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the cell theatre Announces 2021 Season
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 08:21 pm EDT 03/29/21

THE CELL THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2021 SEASON

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) announces their programming for 2021, which will include collaborations with local and regional artists including One Whale's Tale (Founders Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos), Amy Engelhardt, The Playhouse at White Lake, Off The Wall Productions, and HOLDTIGHT company. the cell is located at 338 W. 23rd Street in Chelsea. For more information and tickets for current shows visit www.thecelltheatre.org.

Now through April 18:
Currently on view at the cell is Life Is Drag, which showcases the video portraits of Rachel Rampleman. Exploring gender, artifice, and spectacle, Rampleman documents the most innovative and singular performers of the currently exploding alt-drag burlesque scenes. The portraits include performances by Untitled Queen, C'etait Bon Temps, Robyn Edges and more.The exhibition will open on Saturday, February 13 at 6PM at the cell on 338 W. 23rd St. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM-6PM. New York, NY. Masks are required and capacity will be limited.

Saturday, April 3 at 6pm:
In conjunction with Rachel Rampleman's exhibition, the cell will host a special pop-up performances entitled Life is Drag: Live! to be performed in the windows of the cell along 23rd street. Performers include Sweaty Eddie, Muscles Monty, Richard DiCocko, Dick TransDyke. Free and open to the public. Audiences are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines while viewing the performances on the sidewalk and a donation link for the artists showcased will be accessible on site.

April 4, April 18, May 2, and May 16 at 3pm:
Throughout the spring, Canadian violinist and teaching artist Janey Choi will host a series of intimate chamber music concerts in the open air with Pickup Chamber Music, which evolved out of her own outdoor gatherings organized on her lawn during the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine. Seating is limited, tickets available for a suggested donation of $25. Season Passes are also available for all performances.

April 22, 2021:
Joseph Hendel's fifth installment of Tolerance Party entitled Waiting for I Dunno featuring Richard Urquiza, Peyton Rowe, and Brian Reager with production design by DimlyWit Productions will be available to stream via the cell's website. Tickets will be available on a sliding scale. More information to come.

May 21, 2021:
Resident Artist Amy Engelhardt (Bastard Jones, Grammy-nominated band The Bobs) will premiere her new play, Impact, in a co-production with the cell, The Playhouse at White Lake, and DimlyWit Productions. Impact tells the story of a chain of remarkable "follow-signs" that lead Amy to Lockerbie, Scotland shortly after the 30th Anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. What starts out as a bucket list trip quietly evolves into a personal and global exploration of grace, kindness and simplicity. The performance will be available to stream online, tickets will be available on a sliding scale. More information to come.

May 2021:
the cell will collaborate with One Whale's Tale on its first in-person theatrical residency with The Queen of Cyprus conceived by founders Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos (Quince at People's Garden with the TEAM). A rejection of the colonial interpretation of Hellenism, "bacchanals," and Anglicized portrayals of Eastern Mediterranean culture, The Queen of Cyprus is an immersive ceremony that invites the audience to participate in a mysterious ancient festival ushering in the rebirth of Spring. This production will engage with artists from the Eastern Mediterranean diaspora whose ancestral traditions will color the piece. "As we eagerly approach a new season and cautiously look to a world beyond the pandemic, we offer our weary pilgrims the seedlings of possibility." writes One Whale's Tale. More information and dates to come.

July 2021:
the cell will workshop a new version of Jean-Paul Sartre's The Respectful Prostitute adapted by actor and playwright Corey Allen and helmed by Shanara Gabrielle. More details to come.

September 2021:
The premiere of HOLDTIGHT's first in-person production of 2021, What Keeps You Going? as a part of their ongoing residency. Conceived by founder Gwendolyn Gussman and HOLDTIGHT, an interdisciplinary dance theater company. HOLDTIGHT was last seen at the cell in 2019 for It's Not What You Think inspired by the work of Mikel Glass. The company has also touted a series of smaller virtual "Bites" ranging from video productions to interactive online experiences throughout the pandemic. Ticket information and dates to come.

