Friday, October 11, 2013

A Season of New Ideas

While The New Victory has launched another exciting season of programming for kids and families, 42nd Street is buzzing with several new projects by local artists and companies. New Victory LabWorks, a groundbreaking new initiative, provides residency artists with the freedom to experiment, play and test ideas during the initial development phase (a crucial time in the life of a production). These artists may specialize in work for kids and families or may be completely new to this audience, and they may have a fully realized concept ready for rehearsal or just the seed of an idea, but they’re each provided with state-of-the-art rehearsal space, time, and resources to take their ideas beyond germination.  

We are thrilled to announce our 2013-14 LabWorks Resident Artists, a diverse and accomplished bunch representing a range of artistic forms - we can’t wait to see what they create this year. Stay tuned to the New Victory Blog for updates from the rehearsal room as these projects develop!

Julian Crouch & Saskia Lane, Broken Plastic Bird Heart
World-renowned theater designer, director and puppet maker, Julian Crouch wowed audiences with his direction and design of Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera. Crouch was also behind the devilishly delightful shows Shockheaded Peter and Wolves in the Walls at The New Victory. You may remember the multi-talented Saskia Lane from your time grooving to Dan Zanes & Friends at the New Vic a few years ago. Together, Julian and Saskia will create Broken Plastic Bird Heart, inspired by the mysterious and beautiful images of albatrosses from the Midway Atoll by acclaimed photographer Chris Jordan. To develop a narrative and bring these images to life, Julian and Saskia (and a small team of puppeteers) will experiment with a stage of sand, a live soundtrack and puppets assembled from discarded plastic, feathers and random detritus.

Parallel Exit, Untitled New Work
Led by Artistic Director Mark Lonergan, this hilarious and charming physical theater company has performed around the world and at several New York venues including 59E59 Theaters, Soho Rep, Symphony Space, PS 122, and The New Victory Theater (the throw-back tap comedy Time Step). During the residency, the company will explore how their signature mix of circus, dance and physical comedy performance can translate to an immersive environment. They will also utilize the residency to develop an ensemble-driven creation process for the company.

Shoehorn Theater Company, LIGHT: A Dark Comedy
Shoehorn Theater Company is a brand new company of old friends and former members of acclaimed downtown theater companies The Flying Machine (Frankenstein) and Sabooge (Fathom, Every Day Above Ground). These artists will combine their unique styles to create LIGHT: a dark comedy, a myth set in a world where the sun has stopped working.  Moth, a young girl who can’t stop asking forbidden questions, is determined to journey out into the murky gloom and seek illumination. Experimenting with physicality, light and shadow, live sand painting and a steampunk set made of machines and contraptions, Shoehorn will work to bring this new tale to life.

Fiasco Theater, Measure for Measure
Fiasco Theater made a splash in 2011 with their acclaimed production of Cymbeline and the ensemble's belief that the performer, the text and the audience are the only elements required to make great theater. Measure for Measure will showcase the company’s brilliant talent for shedding light and clarity on classic plots. But before they debuts their new production at The New Victory in February 2014, they will develop the production (from crafting their cut of the text to bringing their brand of theatricality to staging) in a LabWorks residency. They will also use this opportunity to experiment with a more collaborative development model, bringing designers and actors into the rehearsal room together from the beginning of the process. We are looking forward to hosting them as they bring this piece from concept to production at The New Victory this spring.

We hope each of these teams find a tremendous amount of success during their residency - and based on last season’s pilot project we don’t doubt that they will. Trusty Sidekick’s The Boy at the Edge of Everything (developed during a residency that included a LabWorks public reading last January) is heading across the country for its world premiere in a co-production between Trusty Sidekick and Seattle Children’s Theatre later this year. The New Victory is thrilled to have been part of the development process for this new play for kids and families and looks forward to a season filled with new artists and discoveries!

This blog was written by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, Associate Director of Artistic Programming

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