Announcing Auditions for Educational Theatre’s Spring 2020 Main Stage Production

The Program in Educational Theatre announces auditions for its Spring 2020 Main Stage Production directed by Joe Salvatore:

Making Gay History Org Logo

A new verbatim documentary theatre project adapted from the Making Gay History podcast. The project will explore LGBTQ+ history prior to the Stonewall uprising in 1969.

In Winter 2020, NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre will produce a verbatim documentary theatre project adapted from the Making Gay History podcast. The series draws its material from interviews conducted by journalist and author Eric Marcus in the late 1980s and early 1990s and that he published as two books: Making History (1992) and Making Gay History (2002). In 2016, Marcus was asked to turn the original audio files of his interviews into a podcast series, which resulted in the release of five seasons, a special Stonewall 50 season, and a sixth season in October 2019.

Marcus approached Joe Salvatore, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre and verbatim documentary theatre practitioner to collaborate on the creation of a live performance version of Making Gay History, requesting that the project focus on LGBTQ+ history before the Stonewall uprising in 1969. The intention is for the resulting play to be performed by high schools, colleges, and universities across the country as a way to teach LGBTQ+ history.

The project seeks actors from diverse backgrounds and experiences for an ensemble production of the play that may also include music inspired by the songs of Edythe Eyde. Actors who sing and/or play guitar, ukulele, and/or piano are encouraged to audition. Please note that in this particular style of verbatim performance participants/characters are often portrayed by actors of other races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, and orientations.

Rehearsals will begin on or around January 18, 2020, and will occur 5-6 days a week with the opening performance scheduled for February 28, 2020.

Performance Dates:

  • Friday, February 28, 8pm 
  • Saturday, February 29, 8pm
  • Sunday, March 1, 3pm
  • Monday, March 2, 10am
  • Thursday, March 5, 8pm
  • Friday, March 6, 10am
  • Friday, March 6, 8pm
  • Saturday, March 7, 3pm
  • Saturday, March 7, 8pm
  • Sunday, March 8, 3pm

Location: Provincetown Playhouse at 133 Macdougal Street, NYC 

Audition dates, times, and locations:

Friday, November 15, 1:00-4:00pm (Education Building, Room 770)

Saturday, November 16, Noon-5:00pm (Education Building, Room 307)


Callbacks:
Sunday, November 17, 1:00-4:00pm (Education Building, Room 779)

Interested actors can click on this link to sign up for an audition slot. You will be taken to a website where you can select an audition date/time. If you have conflicts with the scheduled auditions, please reach out to Joe Salvatore (js1655@nyu.edu) to consider an alternative audition date and time. For the auditions, actors should prepare the following:

  • One of the speeches available at this link.
  • A short movement piece, no more than 2 minutes, set to a piece of music. Please bring a device (phone, tablet, laptop) to play your music. We’re interested in seeing how you complete an action while music is playing and/or tell a story through movement. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE ADVANCED CHOREOGRAPHY. You can tie your shoes to a Beyoncé song.
  • An awareness of one of the episodes of the Making Gay History podcast and why it speaks to you.
  • A theatrical resume (headshot/photo optional but not required)
  • Your Spring 2020 class schedule and any other pre-existing personal conflicts from January 13 through March 8, 2020.
  • 16 bars of a song to be sung acapella (no accompaniment) (optional)

If you have questions, please contact Joe Salvatore at js1655@nyu.edu.

World Drama 2019 Speakers Series – African American / Black Theatre

This fall, the World Drama course at NYU Steinhardt / Program in Educational Theatre welcomes a variety of theatre professionals to discuss the diverse theatre companies here in New York City. Please join us to hear about the companies and their artistic staff, productions, and vision for theatre in our great city.

The second event is Wednesday, November 6

6:45 – 8:25PM

Pless Hall, 1st Floor Lounge

82 Washington Square East

Panelists include:

Andrew Clarke – Braata Productions

Andrew Clarke is a singer, actor, aspiring playwright/director and serves as founder/artistic director for both Braata Folk Singers and Braata Productions.  A graduate of the Edna Manley College (Faculty of Drama), Clarke is a 2008 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture.  In that same year he also represented Jamaica at the World Championships for the Performing Arts in Hollywood, California where he was crowned Grand Champion Performer of the World.

