The Downtown Alliance in association with En Garde Arts + The Tank present
May 15 & 16, 22 & 23, 2021
12:30pm – 8pm
“Bouncing off the train at Whitehall Street, I felt like a cue ball getting shot into the rack at the break. Bang! I was able to ricochet from show to show, the old familiar fear of missing something finally erasing the recent awfulness of missing everything.”
– Helen Shaw, Vulture
About the Festival:
Live performances are back! Downtown Live will bring 36 in-person performances to Lower Manhattan on May 15-16 and 22-23. The performances will be staged at unexpected locations around the neighborhood, including a covered loading dock (4 New York Plaza), an arcade along the Stone Street Historic District (85 Broad Street) and a plaza with harbor views near The Battery (1 Battery Park Plaza). After a year of lockdowns, these in-person shows offer audience members a long-awaited chance to see LIVE theatre, contemporary performance, and music and to explore all that Lower Manhattan has to offer.
Thank you to Accurate Communication for providing ASL Interpretation at the following performances:
Saturday, May 22
12:30pm: Baba Israel and Grace Galu
1:30pm: Eisa Davis and Kaneza Schaal: Remembrance
3pm: Baba Israel and Grace Galu
5pm: Group.BR Metanóia
6:30pm: Ellen Winter
7:00pm: Katie Madison
Sunday, May 23
1:30pm: Ellen Winter
2:30pm: Group.BR Metanóia
3:00pm: James & Jerome
5pm: Kuhoo Verma with Justin Ramos
6:30pm: David Greenspan One Night Stand
Downtown Live Performances:
At One Battery Park Plaza
BABA ISRAEL AND GRACE GALU:
Baba Israel and Grace Galu, both members of live Hip Hop and Soul band, Soul Inscribed, share a duet performance that uses the human voice to create a diverse range of musical traditions. Using live looping, beatbox, and vocal layering they create uplifting beats, soundscapes, and songs that make people wanna move and be moved. They are members of HERE’s HARP program where they recently received both the 2020 Map and NEFA NTP Grants
JAMES AND JEROME: PIANO TALES (NO. 21 – 24):
Jerome & James’ beloved, ongoing and ever-changing project Piano Tales is finally back. The audience chooses which three tales will be told (out of a possible 9) each performance and in what order, by selecting objects from a trunk. Then Jerome and James tell those tales differently for each performance, discovering a totally new show right along with the audience. The first live Piano Tales in almost two years, these performances will also be a celebration of communing outside together to tell stories and listen.
Director: Andrew Scoville
KATIE MADISON: SELECTIONS FROM [TAKING] SPACE AND SUN SONGS:
Katie’s work fuses spoken word with classic and contemporary genre defying musical theatre sounds. [ taking ] space is a song cycle about the journey of releasing the anxieties of occupying a Black body. SUN SONGS is an exploration of Our ability to leave Our bodies and look to the sky to help guide Us where We were always meant to be.
Featuring: Deborah Cowell (photo & video), Jarrett Murray (bass), and Jacinth Greywoode (piano)
At 85 Broad Street
REMEMBRANCE BY KATHLEEN COLLINS:
performed by Eisa Davis and Kaneza Schaal
directorial consultant Jackie Sibblies Drury
Pathbreaking director and writer Kathleen Collins (Losing Ground) died of cancer at age 46, leaving behind a trove of short stories, screenplays, and play scripts the public had never seen. Thanks to her daughter Nina, who has devoted herself to publishing and distributing her mother’s works, we can now experience the full intellectual sweep and visceral charge of this black woman’s unorthodox vision. In tandem with various artists performing works by Collins across the city and the globe, Kaneza Schaal and Eisa Davis premiere an unproduced one act, Remembrance, intertwined with words of Collins’ own. Directorial consulting by Jackie Sibblies Drury.
DAVID GREENSPAN: ONE NIGHT STAND:
Downtown Icon, David Greenspan’s latest performance piece includes singing songs associated with iconic women singers – Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Fanny Brice, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Betty Hutton (yeah, her.)
Conceived and sung by David Greenspan
Directed by Leigh Silverman
Music Direction and piano Jamie Lawrence.
Songstress Ellen Winter is so very thrilled to finally play a live show again she could cry. And she’ll probably do just that! Join her and her keyboard and her many feelings for a glitter-fueled intimate and irreverent celebration of what it means to be alive. Featuring music from her debut album, Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt, and directed by Machel Ross.
