Author: Rachel Karp

In Performance: Juliana F. May, Folk Incest (American Realness)

Folk Incest Juliana F. May American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 9-12, 2019 A single row of chairs lines the four walls of Abrons’ intimate G05 studio, all of them seemingly meant for the audience. Until Molly Poerstel enters from the hallway, takes an open seat, and, lit by a spotlight, struggles to speak. She has some pages in her hand, presumably a script she’s trying to say...

In Performance: Sarah Kane/Philip Venables, 4.48 Psychosis (Prototype)

4.48 Psychosis Sarah Kane/Philip Venables Prototype, Baruch Performing Arts Center January 5-12, 2019 Sarah Kane’s classic 4.48 Psychosis takes a stirring, operatic turn in Philip Venables’ adaptation, currently playing at the PROTOTYPE festival after a sold-out run at the Royal Opera House in London. The opera uses a variety of inventive means to bring Kane’s words about death to life, with a mix...

In Performance: Half Straddle, Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription

Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription Half Straddle The Kitchen January 4-12, 2019 Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription is, in many ways, exactly what its title says it is: the performance of the verbatim transcription of the FBI’s interrogation of 25-year-old Reality Winner. As the lobby display (by Murphey Wilkins) and program note help explain: in 2017, Reality ...

In Performance: Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! (American Realness)

The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 4-5, 2019 To step into Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble’s The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! is to step into a different atmosphere. A soothing aural landscape merges with a striking visual one of an extremely large moon-like surface that takes up the entire height of Abrons’ Exp...

In Performance: Michael Joseph McQuilken, The Infinite Hotel (Prototype)

The Infinite Hotel Michael Joseph McQuilken Prototype, Irondale January 5-12, 2019 In The Infinite Hotel, written and directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken, the audience is divided upon entrance: between “background actors” who experience and participate in the event on Irondale’s main floor and “producers” who watch the event from a balcony above. And quite an event unfolds, as The Infinite Hotel ...

In Performance: Gordon/Artman/Fish, Acquanetta (PROTOTYPE)

Upon entering the auditorium in the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, the audience is met with a larger-than-life projection screen. Its big size makes a big impact--as does its light color amidst the rest of the stage, which seems shallow and dark. But there are hidden depths to that stage and they surprise throughout Acquanetta, an opera inspired by a 1940s actress of the same name who kept much of h...

In Performance: Chapman/Sirna-Frest, Welcome to the Gun Show (Exponential Festival)

Welcome to the Gun Show: a Chekhovian Song Cycle Julia Sirna-Frest/Shane Chapman/Patrick Vassel Exponential Festival, Slipper Room January 14-15 Composers Julia Sirna-Frest and Shane Chapman lit up the Slipper Room in Welcome to the Gun Show, an hour-long set of original songs with lyrics exclusively from Chekhov’s writings. Before diving in, Sirna-Frest explained the concept behind the set and in...

In Performance: Neal Medlyn, I HEART PINA (American Realness)

I <3 PINA Neal Medlyn American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 11-16 “I feel weird about Pina Bausch and I feel weird about dance and I feel weird about romance and I feel weird about being a fan. I’m mainly interested in two things from Pina Bausch’s work: fandom and romance.” So starts the program note to Neal Medlyn’s I <3 PINA, words that are also projected during the performance. B...

In Performance: Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure (Exponential Festival)

Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure Ikechukwu Ufomadu Exponential Festival, Vital Joint January 12-13, 2018 Comic entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu breaks all the rules in his one-man lecture performance, Ike’s Wonderful World of Leisure. All the rules for giving effective presentations, that is. He moves through his presentation at a slow pace; he walks in front of the projector so that the ...

In Performance: Andrew Schneider, AFTER (Under the Radar)

AFTER Andrew Schneider Under the Radar, The Public Theater January 4-14, 2018 Without warning, the audience is plunged into darkness. So beings AFTER, created by the OBIE-winning Andrew Schneider in collaboration with Alessandra Calabi, Bobby McElver, and Alicia ayo Ohs. For AFTER, the creative team set out to make the truest blackout it could, and it succeeds to an extent that feels impossible in...

Mixed Reality Performance: In Conversation with Yehuda Duenyas

The Contemporary Performance Think Tank is housed in the John Wells Directing Program MFA at Carnegie Mellon University’s School Of Drama under the direction of Caden Manson. Each year the Think Tank focuses on a set of topics concerning the fields of Theater and Contemporary Performance and conducts research and interviews to produce a paper as a resource for practitioners. This year’s topic is c...

Have You Heard About Mixed Reality Performance?

As technology continues to invade and evolve our lives, so too does it continue to invade and evolve our theater. While seeing technology on stage is nothing new, more and more theater-makers are investigating entirely new forms of performance that completely revolve around high-tech modes and devices.