NEW STAGE THEATRE COMPANY, LED BY ILDIKO NEMETH, PRESENTS "IN THE COMMON HOUR," A PHANTASMAGORIC MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE INSPIRED BY ITALO CALVINO.
Company is known for its bold visual style and compelling absurdist / physical humor.

WHERE AND WHEN:
April 19 to May 4, 2024
New Stage Performance Space, 36 West 106th Street (basement), btw. Central Park West and Manhattan Ave. Subways: #1, B, C to 103rd Street. Note: this space is not wheelchair accessible.
Performance schedule: April 19-20, 24-28, May 1-4, all at 8:00 PM
Performing company's website: www.newstagetheatre.org
Running time: 75 minutes (without intermission)
Tickets: $35 gen. admission, $25 seniors & students. Buy tickets: https://app.promotix.com/events/details/In-Common-Hour-tickets?referrer=event
Info: 212-768-4191
Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/c7PrK7jExsxXJtT38
Critics are invited to all performances.

NEW YORK, March 27 -- "In the Common Hour" is an abstract, phantasmagoric multimedia performance piece conceived and directed by Ildiko Nemeth from an original text by Marie Glancy O'Shea, developed in collaboration with its ensemble. In a Route 66 motel a group of travelers gather at nightfall, each haunted by phantoms, each seeking to tell their tale. Inspired by Italo Calvino's Crossed Destinies series, the project is concerned with subterranean longings and fears--the complex, ancient currents that exist beyond human language. New Stage Theatre Company (NTSC) will debut the work April 19 to May 4 at its New Stage Performance Space, 36 West 106th Street (between Central Park West and Manhattan Ave.)

NSTC's works are distinguished by their bold visual style and a compelling mix of absurdist and physical humor to deal with dark and difficult themes. This production expands, deepens, and transforms a series of monologues, named "The Melody of Things," which NSTC performed as on online workshop performance through Cafe La MaMa in June 2021. It was the result of a three-month development process led by Nemeth that included improvisations, vignettes, and text developed in rehearsals.

Italo Calvino, the Italian writer whose writings inspired this piece, is renowned for his innovative and imaginative literary works of Speculative Fiction. His writings often explore themes of metaphysics, existentialism, and the nature of storytelling itself. Calvino's style is characterized by playful experimentation with structure, language, and narrative form, as seen in works like "Invisible Cities," "If on a winter's night a traveler" and "Cosmicomics." Through his eclectic storytelling, Calvino invites readers to contemplate the complexities of human experience and the infinite possibilities of the imagination. NTSC adapted Calvino's "Cosmicomics" for the stage at Dixon Place in 2014 and again at its New Stage Performance Space in 2022. The production was a series of vignettes involving a narrator named Qfwfq as he evolves across the history of the universe. Aurin Squire wrote in New York Theatre Review, "Cosmicomics is a fun evening of theatre to see—inebriated or sober, pharmaceutically deranged or dutifully normal. Calvino's brand of cosmically clever comedy takes us on a fun journey into the stars."

"In the Common Hour" is based on a casual remark written by Calvino in an end note to his 1973 book, "The Castle of Crossed Destinies." After describing the process by which he developed his two Crossed Destinies novellas, in which a group of archetypal medieval travelers are struck dumb and use tarot images to tell each other about their experiences, Calvino added: "...for a certain time it was my intention to write also a third part for this book … complementing 'The Tavern' and 'The Castle' with a similar frame, 'The Motel of Crossed Destinies.' Some people who have survived a mysterious catastrophe find refuge in a half-destroyed motel..."

This third section was never written, but Calvino's unfulfilled suggestion posed an intriguing theatrical challenge. For this piece, Ildiko Nemeth and Marie Glancy O'Shea took inspiration from Calvino's dreamlike settings, archetypal figures, and vision of universality in human experience. A group of characters--the travelers--emerged and evolved out of a long process of dramatic exploration, evoking fairy tales, old westerns, financial scandals and biker gangs. They speak in words, though tarot and other images help to convey their meaning. Their stories unfold across territories of the real, the imaginary, and the magical, touching on shared themes of memory, longing, power, and self-determination. This is their story.

