Incubator Arts Project Announces Fall Season

Formerly a project of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, the Incubator Arts Project supports independent, experimental performing artists through a series of programs aimed at offering production opportunities and guidance with long-term growth and artistic sustainability. The listing below details the fall 2010 season.

Incubator Arts Project (inside St. Mark’s Church) • 131 East 10th Street (at 2nd Ave.)

L to First or Third Ave; R, W to Broadway/8th St.; 6 to Astor Place; N,Q, 4, 5 to Union Sq.


Brandywine Distillery Fire

By Matthew Freeman

Direction by Michael Gardner

September 9—18

Brandywine Distillery Fire began as an attempt to destroy storytelling or an attempt to tell story in the way that Jackson Pollack paints landscapes. Playmakers Michael Gardner and Matthew Freeman conjectured that to develop a theater work in the “wrongest” way possible might be a liberating experience for artists and audiences alike.  They proceeded with a series of workshops.   In the workshops, they led a process of improvising a play from scratch.  And failing.  Deliberately.  And writing it down.  And failing further. What resulted are texts which promise narrative, performances which promise elegance, sets and costumes which promise classicism and a production which never delivers on its promises. One of the byproducts of the play’s development is a performance style which mimics the play’s stuttering, smiling “failures”. Prominent words in a sentence are mis-stressed while adjoining and supplementary words are given weight.  The effect is a delivery that recalibrates an audience’s ear and forces the spectator to hear language anew. The cast includes performer Steven Burns.

Michael Gardner, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The Brick Theater has been directing and producing plays and theater festivals in New York since 1996.  He frequents in subverted visions of literary classics such as As I Lay Dying, Notes from Underground, Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, King Lear, Vaclav Havel’s Mountain Hotel, Jason Craig’s The Baby Jesus ConversationThe Kung Fu Importance of Being Earnest and The Ninja Cherry Orchard.

Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose plays include The Death of King ArthurReasons for MovingGenesis465The Great EscapeThe AmericansThe Most Wonderful Love,What To Do To A GirlThe White SwallowWhen is a ClockTrayfAn Interview with the Author, Glee Club, That Old Soft Shoe and Exposition/Denouement. Published works include: The Death of King Arthur (Playscripts) and When is a Clock (Samuel French). Upcoming publications: Trayf and Glee Club (Playscripts.) He has hosted various Playwrights in Conversation podcasts


Title:Point Productions

September 23 – October 2

FIELD 309 is an absurdo-comedy haunted by loss, failure, and fear.  In a world that is tightly held together by nothings and seemings, the goal is to keep working.  Just keep working.  Things are crazy out there, as they say.  And items, people, ideas find ways of disappearing or materializing whether Mister Pants likes it or not.  As he strives to keep his cool, keep his stuff, his identity, his insides, Mister Pants is partnered, watched, questioned, and, from time to time, reassured. Featuring direction and script by Theresa Buchheister, animations by Michael Senften and a cast including T. Ryder Smith and Jay Smith.

Title:Point is happy to bring FIELD 309 to the stage, after 2 years of development with support from the Mental Insight Foundation and the Puffin Foundation.

Title:Point Productions develops original scripts, inspired by questioning, experience, science, myth and belief. Title:Point was founded in November, 2006 after the warm reception of the company’s first work, Q and Y: A Brief Comedy About Death. Work includes JourneyPath: An Experiment in Rightness and Mythic Figurations: A Power Triptych (Ontological Incubator), a fully-realized workshop of Judith Malina’s Antigone under the approval and advisement of The Living Theatre and development of their pre(conception) New Play Series, presenting staged readings of new works. For the past year, Title:Point has been working on Field 309, as well as adaptations of the work of Daniil Kharms and creating work with Jeff Stark, Buran Theatre Company and Amy Virginia Buchanan.

The Void
The Hybrid Stage Project

October 7 – 16

Inspired by Alfred Kubin’s paintings and his dystopic novel, The Other Side, which pointedly displays the perpetually claustrophobic absurdity of culture while asking us to enter and luxuriate in the adventure of the void. THE VOID explores one man’s multilayered consciousness in relation to physics and aims to present a shockingly detailed vision of articulate forms with inarticulate perceptions. There may be many worlds and maybe none of them are real.

The Hybrid Stage Project was formed in 2008 when lead artists Fulya Peker and Deborah Wallace met while working on Richard Foreman’s Astronome: A Night at the Opera. This is their first collaboration.

Deborah Wallace is a performer, writer and director from Glasgow, Scotland.  She trained with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the SITI Company and as a performer has worked with Richard Foreman, The International WOW Company and many others.  Her original plays have been presented at The Ohio Theater, HERE and New Dance Group.

