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What To See This Weekend (#WTSTW): What To See This Weekend in NYC

Heaven On Earth
By Witness Relocation
At Lamama
February 17 – February 27, 2011
Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 2:30pm

In “Heaven on Earth,” a new play by Chuck Mee, Witness Relocation will apply its unique, pop-culture dance/theater style to a show about civilization’s chances of post-apocalyptic happiness. The show is a co-production with French company ildi! eldi, recently seen in New York performing their piece “Vice-Versa” in the Under The Radar Festival

Witness Relocation combine dance and theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances. Charles L. Mee is an Obie-winning playwright who is recently best known for his work with SITI Company, for which he wrote “Orestes,” “bobrauschenbergamerica,” “Hotel Cassiopeia,” “Under Construction” and “soot and spit (the musical).” Mee was Signature Theater’s Playwright-in-Residence in 2007-2008.

“Heaven on Earth” is a collage play, written with Mee’s unique philosophy that all art is both received and created, so texts are taken from and inspired by other texts. It combs through history to reveal a quirky but simple realization: that hope is inextinguishable because in spite of the calamitous darkness when eras pass and civilizations collapse, happiness endures in the small pleasures of life.

This show is a production of Witness Relocation (USA) and “collective ildi ! eldi” (France). It is directed and choreographed by Dan Safer and co-created and performed by Abigail Browde, Heather Christian, Sean Donovan and Mike Mikos of Witness Relocation and Sophie Cattani, Antoine Oppenheim and Francois Sabourin of “ildi ! eldi.” Set and lighting design are by Jay Ryan. Costumes, props and objects are designed by Deb O. Sound design is by Ryan Maeker. Video design is by Kaz Phillips. The play is co-commissioned by Les Subsistances with major support from Etant Donnes.

At The Chocolate Factory
February 17 – March 5, 2011
Produced in association with the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

English as a Second Language; English is a Second Language; every language is a Second Language. Second Language negotiates the margins of communication, where we all meet, because nobody really understands anybody, and every language is an improvised bridge. Our new project brings Target Margin professional actors and designers together with students from LaGuardia Community College to create an original play about how we talk to each other, how we read each other, and how we fail to.

The Nonsense Company
Storm Still
At PS 122
Saturday, February 19 – Sunday, March 6, 2011
Wednesday – Saturday 8PM
Sunday 6PM

Outside an abandoned school, a war rages. Inside, three kids have been performing an unsupervised rendition of King Lear for years. Further inside, the mad King debates the purpose of theater with his Fool, a licensed therapist.

The Nonsense Company, based in Brooklyn, NY performs new and innovative works of contemporary music and theater, with an emphasis on the musical use of speech in estranged contexts and the application in theater of techniques more commonly associated with music. The Company’s name is borrowed from Franz Schubert’s ensemble, die Unsinn Gesellschaft, who with radically spare resources spawned a revolution in the music and poetry of the nineteenth century.

The company’s current members, Rick Burkhardt (of Three Pianos), Andy Gricevich, and Ryan Higgins, have worked and studied with composers and performers such as Steve Schick, Chaya Czernowin, Red Fish Blue Fish, John Fonville, Herbert Bruen, The Performers’ Workshop Ensemble, Ed Harkins, and Brian Ferneyhough, as well as with theater directors Rachel Chaivkin, Matt Wilder, David Wheeler, and Stefan Novinski. Their programs emphasizing the works of startling emerging composers have received repeated invitations to theater and music festivals throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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