Running through Nov. 24, the Ars Nova Theatre Festival brings together songwriters, bands, comedy artists, theatre-makers, storytellers and genre-defying performers who offer unique points of view in live storytelling. The festival, highlighting the work of relatively unknown artists, was created to balance Ars Nova's increasing visibility as a venue known for its full-scale productions.
A selection of A.N.T. Fest highlights follows:Step, written by Maxine Lyle and Amissa Miller. Martin Wilkins directs Heather DeLeon, Maxine Lyle, Dionne Norton and Sean Thomas in the "high-energy theatrical performance where dance, Afro-urban rhythms and poetry relay the stories of a new generation and explore their link to the past." (Oct. 16.)Just Jump!, written and choreographed by Chad Schiro and directed by Damon Arrington. Francesca Harper, Chad Schiro, Katrina Yaukey perform the piece that concerns "a seven-year-old girl standing petrified on a high-dive [who] finds the courage to jump into the wisdom of a tranny-hooker." (Oct. 20.)
The Story of America, written by Becky Yamamoto and directed by Jose Zayas. Tony Carnevale, Becky Yamamoto perform the piece that concerns "a time when no one believed comic songstress Becky Yamamoto could serve a second term as class president, [and] she dared to run for reelection." (Oct. 23.)Nobody Likes the Mormons, written and directed by Kerry Whigham, with music by Matt Citron. The "comic, irreverent and thoughtful theatrical exploration of Joseph Smith's Mormon Church" features Teddy Bergman, Erin Felgar, Roger Lirtsman and Vayu O'Donnell. (Oct. 30.)Goodbye Picasso's The Book of Aylene, created by Chris Dreyer. "Singer-songwriter Chris Dreyer's modern-day song cycle spanning the entirety of his protagonist's relationship with Aylene, 'the one who got away'" will be performed by the folk-rock-indie-acoustic band Goodbye Picasso. (Nov. 1.)Big Apple Turns to Cider, written and directed by Gustav Gauntlett. "Written entirely in rhyme and telling the story of an aspiring hip-hop artist and his journey through the history-rich hip-hop culture of New York City," the work will be performed by L. Chanes, Donald Cole, M.J. Donoghue, Nahdi Gibson, Jamil A.C. Mangan, Danielle Murat, TidalFriction and Chike Nwabukwu. (Nov. 8.)Girls I've LIKE Liked, written by Josh Halloway and directed by Kerry Whigham. Halloway, who will be joined by Spring Awakening's Phoebe Strole, "shares some of his favorite unrequited love stories in this candid, auto-bio-fictional romp about the road to manhood and the women you meet along the way. A celebration of the hilarious, the humiliating, and the just plain stupid things we do for love." (Nov. 13.)Songs About Real Life, written by emerging theatre composers Eric March and Jared Weiss. The duo are joined by Lauren Marcus for an evening of "eclectic rock/pop/theater/comedy songs about what it's really like to be Jared Weiss and Eric March." (Nov. 17.)
Digital Love, created by Thompson Davis and directed by Aaron Gensler. Thompson Davis, Lucas Kavner, Willie Orbison, Sally Swallow appear in the "new rock-band driven musical [that] follows a young temp as he doo-wops, discos, and rocks his way through the workday." All tickets for the A.N.T. Fest are $10 and are available by phoning (212) 868-4444 or by visiting Smarttix.
Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street in Manhattan.