(via John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency)
Here’s what is going on at ARS NOVA:
Debut of Ars Nova Supra, New Digital Streaming Platform
New $150,000+ Vision Residency Program
P.S., Durational Theatrical Experience from Teddy Bergman, Sam Chanse, Amina Henry, Kimie Nishikawa
$100,000 in Artist Flash Grants
The Ars Nova Forever Telethon
AND LOOKS FORWARD TO
Heather Christian’s Oratorio for Living Things
nicHi douglas’s (pray)
Ars Nova, “an essential civic institution” (Adam Feldman, Time Out New York), under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Managing Director Renee Blinkwolt, is pleased to announce details for its upcoming 2020–2021 season. As New Yorkers continue to grapple with daily life amidst a pandemic that prevents us from gathering safely, and work to eradicate and undo the harm caused by our collective and individual racism, Ars Nova is committed to artistic and operational activities that build an anti-racist foundation and create a platform for diverse, adventurous artists. Ars Nova has planned a season centered on its core values, radical artist support, collective curatorial vision and unique theatrical experiences meant to forge a human connection in a time of distance. Although the timeline for gathering together for in-person events is uncertain, Ars Nova remains committed to responding to the needs of its artists, audiences, and community in a variety of meaningful ways.
ARS NOVA SUPRA
Ars Nova is pleased to announce the accelerated debut of Ars Nova Supra, a new digital platform dedicated to showcasing some of New York City’s most promising emerging artists. Originally slated to launch next year as a digital extension of Ars Nova that embraces audiences worldwide, Ars Nova Supra will serve as the online home for the majority of Ars Nova presentations this season. Tickets for Ars Nova Supra livestreams are $5-10 per event, with subscriptions available for $15 per month. Subscribers receive access to all monthly livestreams at one low price, plus exclusive on-demand access to the Ars Nova Supra library, where they can catch any shows they may have missed.
“I don’t see a future for the performing arts that doesn’t include a full embrace of digital mediums,” says Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan. “That was true before COVID-19, and the pandemic drilled home a whole new set of reasons why. Ars Nova Supra will help us address today’s urgent need to keep artists working, and keep audiences entertained from the safety of their homes.”
ARS NOVA EXPERIENCES
Ars Nova’s 2020–2021 season also includes the launch of Ars Nova Experiences, featuring new forms of physical, tactile, and off-screen happenings for the COVID-19 age. It begins with P.S., a durational theatrical experience created collaboratively by director/developer Teddy Bergman (KPOP) and playwrights Sam Chanse and Amina Henry (both alumni of Ars Nova’s Play Group) with materials designed by Kimie Nishikawa (Dr. Ride’s American Beach House).
Unfolding in real time beginning this November, P.S. will bring intimate storytelling directly into the hands of audiences, as they receive letters sent between two characters isolated from each other during the pandemic. Arriving in the mail every few weeks, the letters and objects the characters exchange will weave a story that responds to the world we are living in until it’s once again safe to gather together. The final act of P.S. will culminate with a live, in-person performance that reunites these characters — and welcomes audiences back — for a cathartic recognition of the historic period we’ve endured. Tickets for the Letters phase of P.S. are $35 per household and go on sale October 1.
A second Ars Nova Experience, taking place in Spring 2021, will be announced at a later date.
Equally as important as its public programming, Ars Nova is pleased to announce the launch of two major development programs, Flash Grants to its current Resident Artists, and a new musical commission, flexing its artist support programs to meet the extraordinary needs of the current moment.
Designed to foreground Ars Nova’s values through the creation of more equitable and power-sharing curatorial practices, the Vision Residency will expand Ars Nova’s artistic vision by inviting seven artist-curators to populate our digital platform with their own work as well as work by artists they champion and admire. Each Resident will be given broad support from Ars Nova’s full staff, spending two months planning for one month of activity on Ars Nova Supra. Each will receive a $7,500 fee for their curation and administrative work, along with a $12,000 budget to allocate towards the creation, development and presentation of work during their curated month. Vision Residents will be encouraged to invite other artists they feel inspired by, want to collaborate with, or simply wish to amplify, to make and share work using the budget and resources of the residency during their month of programming. The 2020-2021 Vision Residents are Starr Busby, nicHi douglas, JJJJJerome Ellis, raja feather kelly, Jenny Koons, David Mendizábal, and Rona Siddiqui.
Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan commented, “I feel so fortunate to get to share the curation of our season on Ars Nova Supra with this newly formed cohort. Bringing this incredible group of artists and thinkers into conversation about who and what will be featured on our platform this year expands our — and their — potential. The Ars Nova community has always thrived most when it is looking forward, and I am thrilled to discover where these visionaries will take us next.”
Another new developmental program will deepen Ars Nova’s commitment to early career comedy artists at a time when their support systems in NYC have decreased. CAMP will provide a dynamic group of creators with peer support and artistic feedback as they work on developing new comedic work in weekly meetings facilitated by Co-Directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring. Resident comedy teams, including dance, sketch, or improv collectives, or individuals such as character comedians and storytellers will also share material in monthly live shows, and culminate their CAMP residencies in full-length performances on Ars Nova Supra. Members will be selected through an open submission process beginning September 22. Apply online at arsnovanyc.com/CAMP.
Ars Nova will also continue developing the voices and new work of its current Resident and Commissioned Artists by extending their commission timelines and residencies through 2021 and providing each individual with a $2,500 no-strings-attached Flash Grant to be used however best sustains each artist during this time—whether that’s creating art or paying rent. Should they feel inspired to create, they have an open invitation to share their work on Ars Nova Supra.