His stage credits include David Heron’s “Ecstasy” (UK tour) and a Jamaican adaptation of James Baldwin’s “Amen Corner” for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a Lead Role by the International Theatre Institute – Jamaica Chapter (ITI) Actor Boy Awards (Jamaica’s Tony Awards). An accomplished vocalist with 30 gold medals and numerous national awards from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) National Festival of the Performing Arts Competition in Speech, Music and Drama. Other awards include 15 overall National Awards including Best Actor and Male Vocalist.

AJ Muhammad – Fire This Time Festival

A.J. Muhammad has a background in audience development, arts administration, dramaturgy and library public services. He has dramaturged many productions directed by the educator, activist and director Dr. Daniel Banks in New York City, regionally and internationally. Along with Neyda Martinez he co-developed and implemented the pilot phase of the New Audience Project, an initiative to develop and train Latina cultural ambassadors in support of Latino arts institutions through arts immersion, workforce development and micro-entrepreneurism. The New Audience Project received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and was incubated at The Fire This Time Festival’s East 4th St. neighbor Teatro Circulo. A.J. also completed the Artist Manager Program (AMP) training program at The Field.

Shaun Neblett – Changing Perceptions Theater

Over the past 17 years, Shaun Neblett has created and managed multiple youth theater programs throughout low-income neighborhoods in New York City.  He is the founder of Changing Perceptions Theater, a theater company that provides theater and performance training to youth in urban communities. As a playwright, Shaun was produced Off- Broadway when he was 18 years old at the Public Theater. Since then, his plays have been produced internationally, Off- Broadway and at regional theater venues. He is completing his “7 Homages for 7 MCs” play cycle, which is a suite of seven original plays that originate from the spirit of classic hip-hop albums. Shaun’s first completed play in the cycle pays tribute to the rapper Nas’ debut album Illmatic and was referenced by African American scholar Dr. Michael Eric Dyson as “A great play that evokes a sense of history and a sense of intimacy with people who nurture you, surround you and are a mystery to you.”

If you wish to attend, RSVP here.

Our final event for the semester will be Wednesday, December 4 – Asian American Theatre. Please let Dr. Jonathan Jones know if you have any questions.

Bravo to the Cast and Crew of ‘The Good Soul of Szechuan’

By David Montgomery

Congratulations to everybody involved in the Program in Educational Theatre’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan. What a pleasure it was to see such an outstanding production of Brecht performed in the Black Box Theatre on Thursday night (October 24)!

NYU Steinhardt Program in Educational Theatre - 'Good Soul of Szechuan' Poster, 2019

Exquisitely directed by Dr. Nancy Smither, many of Brecht’s theatre techniques were brilliantly used, including the use of captions, music, songs, actors playing several roles, direct addresses to the audience, and plenty of humor mixed with serious themes and moments. All of these theatrical techniques supported and enhanced the play’s structure, which was translated by David Harrower. Following the actions of the character of Shen Te/Shui Ta, the play explores whether in order to do good we must sometimes do evil, and whether true goodness is possible in a poverty-filled world. 

This parable exploring good and evil embodied Brecht’s vision of a theater that simultaneously entertains, teaches and provokes questions and thought. Tonight I was so impressed by the talented ensemble’s ability to convey all these things. The 17 cast members worked together seamlessly to present a provocative and compelling interpretation of this historically significant play that felt fresh and new. And Anthony Sun Prickett’s original music and musical numbers further added meaningful weight to the tone and mood of the piece. 

