Studio Visit
Elebash Hall

A Lynching Suite

M. Lamar

critical response

Hershini Young

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Studio Visit

8–10pm / Oct 3 / Elebash Hall

A Lynching Suite

M. Lamar

critical response

Hershini Young

A Lynching Suite is a symphonic horror dirge for male soprano and synthetic strings. It is the first known composition of classical music devoted to the legacy of lynching in the United States. Guided by the visionary work of black liberation theologian James Cone, the Suite is a liturgical cycle of dirges. Musically, the Suite draws from the structures and colors of the Negro Spiritual and symphonic black metal. Its libretto unearths and airs the cannibalistic ritual and psychosexual biopolitical dimensions of lynching, exploring the inescapable implications of the castrations, dismemberments, and trophy-collecting that were a recurring feature. The libretto also explores resurrection, overcoming, and Armageddon.

With a critical response from Hershini Young

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Studio Visit
Elebash Hall

A Moment on the Clock of the World

The Foundry Theatre

critical response

Bertie Ferdman

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Studio Visit

8–10pm / Oct 4 / Elebash Hall

A Moment on the Clock of the World

The Foundry Theatre

critical response

Bertie Ferdman

The Foundry Theatre offers a sneak peek of its final production, a book titled A Moment on the Clock of the World. As the Foundry closes its doors after 25 years of groundbreaking theatre and radical politics, this book collects the inquiry that the company explored which led to this moment and beyond. Actors and community organizers who worked with the Foundry will read selections from the book, whose contributors include Cornel West, Taylor Mac, Alisa Solomon, David Greenspan, and company founder, Melanie Joseph, among others whose own inquiries intersected with the Foundry over the years. In the tradition of most Foundry Theatre events, A Moment on the Clock of the World is an invitation to consider what it means to make the world, together.

With a critical response from Bertie Ferdman.

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Studio Visit
Elebash Hall

Dramaturgy of Disruption

Theater Mitu

critical response

Kevin Riordan

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Studio Visit

3:30–5pm / Oct 5 / Elebash Hall

Dramaturgy of Disruption

Theater Mitu

critical response

Kevin Riordan

Theater Mitu’s work hinges on the methodical disruption of processes as a means of expanding theatre research and practice. Engaging a rigorously interdisciplinary approach, the company focuses on collision as collaboration while challenging traditional modes of storytelling, image crafting, and theatremaking. Framing dramaturgy as the consideration of structures and their impacts, Theater Mitu investigates a range of dramaturgical approaches as they pertain to process; including instinct, ideation, rehearsal, aesthetics, architecture, space, and the performance of work. In doing so, we consider dramaturgy of disruption as a means towards innovation and a richer understanding art’s role at this critical moment. This event includes live and recorded excerpts from Theater Mitu’s past productions.

With a critical response from Kevin Riordan

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Studio Visit
Elebash Hall

mOnster

Whitney White

critical response

Tobi Haslett

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Studio Visit

8:30–10pm / Oct 5 / Elebash Hall

mOnster

Whitney White

critical response

Tobi Haslett

Omarosa. A personality, a paradox, a woman. Whatever your opinion, there is a way that she and other African American women in the media present themselves to the public. It is as much about the woman behind the image as it is about the audience that absorbs them. But how much are our perceptions of image affected by race, gender, and a false communal morality? A look at black female politics of respectability and death by media. Inspired by Omarosa Manigault.

Created by Whitney White
Sound Design: Dan Rosato
Direction: Miranda Haymon

With a critical response from Tobi Haslett.

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Works-in-Process
Segal Theatre

Iranian Girlfriend

Sanaz Ghajar

cracking open – Orpheus Rising

Cristina Pitter & Serena Miller

RESURRECTION of the DARK MATTER Think Tank 2020!

Bailey Williams + Derek Smith + Alex Rodabaugh

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Works-in-Process

5–7pm / Oct 3 / Segal Theatre

Iranian Girlfriend

Sanaz Ghajar

cracking open – Orpheus Rising

Cristina Pitter & Serena Miller

RESURRECTION of the DARK MATTER Think Tank 2020!

