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2015 - 2018
2005 - 2009
45 strangers come together for 61 minutes to show us who they are and who they could be. Part theater, part dance, part group hallucination – vivid human assembly on an epic scale. The subject is us; the time is now.
FEAST is the last meal of an era, carefully prepared during the collapse of the great empire of Babylon. As the King watches idly, his chorus of Concubines flails about with limb and language, devouring everything possible as they search for something, anything, to hold onto.
The mesmerizing, hilarious and heartbreaking tale of Oliver and his sister Helen’s strange childhood in Savannah and their mother’s struggle with madness. Poet, playwright, and iconic raconteur Edgar Oliver is an incandescent presence in the New York art scene and an audience favorite at The Moth. Helen & Edgar was first produced by George Dawes Green, founder of The Moth and directed Catherine Burns, The Moth’s longtime artistic director.
Author and comedian John Hodgman presents new observations on subjects including how to dress like a young and relevant person, fax machines and other obsolete technology, marihuana and Downton Abbey, the state songs of Tennessee, the film criticism of Ayn Rand, and how to spend your time when the world did not end like you were certain it would on December 21, 2012.
Kate Tempest’s genre-bending performance style blurs the lines between poetry, theater and live music, using hip-hop-infused rhythms and rhymes to weave an ultra-poetic story in a soulful style all her own. She celebrates the divine in ordinary people and everyday life. Brand New Ancients is her story of two families subtly intermingled through generations, in language, music and song. Being brave, she challenges us to be brave; Brand New Ancients is a call to arms for a modern day hero.
With the youthful energy of a new generation, and bolstered by original live music, 11 Chileans born under Pinochet’s dictatorship take to the stage to reconcile a collective history. Somewhere between stunt doubles and historians, they don their parents’ clothes and reconstruct their past from photos, letters, and recordings in this raw and honest act of storytelling.
Two brothers inhabit a mysterious, dreamlike apartment. On the day of the elder's birthday, the younger busies himself with creating unusual objects for the celebration. Meanwhile, in the upper room, the younger brother's alter egos–derived from his wild imagination and taking the form of two creatures, one with a sheep's head and another with pig features–help with the party preparations. Written and directed by psychiatrist turned most-talked-about theater artist Kuro Tanino and performed his company, Niwa Gekidan Penino, The Room Nobody Knows lures you into a weird yet funny world hidden deep within the Tokyo metropolis.
Evoking a strong sense of unexpected loss, Black Out examines the fragility of existence as well as the serendipity of life. We watch, from above, as thousands of black granulated fragments transform the dancers’ world into a moving, pictorial composition, that jars as it shifts in response to the light, sound, and movement. A work that contemplates the randomness of mortality in a world of genocide, disease, epidemics, and senseless violence.
In this riveting, improvised performance, Smith unravels the myth of the late Rodney King, revealing a man besieged by the Los Angeles Police Department and an unrelenting media spotlight. Smith's rhythm-charged narrative navigates King's fatal descent into his backyard pool, the peaceful punctuation to a life unwittingly distinguished violence. "Can we," King implores from the deep end, "all get along?"
A re-imagining of the late poet’s acclaimed solo work. The story of a man wrestling with illness and mortality, told with humor, honesty, and wonder through a mix of theatre, poetry, music, and video projections. Sundiata’s original show premiered in 2002 and toured extensively until his passing in 2007. blessing the boats was re-envisioned by Rhodessa Jones as an ensemble piece in 2013 as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a retrospective produced by MAPP International Productions. Sundiata was a poet, playwright, and band leader with a passion for real democracy and social justice.
In a tour de force performance, Valentijn Dhaenens pays tribute to 2,500 years of oration. Ingeniously weaving together fragments of seminal speeches from the Grand Inquisitor and Socrates, to Muhammad Ali and Osama Bin Laden, BigMouth shows that the language of power and the tricks of the rhetorical trade have hardly changed.
A tale of one man standing against the majority, JDX – a public enemy explodes from the text of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. Through their unique focus on pure acting, the acclaimed Belgian company exposes the dark pitfalls of democracy, first depicted more than a century ago and still all too relevant today.
Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely extend their love through the entire Public Theater on January 19th for her 30th annual birthday celebration. Reagon’s annual birthday shows have become a staple of the New York performance ecosystem, and her performance at UTR will mark an incredible artist’s journey. Sacred Stories will celebrate the music of Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon in Robert Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony and Zinnias as well as Reagon’s own Parable of the Sower and Lines - a Joe’s Pub commission as part of the inaugural New York Voices program.
