(NOT) WATER will be joined by theatrical works-in-progress by Helen Banner, Sarah Einspanier, Emerie Snyder and Lisa Szolovits, who have developed these works through a special New Georges residency in 2016-17.
VIRTUAL WATER FOUNTAIN, created by Lisa Szolovits
An interactive vapor sculpture incorporating a projected video archive of crowdsourced water memories from times of plenty.
NATURE WHATEVER by Sarah Einspanier
Ten to twenty-five incoming college freshmen plod across a stage. Then plod back. Then stop and take a picture of a waterfall. NATURE WHATEVER explores the collision of impending adulthood and looming environmental doom — on a hike.
LA DÉROUTE by Helen Banner
LA DÉROUTE is an experimental play/opera by playwright Helen Banner and composers Catherine Brookman and Mark van Hare that explores the emergence of modern beliefs about water and washing our bodies. On the island of Jersey, the grandson of a medieval family welcomes a new French bride off the boat. Convinced that water softens the tissues of the body and causes fatal illness they refuse to let her take a bath on her wedding night and give her a cleansing linen shirt instead. Marie has grown up with the new fashionable habits of washing and finds the smell of her new family unbearable. Discovering that the maids of the house are already secretly bathing in the sea, she sets out to convince grand-mère, the dirty matriarch of the family, of the necessity of washing with water, but is unexpectedly hampered by the loss of all her books. At Works on Water we will be presenting a concert reading directed by Mary Birnbaum that combines text, vocal music, percussion and organic water sounds into an intimate and sensual piece for five voices.
EXHIBIT: Works on Water Variation, created by Emerie Snyder
EXHIBIT is a site-responsive participatory theatre experience in the form of an art gallery tour, designed to be re-adapted to fit each different gallery or museum setting. Small groups of audience members are led through the gallery on what initially seems like a straightforward tour. Then gradually, a fictional story emerges, both inspired by and in contradiction to the visual artwork. The version of EXHIBIT that has been developed for Works on Water engages directly (yet playfully) with the water-focused visual art on display, exploring themes of memory, reflection, motion, stillness, and what exactly happens in the instant when water turns into ice.
Helen Banner is a playwright, librettist and songwriter and a member of The Jam, New Georges’ performance lab for emerging women theatre artists. She grew up in the British Channel Islands and studied at Cambridge and the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, where she completed her MFA in Dramatic Writing and was awarded the John Golden Playwriting Award. Her work has been developed at Theatre 503, New Georges, Fresh Ground Pepper, the Wild Project, Dixon Place, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Lark, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference and she was a participant in the Ingram New Works Lab 2015-16 at Nashville Repertory Theater. She has been a finalist/semi-finalist for the Newman/Woodward Award, the Stanley Drama Award, the Leah Ryan Award and the UMass Amherst Play Lab, The first part of her choral play trilogy ICONS/IDOLS, written in collaboration with the composer Grace Oberhofer for the Byzantine Choral Project, was the opening show at the New Ohio’s Ice Factory 2016. Opera America recently awarded them a 2017-18 Discovery Grant to complete the trilogy. Helen is currently work-shopping her play INTELLIGENCE with director Jess Chayes as part of a Drama League 2017 Next Stages Residency and is a 2017 Special Resident at New Georges, developing LA DÉROUTE for their Works on Water Festival. See www.helenbanner.com and www.byzantinechoralproject.com for more updates on Helen’s work.