Fulya Peker is a theater artist from Turkey. As a performer she has worked with Richard Foreman and Butoh master Katsura Kan. Along with her published articles and poems, she developed two major experimental/interdisciplinary projects: Modern Mythologies Project and Katharsis Performance Project.

(oh my god I am so) THIRST(y)

Little Lord

October 21 – 30

Three desperate souls adrift at sea await a maddeningly cruel fate bestowed on them by an angry God. A comedy which may or may not have absolutely nothing to do with race, (oh my god I am so) THIRST(y) is a slight adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s THIRST (1914), written while the playwright was confined to a sanatorium in rural Connecticut. One of O’Neill’s earliest plays, THIRST evolved out of the playwright’s obsession with the Titanic disaster and his distaste for the melodramatic theater of his father, James O’Neill. (oh my god I am so) THIRST(y) is at once grotesque melodrama, gothic horror, campy musical theater, and engrossing telenovela.

(oh my god I am so) THIRST(y) received an initial production at The Chocolate Factory Theater, co-produced by Target Margin Theater, as part of the “Theater of Tomorrow” lab festival – May/June 2009.

LITTLE LORD manipulates both classic and found texts, pillages faulty nostalgias, and celebrates the homemade as a means to create vibrantly bawdy, offbeat, intelligent, queer, funny (and often musical) theater. Simultaneously glorifying and destroying any pretense of theatrical illusion, they dare audiences to reevaluate the familiar. The company is led by Artistic Director Michael Levinton (who serves as the primary adapter and director of the company’s work), Associate Producer/Dramaturg Sarah Bishop-Stone, and Associate Artistic Director Laura von Holt, as well as an ever-growing bevy of associated artists named “The Lads.” Little Lord was founded with the generous support of Target Margin Theater’s lab series. Recently:  OHIO Theater (BABES IN TOYLAND starring David Greenspan as the Master Toymaker, THE BARBIE-STEIA: Curse of the House of Malibu), The Bushwick Starr (THE PRONOUN ‘I’), The Chocolate Factory (oh my god I am so) THIRST(y), HERE Arts Center (BALABUSTAS (!).

Montgomery Park, or Opulence

Karinne Keithley, Katy Pyle and David Neumann

November 4—13

Montgomery Park, or Opulence is a project of immersion into the archives of a conscious building. The text, written by Karinne Keithley, contains two cycles of tales, intersected by several others, a kind of archival superabundance of the accounts of experience in this building. The building is a strange one: conscious, luminous, and above all unrestricted by the category of the inanimate. The audience enters into an antechamber, and after a brief prelude is released into Montgomery Park’s archives: tales of its founding, case studies of its residents. These archival rooms are made of paper, on which are written and drawn documents of the history of Montgomery Park. A sequence of videos is shown, performances of the historical tales. After moving through the archive, the audience is called into a second chamber, where a luminous tale unfolds in sound, projection, dance, and singing, performed live by Keithley with Katy Pyle. The two performers, longtime collaborators with a history of research in experimental movement and practices of presence, create a rare delicacy of attention. Video by Christy Pessagno, choreography by David Neumann, animations by Amber Reed with sound and text by Karinne Keithley.

Karinne Keithley has been making performance in New York City since 1997. She is a member of the radical playwrights group JOYCE CHO and the women’s writing group MACHIQQ. As a writer her work has been supported by The MacDowell Colony (Fellow 2008-9), SoHo Rep (Writer/Director Lab 2006-7), New York Theater Workshop (reading 2008), the Flea Theater (play development series 2007), and Brooklyn College, where she studied on scholarship with Mac Wellman, earning an MFA in playwriting in 2006. Her play, DO NOT DO THIS EVER AGAIN was produced as part of the Ice Factory ’08, directed by Maria Goyanes. Her video work has been seen in multiple editions of the CATCH! Series, as well as in Sibyl Kempson’s recent POTATOES OF AUGUST. Her dance theater piece, TENDERENDA, was commissioned by Danspace Project in 2005. She has performed with Young Jean Lee (CHURCH), David Neumann (TOUGH, THE TOUGH, SENTENCE, OYIMBO), Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parsons (ORESTES), and in multiple works by Sara Smith and Chris Yon, as well as in her own work at P.S. 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place and Galapagos Art Space.

