Up Close Festival 2018, New Ohio Theatre


An Immersive Festival About New York For New Yorkers Of All Ages.

New Ohio Theatre’s Theatre for Young Minds presents the inaugural (and first-ever-of-its-kind) UP CLOSE Festival an immersive theater festival for the entire family, inspired by the community organizing legacy of Jane Jacobs. The event – held at the venue’s underground theatre, located in a landmark building that once housed the National Archives Record Center –  brings together leading NYC experimental theatre artists, musicians, physical comedians and clowns for two programs, each consisting of an interactive pre-show and four short stories that bring Greenwich Village history to life.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Curated and co-directed by Peter Musante and Summer Shapiro, the festival features Trusty Sidekick Theater Company; Bated Breath Theatre Company; Lauren Sharpe; Marisol Rosa-Shapiro; Jono Waldman; Christina D. Eskridge; Peter Musante, and is hosted by Summer Shapiro.

December 20 –31, 2018
New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street, NYC

The Best Immersive NYC Theater pick, Time Out New York

The Best ThingsTo Do In NYC This Week pick, Gothamist

Interview with curator Peter Musante, No Proscenium

David Sauvage’s EMPATH at Theaterlab



David Sauvage and an audience member in Empath. Photo by Mark Abramson.


In EMPATH, writer/performer David Sauvage chronicles his own spiritual coming-out as the titular empath – a person hypersensitive to the emotions of others to the point of experiencing them as his own. Part story of personal discovery and healing, part performance art piece featuring live readings with audience members, the show follows the past decade of its creator’s life. Tracing his transformation from skeptical empiricist into purposeful performer-healer, Sauvage’s work is about bringing people back to the truth of who they really are.
Theaterlab | 357 West 36th Street, 3rd floor | New York NY 10018
Nov 29 – Dec 9, 2018

“Thoughtful and insightful… It will keep you curious and interested. Sauvage is quite a person. He has an excellent sense of humor, is beautifully sensitive and has a winning inquisitiveness and honestly seeks truth.” – Isa Freeling, Medium.com

“Profound yet understated, Empath highlights human emotion through personal experience… Belief systems notwithstanding, the show’s message is universal: while our feelings may seem difficult, oppressive, or inexplicable, we have the right to each one of them and to choose how we approach them. In a tense and disconnected world, this acknowledgement is profound, as much a reassurance as an affirmation of our power.” – Emily Cordes, Theatre Is Easy (BEST BET)

“Sauvage is a charismatic man and he definitely has a gift for writing, speaking and healing… The direction by Catie Davis was well done as well as the fabulous lighting and sound design is by Broadway’s Jake DeGroot.” – Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicle

“Empath’s success doesn’t rest solely on the believability of the titular psychic…Skeptics likely won’t leave the theatre believing in divination, but for those with an interest in the supernatural, [it] is a must‑see.” (****) – James Bartholomew, All About Solo

“Sauvage has a charm and likeability that puts viewers in the stark, white, intimate space, readily at ease…If personal growth is your hot button, we can all take a piece of that with us and have a higher consciousness of both our inner emotions and how we emote.” – Robin Gorman Newman, MotherhoodLater.com


Christine Bonansea’s OnlyHuman




Mei Yamanaka in Christine Bonansea’s OnlyHuman at Danspace Project. Photo by Gaia Squarci.

ONLYHUMAN is a dance theater piece by a French-born, NYC-based artist Christine Bonansea. Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphoristic volume Human, All Too Human, the work investigates the stark contradiction between our race’s capacity for beauty against its most destructive tendencies. ONLYHUMAN also deals with the various perception of a body, from human to post-human. Developed in a close collaboration with a stellar group of international artists, the show is wrapped into a ultra-modern, Matrix-like, futuristic layer of striking multimedia visuals, featuring the lighting design by Solomon Weisband (who recently worked on a major operatic production with Robert Wilson), with visuals by acclaimed photographer Robert Flynt, video and multimedia by Yoann Trellu, and music by Nicole Carroll. The dance and features virtuosic, gravity-defying solo part performed by the Japanese dancer Mei Yamanaka; other  performers include Alvaro Estado, Maya Orchin, Becca Loevy, Amelia Heintzelman, Ichi Go, Cameron Mckinney, Charles Gowin, Kristopher K.Q. Pourzal, and Malcolm Betts.
OnlyHuman was presented as part of Danspace Project’s Community ACCESS.


Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church
Nov 15-17, 2018

Interview with Christine Bonansea in Dance Enthusiast

7 Questions with Christine Bonansea in DanceUS


“An arresting, existential look at human identity… Careening through fog-machine haze, and accented by Nicole Carroll’s droning soundscapes, Robert Flynt and Yoann Trellu’s pixelated projections, and Solomon Weisbard’s searing lighting, Yamanaka resembles an overworked machine, driven to combustion but unable to stop herself…  Yamanaka and the ensemble show [that] this struggle can also be beautiful, producing stimulating tension and uncanny feats of strength and skill.” – Emily Cordes, Theatre Is Easy

OnlyHuman is odd, but that’s praise more than quibble…it’s refreshing to see dance with raw energy and almost no unison… Enhancing the oddness are live sound design by Nicole Carroll and lighting design by Solomon Weisbard. Both are sparse but really innovative, never predictable but never obtrusive. – Quinn Batson, Offoffoff.com  

277 Dance Project’s Cardboard Stage at Triskelion Arts


Photo by Satoshi Tsuchiyama

277 Dance Project’s newest work, Cardboard Stage, a cross-media work featuring dance, video, live music, and spoken word, is a culmination of a two-year collaborative experiment in urban immersion. Having spent an extensive period of time in the Bronx, exposed to a vibrant and gritty urban landscape, the choreographer Nicole Philippidis and her performers were compelled to delve into social inequities still plaguing the American metropoles. The resulting work is a story about power and powerlessness, told in six chapters, focusing on different facets of urban life in the shadows of what lies in the glamourous spotlight of the mainstream media. The piece features immersive video  by Jennifer Klein. Original music and sound score for Cardboard Stage, created and performed live by Nicole’s brother John Philippidis (of the award-winning indie folk band Burlap to Cashmere,) captures the stark industrial mood of the inner city.

Triskelion Arts, Oct 18-20, 2018

“Out of the Box” feature by The Brooklyn Paper

“8 Questions with choreographer Nicole Philippidis of 277 Dance Project” by DanceUS




Freemove Dance’s …it’s time… at 14th Street Y



Photo by Maria Baranova.

In Freemove Dance’s debut evening-long work …it’s time… everyone is literally “on the clock.” The piece, choreographed by Jenn Freeman, is conceived as a meditation on each individual’s intricate relationship to time. The work features five dancers whose performances are both constrained and propelled by the presence of a large digital timer, inexorably counting down towards zero. The evocative live drum score, composed by Dani Markham (Childish Gambino), serves as the soundtrack to the dance conceived as a metaphor of a lifetime – one long, cinematic take in which performers transition through changing ambiances, styles, and energies.


Interview with Jenn Freeman by Dance Enthusiast

BroadwayWorld’s Barnett Serchuck in conversation with Jenn Freeman

Gabri Christa’s MAGDALENA at Theaterlab



Photo by Kevin Yatarola.


MAGDALENA is an intimate multimedia solo performance by the award-winning filmmaker and a Guggenheim Fellow Gabri Christa. This work is a deeply personal account of experiencing Christa’s Dutch mother’s dementia, and an effort to piece together her past, marked by struggles with war, interracial marriage and unconventional motherhood. Born to a modest Dutch family, Magdalena survived the bombing of her hometown of Rotterdam during WWII and eventually married a middle-class Black man from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. When her memories started to fade, Christa took on the task of rebuilding her mother’s life through stories, dance, and images. The resulting 60-minute multimedia piece is part family album, part story of love and race, but above all, a reckoning with the harrowing consequences of a devastating illness that affects an increasing percentage of the world’s population.

Theaterlab, Sept 12-22, 2018

“A gem… The best kind of art is that done with great passion and you can tell that everyone involved in Magdalena is passionate about telling this story. From Christa’s initial inspiration to director Erwin Maas taking that inspiration and brilliantly bringing it to life, to De Lancey and his beautiful design choices, everyone worked with passion. And isn’t passionate theatre the best kind of theatre?” – Max Berry, Onstage Blog

“A tissue of fine and funny verbal detail  [with] passionate, energetic dancing.” – Elizabeth Zimmer, ChelseaNow

“Rich and moving… We’re lucky that she’s generous enough to invite the audience along.” – Carrie O’Dell, The ReviewsHub

“Remarkable … What makes it work so well is not only the supreme talent of the woman on stage and the two men behind the scenes (director Erwin Maas and dramaturg/designer Guy de Lancey) but the truth and tenderness with which such a deeply personal story is told.” – Cindy Sibilsky, BroadwayWorld

“An act of loving discovery, recall and reclamation… Christa is a gifted storyteller.” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody


Blessed Unrest’s THIS IS MODERN ART at New York Theatre Workshop’s NEXT DOOR



Photo by Maria Baranova

Who decides what art is and where it belongs, and what is the role of race, class, and pedigree? THIS IS MODERN ART, the acclaimed and controversial 2014 play by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, based on the 2010 “bombing” of the Art Institute of Chicago by an underground graffiti crew, is making its New York debut. The production by Blessed Unrest, directed by Jessica Burr and performing as part of the inaugural season of Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, was presented at NYTW June 2 – 23, 2018.


The New York Times review

Time Out New York review

A feature interview for The Brooklyn Rail

A feature article in TDF Stages magazine

A feature interview in HIP HOP DX magazine