Mary Birnbaum (director, LA DÉROUTE) is a NYC-based director of opera and theater. Recent credits include: Aida in a Sandbox (Pacific Symphony), The Classical Style (World Premiere, Ojai Festival/Carnegie Hall), and The Rape of Lucretia (Juilliard) which the New York Times called “viscerally overwhelming.” Internationally, she has directed in Taipei, Costa Rica, Melbourne and Tel Aviv. Mary is on faculty at Juilliard and is a co-author of the feminist pop concert Baby No More Times (www.babynomoretimes.nyc). Upcoming: Oklahoma! (Charlottesville Opera) and Kept (World Premiere, VA Arts Festival.) For more: www.marybirnbaum.com
Catherine Brookman (composer, LA DÈROUTE) is a performer/composer based in Brooklyn. She is the frontwoman and writer for band, sullivann. She composed and performed in William Burke’s PIONEERS#goforth (JACK), Rady&Bloom’s The Upper Room (NYTimes Critic’s Pick, New Ohio) and The Girl of the Golden West (ANT Fest, Ice Factory). Broadway: Hair. Off-Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. La MaMa Cantata (LaMaMa ETC & International Tour). Northwestern University: Bachelor of Music, Voice Performance & Integrated Arts. sullivannmusic.com
Sarah Einspanier‘s plays include The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project with Sheila Callaghan, Pipeline Theatre Company’s Play Lab), I LOVE SEAN (upcoming UMass New Play Lab and Williams Theater Project, showings at Cherry Lane and Dixon Place), and House Plant (Ars Nova Out Loud, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writer’s Group, Horton Foote Scholar at Sewanee Writers’ Conference with Naomi Iizuka, resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm). She is a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, the New Georges Jam, and RADY&BLOOM collective playmaking. Currently working on MADONNA col BAMBINO (Clubbed Thumb).
Morgan Green (director, NATURE WHATEVER) is a nice person and theater director/ co-founder of the Brooklyn-based company, New Saloon. Most recently, her work was seen at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival Incoming! Series, a production of MINOR CHARACTER: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time. Other recent works include I’m Miserable but Change Scares Me by Milo Cramer (The Brick) and MOMS by Sarah DeLappe (Engarde Arts BOSS Festival). Morgan is the Associate Director for Amelie, A New Musical on Broadway directed by Pam MacKinnon. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, an alumni of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and Williamstown Theater Festival Directing Core, and a 2014-2015 Bob Moss Directing Resident at Playwrights Horizons. This summer she will be directing three shows at the Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, Connecticut.
Emerie Snyder is a NYC-based theatre director and creator of new work. She collaborates closely with playwrights and other artists to commission, develop and produce new plays, and draws upon her art history background to explore relationships between visual art and theatre. She has developed new work with contemporary playwrights including Anton Dudley, Lally Katz, Davy Rothbart, Gwydion Suilebhan, and Mfoniso Udofia. World premiere productions include NEVERCRACKED and ARCHIPELAGO, both pairing published plays with newly-commissioned works, and BODIES OF WATER by Erin Breznitsky. Emerie also wrote/directed WALLS, a short film, and A VOICE INSIDE YOUR HEAD, an audio-theatrical experience for one listener (part of Satellite Collective’s international art experiment TELEPHONE), and co-created UMBRELLA HOUSES, a play with live video elements. Current projects include EXHIBIT, an immersive gallery tour play (developed in a residency through New Georges, with performances at 3LD in June 2017), and THIS IS LIKE THAT, a slide lecture play by Michael Sean Cirelli. Emerie is an NYU/Tisch graduate. www.emeriesnyder.net
Lisa Szolovits is a director and developer of new performance with a particular interest in the relationship between digital and physical presence. She has made work on the East Coast with New Georges, the Brooklyn Museum, Dixon Place, Trans-Pecos, Ars Nova, Forest Fringe, Columbia University, NYU, The Assembly, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Playwrights Horizons Resident Workshop, and in living rooms and on the internet, as well as with Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Co. in Los Angeles. Lisa holds an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College. www.lisasz.com
Mark Van Hare (sound designer, LA DÉROUTE) is a composer and sound designer working in New York City. Recent credits include 3/Fifths at 3LD Art & Technology, Villa with The Play Company at The Wild Project, Destiny of Desire at The Garden Theatre (Winter Garden, FL), On The Grounds of Belonging (Music Associate) at The Public Theater, Paris! and Nutcracker Rouge! with COMPANY XIV at Irondale Theatre, Twelfth Night at the School of Drama at The New School, Anna Christie at The Wild Project, DIRECTORFEST with The Drama League at The Barrow Group Theatre, The Wild Party with The Dramatic Association at Yale University, Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods at Portland Stage (Portland, ME), and In Fields Where They Lay at the New Ohio Theatre. markvanhare.com