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Ars Nova Presents Heather Christian's ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS, March 15 - April 17
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:10 am EST 01/28/22

ARS NOVA PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF HEATHER CHRISTIAN'S ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS, MARCH 15-APRIL 17


In-The-Round Fusion of Music and Theater, Directed by Lee Sunday Evans, Featuring 18 Virtuosic Performers

Ars Nova, "a company known for pop-culture-savvy experimentation, with a hipness that sets it apart" (The New York Times), under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Producing Executive Director Renee Blinkwolt, is pleased to announce details for the world premiere commission of Oratorio for Living Things by Obie Award-winner and 2015 & 2016 Ars Nova resident artist Heather Christian. Directed by Obie Award-winner Lee Sunday Evans, the event fuses music and theater, surrounding the audience with 18 virtuosic singers and instrumentalists. Oratorio for Living Things runs March 15-April 17, 2022, at Ars Nova @ Greenwich House (27 Barrow Street, Manhattan) with a press opening on March 30, exactly two years to the day from its previously scheduled pre-pandemic opening. Tickets are now on sale at www.arsnovanyc.com/oratorio .
In this sweeping world premiere, Heather Christian, "a composer of blazing creative ambition" (Ben Brantley, The New York Times), infuses the classical oratorio with blues, gospel, jazz, and soul. Oratorio for Living Things unfolds the complex layers of what it means to be alive and our relationship to time. The experience surrounds and uplifts, celebrating our curiosity, our wonder, and what we're capable of becoming when in communion with each other. The resulting music-theater event heralds Christian as an undeniable artistic force.

Oratorio for Living Things strengthens Ars Nova's reputation as a producer of daring new forms of music theater. While radically different in shape and content from previous endeavors, it nonetheless builds on the success of the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the Broadway-bound KPOP, and the Lortel Award-winning "Outstanding Musical" Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future.

Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan remarked, "Heather Christian is one of the most singular artists we've had the pleasure of supporting at Ars Nova. We're overjoyed to bring this tremendous creative team led by Lee Sunday Evans back together, two years after the initial premiere was upended. Oratorio for Living Things takes Heather's artistry to another level, and in this critical moment when our world is at odds, I suspect her manifesto for what it means to be alive will reach deep into people's souls and remind us of our own humanity. We can't wait to finally share this powerful, collective experience!"

The 18-member ensemble cast for Oratorio for Living Things includes Kirstyn Cae Ballard, Fraser A. Campbell, Sean Donovan, Carla Duren, Clérida Eltime, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Brian Flores, Odetta Hartman, Quentin Oliver Lee, Angel Lozada, Barrie Lobo McLain, Ben Moss, John Murchison, Onyie Nwachukwu, Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh, Dito van Reigersberg, Peter Wise, and more.

The creative team for Oratorio for Living Things includes Ben Moss (Music Direction), Kristen Robinson (Scenic Design), Márion Talán de la Rosa (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Nick Kourtides (Sound Design), Greg Taubman (Latin Consultant & Translator), Joseph Fernandez, Jr. (Production Stage Manager), Kelsey Vivian(Assistant Stage Manager), and Henry Russell Bergstein, CSA (Casting Director). Oratorio for Living Things is produced in association with Rosalind Productions Inc.

Oratorio for Living Things was originally scheduled to run March 10-April 12, 2020, with a press opening on March 30, 2020. It was postponed on March 12, 2020, following two preview performances.

Performances of Oratorio for Living Things will take place March 15-April 17, 2022, at Ars Nova @ Greenwich House, located at 27 Barrow Street in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Wednesday, March 23, for a press opening on Wednesday, March 30. Performances take place Tuesday-Saturday at 7pm with additional performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm starting March 26 and two 5pm performances on March 20 and 27. Tickets, starting at $35, are currently on sale at www.arsnovanyc.com/oratorio .

Ars Nova will require proof of full vaccination for all artists, staff, and audience members for all in-person performances and events through the end of this season. Masks and/or CDC-recommended face coverings will be required for audiences and employees inside the theater at all times. For more information on Ars Nova's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, please visit https://arsnovanyc.com/FAQ/ .

Please visit https://arsnovanyc.com/oratorio/ for more information.

About the Artists

Heather Christian (Composer) is an Obie Award-winning composer/playwright/performer and 2019 Sundance Time Warner Fellow. She was Ars Nova resident artist in 2015 & 2016. Christian makes original performance work (Animal Wisdom, The Bushwick Starr; Mission Drift, National Theatre, London; The World Is Round, BAM,) as well as scores film (The Shivering Truth, Adult Swim; Lemon; Gregory Go Boom, Sundance Grand Jury Prize) and has released nine records with her band Heather Christian & the Arbornauts. She is an Ars Nova commissioned artist and a 2019 Steinberg Commission at Playwrights Horizons. www.heatherchristian.com

Lee Sunday Evans (Director) is a two-time Obie Award-winning director and choreographer and was recently appointed the Artistic Director of Waterwell. Recent credits include Dance Nation by Clare Barron, Detroit Red by Will Power, and The Courtroom, a reenactment of one woman's deportation hearings with transcripts arranged by Arian Moayed. Her work has been seen at BAM, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf, The Atlantic, WP Theater, The Play Company, The Bushwick Starr, ArtsEmerson, Edinburgh International Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Watermill, Sundance Theater Lab, Juilliard, Clubbed Thumb, and New Georges among others.

About Ars Nova
Ars Novaexists to discover, develop, and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending new work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a "fertile incubator of offbeat theater," Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an Obie Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: The New York Times critic's pick Dr. Ride's American Beach House by Liza Birkenmeier, directed by Katie Brook; "Outstanding Musical" Lortel Award-winner and The New York Times' "Best of 2018," Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, created by Andrew R. Butler and directed by Jordan Fein; "Outstanding Musical" Lortel Award-winner KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park, and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; "Best New American Theatre Work," Obie Award-winner and "one of the best new plays in the last 25 years" (The New York Times), Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, directed by Taibi Magar (now on international tour); "Outstanding Musical" Lortel Award-winner FUTURITY, by César Alvarez with The Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson; The New York Times' and New York Post's "Best of 2015," Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It's Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail (Broadway 2019).

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