CultureHub and La MaMa present MUTE SWAN by Pulitzer-Prize Finalist Madeleine George for Theater in Quarantine, NOV 16
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 08:14 pm EST 11/10/20


New Work Written for Theater in Quarantine is Queer Interpretation of the Greek Myth of Cygnus

"Some of the new medium's most imaginative work." - Jesse Green, The New York Times

"Makes confinement a virtue, a prompt to imagination." - Helen Shaw, Vulture

CultureHuband La MaMa present Mute Swan, the latest work from Theater in Quarantine, a pandemic performance laboratory from writer, director, and performer Joshua William Gelb and choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin. Written by Pulitzer-prize finalist Madeleine Georgefor Theater in Quarantine, Mute Swan is a queerinterpretation of the Greek myth of Cygnus, a man who mourned the loss of his demi-god love, Apollo's son Phaethon, so much that he turned into a swan. Set to premiere on November 16, Mute Swan marks an expansion of Theater in Quarantine's physical footprint by literally moving its 2' x 4' x 8' East Village closet theater a few blocks over to CultureHub, located at 47 Great Jones Street.

Mute Swan is to be known as a 'Future Myth' about identity, distraction, courage, resistance, the redistribution of wealth, community board meetings, go-go dancing, and love. Written, directed, and performed now - for later. In another departure for Theater in Quarantine, Mute Swan features a central performance by Chris Bell and is directed and choreographed by Katie Rose McLaughlin (Hadestown) in collaboration with CultureHub, Bell, Joshua William Gelb, Raja Feather Kelly (A Strange Loop), and Gavin Price (Elevator Repair Service).

The additional creative team for Mute Swan includes Gavin Price (sound design),Joshua William Gelb (Video design), Raja Feather Kelly (costume design and creative advisor), DeAndra Anthony (lighting design and lead technician), Sangmin Chae (creative technology, livestreaming), Ada Zhang (stage management), Mattie Barber-Bockelman (creative producing and project management), and Billy Clark (creative producing).

Live streamed performances of Mute Swan will take place on Monday, November 16 at 7pm and 9pm with simultaneous broadcasts taking place at http://lamama.org/, https://www.culturehub.org/, La MaMa's Facebook page, https://howlround.com/, and Theater in Quarantine's YouTube page.

Following the live broadcast, the on-demand recording of Mute Swan, along with the complete Theater in Quarantine archive, will be available at https://www.youtube.com/joshuawilliamgelb in perpetuity.

Mute Swan is produced by CultureHub and La MaMa in association with Theater in Quarantine, developed in CultureHub and La MaMa's Experiments in Digital Storytelling Program, which incubates meaningful, story-driven artworks that harness digital distribution platforms, expand online audience engagement, and push the boundaries of current artistic forms. Powered by LiveLab, a browser-based media-router for collaborative performance by CultureHub.

On November 30, Theater in Quarantine returns to the home of Joshua William Gelb to present its popular dance series, Closet Works, which will feature choreography by Katie Rose McLaughlin and French choreographer Van-Kim Tran.

Theater in Quarantine will close its fall season on December 14 with a premiere by Obie Award-winning composer Heather Christian. Presented in partnership with Theater Mitu's Expansion Works, the new work is directed and performed by Gelb and features choreography by McLaughlin.

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters, Joshua William Gelb transformed a 2' x 4' x 8' closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Starting on March 30, Gelb and his collaborators began releasing pre-recorded studies in movement, clown, camera orientation, and perspective - building towards more complex theatrical experiences. On April 23, they premiered Theater in Quarantine's first live-stream performance: an adaptation of Kafka's The Neighbor which wasfollowed by an unauthorized edit of Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and collaborations with artists like Scott R. Sheppard(Underground Railroad Game), Nehemiah Luckett(Jazz Singer), and Ellen Winter(36 Questions).

Theater in Quarantine's most recentproductions, "The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy" and "Footnote for the End of Time," were met with critical acclaim. Jesse Green in his New York Times critic's pick review declared that Theater in Quarantine has produced "some of the new medium's most imaginative work from some of its simplest materials." Helen Shaw in Vulture wrote that Theater in Quarantine "makes confinement a virtue, a prompt to imagination." Maya Phillips in The New York Times noted, "These small-scale, digitally savvy productions, filmed live from a converted closet in Gelb's Manhattan apartment and accompanied by innovative visual and audio effects, have matched the texts in their idiosyncratic approaches."

Please visit joshuawilliamgelb.com for more information and youtube.com/joshuawilliamgelb to stream all of the Theater in Quarantine original works.

About the Artists

Chris Bell is a performer originally from the Eastside of San Antonio, Texas. He has a MFA (Case Western Reserve University) and a BS (Lamar University) in Dance and because he likes camping, the beach, and still holds out hope of being an astronaut with a BS in Geology. He currently makes work with Raja Feather Kelly as a member of the feath3r theory, is a principal with Eryc Taylor Dance Inc. and is a frequent collaborator with (and former choreographic assistant to) Mark Dendy (dendy/donovan). As an educator he teaches and has developed content for Marquis Studios, TADA! Youth Theaters, Fort Worth Fine Arts Academy, ETD Outreach, Rioult Dance NY, Dixon Place, and Marble Collegiate Church, where he is also the resident choreographer a position he has served at The American Theater of Harlem and The Mather Dance Collective. His company @chrisbelldances has presented work in 3 states and 4 out of 5 boroughs in NYC, including evening length works at Dixon Place and Gibney Dance Center. Visit https://www.chrisbelldances.com/ for more information.

