|A History Of Launching Ships (somewhat After Washington Irving)
| Open: 10/11/12 Close: 10/28/12
In the winter of 1779, a woman named Elizabeth Burgin defied New York City’s British occupiers by helping hundreds of patriots escape from prison ships anchored offshore of what is now the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With a bounty on her head, she fled the city. A HISTORY OF LAUNCHING SHIPS, a new play by Avi Glickstein, joins Burgin during her flight from the British and places her in the middle of a fantastical tale that echoes the gothic stories of Washington Irving. The play, commissioned by Polybe + Seats and written for the unique environment of The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, tells the story of the three women who take Burgin in and hide her. Each woman seeks an escape from her own reality, and, together, they realize that the only way to freedom might be on a ship they build themselves.
A HISTORY OF LAUNCHING SHIPS is the first-ever theatrical production at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This site-specific production will lead audiences through the three-floor museum over the course of the performance, stopping to watch scenes among BLDG 92's exhibits. The Yard’s spirit and elements of its history act as seeds for the play’s mysterious story of four women isolated together inside the gates of a Naval Commandant’s home on the banks of an unnamed bay. Playwright Avi Glickstein has used the story of real-life Revolutionary heroine Elizabeth Burgin and archival materials from BLDG 92’s collection, as well as the gothic New York tales of Washington Irving, as a jumping-off point to create a uniquely American, ghostly tale of his own that echoes the Yard’s history as a center of innovation, reinvention, and sacrifice in service of a larger purpose.
*This performance will involve some walking and standing on the part of the audience; ramps and elevators will be available.
Playwright: Avi Glickstein
Director: Jessica Brater
Producer: Catherine Wallach
Performers: Elaine O’Brien, Kate Reilly, Sarah Sakaan, and Lindsay Torrey
Designers: Carolyn Mraz (set and props), Bevan Dunbar and Karen Boyer (costumes), Marika Kent (lights), Kate Marvin (sound)
Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Alyson Fortner
Production Manager: Marika Kent
|A Thousand Thousand Slimy Things: An Aquatic Spectacular Of Conservation And Change
| Open: 04/23/10 Close: 05/09/10
Conceived and Directed by Jessica Brater
Produced by Catherine Wallach with Polybe + Seats
Written by Katya Schapiro with the company
A man floats on the open ocean, clinging to his best friend - an ever-shrinking bit of iceberg. He gazes below the surface of the water and thinks he sees ... mermaids performing Ibsen's Lady from the Sea?
Elsewhere, a salty sea captain shuttles back and forth from the miles-wide vortex in the North Central Pacific known as the Garbage Patch, delivering messages in bottles and smuggling the impossible. Elsewhere still, a marooned sea creature rants and a strange disease is spreading. All will collide in a mythic place called Florida.
Inspired by the Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Park - one of the nation's oldest roadside attractions (and smallest cities) - A Thousand Thousand Slimy Things is a floating fantasia, staged on board a docked barge in Brooklyn's historic Red Hook district. It incorporates material culled from a variety of oceanographic, mythological, literary, and documentary sources - as well as a portable set composed of reclaimed plastic objects – in order to confront a frightening possibility in the global eco-debate: What if there’s nothing to be done? What does one do in the face of inevitable, unavoidable change?
Opens the day after Earth Day 2010.
Set, prop, and puppet design by Eli Kaplan-Wildmann
Lighting design by Natalie Robin
Costume design by Bevan Dunbar
Original music and sound design by Jason Binnick
Dramaturgy by Stacey Cooper McMath and Miriam Felton-Dansky
Choreography by Lindsay Torrey
Stage Manager Ai Ling Loo assisted by Gwendolyn McKenzie
Production Support by Donald Butchko and Avi Glickstein
Featuring Carmel Amit, Jenni Lerche, Elaine O'Brien, Sarah Sakaan, Eugene Michael Santiago, Hilary Thomas, and Ari Vigoda
With additional text by Rachel Carson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Anna Cummins, Libby Emmons, Avi Glickstein, Henrik Ibsen, Captain Charles Moore, Claire Nouvian, Elaine O'Brien, Taro Takahashi, and William Shakespeare, and Natasha Warner in collaboration with the director and cast
| Open: 11/05/09 Close: 11/22/09
Granada begins in 1992 as the King of Spain prepares to symbolically welcome Jews back to Spain after 500 years of banishment. A young Egyptian Jewish woman has been invited to stand in for all of those exiled—but following the ceremony, she reveals to Spain’s prince that she believes herself to be the resurrection of Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), philosopher, royal physician, and Jewish cultural icon. Quite suddenly, the prince’s world is not what it was before her revelation: he is pursued by a bear, seduced by a princess hatched from a grapefruit, and nearly betrayed by his trusty aide-de-camp. Is this the beginning of the Messianic age?
Bringing together characters and storytelling from Sephardic Jewish folklore and history and weaving from Spain to Israel to Morocco and back again, Granada explores issues of identity, both religious and national, and the uncanny link among followers of a tradition separated by continents but united by a state of exile.
Produced by Catherine Wallach and Polybe + Seats
Set and Costume Design: Peiyi Wong
Lighting Design: Natalie Robin assisted by Marika Kent
Dramaturgy: Miriam Felton-Dansky
Stage Manager/Associate Producer: Donald Butchko assisted by Dinah Finkelstein
Selected music performed by Anna Levenstein
|The Charlotte Salomon Project
| Open: 11/01/06 Close: 11/19/06
The texts, visuals, and actions of the play are drawn from the collection of over 1,300 paintings created by the artist Charlotte Salmon during World War II and collected by the artist in a volume called Life? Or Theater? The paintings illustrate her family's dark secret history, her sheltered girlhood during the rise of the Nazi regime, her development into an artist, and her troubled love affair with her stepmother's operatic voice teacher who became her obsession.
"a promising young company"
-Charles McNulty, The Village Voice
"Born out of a love of Gertrude Stein, Polybe + Seats is the coolest new ensemble company in town.
- Shawn-Marie Garrett, Contributing Editor, Theater Magazine