Press Release: Prelude ‘05: At the Forefront of Contemporary NYC Theatre

New York City audiences will have the rare opportunity to sample the city’s most distinctive and adventurous contemporary theatre in one location over just four days during the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center’s PRELUDE’05 at the CUNY Graduate Center. Opening Wednesday, September 28, and continuing through Saturday, October 1,  PRELUDE '05 will feature 20 short performances, readings, and open rehearsals with a focus on works in progress for the upcoming 2005-06 season and beyond.

An annual mini-festival and symposium, PRELUDE enables audiences to experience the in-progress work of the city’s most exciting, unconventional theatre, with all performances followed by talkbacks with artists.  Events are held in the Martin E. Segal Theatre or Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall at The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street).

Admission is free  ---  first come, first served --- or $20 guarantees one seat for four performances plus the PRELUDE’05 Saturday Night Club Concert (see Saturday schedule). For ticketing, please contact TheaterMania at, 1-212-352-3101, or toll free 1-866-811-4111. For more information and the up-to-date schedule, also visit or email .  There will be no late seating; schedule is subject to change.

Complete schedule follows

PRELUDE’05 schedule:

Opening Panel Discussion
Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 p.m.
Segal Theatre

“NYC Theatre within a Global Context”:  leading artistic directors, companies, and members of the theatre community pose and discuss questions of how contemporary American work is perceived outside the U.S., and what gets produced. Speakers will include Vallejo Gantner (P.S. 122), Eric Dyer (Radiohole), and Paul Lazar (Big Dance Theater).
Followed by a reception at 8 p.m.

Music by Cynthia Hopkins

Cynthia Hopkins (of the band Gloria Deluxe) plays songs from recent and upcoming projects.

Thursday, September 29

Sheila Callaghan

Sheila Callaghan presents excerpts of her latest play, Dead City, a loose adaptation of Joyce's Ulysses, which will receive a performance at New Georges in spring 2006.
2 p.m., Segal Theatre

Anne Washburn
Anne Washburn presents a staged excerpt from her newest play, I Have Loved Strangers, inspired by the book of Jeremiah.
4 p.m., Segal Theatre

Joanna P. Adler / Mabou Mines Suite
Joanna P. Adler collaborates with Ain Gordon, Rob Kaplowitz, Julie Anderson, and Douglas Langworthy on Franz Xaver Kroetz's Request Concert, which features a radio show with James Urbaniak as DJ and new music by over 30 playwrights and composers.
6 p.m., Segal Theatre

Lisa D'Amour
Writer/director Lisa D’Amour presents an excerpt of a new solo performed by Todd D'Amour that imagines a present day Stanley Kowalski haunted by Blanche, Brando, and the very big screen. With video by Tara Webb.
6 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall
Pavol Liska
Pavol Liska and the Nature Theater of Oklahoma present Poetics, an excerpt from a work in progress inspired by the Aristotle text.
8 p.m., Segal Theatre
Big Art Group
Stretching the boundaries of film and theatre, Big Art Group, led by Caden Manson, gives an informal presentation of, and discusses, its latest work.
8 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall

Friday, September 30

Erin Courtney
Erin Courtney presents a staged reading of her newest play, Quiver and Twitch, directed by Sarah Benson.
12 p.m., Segal Theatre

The National Theater of the United States of America (NTUSA)

The National Theater of the United States of America presents excerpted readings and presentations from its newest work, exploring the lore and mythology of the ancient knight and crusader -- Abacus Black.
2 p.m., Segal Theatre

Madelyn Kent

Writer/director Madelyn Kent presents a staged reading of her play Peninsula.
4 p.m., Segal Theatre

Division 13 Productions
Under the artistic direction of Joanna Settle, D13 offers a living draft of Erik Ehn's 16670 (Maximillian Mary Kolbe) through an open rehearsal.
6 p.m., Segal Theatre 

The Builders Association
Marianne Weems leads a hyper-lecture about the use of contemporary technology in the company's past and future work, including the upcoming Super Vision.
6 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall

Elevator Repair Service

Elevator Repair Service presents in-process rehearsal sketches, with Susie Sokol, for a new piece in development.
8 p.m., Segal Theatre

John Jesurun
John Jesurun presents a staged reading of excerpts from his new piece, The Woman Who Loved Too Much, featuring Black-Eyed Susan.
8 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall

Saturday, October 1

Ayodele Casel
Ayodele Casel gives a studio presentation of her tap quartet, The Diary of a Tap Dancer, set to open in Washington D.C. in spring ’06.
12 p.m., Segal Theatre

Young Jean Lee
Young Jean Lee presents a staged excerpt from her new show, Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven.
2 p.m., Segal Theatre

Jay Scheib
Jay Scheib gives a studio presentation of his latest work, This Place is a Desert, based on Antonioni’s Red Desert, using live and prepared video stream and a high-speed camera.
4 p.m., Segal Theatre

Richard Maxwell / NYC Players
Richard Maxwell presents an informal discussion about his past and upcoming work.
6 p.m., Segal Theatre

Mac Wellman
Hayley Finn directs a staged reading of Mac Wellman’s newest play, Bellagio; or Of All Things Made of Metal; or When Grandpapa Had Daddy Shot.
6 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall
Radiohole / P.S. 122
Radiohole will present rehearsal experiments from its upcoming work, A Fiery Flying Roll or Dick, Dick, Dick, opening at P.S. 122 in April ’06.  
8 p.m., Segal Theatre

Big Dance Theater
Big Dance Theater present a sneak preview of dances for their newest work based on the mid-century Japanese novelist Masuji Ibuse. Discussion will follow.
8p.m., Elebash Recital Hall
Tasja Keetman Exhibition
Recognized for the physical energy with which she shapes her work, Prelude ’05 photographer Tasja Keetman brings a special exhibition of her latest work.  To visit her website, click here
Throughout PRELUDE‘O5 in the Martin E. Segal Theater Center exhibition space

PRELUDE '05 Saturday Night Club Concert
10 p.m., Saturday October 1, secret location, to be announced, included in PRELUDE’05 Festival Pass.  Without Festival Pass, ticket price $15. For ticketing, please contact TheaterMania at, 1-212-352-3101, or toll free 1-866-811-4111.

PRELUDE’05 is cosponsored by the Lucille Lortel Foundation, TheaterMania, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, and The Graduate Center, CUNY. The program is curated by Sarah Benson and Frank Hentschker. PRELUDE’05 Advisory Committee: Daniel Aukin, Daniel Banks, Anne Bogart, Marvin Carlson, David Cote, Nathan Elbogen, Jonathan Kalb, Mia Katigbak, Susan Jonas, Bonnie Marranca, Charles Mee, Charles McNulty, Emily Morse, David Neumann, Mark Subias, and Caridad Svich.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a non-profit center for theatre, dance and film that is part of the City University of New York Graduate Center and is affiliated with its Ph.D. Program in Theatre. Originally founded in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), it was renamed in March of 1999 in recognition of one of New York City’s outstanding leaders of the arts. Strategically positioned on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street near the heart of Manhattan's theater district, MESTC functions as a catalyst for artistic collaboration. The Center's primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York.  The only consortium of its kind in the nation, the school draws its faculty of more than 1,700 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges.

Established in 1961, The Graduate Center has grown to an enrollment of about 4,000 students in 31 doctoral programs and six master's degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  According to the most recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions. The Graduate Center also houses 28 research centers and institutes, administers the CUNY Baccalaureate Program as well as a number of other university-wide academic programs, and offers a wide range of continuing education and cultural programs of interest to the general public.


Submitted on: SEP 1, 2005

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