At the 4 New York Plaza Loading Dock
KUHOO VERMA AND JUSTIN RAMOS:
Kuhoo Verma, known for her performance in Dave Malloy’s Octet at Signature Theater, and the upcoming Hulu film, Plan B, brings celebration, joy, and music meditation into the space as we release a difficult year into the ether. She will be joined by Justin Ramos in this proclamation of joy!
KAARON BRISCOE AND MEGHAN FINN: LOST AND FOUND:
In LOST AND FOUND, a new short play by Kaaron Briscoe, Angelle’s search for a long lost memory leads her to Marilyn’s loading dock, brimming with the collective lost moments of New Yorkers. This delicate, heartfelt little play reminds us of the New York we’ve been longing for–it’s the people that make this place magic.
Written by Kaaron Briscoe and directed by The Tank’s Artistic Director Meghan Finn (Doomocracy), the piece will feature lighting design by Brian Aldous.
GROUP .BR: METANÓIA:
In this site-specific physical theater play about identity and relationships in an ever changing reality, Andressa Furletti and Debora Balardini embody some of the contradictions and flip-flops throughout recent events. Presented by Group Dot BR, NY’s only Brazilian theatre company, and directed by Jonathan Hart Makwaia, the piece offers a reflection on how a state of fear and hysteria brings us to a transformative change of hearts. A constant search for the new normality through movement, music, voice and a “dose” of humor.
Overseeing the physical production of the festival is Mosaic NYC, a Women- and Black-owned event design and production company specializing in bespoke theatre, music, and branded events.
Downtown Live extends great thanks to Rudin Management Company, Inc. (1 Battery Park Plaza), Edge Funds (4 New York Plaza) and Ivanhoe Cambridge (85 Broad Street) for extending use of their properties to host these performances.
Meet the Downtown Live Artists!
At One Battery Park Plaza
BARUCH “BABA” ISRAEL (he/him) BABA ISRAEL is an artist, educator and consultant. He was a resident artist at BRIC creating his last multimedia performance The Spinning Wheel in collaboration with London based company Unfinished Business. He is a core member of Hip Hop/Soul project Soul Inscribed who released their second album Tune Up on Tokyo Dawn Records. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and is the Artistic Director of the Performance Project based at the University Settlement. He is a proud member of HERE’s HARP program where he recently received both the 2020 Map and NEFA NTP Grants. Follow for more @babaisrael @soulinscribed.
Grace Galu (she/they) is a vocalist, actor, guitarist and composer. She combines the sounds of her Irish and Congolese heritage and her LES upbringing in a soulful and gritty twist. She began her career in musical theater in the children’s theater company TADA! Grace then received a scholarship in composition from Third Street Music Settlement. There she studied guitar and ensemble composition under Liam Wood and Jeff Peretz. Her composition, “Ordinary Sentiment” was featured in the Ed Burns film, “Purple Violets” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Grace devised The Mendelssohn Electric with Trusty Sidekick, and was cast as the lead in their production, The Gospel Electric, commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory. She is a core member of the band Soul Inscribed, and was twice selected as a cultural ambassador for the American Music Abroad program. She is a finalist for their next residency program. Soul Inscribed has recently been signed to the music label, Tokyo Dawn and just released their EP, Tune UP. Grace is also an artist in residence at HERE Arts Center and the composer for Cannabis! The Theatrical Concert. She is an ensemble member in Nia Witherspoon’s production, The Dark Girl Chronicles. Grace has toured schools, theaters, and festivals internationally and can’t wait to travel again!
JAMES & JEROME Jerome & James (James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis) are a duo of musician-storytellers based in New York. They make hyper-literary, live-music story performances for theaters and other spaces. Their work has been presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center Education, La MaMa, the Under The Radar Festival, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Ars Nova, and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, among others. They often collaborate with directors Rachel Chavkin, Andrew Scoville, and Annie Tippe. Recent James & Jerome projects include: The Conversationalists (The Bushwick Starr), Piano Tales (La MaMa, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Education, etc.), Ink (Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brick, BRIC Arts Media), Aaron/Marie (Under The Radar Festival, Ars Nova), and They Ran and Ran and Ran (HERE Arts). They have developed their work at residences with The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Public Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and BRIC Arts Media, and they were members of the Public Theater’s inaugural Devised Theater Working Group.
