(via John Wyszniewski, Everyman)
Highlights include 9th Annual PROTOTYPE Festival, Soundwalks in Harlem and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Online Premieres
The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director) is proud to announce programming for its HERE There Everywhere winter and spring 2021 season.
The season launches with the ninth annual PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now (January 8–16), the premier global festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre which has been completely re-envisioned in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Co-produced by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects, this year’s festival responds to the seismic events of 2020 and features a series of multidisciplinary, cross-platform events that expand the technological boundaries of the artform. The festival includes two in-person, world-premiere experiences in New York City: Times3 (Times x Times x Times), an immersive sonic experience in Times Square by Geoff Sobelle & Pamela Z; and Ocean Body, a multi-screen film and music installation at HERE by composer/vocalists Helga Davis and Shara Nova and director-filmmaker Mark DeChiazza.
In addition, PROTOTYPE will feature the world premiere of MODULATION, a musically rich, self-guided digital exploration of isolation, fear, and identity by 13 commissioned composers; plus, three digital U.S. premieres from abroad – Ben Frost & Petter Ekmann’s The Murder of Halit Yozgat, Garin Nugroho and Septina Rosalina Layan’s The Planet – A Lament, and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists – which explore themes of racial violence and institutional blindness, environmental disaster, and the unsettling nature of change. All festival offerings are free, except for MODULATION. Tickets to Ocean Body must be reserved online at prototypefestival.org.
Building on their success with Cairns (included on the New York Times’s Best Theater of 2020 list), composers Joseph White and HARP Artist Gelsey Bell premiere Meander, a co-presentation by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and HERE. This soundwalk, which launches on January 29, 2021, guides listeners on a meditative stroll into the natural landscape of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Inspired by the appearance of a one-antlered deer in Harlem in 2016, The Visitation is a site-specific soundwalk created by Stephanie Fleischmann, Christina Campanella, and Mallory Catlett. Launching in March 2021, the audio premiere takes listeners on an urban odyssey in Jackie Robinson Park via geo-located songs that conjure a series of encounters with the buck.
HERE’s season also includes the world premiere of part 1 of No One is Forgotten, a radio opera play in discovery by Winter Miller and Eve Giglotti adapted from Miller’s 2019 stage play. This musical work about intimacy, surrender, and the will to live features the vocal talents of Kathleen Chalfant, Helga Davis, Gigliotti, and Zainab Jah with music and foley by Paola Prestini and Sxip Shirey and direction by Elliott Forest and Kevin Newbury.
Melisa Tien’s live, online song cycle Swell, created by 26 artist-collaborators, weaves together ten original, new music compositions by ten composers. The works, running March 17-21, 2021, draw from their personal histories as immigrants and children of immigrants hailing from Mexico, India, Israel, Japan, Trinidad, the Philippines, Russia, and Taiwan. The composers’ unique, surprising, and deeply human stories are expressed through voice, piano, cello, and violin.
Released digitally over the course of five months from February through June 2021, Janessa Clark’s Communion features 40 dancers from around the world whose video duets explore the isolation and uncertainty individuals face in the wake of the pandemic.
Additional online events include Shakuntala Awaits by Isheeta Ganguly which ponders how two people can “see” each other if they never “see” each other and features performances by Purva Bedi and Samrat Chakrabarti. And HARP resident artists Baba Israel and Grace Galu, along with their bandmate Sean Nowell, use music and spoken word to explore the history of cannabis in Cannabis WIP.
Please visit here.org for more information.
HERE’S SPRING 2021 PROGRAMMING:
Digital world premiere presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 8-16, 2021; $25
Art is how we process the world around us. It opens up avenues of thought, imagination, wonder, and reckoning. PROTOTYPE presents MODULATION, a creative investigation on the strands that weave together our lives over this past tumultuous and revelatory year. A digital, self-guided exploration of these distanced times created by thirteen of the most provocative and diverse voices in the contemporary music idiom; MODULATION leads you through the themes of ISOLATION, IDENTITY, and FEAR, with the connection of BREATH. An electrifying auditory and visual journey of new creations awaits.
As our society, country and world continue to exist in a form of suspended animation, we persevere through distance in search of humanity. We reflect on the long days behind us and reveal some answers through this creative effort. The voices of artists show us the hope and the irrepressible power of music to provide comfort and instigate contemplation of ourselves, our art, our world.
Commissioned, Developed, and Produced by PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now
Co-created by Mark DeChiazza, Helga Davis, and Shara Nova
World premiere in-person installation presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 9-16, 2021: Appointment viewing, free of charge
Song, conversations, and new compositions merge with filmmaker Mark DeChiazza’s original footage of two women together and alone in the waters of the Gulf Coast, to create a multi-sensory experience of a place where sand, sun, and water, surround experiences of intense communion and also of profound isolation.