Firestarter Productions
November 18—20

Composed by Jacob Cooper
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
With Mellissa Hughes and Ted Hearne

Timberbrit gives pop star Britney Spears the extra push she needs to enter the fictional realm, imagining an ultimate twist in her well-known saga: a new downswing has propelled her to her final hours, and her ex-lover Justin Timberlake rushes to her side to express his undying love and tries to win her back. Composer Jacob Cooper slowed the pop stars’ original songs down to a fraction of their usual speed and wrote new music based on the resulting characteristics. Slurs between notes, for example, are tossed out in favor of extravagant glissandos; vibrato is stretched into repeated awkward pitch bends; simple backing interjections surrender to prolonged wails. All in all, songs about teenage crushes become statements of mortality and supreme love, much like those common in traditional opera. Live video projections accompany the actors onstage, creating a markedly public performance out of their intimate actions. An examination of voyeurism and an exploration of musical transformation, Timberbrit is sometimes beautiful, sometimes haunting, and always a bit deranged.

FireStarter Productions is a company of diverse artists that use innovative and nontraditional techniques to produce theatrical events. A Texas-based non-profit company, it has been developing new work and producing regional premieres for about a decade. The ensemble works throughout the country and in many different mediums.

Emancipatory Politics: A Romantic Tragedy
Old Kent Road Theater
December 2—11

Emancipatory Politics: A Romantic Tragedy (EP: ART) flings a large ensemble into a traumatic struggle to create an opening for sprawling thought and intimate embraces.  Committed to the comedy of desire, the physicality of loss, and the potential for new spaces, this total-theater, contemporary ecstasy searches for the inextinguishable kernel of the radical-possible.  EP: ART takes its cue from contemporary philosophical tracts, recent movements in leftist politics, and the very real search for meaning surfacing in the lives of 20 and 30-something contemporary New Yorkers. Its collage-like form is open and sprawling but energy is focused on the creation of a movement forward, connectivity, and a sense of journey.  Amid the societal struggle (the emancipatory political struggle) comes the romantic tragedy (both the social one of our attempts and failures, and the very personal ones of finding connection in this time and place).  Amid the struggle love emerges.

The Old Kent Road Theater situates idiosyncratic ensemble pieces against the chaos and concrete of New York City, seeking authentic, evocative performance.  Founded in 2005 by Eric Bland and Scott Eckert, the OKRT has been invited to perform at various downtown theaters including The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, The Brick, Dixon Place, and The Bushwick Starr.  Driven by the idea that performance might reinvigorate life within the viewer and the performer, reminding both of the complexity and overwhelm of being human, the OKRT strives to create work that might serve as a well-spring urging one to ‘keep going’ or as a frame within and through which we challenge, weather, and change our lives and our world.  Recent shows include Are We Bourgeois, Mon Amour? (A Psycho’s Analysis) (part of The Bushwick Starr’s 3rd Annual Bushwhack Series), Jeannine’s Abortion: A Play in One Trimester (part of The Brick’s ‘Too Soon Festival’), Make it Work! Keep Going! (part of Dixon Place’s Puppet Blok! Series), I Stand for Nothing (part of the Ontological Incubator’s 2009), The Protestants (part of The Brick Theater’s 2008-09 Inaugural Main-Stage Season), Death at Film Forum &The Children of Truffaut (both at The Brick), and In Big Cities We Are Sentimental and Love Song 1: Faces like Stalinist Apartment Complexes in Czechoslovakia or Poland, Faces Born Under a Fear of Communism in the 80’s (both at the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator).

December 16—18

Eric Magnus / Director, Writer

Nathan Truman / Lead Writer, Asst. Director

Tavish Miller / Lead Performer, Writer

BOAT is an exploration in compositional theater using an evocative visual setting to enliven a series of seemly insignificant speeches. Using a sailboat as the central image, the visual concept is brought to dynamic theatrical potential; utilizing large swaths of fabric, a variety of lighting sources and mechanical effects, the boat drifts through a recurring wild landscape. The central performer, a boyish man, sails the boat and delivers speeches to the audience, transmissions uniquely isolated from the world, without expecting response. Visitors create a complex theatrical effect or perform silent action, and engage in thrilling, unexpected connections.

Eric Magnus, Tavish Miller and Nathan Truman develop interest in stylistic performance outside of the boundaries of commonly structured drama. Important to these collaborations have been the directness of performance behavior and the engaging rawness of their sporadic but sincere text. The group is interested in making decidedly non-thematic theater, making formal pieces in which crafted scenic environments give cohesion to disparate performed content. Each has become involved with a company or artist uniquely intriguing to them; Eric with Richard Foreman, Nathan with Richard Maxwell and the NYC Players and Tavish with Nature Theater of Oklahoma. Last year Tavish and Nathan performed in various stages of Eric’s Ontological-Hysteric Incubator Short Form project, What is Wild.

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