The wonderfully versatile ensemble of actors  included:

  • Elise Baum
  • Theo Blumstein
  • Jason Goldwin Chang
  • Christine Drayer
  • Irene Guo
  • Madeline Hoak
  • Asha John
  • Beryl Liu
  • Rita Liu
  • Laura Amancha Negrete
  • Xiaojin Niu
  • Eve Price
  • Kevin Qian
  • Sarah Reed
  • Ash Russell
  • Gretchen Vosburgh
  • Sara Wu 

Tim McMath’s set design was perfect, seemingly simple yet highly inventive. Praise must also be given to Lighting Designer Daryl Embry, Costume Designer Michelle Humprey, Sound Designer Ernesto Valenzuela, assistant directors/dramaturgs Jin Dong and Anthony Sun Prickett, assistant stage managers Megan Abbanat and Hoa Thi Kahnh Tran, and the always reliable and talented Production Stage Manager, Kristina Varshavskaya. 

Bravo to you all!

There are only three remaining shows at the Black Box Theatre at 82 Washington Square East—including Friday night (Oct. 24) at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm, and this Sunday at 3pm.

So don’t miss this illuminating and entertaining production! 

Catch it before it closes!

ArtsPraxis Volume 6 Issue 2

Cover image from a 2018 NYU Steinhardt, Program in Drama Therapy production of "Living with...", written in collaboration with four long term survivors of HIV and three newly diagnosed adults based on months of group therapy sessions.

Our contributions in this issue come from artists, educators, and arts therapists focusing on theatre and health.

The first collection of articles highlight reflective practice.  Lawrence Ashford explores interactions between professional performers and young people in Australian hospitals. Bianca C. Frazer looks at the deconstruction of stereotypes about diabetes on stage. James Webb reflects on the personal impact of writing, acting, and sharing his autobiographical play, The Contract, detailing his struggles as a gay man in the Black Church in the United States. Faith Busika and Zandile Mqwathi discuss drama processes employed to address mental health and promote wellbeing in South Africa. Finally, Yi-Chen Wu unpacks her experience collaborating with a woman with cerebral palsy and the woman’s performance of her autobiographical memory.

The second section features a pair of critically reflective articles with recommendations for practitioners and researchers. Alyssa Digges advocates for a mental health and wellness curriculum for students in actor training programs. Teresa A. Fisher analyzes failures in a theatre for health project, specifically looking at the facilitator’s role in such a project.

The final pair of articles look to examine existing practice and repertoire. William Pinchin connects Jung’s collective unconscious theory and Lecoq’s understanding of a universal poetic sense, reevaluating the neutral mask. Finally, Majeed Mohammed Midhin and Samer Abid Rasheed Farhan interrogate the healing power of theatre through a discussion of contemporary prison theatre praxis and the representations made in Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial: On Mindfulness – Jonathan P. Jones

The Flexible Performer in Applied Theatre: In-hospital Interaction with Captain Starlight – Lawrence Ashford

“Where’s Your Imagination?”: Using the Social Model to Deconstruct Stereotypes about Diabetes on Stage – Bianca C. Frazer

A Critical Autobiography: Examining the Impact of a Theatre-Making Process on a Theatre Practitioner’s Identity Development – James Webb

Addressing Mental Health in South Africa Using the Djembe Drum and Storytelling to Open up the Dialogue of Finding, Owning, and Using Your Voice in the Home as a Christian Woman – Faith Busika and Zandile Mqwathi

Towards an Approach of Performise: I Am a Normal Person (2018) as a Case Study – Yi-Chen Wu

Preventing Actor Burnout through a Mental Health and Wellness Curriculum – Alyssa Digges

Bad Facilitation or the Wrong Approach?: Unpacking the Failure of a Theatre for Health Project – Teresa A. Fisher

The Shadow of the Neutral Mask: A Jungian Examination of Lecoq-based Neutral Mask Praxis – William Pinchin

The Healing Power of Theatre in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good – Majeed Mohammed Midhin and Samer Abid Rasheed Farhan

World Drama 2019 Speakers Series – LatinX Theatre

This fall, the World Drama course at NYU Steinhardt / Program in Educational Theatre welcomes a variety of theatre professionals to discuss the diverse theatre companies here in New York City. Please join us to hear about the companies and their artistic staff, productions, and vision for theatre in our great city.