Diptych cinematic imagery makes poignant and visceral the impossibility of an easily shared truth, presenting imperfectly parallel viewpoints that might frame a subject similarly, but will never match. The films depict Helga Davis and Shara Nova interconnected within a sculptural dress built for two, by artist Annica Cuppetelli. Tethered, the two cannot avoid affecting each other, as the actions of one will move, confine, support, or even wholly re-shape the other.
Ocean Body examines the sometimes conflicting needs for union and autonomy within a friendship, and how we continually discover each other in new and transformational ways.
Times3 (Times x Times x Times)
Created by Pamela Z and Geoff Sobelle
World premiere sonic experience presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 9-16, 2021; available as you desire, free of charge
Such strange times call for a new time signature. Is there still time to sit in the center of a city and hear the tide of traffic? To listen for a heartbeat? Times Squared is Times times Times; and Times in three dimensions? Times cubed. Times times Times times Times. Five Times. Five global extinctions. One planet. One city. 8.4 million people. Say that five times fast.
Composer Pamela Z and theatre artist Geoff Sobelle collaborate on a site-specific sonic journey through Times Square – past, present and imagined… What was this place? What is this place? And how did we get here? In this work of sound and space, the listener is brought into a realm where the city and score come together and fall apart and come together again.
Take a walk in Times Square and hear a score crafted specifically for your experience. Or listen in the comfort of your home and imagine a city carved by countless hands from a place once thick with trees… which may be headed that way again. This music, created through impressions of a space, was composed for listeners to tune themselves to the forces underfoot, back in time, and down the road. It is a soundscape created for you to experience the city.
Times3 (Times x Times x Times) is PROTOTYPE’s fourth iteration of Out of Bounds, a platform for new vocal performance pieces taking place in unlikely locations throughout New York. Through the works, public sites will become temporary spaces of contact, exchange, and refreshed social dynamics.
The Murder of Halit Yozgat
Digital U.S. premiere presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 10-16, 2021; Free
21-year-old Halit Yozgat was assassinated in broad daylight, in his immigrant parents’ internet cafe on April 6, 2006 in Kassel, Germany. Five witnesses were present in the 77 square metre space when Halit was shot twice in the head. With his unconventional combination of sound art, electronics, and dark metal, Frost brilliantly and sensitively musicalizes the structural racism and institutional blindness that affects the country’s immigrant communities.
In the middle of the rehearsal process, work on the world premiere of The Murder of Halit Yozgat had to be suspended due to COVID-19. Instead, Ben Frost, with Trevor Tweeten, resumed rehearsal and released a film about the project. The result is a unique cinematic portrait on the borderline between documentation and fiction – a chilling opera film about the reconstruction of a murder case.
The Planet – A Lament
Digital U.S. premiere presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 10-16, 2021; Free
Garin Nugroho’s brand new staged Song Cycle, The Planet – A Lament, merges film with live dance and a 14-voice choir accompanied by Papuan Soloist to impart a moving story of creation set against the backdrop of environmental disaster. Nugroho, expands his canvas to portray a destroyed community struggling in the aftermath of a devastating tsunami. He again performs his alchemical mix of striking cinematics, haunting song, wild dance and ancient ritual to concoct a new myth that speaks to our complex times.
For this new work, Nugroho collaborates with the outstanding Mazmur Chorale from Kupang and an artistic team from across the Indonesian archipelago of composers, choreographers and Papuan dancers alongside Australian dramaturg Michael Kantor and designer Anna Tregloan. Grounded in lament traditions of Melanesia, the thru composed Song Cycle is born from the visionary research of Papuan composer and soloist Septina Layan. The Planet – A Lament is an act of catharsis that mourns a world lost, while offering hope for another that may yet be nurtured in its wake.
Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists
Digital U.S. premiere presented as part of PROTOTYPE
January 10-16, 2021: Free
Inspired by the award-winning book of the same name by poet a rawlings, Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists pairs sleep and dream studies with lepidoptery, the study of butterflies and moths. Tracking the stages of sleep and pairing them with the life cycle of butterflies and moths, insomnia is mirrored in the birth of the egg and narcolepsy in larval hatching. And when the caterpillar starts its final moult, dreams begin, weaving around us as tightly as a cocoon until we are somnambulant, a chrysalis ready to emerge as a moth.