October 2021:
the cell will present the New York Premiere of Hoard written by Lissa Brennan and directed by Brian Reager in a co-production with Off the Wall Productions in Pittsburgh. Meet Viv: a Pittsburgh woman living alone in a house cluttered by a troubled past. Meet Claire: an organizational life consultant living a life filled with secrets. When Claire comes to assist Viv sort through her things, both women must face some difficult truths, without which neither can hope to persist beyond the walls that they have created for themselves. Hoard is a dark comedy that explores the things we choose to keep close to us and the things we choose to let go. "A compassionate, dark, thrilling ride" (Pittsburgh Current) this new play received its premiere at Off The Wall Productions in Pittsburgh in the months before the pandemic and features performances by Erika Cuenca and Virginia Gruenert with set design by Tucker Topel and stage management by Kayla Santos.

November 2021:
the cell will present a developmental workshop of Arctic Explorations, a new opera by award winning composer Michael Dellaira (The Secret Agent) in association with the New Amsterdam Singers. Arctic Explorations tells the story of 19th century explorer Elisha Kent Kane and his curious romance with Maggie Fox, the noted spiritualist and medium. Despite being complete opposites in almost every respect, they were each American celebrities who entertained crowds with tales of mysterious places and phenomena: glaciers, polar bears and the Inuit communities, or the world of the hereafter, and how to communicate with the dead. More details to come.

The 2021 season will also feature new work by Steven Shikhel, Seamus Scanlon, David Goldman, Nancy Manocherian and more. The cell theatre has been and will continue to closely adhere to all federal, state and city guidelines regarding COVID-19 protocol. All audience members will be required to present a vaccination card or negative PCR test for in-person indoor events starting April 2nd. Masks are required and hand sanitizer is available for all visitors. We strive to keep our venue well ventilated by replacing the air filters in our HVAC system and opening doors and windows when possible. Our staff will be fully inoculated this Spring and we are working hard to help all eligible artists and associates receive their vaccine appointments as the rollout continues.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Rachel Rampleman (Life is Drag). Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently living and working in New York City, Rachel Rampleman received her MFA from New York University in 2006. Since then, her work has been shown internationally at Shanghai Biennale, Chennai Photo Biennale (India), JAM (Bangkok), Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Belgium), Art Cinema OFFoff (Belgium), Monte Arts Centre (Belgium), Terasa (Czech Republic), C/O Berlin, Die Fruhperle (Berlin), The Secret Cabinet (Berlin), and VIDEONALE.16 at the Kunstmuseum (Bonn). Nationally, her work has been exhibited at such venues as Socrates Sculpture Park, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Satellite Art Show, The Frank Institute at CR10, Spectacle Theater, Flux Factory, VOX Bizarre, Cynthia Broan Gallery, NP Contemporary Art Center, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Warehouse Gallery, SELECT Art Fair, The Last Brucennial, un(SCENE) Art Show, 80 WSE Gallery, Gowanus Swim Society, El Puente CADRE, Art Gotham, Rosenburg Gallery, Cantor Film Center, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Collar Works, Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University, Other Cinema at Artists' Television Access (California), Wexner Center for the Arts, The Contemporary Arts Center, SS NOVA (Ohio), KMAC Museum Louisville, The Lexington Art League, The Fountain Gallery at Purdue University, 1506 Projects (Washington), University Hall Gallery at UMass Boston, Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia), PULSE Miami, The Flint Art Institute, The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and The Andy Warhol Museum. Rampleman recently had a survey exhibition on view at the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts (Cincinnati) as well as solo exhibitions at VOLTA NY (New York), These Things Take Time (Ghent, Belgium), 42 Social Club (Connecticut), Carl Solway Gallery, The Neon Heater Art Gallery (Ohio), and an early career retrospective at The Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA Gallery) in Buffalo. She is currently preparing for her upcoming solo exhibitions at 3S Artspace (Portsmouth), and Auxiliary Projects (Brooklyn). Rachel's work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Art F City, Paper Magazine, Artnet, DRAIN, Domino, eyes toward the dove, HYPERALLERGIC, Gothamist, Berlin Art Parasites, the Fanzine, Seattle Pi, Absolute Arts, ÆQAI, and LeCool Bangkok, among others. www.rachelrampleman.com