Bailey Williams + Derek Smith + Alex Rodabaugh

Iranian Girlfriend: It’s the middle of June and you’re at a bar in Bushwick. She’s perched in a corner drinking whiskey and reading about revolution in dark times. She’s got a line from a poem tattooed on her arm, and two months later you finally ask her who wrote it. She makes you strawberry jam as she tells you about Sylvia Plath, tells you her story and other stories, stories about women who lived through wars, pursued love, attended college, had abortions, contemplated divorce, and bought a lot of fancy dresses. It’s almost winter now and you bring her home to meet your parents. They think her name is interesting.

cracking open – Orpheus Rising: cracking open is a storytelling series navigating various dynamics of relationships. Orpheus Rising is the first in the series and it is a story of cosmic connections and the bittersweet brutality of love. With poetry written by Cristina Pitter and live cello by Serena Miller, cracking open explores the imprints a soul can leave, the exhilarations and exhaustions of intimacy, and how to restring a heart to play again. Does it play again?

RESURRECTION of the DARK MATTER Think Tank 2020!: OCTOBER 2019 : RESURRECTION of the DARK MATTER Think Tank 2020! A 20 MINUTE InterGayLactic SYMPOSIUM in New York City (CUNY/Prelude) with GAYLAXIA (Founder and Grand Master of the I.W.O.W.) and #MetaphysicalFriends. $0 EARLY TICKETS / $0 DAY OF (“Money is a Myth!” – Gaylaxia). Private Location, No Children Allowed Due to Spontaneous Indoor Fireworks and Dominoes Mini-Pizzas Cannon Guns. Live Wrestling! ABSOLUTELY: No Video, phone, audio, STREAM! With an opening Libation and Meditation in A Secret Location. HAIL CHIRON!!!

 

 

Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.

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Works-in-Process
Elebash Hall

For C.J.

Davalois Fearon

Azul Otra Vez (Blue, Revisited)

Melis Aker, Jacinta Clusellas, & Tatiana Pandiani

Crown! Poppea! (a proof of concept gesture)

Ashley Tata (feat. Ted Hearne + Eliza Bagg)

Dancing Girl

The Vanderburgs

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Works-in-Process

5–7pm / Oct 4 / Elebash Hall

For C.J.

Davalois Fearon

Azul Otra Vez (Blue, Revisited)

Melis Aker, Jacinta Clusellas, & Tatiana Pandiani

Crown! Poppea! (a proof of concept gesture)

Ashley Tata (feat. Ted Hearne + Eliza Bagg)

Dancing Girl

The Vanderburgs

For C.J.: For C.J. is dedicated to Artistic Director Davalois Fearon’s nephew C.J., who was the victim of a fatal asthma attack in 2017. Fearon explores themes of loss and remembrance, and the entanglement of medicine, the environment, race, and class that resulted in his death, and the disproportionate deaths of urban youth of color to asthma.

Azul Otra Vez (Blue, Revisited): Inspired by Rubén Darío’s poetry and stories, Azul Otra Vez (Blue, Revisited) is a bilingual musical about the financial struggles of the artist, fatherhood, generational trauma, and forgiveness. Within a framework rooted in Latin American culture, the story explores how memory, nostalgia, and imagination reshape and archive familial and immigrant identity. A hybrid between magic realism, heightened comedy, and realism, it is a spectacle in the legacy of the American book musical, and a deep-dive into the immigrant father-daughter relationship.

Crown! Poppea! (a proof of concept gesture): A music-video-electronic-sample-remix-opera (after Monteverdi).

Dancing Girl: When the Parisian police inflict tragedy on her community of Outcasts, Esmeralda—a resilient and fierce-hearted immigrant—vows to emancipate her people from a prejudiced system. But unlikely alliances, and impossible attractions, blur the boundaries between the oppressed and their oppressors, and Esmeralda soon finds herself at the heart of a passion-driven conspiracy. Expressively told through dance, spoken language, and sign language, Dancing Girl re-presents the themes from Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris, revitalizing the beloved tragedy for a new era.

Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.

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Works-in-Process
Segal Theatre

Where Are We Going?

Kate Benson & Jessica Almasy

Examined Life

NotAmuse

I Love You Stranger

Deepali Gupta

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Works-in-Process

5–7pm / Oct 5 / Segal Theatre

Where Are We Going?

Kate Benson & Jessica Almasy

Examined Life

NotAmuse

I Love You Stranger

Deepali Gupta

Where Are We Going?: We’re all in it together: who is we? Where are we headed? And who is in charge? Where Are We Going? is a road-trip play, laced with the joy, stupidity, and danger of the open road. Which road? Are we on the right road? What is this place we are moving through? And when will it end? Did you remember your bathing suit? When can we stop for coffee?

