NEW STAGE THEATRE COMPANY PUTS DOWN ROOTS,
OPENS NEW STAGE PERFORMANCE SPACE ON WEST 106th STREET.
DEBUT PRODUCTION MARCH 31 TO APRIL 30 IS "RULES,"
A MULTI-MEDIA THEATER PRODUCTION BASED ON PLAY BY CHARLES L. MEE,
CONCEIVED AND DIRECTED BY ILDIKO NEMETH
WHERE AND WHEN:
March 31 to April 30, 2017
The New Stage Performance Space, 36 West 106th Street (basement), bet. Central Park West and Manhattan Ave.
Subways: #1, B, C to 103rd Street.
Note: this space is not wheelchair accessible
Presented by New Stage Theatre Company
March 31 to April 2. Two weeks dark. Gala April 20. Resumes April 21 to 30.
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 5:00 PM.
$18 general admission, $15 students and seniors
Performing company's website: www.newstagetheatre.org
Box office; Smarttix, www.smarttix.com; (212) 868-4444
Running time 1:10; critics are invited on or after March 31 (opening date).
NEW YORK, March 14 – The award winning New Stage Theatre Company will open its new permanent home, The New Stage Performance Space, located at 36 West 106th Street, Manhattan, from March 31 to April 30 with the debut production of "Rules," a multimedia theatre piece conceived and directed by Ildiko Nemeth. The piece is based on "The Rules" by Charles L. Mee, a play from his (re)making project.
Nemeth's "Rules" is an of-the-moment performance piece channeling the anxiety of our time. Faithful to Mee's collage-like approach to drama, it brings together voices of the marginalized, objectified and simply horrified to question what rules inform our reality. Who is writing them? What does it mean to fight for cohesion or unity?
Productions of New Stage Theatre Company are known for their elaborate costuming, inventive choreography, striking images and overall gorgeous visual design. Director Ildiko Nemeth has cultivated a distinctive style that treats visual elements as not just accessories but part of the content, powerfully conveying subconscious dimensions of the action. The troupe presented the world premiere of Charles Mee's "Night (Thyestes 2.0)" at Theater for the New City in 2015. The production received the Outstanding Performance Art Production Award from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. Paul Berss, writing in The New York Theatre Wire, called the production "an impressive multi-media feast of talk, music, movement, and film … always unpredictable and engrossing."
Charles L. Mee is known for his work with SITI Company, for which he wrote "Orestes," "bobrauschenbergamerica," "Hotel Cassiopeia," "Under Construction" and "soot and spit (the musical)." He was Signature Theater's Playwright-in-Residence in 2007-2008.
Mee published "The Rules" as part of his (re)making project, with the admonition, "Feel free to take the plays from this project and use them freely as a resource for your own work: that is to say, don't just make some cuts or rewrite a few passages or re-arrange them or put in a few texts that you like better, but pillage the plays as I have pillaged the structures and contents of the plays of Euripides and Brecht and stuff out of Soap Opera Digest and the evening news and the Internet, and build your own, entirely new, piece--and then, please, put your own name to the work that results." In following these directions, Ildiko Nemeth has woven in an abundance of her own texts, together with quotations from Ralph Ellison, author of "The Invisible Man," and Vine Deloria, Jr., author of "Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto." Other Mee plays are excerpted too, including "The War to End War."
New Stage Theatre Company uses Mee's original "The Rules"--consumed with issues of privacy, feminism, and shifts of power--as an anchor for a new work that speaks powerfully to our political preoccupations in 2017. The curtain rises on well-born citizens discussing a changed world, their sentiments ranging from alarm to nostalgia. Their bubble is far from impenetrable, subject to intrusions from their own eruptions of rage and anxiety as well as the voices of displaced native peoples, angry protesters, and awkward disagreements calling into question the accuracy of foundational memories. Through a series of set pieces the clamor of voices rises steadily, countered by ominous dictates from seats of power. As the action builds to a boiling point, the search is on for a drop of wisdom, or the closest thing to it.
New Stage Theatre Company has previously produced shows at La MaMa, Theater for the New City, Dixon Place, and Clemente Soto Velez. Its new space is intimate, which challenges Nemeth to adapt her expansive visual style to compact surroundings. "Rules" will be produced on a simple set with benches, "like an island for voices," says Nemeth. Projections will add context and augment the set for this first production.
Direction and production design are by Ildiko Nemeth. Lighting design is by Federico Restrepo. Costume design is by Brandon Lee Olson. Projection design is by Ildiko Nemeth, Chris Sharp and Alex Santullo. Sound Engineer is Alex Santullo. The actors are Dana Boll, Adam Boncz, Brandon Lee Olson, Markus Hirnigel, Gloria Miquel, Jeanne Lauren Smith, Brian Linden, Conor Weiss, and Tom Martin.
The New Stage Theatre Company (www.newstagetheatre.org) was founded in 2002 by Hungarian émigré Ildiko Nemeth. Drawing from her Eastern European theater background, the company has premiered foreign playwrights' works and created original works through collaboration among its artists. Over the years, it became known as a "daring downtown experimental group" (Irene Backalenick, Backstage) that "creates wonder for mature sophisticated audiences" (Larry Litt, NY Theatre Wire). The company's works are distinguished by their bold visual style and a compelling mix of absurdist and physical humor in dealing with dark and difficult themes.
Since its inception, the company has presented 15 premieres and received 17 nominations from the NY Innovative Theatre Awards. In 2016, New Stage received the prestigious Caffe Cino Fellowship, awarded to a company that consistently produces outstanding work. In 2012 the IT Awards named the tenth anniversary of New Stage Theatre Company a "story of the year," writing, "For a decade Ildiko Nemeth has been bringing her unique brand of sophisticated, inspired and startling stage craft to NYC stages."
This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
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CRITICS ARE INVITED on or after MARCH 31.