4:30–6pm / Oct 5 / Elebash Hall

Will They Play Golf on Mars?

Janine Renee Cunningham & Andrew Goldberg

Please Google Ukraine

Artem Yatsunov


nicHi douglas

Photo courtesy of the artists.
Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.
Q&A moderated by Cory TamLer.

Will They Play Golf on Mars?


In 2016, Elon Musk gave a speech in Guadalajara, Mexico outlining his plan to build rockets that would transport colonizers to Mars. His plan, he argued, would make humans a “multi-planetary species” and save humankind from a pending, inevitable doomsday event. Will They Play Golf on Mars? interrogates the tropes of space exploration, Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, and colonization. As climate change becomes a lived reality and liberal democracy finds itself in crisis, what happens to our ability to dream collectively as a society when so much wealth has been consolidated in the hands of so few? Using headphone verbatim, Janine Renee Cunningham performs speeches from Musk and other “Space Barons,” interspliced with sound, video, and other found texts. By turns humorous, strange, and disturbing, the results ask whether the current utopian vision of our future in space, being orchestrated by tech elites, is not in fact a dystopian nightmare.

Janine Renee Cunningham is a TheaterMaker and performer. She is in her first year at Goddard College’s MFA for Interdisciplinary Art.

Andrew Goldberg is a theatre director, teaching artist, and Ph.D. Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Deviser/Performer: Janine Renee Cunningham
Director: Andrew Goldberg

Thank you to Cory Tamler.


This piece was also presented as a works-in-progress through the Open Studio program at On the Boards.


Please Google Ukraine


Since 2014 I have been writing and developing the solo performance Please Google Ukraine – a response to the recent violent unrest in my birthplace of Ukraine. Marked by 2013-2014 Maidan Revolution in Kiev, the unrest in the capitol boiled over into a civil war within the Southern and Eastern regions of the country, and today, the Ukrainian conflict has escalated into an international crisis. However, despite the daily toll of war in Ukraine, many of my US peers – native and immigrant alike – feel disconnected from what’s going on “over there.” As an Americanized Ukrainian, I have a unique perspective on trying to figure out what is the “right” way to feel about wars in foreign places. Please Google Ukraine explores issues of cultural and national identity by retelling one specific traumatic experience. Based on (some) true events, historical facts, and real accounts of the war as experienced by my family members, Please Google Ukraine offers a broader discussion on the place of immigrants in the USA, today.

Artem Yatsunov is a Ukrainian-born, Jersey-raised, Brooklyn-based theatre director, storyteller, and educator who creates live shows for theatre fans as well as for “people who mistakenly think they don’t like plays.” He frequently collaborates with Brooklyn’s Oye Group and is the co-founder of North Jersey nomadic StrangeDog Theatre. As Director, he’s staged plays at The Public Theater/Under The Radar Festival, The Performing Garage, Abrons Arts Center, 3-Legged-Dog, The Tank, Downtown Arts, Horse Trade, Luna Stage Theater, Playwrights Theater of NJ, Passage Theater, Tierney’s Tavern, and Fringe Festivals around USA and Canada. As Teaching Artist, Artem has worked with Two River Theater, Creative Arts Team/CUNY, Town Hall, Stella Adler Studios, Manhattan Early College Academy for Advertising, Bronx School For Excellence at Morris Campus, Writopia Labs NYC, Luna Stage Theater, and Playwrights Theater of NJ. BFA, Montclair State University.

Please Google Ukraine was produced by Oye Group (Artistic Director Modesto Flako Jimenez, Tech Director Kevin Torres) for the 2017 One Catches Light Festival at JACK, NY. It was directed by Patrice Miller, with light design by Megan Lang, sound and projections by Kevin Torres, and black & white photography by Simone Lassar.


Currently, Artem is booking a living room tour of Please Google Ukraine across the Tri-State Area. In the meantime he’s finishing a full-length stage adaptation of an episode of a 90’s public access TV talk-show, Already Dead Forever Alive: Live!, and starting work on a new solo show—Advice for My Nephews: An Anthology of Conversations About Monsters.



is presented with support from Ars Nova’s Makers Lab

(pray) is an utterly absurd yet tenderly sincere exploration of prayer and spirituality as it pertains to the Black female experience. for centuries, Black women have been at the center of many spiritual and faith-based practices, be it West African Vodun, Haitian Vodou, Santeria, or any/all of the various Christian-based faiths. Black women carry a spiritual knowledge that has been passed down through generations. this spiritual inheritance is the basis for the research of this piece. what do Black women believe in today? how does this spiritual inheritance manifest itself physically? what does the body do while it is praying? the topic of religion is epically vast and devastatingly personal. this piece is driven by the individual spiritual journeys of the Black women in the cast. through personal narrative, abstract poetry, found historical text, song, dance, and devised prayers, the women in the cast help us understand the triumphs, difficulties, joys, and inherent contradictions of faith — which is all quite a feat to manage while wearing such large and fancy hats.

nicHi douglas is a Brooklyn-based performer, dancer, choreographer, director, playwright, and activist. She has performed all over New York and the country as an actor/dancer in the freelance capacity, in addition to performing nationally with The Dance Cartel and literacy-focused children’s theatre company The Story Pirates. She currently teaches Movement & Choreography and Performance Symposium in the NYU: Tisch Drama Department—Playwright’s Horizon Theater School studio. She was in residence in Fresh Ground Pepper’s inaugural In-House Artists program and is currently an Ars Nova’s Maker’s Lab artist-inresidence for 2018. nicHi is the Director of Community Engagement at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Recent stage credits: A Time Like This: Music for Change (Carnegie Hall, Stage Director), Runaways (City Center/Encores! Off-Center and The Delacorte/Public Theater, Associate Director and Associate Choreographer), Primer for a Failed Superpower (Roulette, Choreographer), PharmaBro: An American Douchical (The Players Theatre, Choreographer), Now Everyone Go Around the Table and Say What They’re Thankful For (NYU/Experimental Theater Wing, Director), Black Girl Magic Show! (Ars Nova ANT Fest and JACK, Director/Choreographer/Playwright), and Girl From the North Country (The Public Theater, Associate Movement Director).

CollaboStarr Busby – composer, Jerome Ellis – composer, Devised in Part in Collaboration with the Cast: Aigner Mizzelle, Charnele Crick, Christen Dekie, Michelle Cole, Ariel Blackwood, Aleca Piper, Jari Jones, Ayesha Jordan, Audrey Hailes, Michelle Kariuki, Adleesa Edwards.


This work will be informally performed in its entirety on January 18, 2019, as part of the culmination of nicHi’s Maker’s Lab residency with Ars Nova.
Email for updates.



Cory Tamler (Moderator) works across performance, writing, and installation to create fresh points of contact between environments and objects—human and nonhuman—in them. A core artist with civic arts organization Open Waters (Maine), Cory has written a play about small-scale farming and a book of performance scores based on migratory fish. She has created and participated in research-based performance projects in the United States, Germany, and Serbia, and has worked with museums and companies including the New Museum for Contemporary Art, The Civilians, Sprat Artistic Ensemble, Yinzerspielen, and the School of Making Thinking. Cory was a Fulbright Scholar (Berlin) and is currently a Ph.D. student in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her academic and critical writing and translations have been published in Studies in Musical Theatre, Asymptote, Culturebot, The Offing, Extended Play, Howlround, and SCENA.

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