Written & Directed by Isheeta Ganguly
Performed by Purva Bedi and Samrat Chakrabarti
#stillHERE Online premiere
January 27, 2021
How is love between strangers today different from Shakuntala’s times in the Mahabharata? What does it mean to have a child out of wedlock in 2019 versus in Hastinapur? How can two people “see” each other if they never “see” each other?
In 2019, chance, fate and coincidence bring Shakuntala and Dushyant together from across oceans to meet in a Mumbai bookstore and fall in love. With the premise that he will return for her, as the Mahabharata tale goes, Dushyant goes back to his professorship and life in Cambridge, MA. For Shakuntala, a tornado of events unravels after Dushyant leaves within the cacophony of her mother’s voice. Shakuntala eventually goes to Boston to meet Dushyant where a further surprise element puts her in a quandary beyond imagination. The two attempt to put back together the strewn pieces to see if anything can be intact again.
Created by Gelsey Bell and Joseph White
Co-presented by Brooklyn Botanic Garden and HERE
Launching January 29, 2021
Meander is a soundwalk for Brooklyn Botanic Garden that guides listeners on a meditative stroll into the natural landscape. Created by Joseph White and HARP Artist Gelsey Bell, the composers that brought you Cairns (included on the New York Time’s Best Theater of 2020 list), Meander encourages listeners to watch, listen, and reset their clocks to pastoral temporality, inviting them to sink into the complex patterns and fine details of the natural environment.
Conceived, curated, and edited by Janessa Clark
February 5 – June 18, 2021
Conceived, curated, and edited by Janessa Clark, Communion is an experimental video art response to the isolation and uncertainty individuals are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Because dancers can no longer breathe together, touch, or share the experience of movement within the physical studio, Communion invites 40 dancers, separated by physical distance and the pandemic, into a digital space to commune together.
Each unique duet is created from videos by two different dancers who are separated by cities, countries, and sometimes continents. These video combine to create virtual duets that are set to music.
Ivy Baldwin, Julian Barnett, Kelly Bartnik, Kimberly Bartosik, Alexandra Beller, Gerald Casel, Janessa Clark, David Dorfman, Jeanine Durning, Doug Elkins, Sharon Estacio, Ori Flomin, Helena Franzen, Wendell Gray II, Jasmine Hearn, Peiling Kao, Catherine Kirk, Alice Klock, Joanna Kotze, Leslie Kraus, Benoît Lachambre, Catie Leasca, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Jordan Lloyd, Gesine Moog, Yutaka Nakata, Jennifer Nugent, Stevie Oakes, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Laura Peterson, Kendra Portier, Jess Pretty, Kumar Ravi, Dan Safer, Gus Solomons, Jr., Colleen Thomas, Saúl Ulerio, Guy Whitney, Takahiro Yamamoto, and Jessie Young.
By Baba Israel and Grace Galu
February 12, 2021
Baba Israel and Grace Galu, along with their bandmate Sean Nowell, use music and spoken word to explore the history of cannabis. Inspired by Martin A. Lee’s book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific (2012), Israel adapts the stories of countercultural icons, grassroots activists, and the plant itself, weaving a time-traveling tale of jubilation, injustice, and transformation.
No One is Forgotten
By Winter Miller and Eve Giglotti
A Radio Opera Play in Discovery
Adapted from the critically acclaimed play by Winter Miller
World Premiere of Part 1
February 24, 2021
Lali and Beng are held captive. No one knows where they’ve been taken or if they’re alive. Or, maybe their story has been broadcast to the world? A musical work about intimacy, surrender, and the will to live. The debut of part one, heard for the first time at HERE.
No One is Forgotten features Kathleen Chalfant and Eve Gigliotti as Beng and Zainab Jah and Helga Davis as Lali with music and foley by Paola Prestini and Sxip Shirey and direction by Elliott Forest and Kevin Newbury.
Created by Stephanie Fleischmann, Christina Campanella, and Mallory Catlett
Music and Sound by Christina Campanella
Text by Stephanie Fleischmann
Inspired by the appearance of a one-antlered deer in Harlem in 2016, this site-specific sound walk is a meditation on the presence of the mythic in the everyday and the uneasy relationship between the built environment and the natural world. The Visitation takes the listener on an urban odyssey in search of the collective memory of the deer’s sojourn in Jackie Robinson Park via geo-located songs that conjure a series of encounters with the buck. A soundscape threaded through with the ethereal voice of the deer navigates interior landscapes and terrain ranging from far-reaching urban vistas to a dense canopy of trees, from the former wilderness of the park to the blacktop of basketball courts and playgrounds. Mesingw, a Lenape deer spirit who could, it was believed, reinstate balance to a pandemic-inflicted earth, once inhabited this place. Where is he now? How do we navigate his absence, and that of Artemis, Greek Goddess of nature, from our contemporary lives? This visceral sonic experience is a journey through our longing for the solace of the wild.