Ars Nova’s Resident Artists are: Melis Aker, Preston Max Allen, Kevin Armento & Sammy Miller, Serena Berman, Michael Breslin & Patrick Foley, John J. Caswell, Jr., Heather Christian, Manik Choksi & Zi Alikhan, Vichet Chum, Guadlís Del Carmen, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, nicHi douglas, Laura Galindo, Gracie Gardner, Dylan Guerra, Deepali Gupta, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Jerome & James, David Mendizábal, Nightdrive, Antoinette Nwandu, Ife Olujobi, On the Rocks Theatre Co., Joél Peréz, Emma Ramos, Michelle J. Rodriguez, Omar Vélez Meléndez, Jillian Walker, Ray Yamanouchi, and Zack Zadek.
Additionally, Ars Nova welcomes Khiyon Hursey to this community through a new musical commission.
THE ARS NOVA FOREVER TELETHON
Rounding out the forward-looking spirit of Ars Nova’s 2020-2021 season is THE ARS NOVA FOREVER TELETHON, a 24-hour livestream featuring more than 100 artists celebrating Ars Nova’s past and present, while raising funds to support the company’s artistic programs throughout this unconventional season. The online event will be Ars Nova’s major fall benefit in lieu of an in-person Nova Ball in 2020. The Telethon will begin on December 4 at 6 PM EST and stream nonstop on Ars Nova Supra through December 5 at 6 PM EST. Hosts, guests, and performances to be announced at a later date.
UPDATE ON OFF-BROADWAY WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTIONS
Finally, Ars Nova looks hopefully ahead to a future when live, in-person theater is once again safe for audiences, artists and all those involved in bringing our Off-Broadway world premiere productions to life. Ars Nova steadfastly reaffirms its commitment to premiering Heather Christian’s Oratorio for Living Things once gathering together for live, in-person events has been deemed safe. Originally slated to open to a sold-out run in March 2020 at Ars Nova Greenwich House, Oratorio for Living Things was cancelled after just two preview performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staged by Obie Award-winning director Lee Sunday Evans and featuring eighteen virtuosic singers and instrumentalists, this in-the-round fusion of music and theater will be one of Ars Nova’s first two productions when audiences can return to the Greenwich House Theater.
Ars Nova is also pleased to announce the second of these upcoming Off-Broadway world premieres: (pray), a sacred offering created by nicHi douglas, with music composed by Starr Busby & JJJJJerome Ellis. Commissioned by Ars Nova, developed in-house since 2018 and originally aiming for a premiere this Fall, (pray) excavates the relationship between spirituality and oppression for Black American womxn throughout history to today. Following the form of a Sunday Baptist church service, douglas’s piece is embodied by a company of twelve intergenerational Black womxn & femme performers and seeks to offer healing through a dynamic fusion of song, text and dance.
Scheduling and ticket information for both (pray) and Oratorio for Living Things will be announced at a future date.
ARS NOVA SUPRA October Schedule
All October shows premiere at 7 PM EDT, and run 30-60 minutes, unless otherwise noted.
Single tickets and $15/month subscriptions go on sale October 1.
October 8, 2020 | Tix $5
Showgasm., with Guest Host Sonia Denis
Featuring Odinaka Ezeokoli, Rebecca O’Neal, Jonathan Teklai
Comic sage SONIA DENIS guest hosts a live-for-digital version of our untamed monthly variety-show-meets-party, introducing us to her who’s-who of the weird and wonderful — from comedy to burlesque and everything (and anything) in between.
October 16, 2020 | Tix $10
Laura Galindo in Concert!
Featuring Henry Trinder, Isaiah Hazzard, Greg Tock and Sam Revaz
Join Laura Galindo and The Boys for an intimate performance of unreleased songs by Galindo. From the theatrical to the deeply earnest, we’ll investigate the growing pains of becoming an adult in an increasingly uncertain world. Love, lust, anger, hope… that’s what your early 20s are all about, right?
October 23, 2020 | Tix $10*
Written and Performed by Dylan Guerra
Late one night, a guy told Dylan he wanted to disappear; the very next day he did. In this first installment of a four-part Definitely True Crime docu-series, Dylan leads us through his obsessive (and obsessively gay) deep dive for truth. Honestly, Sarah Koenig could never.
*Note: This one-time ticket purchase includes access to all four parts of Find Him, which will be released throughout the 2020-2021 season, and average 15 minutes in length each.
October 27, 2020 | FREE*
The Other Other
Created by Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Kameron Neal
In the wake of Kamala Harris’ vice presidential nomination, and counting down to the 2020 Election, a queer interracial couple attempt to situate their relationship in a larger constellation of Black and Desi encounters. THE OTHER OTHER is the third installment of VICHITRA, an ongoing experiment in queer South Asian imagination.
*Note: The Other Other will be available to stream for free beginning with its premiere on October 27 and running through Election Day, November 3.
October 31, 2020 | Tix $10
A Blue Moon Study by O-die
Created by lim
Puppetry created by Marte Ekhougen
As the veil slims this Holy Eve, absorb live footage of O-die’s full moon reading. Who’s O-die? A voice, a monster… Imagine the essence of Walter Mercado filtered into a deformed Octopus-elder with a British accent, and you’ve imagined O-die.
About Ars Nova
Ars Nova exists to discover, develop, and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending new work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.
Ars Nova has been honored with an Obie Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: The New York Times critic’s pick Dr. Ride’s American Beach House by Liza Birkenmeier, directed by Katie Brook; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner and The New York Times’ “Best of 2018,” Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, created by Andrew R. Butler and directed by Jordan Fein; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park, and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; “Best New American Theatre Work,” Obie Award-winner and “one of the best new plays in the last 25 years” (The New York Times), Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special, directed by Taibi Magar (now on international tour); “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner FUTURITY, by César Alvarez with The Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson; The New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015,” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society, directed by Oliver Butler; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail (Broadway 2019).