the Map is conceived and directed by TSTC resident artist Retta Leaphart. Leaphart is a theater and puppet artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her puppetry has recently been seen at The Voice4Vision Festival at Theater for the New City and in the 2011 Puppet Lab at St. Ann's Warehouse. Her previous Trusty Sidekick credits include devising and performing The Little One and the Sea of Letters and The House of Ichabod Crane. Leaphart also teaches for The New Victory Theater, Disney Theatrical Group and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

As part of its two-year residency at The Performance Project at University Settlement, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company has developed a new model for developing theater for the very young. Through an artistic partnership with the Early Childhood Program at University Settlement, TSTC artists create a symbiotic relationship between the rehearsal room and the preschool classroom. Through a series of creative play and story development workshops led by a team of teaching artists, the students offered their ideas and acted as dramaturgs, informing the devising process of the artists for both Shadow Play and Off the Map as they created these shows. During the season, students will have an opportunity to see the final productions in which their direct participation made a significant impact.

The Performance Project at University Settlement provides established, emerging and young artists and local audiences with opportunities to connect and enrich each other's lives. They aim to encourage greater participation in the live arts and to help cultivate diverse creative communities on the Lower East Side. Resident artists are fully immersed in the Settlement House community though a year long process in which they will engage program participants and staff while documenting their experience. Performance opportunities include a shared Works in Progress Festival in the winter followed by a weeklong performance run in the spring, giving artists the chance to continue developing their work in a familiar space over an extended period of time.

Trusty Sidekick's play series for very young audiences is part of the Company's 2012-13 season. Taking place in the historic Old Stone House of Brooklyn-the site of the first official battle of the Revolutionary War-The House of Ichabod Crane was an immersive retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which combined original text of Washington Irving's classic with history of the Battle of Brooklyn as an eerie and inventive new legend unfolded.

TSTC is a Brooklyn-based theater company creating bold, sophisticated, and high-quality artistic performances for young people and their families. The company combines immersive staging and inventive theatricality to tell old and new stories, challenge preconceptions of live performance, and introduce theater to a new generation. The company's work is multidisciplinary, and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, dance, animation, and video projection. Since its founding in early 2011, Trusty Sidekick has developed and presented new work at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theater, Cleveland PlayhouseSquare, Old Stone House, Abrons Arts Center (The Little One and the Sea of Letters), and The Performance Project @ The University Settlement (Shadow Play, March 2011).

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