KATIE MADISON (she/her): Katie Madison is a Brooklyn-based musical theatre artist. She received her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan in May of 2011, and her M.F.A in Musical Theatre Writing and composition from New York University’s Tisch Graduate Musical TheatreWriting Program inMay of 2019. Her compositions have been commissioned by the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance Musical Theatre Department. Her show [ taking ] space was a finalist for the 2020 Sundance Theatre Lab Residency, and a concert version was set to premiere off-Broadway at The Tank Theatre in April 2020. Katie was one of three finalists for the National Black Theatre’s Soul Producing Residency in 2019. She has written, composed, directed, performed in, and produced works throughout New York City at venues such as The New School, New York University, 54 Below, The Dramatists Guild, Playwrights Horizons, NewYork Fashion Week, the 52nd Street Project, The Stonewall Inn, Judson Memorial Church, Dixon Place, Wow Cafe Theatre, Molloy Studios, Don’t Tell Mama, and Rockwood Music Hall. Follow their instagrams for more Instagram: @kvmad @i.deborah.cowell @jarrettmurraymusic @jude.12.
At 85 Broad Street
EISA DAVIS (she/her) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary artist working onscreen, on and off-Broadway, and in hybrid performance spaces. She has originated roles in The Secret Life of Bees, Preludes, This and Passing Strange. Her own works include two albums (Something Else and Tinctures), The Essentialisn’t (2020 Creative Capital Award), Bulrusher (Pulitzer finalist) and Angela’s Mixtape. She is thrilled to premiere Kathleen Collins’ work in conjunction with AFROFEMONONOMY // WORK THE ROOTS at Performance Space New York. Follow for more of her work on instagram @eisadavis.
Kaneza Schaal (she/her) is a New York City based theater artist. She received a United States Artists Fellowship, SOROS Art Migration and Public Space Fellowship, Ford Foundation Art For Justice Bearing Witness Award, and Creative Capital Award. Her new original work, KLII, an exorcism of King Leopold II drawing on Mark Twain’s journalistic account of the Belgian King’s reign of terror King Leopold’s Soliloquy, was co-commissioned by Walker Art Center, REDCAT and CAC Cincinnati, and as part of the Eureka Commissions program by the Onassis Foundation. Schaal’s work has shown at BAM, The Shed, The Kennedy Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The New Victory Theater, PICA, and On The Boards. Most recently, she directed Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), which premiered at LA Philharmonic, then traveled to The Power Center, MI; BAM Opera House, NY; and Holland Festival, Amsterdam. Schaal’s piece GO FORTH premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT.
DAVID GREENSPAN (he/him) is perhaps best known for appearing in his own plays, most notably “Dead Mother,” “She Stoops to Comedy,” “Go Back to Where You Are,” “I’m Looking for Helen Twelvetrees” and his solo plays “The Argument” and “The Myopia” – and for performing solo renditions of Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude,” Barry Conners’ “The Patsy,” Gertrude Stein’s lectures “Plays,” “Composition as Explanation” and “What are Masterpieces.” He has worked with many contemporary playwrights and is a recipient of Guggenheim, Lortel and Fox fellowships, Alpert, Lambda Literary, Helen Merrill Playwriting awards, a RUTHIE and six OBIES.
Jamie Lawrence (he/him) is an eclectic musician active in film, television, and theater as a composer, orchestrator and producer. He has five Emmy awards and another ten Emmy nominations. He music directed the 2019 Tony Awards, and has been its chief composer/arranger and Assoc MD for many years. Jamie has scored many documentaries for HBO and produced the scores for all of Rebecca Miller’s films, most recently Arthur Miller: Writer, Maggie’s Plan, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. Jamie loves writing songs and in the past few years has co-written albums with MuMu (Ladies First), Nora York (Swoon), Joe Brucato (Christmas in New York), as well as released his personal jazz foray, New York Suite. He is an adjunct professor of Film Music at NYU and lives in New York City. In his off hours he has a sideline as a writer/performer of children’s songs under his alias — Jamie Broza. His first CD for children, “Bad Mood Mom and other Good Mood Songs,” made the Parents’ Choice Foundation’s list of the top 25 children’s CDs in the last 25 years.