Audience members download a geo-locational app with sound and image, deployed via headphones and smartphone/ipad. Performers include Black-Eyed Susan, Christina Campanella, Callie Katrice Holley, John-Andrew Morrison, and Mark Spencer.
Conceived and produced by Melisa Tien
Directed by Elena Araoz
Music Direction by Tian Hui Ng
March 17 – 21, 2021
Twenty-six artists collaborate to bring you the live, online song cycle Swell, weaving together ten original, new music compositions by ten composers drawing from their personal histories as immigrants and children of immigrants. Hailing from Mexico, India, Israel, Japan, Trinidad, the Philippines, Russia, and Taiwan, the composers’ unique, surprising, and deeply human stories are expressed through voice, piano, cello, and violin.
Featuring the work of composers and lyricists: Joshua Cerdenia, Carolyn Chen, Justine Chen, Or Matias, Tamar Muskal, Polina Nazaykinskaya, Leyna Papach, Izzi Ramkisson, Kamala Sankaram, Jorge Sosa, Stavit Allweis, Konstantin Soukhovetski, Melisa Tien. Performers include Hai-Ting Chinn, Jasmine Muhammad, and Ricardo Rivera. Instrumentalists include Members of the Victory Players Nathan Ben-Yehuda, Clare Monfredo, and Elly Toyoda. Additional collaborators include Video Designer Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew; Audio Engineer Jon Robertson, Video Engineer Kris Kirkwood, Production Stage Manager Neelam Vaswani, and Assistant Stage Manager Alyssa K. Howard.
About HERE There Everywhere
HERE There Everywhere is a return to live in-person events along with expanded online programming for HERE’s fall and winter 2020 season. Featuring original relevant works by more than 235 diverse artists, a centerpiece of the season is #stillHERE: IRL, an adventurous new series that reimagines the live experience. Through this monthly program, HERE has commissioned a group of artists to develop and premiere new work to be experienced live, designed to be safe, socially distanced, outdoors and hyper-local. Expanding its online programming, #stillHERE: Online will offer premieres, in-progress previews, and artist talks each week. Meanwhile, HERE@HOME features full-length productions previously presented at HERE and streamed each month on Facebook Live. And finally, #COVIDEO, a sequential, community-built work of video art that is led by HERE artists and staff, will feature over 150 artists and continue throughout the fall, focusing on themes that include Mutual Aid, NY Tough and Freefall.
PROTOTYPE – OPERA l THEATRE l NOW is a co-production of Beth Morrison Projects and HERE, two trailblazers in the creation and presentation of contemporary, multi-disciplinary opera-theatre and music-theatre works. The pioneering festival is the only one of its kind in New York City and is a model now emulated around the country – producing and presenting a wide spectrum of works, from intimate black-box experiences to larger chamber opera productions, valuing artistic, curatorial, and producorial risk-taking.
PROTOTYPE is committed to surprising our audiences and confounding their expectations through content, form, and relevance. The festival gives voice to a diverse group of composers, librettists, performers and musicians across all genres, backgrounds, and cultures. In providing a recurring showcase of visionary opera-theatre and music-theatre pieces, the touring life of the work extends around the world. The festival also presents groundbreaking new works by international artists and has become a global reference of artistic excellence in the field of opera and music-theatre.
The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director) was named a Top Ten Off-Off Broadway Theatre by Time Out New York and is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performances viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines—theatre, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art.
HERE’s standout productions include Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle’s all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee’s Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, James Scruggs’ Disposable Men, Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts, Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning, and Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique and, last season Looking at You by Rob Handel, Kristin Marting and Kamala Sankaram and Zoey Martinson’s The Black History Museum According to the United States of America.
Since its founding in 1993, HERE and the artists it has supported have received 18 Obies, 2 Bessies, 5 Drama Desk Nominations, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Doris Duke Awards, 7 Tony Nominations, and 2 MacArthur Fellowships.
The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) is made possible with public funds from: the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Offices of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and New York State Assembly member Deborah J. Glick. Additional support provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation; New York Community Trust; Howard Gilman Foundation; the Mental Insight Foundation; the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Jerome Foundation; the Fund for the City of New York; The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; The Scherman Foundation; the Jim Henson Foundation; the Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; Select Equity Group; Edison Properties; Venturous Theatre Fund of the Tides Foundation; Jane Henson Foundation; Royal Little Family Foundation; The Leon Levy Foundation; and HERE’s generous community of individual donors.