The performers are Gina Bonati, Theodore Bouloukos, Lisa Giobbi, Markus Hirnigel, Justin Ivan Brown, Alexis Field and Palengue Doddington. Video Design is by Hao Bai. Lighting Design is by Federico Restrepo. Costume Design is by Danielle Aziza. Original artwork is by Nonoka Judit and Nan Milkxu.
Sound Engineer is Patkos Attila. Video Operator is Maya Jacob. Lighting Operator is Rodney Perez. Production Assistant is Natasha Babenko and Maya Jacob.

Playwright Marie Glancy O'Shea is a writer and editor who has collaborated frequently with NSTC artistic director Ildiko Nemeth since 2008, serving as a script consultant and dramaturge in many productions. She co-wrote "Mapping Mobius" (2010) and "Hypnotik: The Seer Will Doctor You Now" (2011) with Nemeth and Colm O'Shea, and was extensively involved in two of New Stage Theatre's U.S. premiere stage adaptationsz: Clarice Lispector's "Near to the Wild Heart" (2019) and Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek's "Rechnitz" (2018). Last season, NSTC presented her "The Singing Sphere," a Beckettian play in which seven women meet and deal with death, rebirth and loss of a child. O'Shea has moderated numerous panels and talk backs in conjunction with NSTC performances. Her journalistic writing has appeared in various outlets, including Columbia Journalism Review, BUST and America.

Playwright /Director Ildiko Nemeth is Founder and Artistic Director of NSTC and the director, producer, and visionary force behind all the company's premieres. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, she founded NSTC in 2002 after graduating from the Actor's Studio Drama School. Drawing from her Eastern European theater background, she premieres adaptations of foreign writers' works in New York and creates original pieces. Nemeth's works are distinguished by their bold visual style and juxtaposition of absurdist and physical humor with dark, difficult material. As a director she often refers to her projects as compositions, which reflects her multidisciplinary approach: all artistic elements, including text, music, movement, and spectacle, are fused into a unified work of art carrying a holistic message.

Under Nemeth's artistic direction, New Stage has built a name for itself as a "daring experimental group" (Backstage) offering a "unique theatrical vision that creates wonder for mature sophisticated audiences" (New York Theatre Wire). Nemeth's highly conceptual works have won notice and inspired fascination for their provocative effect. Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post wrote of Nemeth, "The theater artist is second to none in terms of the images she creates and the moods she spins" resulting in "works of great beauty and heightened theatricality." Jessica Rizzo (Theatre Times) wrote, "New York needs more dauntless directors like her." Reviewing Nemeth's 2019 stage adaptation of "Near the the Wild Heart" by Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector, Jose Solis (New York Times) wrote, "Reading the work of the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector often feels like diving into a pool of dark water, where the fear of drowning doesn't deter the desire to bathe in mystery….The need to preserve this ethereal quality is what makes the New Stage Theater Company's adaptation of Lispector's 'Near to the Wild Heart,' an admirable attempt at taming the beast."

NSTC's productions have been presented by La MaMa, Theater for the New City and Dixon Place. In 2017, Nemeth established the company's permanent artistic home, The New Stage Performance Space, at 36 West 106th St in Manhattan, where she continues to present boundary-defying works.

New Stage Theatre Company is a recipient of the prestigious Caffé Cino Fellowship, awarded by the Innovative Theatre awards to a company that consistently produces outstanding work. The company's 2019 production, "Electronic City" directed by Nemeth, received the IT awards' Outstanding Performance Art production and Innovative Theatre Design awards. Previous citations from the IT Awards include the 2015 Outstanding Performance Art Production award for the production of "Night" by Charles Mee and numerous nominations, including Outstanding Director, Outstanding Ensemble, and Innovative Stage Design. In 2012, the IT Awards named the 10th anniversary of New Stage Theatre Company a "story of the year," writing, "For a decade Ildiko Nemeth and [NSTC] have been bringing their 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 Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. The program is supported in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The project was supported by Café Royal Foundation.

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REVIEWERS ARE INVITED to all performances.
PHOTOS: https://photos.app.goo.gl/c7PrK7jExsxXJtT38