Amy Engelhardt (Impact). As composer/lyricist, Amy made her Off-Broadway debut with the sold-out run of Bastard Jones at the cell theatre, a nominee for the Off-Broadway Alliance's Best New Musical and a Richard Rodgers Award finalist. Other theatrical work includes lyrics for TESLA, TRIPTYCH (book/music/lyrics) for the New York Transit Museum's Platform Series, lyrics/vocal arrangements for commissioned adaptations of Carl Sagan's CONTACT with Hungarian rocker Peter Sipos (2009 Puget Sound Theater Award - Best New Play), Nicholas Nickelby with electric violinist Eyvind Kang at Seattle's CenterStage, music/lyrics for the Bobs/Flying Karamazov Brothers collaboration A COMEDY OF ERAS at ACT Seattle. Incidental music credits include MOTHER, MAY I at Baltimore's Strand (dir. Rain Pryor). Amy was librettist/creative consultant for the PBS concert special Call Me Irresponsible (2011 Telly Award, Best Original Programming) featuring Ashley Brown (Broadway's Mary Poppins). As a session/concert singer, Amy's diverse credits include Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Real Steel, Jim Henson's Animal Jam (Discovery Kids/TLC), Barbra Streisand's Timeless, the LA Bach Festival, Neil Young's Living With War and Paul Provenza's SATIRISTAS. As a singer/ songwriter, she tours her musical solo show ("Riotously funny!" - BroadwayWorld) in clubs and house concerts and ap- pears annually in Harry Shearer & Judith Owen's Holiday Show (tours/Disney Concert Hall/BAM). Amy's solo CD, Not Gonna Be Pretty, was hailed as the "unlikely and intriguing marriage of Nellie McKay and Meat Loaf." She is currently recording her second album, Finish What You.

Ellpetha Tsivicos (One Whale's Tale) is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. She is first-generation Cypriot- American, a dual identity that has inspired and shaped much of her artistic work and life. At the age of three she began taking ballet, which taught her the beauty and importance of understanding structure in order to break out of it. Ellpetha graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, with a BFA in Drama, and a minor in Art and Public Policy which combined her passion for the arts and her desire to make meaningful, structural change. Her minor focused on Dialogical Art, which removes the barrier of "the audience" and engages the community by making them co-creators instead of spectators. Dialogical Art emphasizes listening, and storytelling and turns the dialogue created between the artist, the participants, and the subjects, into the art itself. In 2012, Ellpetha co-founded a multimedia production company, One Whale's Tale, where she serves as a producer, director, writer, editor and performer. One Whale's Tale has produced award winning shorts - "Fruit Detective" (Director) and "Dolores" - as well as the comedic web-series "This Is Me Trying" (Director), which was featured on FunnyorDie, NY Mag, Dailymotion, and the Wild Magazine. She directed the music video, "Hurt Me", by Michelle Kash, who is #8 Billboard Dance artist, as well as the web-series, "Beds", by Sun- dance Episodic finalist Kirsten Chen. Collaborating alongside visual artist Mariah Robertson, Ellpetha co-developed an aesthetic of organized chaos, and performed at the MoMa, Ps1, Art Basel, and the Art in Embassies Gala at the Smithsonian Institute. In 2019, Ellpetha completed her second artistic collaboration as a designer and performer on the immersive spectacle "Leonora's World", with Double Edge Theatre. Ellpetha was the Associate Producer of "Primer for a Failed Superpower", a concert of intergenerational protest music, directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, as well as the documentary about the creation of the project. In 2020 Ellpetha co-created and directed, "Quince", the first live theater performance in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performed outdoors at The People's Garden in Bushwick, "Quince" incorporated all social distancing and safety protocols into the narrative and artistic world of the show. "Quince", was a co-production with The TEAM as part of the Petri Project Series, and was supported by a grant from The Venturous Theatre Fund. "Quince" was featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, American Theatre, BroadwayWorld, Playbill, and Token Theatre Friends. In the fall of 2020, Ellpetha co-created a Dia de los Muertos event hosted by the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, creating a community altar and a space for guests to share items, memories, and celebrate loved ones who had passed away. Ellpetha also works as a stylist and costume designer, with an emphasis on body positivity and finding true expression through patterns, textiles, and various sewing traditions. Ellpetha finds power in the spirituality and mysticism of Hellenism and in the rural traditions of her ancestral village which are diligently kept up by her family in an isolated farming community in Cyprus. Her book, "A Life Into Lands" which tells the stories of her family's rural traditions through the lens of her dual Cypriot and American existence, was recently published in English and Greek by Cypriot Arts & culture center Phaneromenis70 in Lefkosia, Cyprus.

Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez (One Whale's Tale) is a Chicano theater artist, filmmaker, and visual artist from the mythical land of Aztlán located somewhere off the 101 freeway. Camilo began his artistic journey at community arts center, Plaza de La Raza, learning the techniques of Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. This education inspired and empowered him to study at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Through his production company, One Whale's Tale, and an ongoing 10-year collaboration with Ellpetha Tsivicos, Camilo has co-written and co-produced two award-wining short films: "Dolores" (co-writer Scarlet Moreno), a drama about colorism in the Mexican-American community, and "Fruit Detective", a slapstick noir about a specialty detective who investigates fruit related crimes. He has collaborated on short documen- tary projects with A.R.T.E (Art and Resistance Through Education), which works on social justice projects and bridging the gap between incarcerated and non-incarcerated youth through the visual arts. In 2018, Camilo collaborated with The TEAM on the creation of a short documentary around the development of a two-night concert of reimagined, intergenerational protest music, "Primer for a Failed Superpower". Camilo has developed his love of spectacle and collaborative performance through training - spanning 8 years - with the Double Edge Theatre ensemble culminating in two artistic collaborations on outdoor performances of "Leonora's World", based on the paintings and writings of Leonora Carrington. In 2020 Camilo wrote/co-produced an outdoor performance of "Quince", the first live theater performance in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performed outdoors at the People's Garden in Bushwick, "Quince" incorporated all social distancing and safety protocols into the narrative and artistic world of the show. "Quince" was a co-production with The TEAM' Petri Project Series, and was supported by a grant from The Venturous Theatre Fund. "Quince" was featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, American Theatre, BroadwayWorld, Playbill, and Token Theatre Friends. In the fall of 2020, Camilo co-created a Dia de los Muertos event hosted by the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, creating a commu-nity altar and a space for guests to share items, memories, and celebrate loved ones who had passed away. Camilo's work is driven by the stories, songs and dances of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents, friends, neighbors, and spirits who intimately shared the spaces of his childhood.

Janey Choi (Pickup Chamber Music). Canadian violinist and Teaching Artist, Janey Choi gave her Carnegie Hall recital debut in 1997 as a winner of the Artists International Auditions and continues an active career performing on recital and chamber series, on Broadway, and with such groups as the Ardelia Trio, the Teaching Artists Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic and the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. The recipient of numerous awards including the Chalmers Per- forming Arts Grant from the Ontario Arts Council (Canada) and National First Prize in the Canadian Music Competition, she has participated in such festivals as Mostly Mozart, Norfolk, Taos, Bar Harbor Music Festival, the Spoleto Festivals in the U.S. and Italy, Festival Musical de Santo Domingo, the Santa Fe Opera and the Sarasota Opera.Strongly committed to education, she is the Director of Community Engagement and Education for the Stamford Symphony, and a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has presented educational work- shops for the College Music Society National Conference, Tokyo College of Music, Lincoln Center Institute, Metropolitan Opera Guild and the University Musical Society at University of Michigan.