Exploding into incantation and dance, The Baroness is the Future unfolds the life and work of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, whom Duchamp called simply, "the future."
Daniel Fish's elegantly spare take on the final scene of the 2003 film, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, in a continuous, wildly ranging loop.
Mary Shelley's monster has a mate and they are pissed! Theater for the monster in you.
Last seen at UTR 2008 with small metal objects, Back to Back returns to UTR with a beautiful and disarming production, full of vulnerability. The story begins with the elephant-headed god Ganesh's travels through Nazi Germany to reclaim the Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol. As the hero embarks on his journey a second narrative is revealed: the actors themselves begin to feel the responsibility of storytellers and question the ethics of cultural appropriation.
If scars are sexy, Minsk is the sexiest city in the world. Strip clubs, underground raves and gay pride parades pulse beneath the surface of a city where sexuality is met by government oppression. A love letter to a home that exiles those willing to fight for it, Minsk 2011 celebrates and mourns a land that has lost its way. This remarkable company that brought us Being Harold Pinter, Zone of Silence and Discover Love returns to New York with this moving and provocative production.
In HOLLOW ROOTS, a woman traverses a nameless urban landscape plagued by a question: can a person of color have a "neutral narrative"? A spare and intimate setting evolves into a vivid world painted in detailed observations and marked by memories, music, maps, and circumstance. Tapping into the rich and complicated genre of one person plays by writers such as Wallace Shawn and Spalding Grey, Christina Andersen (Good Goods), director Lileana Blain-Cruz and performer April Matthis (Lear, The Sound and The Fury) ask the question - can someone live a life unaffected by one's race or gender?
"Thank you for your interest to learn Mandarin. It is a good investment of your time." Meet the Yao and Lu families from Shanghai, determined to reinvent themselves in a new country. The only language they speak is Mandarin, but that will not stand in the way of a productive exchange with their audience. In this highly original production, the performers teach us a basic comprehension of the Mandarin language, just enough to decipher their unfolding story. Starting at zero, the performers and the audience create something together - the possibility of a personal encounter, an intimate meeting.
One of New York's most highly acclaimed theater companies, Elevator Repair Service (Gatz, The Sound and the Fury [April Seventh, 1928]) presents their latest work in progress - Arguendo. In Barnes v. Glen Theatre, a 1991 First Amendment case brought by a group of go-go dancers, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court debate whether dancing naked in a strip club is an exercise of artistic expression or a crime. In Arguendo, ERS presents the case's oral argument, verbatim, revealing a compelling intellectual struggle and the court's often-absurd sense of humor.
An enchanting mix of drawing, animation, puppetry, projection and paper, 2 Dimensional Life of Her is a richly imagined performance installation set in an artist's studio. Fleur Elise Noble creates a parallel world in which everything thought to be flat becomes something else. In this illusionary, captivating and cheeky work, visual tensions build and realities pile up until the artist loses control of her creations and absolutely anything becomes possible... Fleur Elise Noble works with various visual art mediums and performance to create work that is specifically focused on the performative possibilities of drawing and process. Her work has been exhibited in established and makeshift gallery and theatre spaces around Australia and overseas, and included in major international arts festivals.
Directed by Mohammad AghbatiWritten by Mohammad Charmshir
Using household objects and children's toys to play out a domestic and political history of betrayal and death, Shakepeare's tragic hero comes to terms with his violent fate through an obsessive retelling of the moments that preceded the tragedy. In Farsi with English supertitles.
When can the ordinary become extraordinary and the mundane monumental? “Epic stories need epic forms,” says Nature Theater of Oklahoma, making their triumphant homecoming with this bold, exuberant 11-hour celebration of the most epic story of all: life. Life and Times: Episodes 1-4 charts one person’s account of their own life from earliest memory through adolescence with music, movement and mystery. It’s about you, too!
A meditation on how Henry David Thoreau's Walden changed a man's life; on the disruptions and re-imaginings that followed the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima; and on the uneasy compromises between radical idealism and contemporary living. An unusual, cerebral work of autobiography brings together Okada’s sly, idiosyncratic writing and Pig Iron’s precise, physical performance spirit.
