Unveil: A Visual and Live Arts Experience
In partnership with the Meatpacking District Management Association, En Garde Arts will curate and produce UNVEIL: A Visual and Live Arts Experience, one of the first neighborhood activations to bring live performance back to the streets of NYC: We will be featuring some of the New York theatre community’s most celebrated voices, many performing for the first time for the general public since COVID-19 sent us all inside. This weekend-long festival will serve as a love letter to the city, an existential return for artists craving to reconnect with live audiences and for people starving for the cultural life they know and love.
The Meatpacking District
The Downtown Alliance has invited En Garde Arts, in association with The Tank, to present a festival in spring 2021 that will activate loading docks in downtown Manhattan, showcasing some of the most exciting emerging artists in NYC. With limitations on gatherings due to COVID-19, this festival will be centered in and around the neighborhood’s many loading docks that are perfect locations for socially-distanced performances during this time. By placing artistic experiences in these spaces, we not only expand the understanding of where art can happen but provide a unique, unexpected experience into this almost ubiquitous architectural element of Lower Manhattan.
A Dozen Dreams
Conceived by Anne Hamburger
Co-created by Anne Hamburger and John Clinton Eisner
Playwrights: Sam Chanse, Erika Dickerson Dispenza, Liza Jessie Peterson, Ellen McLaughlin, Martyna Majok, Rehana Mirza, Mona Monsaur, Caridad Svich, Andrea Thome, Lucy Thurber, Emily Mann, Ren Dara Santiago
Harkening back to our site-specific roots, En Garde Arts is taking an entrepreneurial approach to crafting innovative experiences that aim to allow us to be together in real time and space before we are allowed back into theater buildings. In response to this time of global pandemic and uprising, we have envisioned a project called A Dozen Dreams that has asked a dozen playwrights to explore the questions: What are we dreaming right now? How has social isolation shaped our subconscious thoughts? The project is a timestamp that asks artists to articulate how this moment of extreme isolation is impacting multiple aspects of our lives.
En Garde Arts in partnership with Little Island will re-envision and revive our 1994 production of Stonewall, written and directed by Tina Landau.
Stonewall is in two parts. Part I is an outdoor, theatrical art installation–a pre-show carnival, in which the audience is free to wander the environs of Little Island to meet the main characters who are featured as sideshow attractions. Instead of the stereotypical circus “freaks” such as a tattooed man or bearded lady, our Carnival features a cross-section of the pre-Stonewall Manhattan LGBTQ+ world. Part II is a heightened theatrical concert–a spoken-sung-and-danced event that tells the story of the hour leading up to the start of the Stonewall riots.
Landau will use the workshop time to re-envision what this piece means today and the narratives that must be at the forefront. With the Black Lives Matter uprising, decrying of police brutality and civil and political unrest sweeping the country, the work and sacrifice of our LGBTQ+ activist “ancestors,” especially Black and trans* activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera will be more present than in the original production and will connect with and speak to what’s happening today. The cast will include trans actors of color and a much more racially diverse cast than the original production. And pride will be at the core.
Workshop in 2021
Production in 2022
MIX & MATCH
Written by Leila Buck in collaboration with the actors and director Tamilla Woodard, Mix and Match (Working Title) is a theatrical event that invites the audience into the journey of two families – one Lebanese and (mostly) Muslim, one Irish and (mostly) Catholic – being joined in marriage. As guests at the wedding, and witnesses to the families’ struggles before, during, and beyond, audiences are invited to eat, dance and engage in an immersive, interactive exploration of the challenges and joys of connecting across all kinds of borders.
Written by Leila Buck*
Developed & Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Dramaturgy by Salma Zohdi
*Fueled by improvisations with Melis Aker, Ali Andre Ali, Hend Ayoub, Caitlin Nasema Cassidy, Rawya El Chab, Gamze Ceylan, Evan Maltby, Pete McElligott, Victoria Nassif, Kelley Rae O’Donnell, Heather Raffo, Jens Rasmussen, Amy Lynn Stewart and Rasha Zamamiri