HOLDTIGHT (founder Gwendolyn Gussman) is an experimental dance theater company using a multi-disciplinary approach to creating, teaching, and performing experiential and dynamic contemporary art. HOLDTIGHT productions have psychologically-driven processes that, in performance, blend the narrative with the abstract and lean in the paradox of the human condition. Founded in 2016, HOLDTIGHT has presented numerous productions of the performance series, Nourishment. Learn more at www.thisisnourishment.com. @thisisnourishment.

Lissa Brennan (Playwright of Hoard) is a playwright and theater artist based in Pittsburgh who works and studies around the world. Her recently produced works include Loose Lips Sink Ships, a WWII era reimaging of Lysistrata, and For the Tree to Drop, which shifts the actions of Antigone to a plantation during the Civil War. As an actor, she most recently ap- peared as Goneril in Quantum Theatre's King Lear, an environmental production at Carrie Furnace, a remnant of the U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, and as Ashlee in barebones productions' Dance Nation. She is the writer and storyteller of the series Grist from the Mill, a murder ballad inspired trilogy in which the steel mills of Southwestern Pennsylvania play a pivotal role. This began in January with the first installment, 1902, at Carnegie Stage, and will be presented there in full in 2020 prior to moving on to festival performances.

Michael Dellaira's (Arctic Explorations) music exploits the qualities of both speech and song, and encompasses genres from folk music to voice synthesis on computers. About Dellaira, who is widely praised for his "haunting harmonies"(new- musicbox.org), "eloquence and sensitivity" (New York Times) and "flair for vocal writing" (classicstoday.com), the noted American critic and composer Eric Salzman has said: "He has created a personal musical language that combines the harmonic vocabulary and rhythmic interest of rock music with the technical rigor of the best modern classical music. It is the combination and synthesis of these seemingly contradictory elements which gives surface tension and excitement, and deeper value to Dellaira's music." Born in Schenectady, New York, Dellaira was educated in both philosophy and mu- sic; in the U.S. at Georgetown (B.A.), The George Washington (M.Mus) and Princeton Universities (M.F.A., Ph.D), in Germany at the Universität zu Köln, and in Italy at L'Accademia di Santa Cecilia and L'Accademia Chigiana. His primary teachers were Milton Babbitt, Edward T. Cone, Paul Lansky, Goffredo Petrassi and Franco Donatoni. In addition, he had two residencies at The Composers Conference, where he studied with Roger Sessions and Mario Davidovsky. His nu- merous awards include First Prize for his monodrama Maud from the American Society of University Composers (now the Society of Composers), an ASCAP Morton Gould Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, grants from the Ford and Mellon Founda- tions, the New Jersey Arts Council, Cary Trust, the American Music Center, and a Jerome Commission from the American Composers Forum. His music-theater work Chéri was a finalist for the American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award in Musical Theater. His opera The Secret Agent was named the Laureat at the Armel International Opera Festival, and his opera The Death of Webern was named one of the "5 Best New Works" of 2016 by Opera News. Dellaira has taught music at The George Washington University, Princeton University, and Union College. His works are recorded on CRI, Opus One and Albany Records. He resides with his wife, the writer Brenda Wineapple, in New York City, and can be reached at mrd@michaeldellaira.com

ABOUT THE CELL
Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the cell has successfully moved into the digital sphere by streaming virtual concerts and programming such as Dark Matter Immersive's Garden of Eden (New York Times' Top Ten Things to Do This Week), Tolerance Party (Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream this Week), the Room | to | Breathe series with Bright Shiny Things, the Brave New World Series with Tribeca New Music, Nourishment "Bites" with Holdtight Dance Company, Apex Sky, Harps Uncovered and Liquidverse a psychedelic & meditative show exploring the images of the cosmos through oil based dyes by Liquid Light Lab and music by composer and technical director of the cell Ricardo Romaneiro. Past productions include Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Pink Unicorn (starring Alice Ripley co-produced with Out of the Box), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (Drama-Desk Nominated), Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical, The Mc- Gowan Trilogy, Hey Jude, Horse Girls and more. www.thecelltheatre.org @thecelltheatre
Link http://www.thecelltheatre.org
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