Over the next two years a bedazzled creature will build a community by singing 24 concerts of the last 24 decades of popular music. Ultimately all 24 concerts will be stitched together culminating in a 24-hour long extravaganza. To help prepare for the big concert, Taylor Mac and band will be performing an abridged version: music from the 20th century.
In the tranquil Chicago suburbs in the early 1950's, the kids are away camping with their Jr. Cherokee's Troop, and a string of coincidences yields a spontaneous grown-up party. In the basement of a brand-new ranch house, exotic cocktails like "Rapupu Sours" are sampled, games like "Bee Pee Bo" are played and new friends like Jeep, the door-to-door photographer, are made. But things are happening that no one is talking about and something is stirring underground. A darkly comic thriller of post-war verve and pre-adolescent disquiet.
Work in Progress
A reading of Andersen’s new play celebrates the poetic history of black oral narratives called “toasts” and re-imagines Dolomite, Stackolee, Annabelle Jones, Jesse James and other legendary folklore heroes in Attica prison where a riot is brewing. “Toast” is an art form of reciting poetry based on characters and situations driven from the Black Experience, mostly told and performed in the prisons, bars and pool halls of America. The play honors this poetic form and brings its heroes to the stage.
Waterwell, one of the Village Voice’s “Best Arguments for Devised Theater” (2010) and creators of #9 and The|King|Operetta, present their latest drop – the live concept album GOODBAR. Created in collaboration with NYC glam-punk band, Bambï, GOODBAR blurs the boundaries between music and theatre while tackling one of the most controversial cult artifacts of the ‘70s: Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Riffing wildly on the novel by Judith Rossner, Bambï & Waterwell crank the amps up to ten and launch a full frontal assault on modern myths of sex, independence and persona.
An angel comes down from heaven but finds herself in the body of a porn star. The clock is ticking – who can she save? Or is it just a dream of a porn star to save herself and the world? A hybrid of comedy, video and existential inquiry, LICK BUT DON’T SWALLOW! was only performed once in Istanbul, due to protests by a fundamentalist newspaper.
A cantankerous puppet is having an existential crisis ... on a table. Blind Summit shook up the opera world with their puppetry in Anthony Minghella’s Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. Now they bring their version of extreme puppetry to UTR. Inspired by Beckett, the Bible and Ikea, The Table was the award-winning, sold-out sensation of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival.
Camille O’Sullivan enjoys a formidable international reputation for her dramatic interpretations of the songs of Brel, Cave, Waits, Bowie and more. Chameleon-like on stage, each song has a different character with its story to tell. The award-winning singer has stunned audiences around the world with five-star sell-out performances, including Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Festival Hall and a show stealing appearance on Later with Jools Holland (BBC TV ). Dark, fierce, amusing and mesmerizing, Camille transforms each song into an intense theatrical experience, drawing her audience into a world illuminated by the dark and the light. Expect fire, ice, darkness, joy and pure passion.
chelfitsch returns to New York to perform Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech, the quirky triptych created by the internationally acclaimed playwright/director Toshiki Okada. Hot Pepper captures the empty and ungrounded nature of Generation Y in Japan today through three humorously absurd scenes set in a corporate break room. Characterized by a seemingly insubstantial narrative accompanied by exaggerated gestures-turned-choreography, the groundbreaking works of chelfitsch (Five Days in March and Enjoy) have drawn global recognition, making them a leading theater company in Japan and abroad.
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre/Soho Theatre, London/NODA•MAPCo-written and Directed by Hideki Noda
Manga comic strip-like frenzy turns into a thought provoking nightmare in Hideki Noda’s The Bee, co-written by Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan and inspired by a story by Yasutaka Tsutsui. This gripping production, tells the tale of an ordinary Japanese businessman who turns savage after returning home to discover that his wife and son have been taken hostage. Within a minimalist set and an eerily beautiful soundtrack, the cast, composed of four members including the director himself, and Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter seamlessly shift between characters.
Presented as a series of letters to an unborn son, Word Becomes Flesh confronts fatherhood in urban communities and the mythology of the black male body—from cotton field to athletic field and all spaces in between. Marc Bamuthi Joseph re-invents his 2003 solo piece for a new generation with an ensemble cast using spoken word, music, and contemporary and hip-hop dance.
Epic and cinematic in scope, with a slowly revolving stage, El pasado… tracks the lives of four young Argentinians in a bittersweet, fragmentary chronicle of a decade (1999–2009). What began as a story pieced together from damaged photographs left behind in a photo lab evolves into a fast-paced record of the past, both true and imaginary.