Examined Life: Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He also believed women were not worthy of that life. Examined Life is a dark, comedic retelling of the history of philosophy. Why are all the “great” philosophers dead white men? Examined Life takes this myth on with a humorous romp through philosophy, offering a challenge: our ideas of democracy, freedom, and equality were born in a culture of oppression. By bringing the monstrousness of philosophers into the light, Examined Life encourages us to see how we contribute to other’s subjugation, and how we can begin to support one another’s freedom through a more nuanced understanding of our cultural inheritance.

I Love You Stranger: This is a musical attempt to arrive at a definition of bipolar. An etymological, epistolary, epiphanic, episodic, insane fantasia! An investigation of the archives of a pivotal romance, an exploration of the disputed history of a psychiatric disorder—and an inquiry into the nature of the suicidal impulse. What happened to you, and did it ever go away? A year in the life of the artist throws a lifetime into relief.

Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.

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Works-in-Process
Segal Theatre

Circle Jerk

Michael + Patrick

Present Shame and Further Woe

Target Margin Theater / Moe Yousuf

where love lives fallow

nicHi douglas

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Works-in-Process

7–9pm / Oct 5 / Segal Theatre

Circle Jerk

Michael + Patrick

Present Shame and Further Woe

Target Margin Theater / Moe Yousuf

where love lives fallow

nicHi douglas

Circle Jerk: Hello. And please don’t judge me, I look haggard right now…No one ever really ask, are the paparazzi pictures fake and do the paparazzi people do stuff to the pictures and is the news really real? It’s a conspiracy theory that I’m actually interested in. Yesterday, I went swimming. I look like I’m forty pounds bigger than I am today. This is how I am right now and I’m skinny as a needle. You tell me. What is real?
—B.J.S., 2019

Present Shame and Further Woe: Present Shame and Further Woe is a fantasia in b-flat for the bagpipes. It is an exploration of South Asian anglophilian nostalgia for the former British Empire, its traditions and subcultures—most notably those concerning William Shakespeare, (see also: Romeo and Juliet, Muhammad Ali Jinnah)—and other offenses like the English spelling of theatre rather than theater. Revive, look up, and bear this work of heaven with patience.

where love lies fallow: the concept of love has always been elusive. this is especially true for four Black women hanging out one evening. as wine lubricates the mind, and personal histories uncover difficult truths, we see the many sides—both beautiful and hideous—of love. utilizing tenets of West African spiritualities, and the House dance scene, this play is also an expressive dance concert. and also, it’s still very much a play.

Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.

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Presentation
Segal Theatre

Swimming Underwater and Holding Your Breath: Writers Share Their Work-in-Process

Isaac Butler

Shonni Enelow

David Levine

Tavia Nyong’o

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Presentation

3–4pm / Oct 4 / Segal Theatre

Swimming Underwater and Holding Your Breath: Writers Share Their Work-in-Process

Isaac Butler

Shonni Enelow

David Levine

Tavia Nyong’o

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Dive in and explore new or in-process critical texts including selections from Isaac Butler’s upcoming book on a history of method acting, excerpts from David Levine and Shonni Enelow’s soon-to-be-published A Discourse on Method (53rd State Press), and a glimpse into Tavia Nyong’o’s latest project. The event will conclude with a moderated talkback with the writers who will discuss the role of the critic, the future of publishing, and more.

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Panel
Segal Theatre

Civil Disobedience: A Panel on the Arts and Activism Now

Jabari Brisport

Savitri D

Catherine María Rodríguez

Mei Ann Teo

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Panel

5–6pm / Oct 4 / Segal Theatre

Civil Disobedience: A Panel on the Arts and Activism Now

Jabari Brisport

Savitri D

Catherine María Rodríguez

Mei Ann Teo

How can strategies of disruption, provocation, and resistance help us envision and create more equitable, just, and beautiful societies? How can artists and activists learn from and collaborate with each other to take action and inspire public dialogue? Composed of artists-activists, Civil Disobedience takes up these questions, and reflects on the evolving relationship of protest and artistic production.

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Forum
Segal Theatre

How to (Over)Throw a Party

Jaclyn Backhaus

William Burke

Phillip Howze

Sofya Levitsky-Weitz

Isaac Oliver

Alexander Paris

Chad Raines

Kate Tarker

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Forum

7–8:30pm / Oct 3 / Segal Theatre

How to (Over)Throw a Party

Jaclyn Backhaus

William Burke

Phillip Howze

Sofya Levitsky-Weitz

Isaac Oliver

Alexander Paris

Chad Raines

Kate Tarker

What’s your dream party?

