The Sundance Institute Theatre Program previously announced that it would return to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) for its Fall Lab, which provides creative support and direction for innovative musical theatre and ensemble-generated projects.
Under the supervision of Philip Himberg, Artistic Director of the Theatre Program, and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the two-week Lab (today, November 25 – December 9) marks the Theatre Program’s second collaboration with MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States. Joining the Lab as Dramaturgs are Janice Paran (Senior Program Associate, Labs), Jill Rachel Morris and Thomas Keith. Creative Advisors are Jeanine Tesori and Lynn Nottage.
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “In response to the unique needs of musical theatre and ensemble-generated projects, this Lab will provide more time and spaces for collaboration and rehearsal. Set at MASS MoCA, our artists will have a unique location in which to explore, refine and build their stories as they make their way to the stage.“
Himberg said, “This particular constellation of artists boldly represents the leading edge of devised and musical work. MASS MoCA has generously offered its facilities to us, and we knew from our previous experience that participants would find similar creativity here. We look forward to working with our artists to bring their stories and visions to life in this inspired setting of the Berkshire Mountains.”
The projects selected for the Lab are:
Adler & Gibb
Conceived and directed by Tim Crouch
Tim Crouch’s Adler & Gibb is the story of the attempted appropriation of another person's life and work. A young film actress, eager to portray a famous now-deceased artist, tries to research and reconstruct the woman’s story. But the artist herself has achieved fame by creating a purposeful temporal body of work meant never to be remembered or reclaimed. The impulses behind Adler & Gibb stem from Tim Crouch’s interest in our responsibility as artists to reality (and, in this instance, real people).
Tim is a UK theatre artist based in Brighton. He writes plays, performs in them and takes responsibility for their production. Tim works with a number of associates and collaborators to produce his writing. There isn’t a company structure; things and people are brought together as they are needed. Tim is a UK theatre artist based in Dublin. He writes plays, performs in them and takes responsibility for their production. Tim works with a number of associates and collaborators to produce his writing. There isn’t a company structure; things and people are brought together when they are needed.
Songs & lyrics by Todd Almond
Text by Jenny Schwartz
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
Iowa is a collaboration between playwright Jenny Schwartz and song writer Todd Almond. The story revolves around a 14 year old girl named Becca whose mother Sandy has reunited over Facebook with her high school prom date Roger. Iowa’s style is heightened, absurdist, fantastical, existential and surreal. Nancy Drew is a character in the play, as is a singing pony.
Almond and Schwartz are the recipients of the 2012 Frederick Loewe Award for Musical Theatre for the development of Iowa. This summer they workshopped the play at Williamstown Theatre Festival.