The first event is Wednesday, October 16
6:45 – 8:25PM
Pless Basement Acting Studio
82 Washington Square East

Panelists include:
Robert Federico – Repertorio Español 
Manuel Moran – TeatroSEA
Ramiro Sandoval – TabulaRaSa

If you wish to attend, RSVP

Future panelist topics and dates are as follows:
Wednesday, November 6 – African American / Black Theatre
Wednesday, December 4 – Asian American Theatre

Please let Dr. Jonathan Jones know if you have any questions.

Auditions for Fall Mainstage Production: THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN

The Good Soul of Szechuan tranlated by David Harrower - Bloomsbury cover image
The Good Soul of Szechuan

THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN
by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Dr. Nan Smithner 

A play with music AND a timely tale of good versus greed! 

Seeking diverse actors of all ages, sizes, and genders: An excellent opportunity to work in an ensemble format creating and exploring Brecht’s alienation devices. 

Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song.

AUDITION DETAILS:

  • Dates + Times: September 4, 5, 6 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: Black Box Theatre, Pless Hall – 82 Washington Square East | New York, NY 10003
  • Additional info: 
    • Reserve your audition here
    • Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song
    • Please bring your resume and headshot
    • Callbacks on Sat, September 7 from 10am – 12pm 
    • 1st Rehearsal on Sat, September 7 from 1pm – 5pm

REHEARSAL + SHOW INFO:

  • Rehearsal dates: September 7 – October 17, 2019
  • Performance dates: October 18 – 27, 2019

If you have any questions please feel free to email Kristina Varshavskaya (Production Stage Manager)

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the auditions!

ArtsPraxis Volume 6 Issue 1 has been published.

ArtsPraxis Volume 6, Issue 1 cover

Our contributions in this issue come from artists, educators, and activists—all working towards bringing light to dark places. We begin with two theoretical frameworks from different parts of the world; one at the start of her scholarly work and the other following a solid career of contributions to the field. Xiaojin Niu explores the interaction between theatre and modern power with an examination of sexuality study. Roger Wooster revisits an old question at a new time: whether we should draw a distinction between theatre-making and drama as a learning medium.

As applied theatre practitioners continue to engage in theatre practices with diverse populations, we have three contributions interrogating powerful topics. Jennifer Wong looks at the importance of being an outsider, pondering the strengths that come from this positionality; Sarah Woodland looks to aesthetics, navigating an approach to support incarcerated participants in truth-telling; and Julie Rada gains a deeper understanding of a familiar drama strategy, asking participants to witness each other while in prison.

The final sequence of articles takes a close look at how theatre educates. Rivka Rocchio recounts her time using drama to teach English in Samoa, revealing ways in which drama can level the playing field between insider and outsider. Mark Branner and Mike Poblete document successful iterations of theatre for babies and outline a list of characteristics for this emerging field. Manjima Chatterjee defines material theatre as an aesthetic experience that promotes democracy in the performance space. Finally, Jennifer Essex wrestles with two categories of audience participation in children’s interactive dance theatre: ‘interactors’ and ‘non-interactors,’ defining and problematizing each.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial: A New Colossus by Jonathan Jones

The Interaction between Theatre and Modern Power with an Examination of Sexuality Study in Schooling by Xiaojin Niu

Exercising the Mind by Roger Wooster

Importance of the Outsider: Reflections from the Facilitator of a Community-Based Playbuilding Project by Jennifer Wong

Aesthetics of Truth-Telling: Intercultural Applied Theatre Praxis in an Australian Women’s Prison by Sarah Woodland

Being There…in Prison by Julie A. Rada

Breaking the Cultural Hierarchy: Using Drama to Teach English in Samoa by Rivka Rocchio

Getting Serious about Playful Play: Identifying Characteristics of Successful Theatre for Very Young Audiences by Mark Branner and Mike Poblete

Drama for Democracy: Material Theatre by Manjima Chatterjee

Co-operative Make-Believe as Practice in Children’s Interactive Dance Theatre by Jennifer Essex

ArtsPraxis, Volume 5 Issue 2

The cover image for Arts Praxis Volume 5 Issue 2, 2019, is from a keynote presentation in which the words "all theatre is political" were crossed out - in an attempt to provoke conversation, which is the shared aim of this issue.