Parties and social gatherings are bedrocks of New York City. Whether they’re opening night celebrations, symposia, meet-and-greets, or simply people hanging out together, parties spark joy, get people moving, initiate collaborations, and mark milestones. Parties in the political sense also shape our work as artists and our lives as citizens, whether it be the Democrats and the Republicans or Black Lives Matter and Decolonize This Place. For this event, PRELUDE 2019 asked a group of artists to dream up a party, and, in doing so, to reflect on the importance of gathering together, not only to celebrate and let loose but also to organize and take action.

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Kick-Off
Segal Theatre

Public Parks Project | Inaugural Assembly

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Kick-Off

7–8pm / Oct 4 / Segal Theatre

Public Parks Project | Inaugural Assembly

“Plurality is the condition of human action because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live.” – Hannah Arendt

Speak. Listen. Dialogue.

A Public Laboratory for Theatre and Performance Research on the Aesthetic and the Political.

Starting in Spring 2020, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center will take on a public laboratory to plan and implement a series of events taking place in public parks across New York City. Join us for the founding of our three-year cultural initiative promoting active participation in our democratic process through meaningful discussions on social awareness and free speech. All theatre practitioners, musicians, artists, thinkers, and citizens interested in contributing their ideas, insights, and collaborative support are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

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Workshop
C-Level

Disrupt the Narrative: Art, Late Capitalism, and the Trump Era

Jessica Almasy & Sanaz Ghajar

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Workshop

1:30–2:30pm / Oct 5 / C-Level

Disrupt the Narrative: Art, Late Capitalism, and the Trump Era

Jessica Almasy & Sanaz Ghajar

This two-hour workshop culminates in the presentation of a new ensemble-generated performance piece. We will use visual art, pop culture references, and found text to investigate the contradictions that we struggle with in America today. Focusing on image-based, ensemble-generated work that pushes against traditional narrative forms, we will explore unconventional devising methods, taking physical and structural risks in order to dismantle our pre-existing points of view and move towards a collective enlightenment. Open to all Prelude participants. Please wear clothes you can move in.

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Closing Party
Museum of Sex (233 5th Ave)

FRANKY Award

Becca Blackwell

Girls on Porn

Laura Ramadei & Rachel Napoleon

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Closing Party

10–11:30pm / Oct 5 / Museum of Sex (233 5th Ave)

FRANKY Award

Becca Blackwell

Girls on Porn

Laura Ramadei & Rachel Napoleon

Created by Caleb Hammons and named in honor of MESTC Executive Director and PRELUDE Founder Dr. Frank Hentschker, the FRANKY award recognizes an artist who has made a long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theatre and performance in New York City.

The 2019 FRANKY award is presented to Becca Blackwell

Live Recording of Girls on Porn begins at 10PM

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Elebash Hall

ABOUT PRELUDE 2019

David Bruin and Sanaz Ghajar

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5–7pm / Oct 3 / Elebash Hall

ABOUT PRELUDE 2019

David Bruin and Sanaz Ghajar

CURATOR’S NOTE

In her 2005 book A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit writes, “It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long-disciplined process of making it their own.” Putting artistic practice in conversation with critical perspectives, PRELUDE 2019: Riotous Excursions brings together artists, critics, and activists at the forefront of contemporary theatre and performance who are “making it their own” in Solnit’s sense.

Whether presented as a part of the Studio Visit or Works-in-Process series, every work at PRELUDE 2019 embarks on its own odyssey. Some journey to far-flung geographies while others venture into the mysteries of the mind. Some dive into pressing issues of our moment while others inspire unfettered fantasy. While different in many respects, each work charts its own course through the intersection of artistic innovation, political subversion, and social consciousness.

As curators, we set out to explore spaces where the boundaries of the individual open up to the power of collective transformation, including public spaces, protests, and parties. The festival features the inauguration of a new initiative at the Segal Center that will encourage meaningful discourse and active participation in our democratic process through a series of events in public parks across the city.

This year marks important anniversaries of several seminal protest movements—many of which involved artists—and we have convened a panel of artists-activists to discuss the role of civil disobedience today.

Parties also provide opportunities to gather. The phrase riotous excursions comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a novel infamous for its raucous shindigs. For the festival’s opening night, we have assembled a group of artists to imagine their dream party, which they will share at How to (Over)Throw a Party. The festival will conclude with a celebration at the Museum of Sex.

Thank you for joining us, and we hope our paths cross in the course of our Riotous Excursions.

—David Bruin and Sanaz Ghajar

 

 

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