Mabou Mines co-artistic director Ruth Maleczech commissioned five poet-playwrights — one from each borough of New York City — to create epic poems, which were set to music by composer Lisa Gutkin (of the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics).
Songs for New York will be presented at BAM in a concert version. In the fall, the show will be staged on a floating barge with the audience sitting onshore. There will be performances at waterfront locations in each borough.
The show, according to press notes, is a "theatrical monument to the city's life post 9/11" and is "an interplay of choral speech, dance, music and visual art." The work was developed in part at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak.
The festival, a collaboration between BAM and the Sundance Institute, will also include film screenings, music performances, panel discussions and special events. According to press notes, "The program is designed to stimulate dialogue between artists and audiences and to provide insight into the creative-and practical-processes of filmmakers, playwrights and composers."
The Sundance Institute Theatre Program runs a summer theatre lab in Sundance, UT, and a winter lab in Florida. Some of the past projects that have been supported by the program include The Laramie Project, Yellowman, Grey Gardens, Spring Awakening and I Am My Own Wife. The program will take place in the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Peter Jay Sharp Building at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. For tickets — which go on sale April 28 — or more information, visit www.bam.org or www.sundance.org.