ArtsPraxis Volume 5 Issue 2 has been published.

Last April, at the 15th annual Forum: Performance as Activism, I was heartened to meet practitioners, artists, educators and scholars from around the globe who were enthusiastically engaged in using the art form of theatre to address pressing social and cultural issues. This edition of ArtsPraxis includes fourteen inspiring and pertinent articles that report on activist theories and practices that have been initiated, explored and successfully implemented in communities and classrooms.

At the Forum, we asked, “How is activism defined or redefined in 2018?” Through panel discussions, workshops, performances and paper presentations we explored how activism can disrupt, subvert and transform dominant social and political narratives. More than sixty presenters from twelve different countries relayed inspirational and revelatory methods towards the goal of promoting enduring social change through aesthetic expression. In this global space of open dialogue and exchange, we, as activists learned about organizational methods, pedagogical tools, aesthetic devices that, in responding to the complexities of our time, push past boundaries and binaries to redefine cultural innovation.

I hope that you will be inspired by the following theories and practices offered in this volume, ranging from the metamodern to dialogical activism to personal resilience, and surrounded by artistic innovation.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial – NANCY SMITHNER

NYU Keynote – PING CHONG

Deaf Talent: Richness within Our Stories by James W. Guido – JAMES W. GUIDO

Ximonïk: The Unbound Performances of Maya Women’s Group Ajchowen – CHELSEA HACKETT

Hope with Dirty Hands: Community Theatre Participation as Activism in Everything is Possible – BRIDGET FOREMAN

Energize, Resist, Re-Purpose: An American Theatre Responds – PENELOPE COLE

From the School to the Educating Community: Practices of Social Theatre in Italy as a New Form of Activism – GIULIA INNOCENTI MALINI

Leaping into the Disassociated Space: Unknowing Activism, Agency and Youth Identity in “Notes From Nowhere” – GUSTAVE WELTSEK and CLARE HAMMOOR; ILLUSTRATIONS BY KYLIE WALLS

Students as Arts Activists: Insights and Analysis from a Politically Engaged Assessment – MATTHEW REASON

Inciting Solidarity through Plural Performativity and Pedagogical Aesthetics in Ethnodrama with Marginalized Youth in Toronto – RACHEL RHOADES

Beyond the Wall: Borderland Identity through Puppets – ANA DIAZ BARRIGA

The Aesthetics of Activism in Korea: The Utopian Performative and Communitas – JISUN KIM

A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance by Tom Drayton – TOM DRAYTON

“It Did Get Rid of the ‘These People Are Old People’ Thing in My Brain”: Challenging the Otherness of Old Age through One-to-One Performance – BRIDIE MOORE

Inday Dolls: Body Monologues and Lullabies for Freedom in Prison; Scripting Possible Futures in Justice Art in Iloilo’s Correctional System – MA ROSALIE ABETO ZERRUDO and DENNIS D. GUPA

Media Practice and Theatre in Conversation: Co-Creating Narratives for Positive Social Change – JACKIE KAULI and VERENA THOMAS

Auditions for Radium Girls!

The Program in Educational Theatre is proud to announce the Spring main stage: Radium Girls written by D.W. Gregory and directed by David Montgomery. Auditions will be Saturday, 1/26 and Monday, 1/28 with callbacks on Tuesday, 1/29.

“In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 9 to 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and myriad interested bystanders. Called a “powerful” and “engrossing” drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.”

Our production seeks an ensemble of 9-12 people of diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities to perform various roles in the ensemble. Almost all performers will play multiple characters. For more information or to sign up to audition, please visit here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cassie Holzum (Production Stage Manager).

Hope to see you there!