ELLEN WINTER (she/they) Ellen Winter is a composer, performer, and teaching artist with roots in theater and an affinity for synthesizers. She released her debut album in 2020, Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt, a ten-track glitter-fueled indie-pop celebration of self-acceptance. In 2017, she and Chris Littler, co-wrote/directed/composed the world’s first broadway-calibur podcast musical, 36 Questions, starring Jonathan Groff and Jesse Shelton. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner, her dog, and 80+ plants. @itsellenwinter | ellenwinter.com
At the 4 New York Plaza Loading Dock
KUHOO VERMA (she/they) Kuhoo Verma is set to lead the cast of Hulu’s upcoming film Plan B. She previously starred in Dave Malloy’s Octet at the Signature Theatre (Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble). Her film credits include the Oscar-nominated The Big Sick. Follow their instagram and twitter for more @therealkuhoo
Justin Ramos (he/him) is a music director and pianist from Los Angeles who currently resides in New York City. He is a Broadway rehearsal and audition pianist, and he currently teaches at the Institute For American Musical Theatre (IAMT). He is music director for CO/LAB Theatre Group, R.Evolución Latina, Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA) in New York, and head music producer at Studio Collective for Performing Arts in California. @justramos
KAARON BRISCOE (she/ her) Kaaron Briscoe is a New Orleans native with an MFA from ART/MXAT/IATT at Harvard University. As a playwright her work has been featured by Project Y, Classical Theater of Harlem, Inviolet Theater, and others. She is a former member of Project Y’s Playwriting Group. Her play, “Tallahassee” was a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. Kaaron is also an accomplished actor, having performed on stages in London and Moscow, as well as on screen. She often works with Little Lord and the Working Theater. She has directed for various organizations around New York. Kaaron was a 2015 fellow of Target Margin Theater’s Institute and is a member of the 52nd Street Project.
MEGHAN FINN(she/her) is the Artistic Director of The Tank. She previously served as the Associate Artistic Director at 3LD Art & Technology Center. Her directorial work has been seen at the Tank, the V&A, Serpentine Galleries, The Wexner Center, SCAD, The Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago, Museo Jumex Mexico City, The Power Plant, Canadian Stage, Carnegie Mellon, Brooklyn College, MIT, NYU, the Great Plains Theater Conference and others. She has directed three world premieres by playwright Mac Wellman, including most recently The Invention of Tragedy (2019). Other recent credits include: I Am Nobody a new musical by Greg Kotis (Urinetown) at The Tank; as well as The Nine Dreams: Blake & the Apocalypse by writer Nick Flynn (film). She directed a short film by playwright Peggy Stafford called 16 Words or Less which has been screened at film festivals nationally and in Europe. She is a frequent collaborator of conceptual artist and sculptor Pedro Reyes, and directed Doomocracy for Creative Time. Finn collaborated with photographer Mitch Epstein on a live performance with cellist Erik Friedlander as well as celebrated premieres by Erin Courtney, Peggy Stafford, Gary Winter, Ben Gassman, Alexandra Collier, Carl Holder, Eliza Bent and Cori Copp. When We Went Electronic by Caitlyn Saylor Stephens which premiered at The Tank in 2018 will tour in 2022 to The Koun Theater in Athens Greece and OnStage! Festival Rome. She holds a BA in Theater from The University of Southern California and an MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College
Group .BR Group Dot BR started with a public reading of Cerimônia do Adeus by Mauro Rasi (2011) followed by The Serpent by Nelson Rodrigues (2012), Infinite While It Lasts, based on the works of Vinicius de Moraes (2013 & 2014), and Inside The Wild Heart, an immersive theatrical experience based on the works of Clarice Lispector (2016 & 2018). Group Dot BR offers workshops and community engagement events. Most recently, Group Dot BR was awarded the Best Reimagining of an Immersive Show by This Week in New York. Follow their facebook and instagram for more @groupdotbr.
Our Mission: Group Dot BR’s mission is to present the “calor” and diversity of Brazilian culture through the performing arts. By using avant-garde, physical, choreographic, and contemporary theatre as tools, Group Dot BR engages a multicultural community with a cutting-edge and forward-thinking approach to its “presencial” and online programs. As the longest-operating Brazilian theatre company in New York, Dot BR supports artists by creating a bridge for exchange beyond borders and holds up Portuguese as a heritage language. www.group.br.com