Joshua William Gelbis an East Village-based director, performer, and librettist currently building theater out of his converted closet christened the Theater in Quarantine. Prior to the pandemic, Gelb created the musical interrogation of the 1927 Al Jolson film Jazz Singer (New Yorker critic's pick) which was commissioned and built-in residence at Abrons Arts Center with Nehemiah Luckett. Previously in residence at Abrons, Gelb conceived and directed the sesquicentennial anniversary reimagining of America's supposed first musical The Black Crook (NYT Critic's Pick), about which he lectured at Harvard University's Houghton Library. His Drama Desk-nominated adaptation of A Hunger Artist, created with Sinking Ship, continues to tour. Other work has been presented at Ars Nova, LMCC Process Space, New Ohio, Joe's Pub, Polyphone Festival, and Target Margin. Gelb participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, is an associate artist with Sinking Ship, and teaches Theater Collaboration at Cooper Union. Visit joshuawilliamgelb.com for more information.

Madeleine George's plays include The Sore Loser, Hurricane Diane (Obie Award), The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist), Precious Little, and The Zero Hour (Jane Chambers Award, Lambda Literary Award finalist). Honors include a Whiting Award, the Princess Grace Award for Playwriting, and the Stacey Mindich Lilly Award. Madeleine is an alum of New Dramatists, a founding member of the Obie-Award-winning playwrights' collective 13P, the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Two River Theater in New Jersey, and the Director of Admissions for the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College. She lives in the Bronx.

Raja Feather Kelly is a choreographer, director, and the artistic director of the feath3r theory. A three-time winner of the Princess Grace Award, Raja is the 2019-2020 Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a 2019 Creative Capital award recipient, and the Artist Laureate at The Invisible Dog since 2013. Over the past decade, Kelly has created fifteen evening-length premieres with his company the feath3r theory as well as directing and choreographing extensively for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City. Raja is the choreographer for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winning Drama FAIRVIEW, written by Jackie Sibblies-Drury; directed by Sarah Benson and the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning Musical A STRANGE LOOP, Written by Michael R. Jackson; directed by Stephen Brackett. Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Sarah Benson. He was born in Fort Hood, Texas and holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Connecticut College. http://thefeath3rtheory.com/

Katie Rose McLaughlin is an NYC-based choreographer originally from Minneapolis, MN. Katie Rose is the Associate Choreographer of the Tony-award winning Broadway show Hadestown directed by Rachel Chavkin and choreographed by David Neumann. Her choreography has been presented by The Chocolate Factory, Catch, the Invisible Dog Art Center, HERE Arts Center, newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, and the International Festival of Art & Ideas. She was an artist-in-residence at LMCC's Process Space, Dance Lab New York, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, the Barn Arts Collective, and LMCC's SPARC program. Notable theater credits include Orlando (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Indecent (Weston Playhouse), Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), and The Black Crook (Abrons Arts Center). In 2013, she co-founded and became the Artistic Director of Designated Movement Co., a dance/theater company interested in blurring the lines between forms. Visit Katierosemclaughlin.com for more information.

Gavin Price is a multidisciplinary performing and technical artist. He is a classically trained actor and vocalist, and plays over ten instruments. He is also a sound designer and engineer, as well as a Motion Capture technician. He has toured nationally & internationally with the critically acclaimed theater group Elevator Repair Service as both actor and sound designer. He has performed and designed across the country in museum installations (MCA's Arguendo; MoMA's A Sort of Joy (Thousands of Exhausted Things); New Museum's XX-ID; Metropolitan Museum of Art's The Return of Adam; Walker Art Center's Fondly, Collette Richland) and extensively in New York City (Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, HERE Arts Center, St Anne's, PS122, LaMaMa, Soho Rep, River2River Festival). From 2011-2014, he was production manager for Face the Music, the country's only youth orchestra devoted to music by living composers, who has collaborated and performed with Kronos Quartet, Nico Muhly, Angelica Negron, Bang on a Can, among others.

About CutureHub

CultureHub is a global art and technology community that was born out of decades of collaboration between La MaMa and the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Korea's first contemporary performing arts school. These two pioneering institutions sought to explore how the internet and digital technologies could foster a more sustainable model for international exchange and creativity.

Now in its 11th year, CultureHub has grown into a global network with studios in New York, Los Angeles, Korea, Indonesia, and Italy, providing connected environments for artists to critically examine our evolving relationship to technology. Through residencies, live productions, and educational programming, CultureHub advances the work of artists experimenting with emerging technologies in search of new artistic forms. CultureHub builds new partnerships that expand our network and provide increased access to online and offline platforms that fuel artist mobility, create opportunities for cultural exchange, and broaden human understanding through the convergence of art, technology, and education.

About La MaMa

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961. La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races and identities. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on our stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist's work over time.

A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, and more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Warren Leight, Michael Mayer, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Link http://lamama.org

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