Downtown's HERE Arts Center will mark their fifth anniversary on Nov. 5, 1998 with performance highlights from this season, including segments from the surprise hit, underwater puppet extravaganza, Symphonie Fantastique.
The evening will be a celebration of the arts center, which has presented thousands of eclectic shows in their three-theatre complex including: Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, Mabou Mines' Red Horse Animation, Symphonie Fantastique, Target Margin's Mamba's Daughters, as well their annual festivals, The American Living Room Series and CultureMart .
Beside Symphonie, co-founders Kristen Marting and Tim Maner will present their latest pieces. Director/choreographer Marting's The Women of Orleans, combines material from numerous sources, including Kate Chopin's novel "The Awakening," "The Grandissimes" by George Washington Cable, newspaper accounts from the period, folk tales, and a biography of The Baroness de Portalba. From that literary stew, Marting tells the stories of four women of various races and the men who become obsessed with them.
Through the piece, Marting examines matters of race, gender, and class in New Orleans shortly after The Civil War, giving contemporary audiences a view into the volatile blend of white, black, French, Spanish, Cajun and Creole.
Maner will present excerpts from his latest collaboration with playwright, Ruth Margraff, The Cry Pitch Carrolls. It's a musical theatre dark comedy about the unlikely reawakening of Christmas memories in a Midwestern town beset by a nuclear winter. Margraff is widely considered one of the Downtown scenes hottest playwrights. Her current projects include operas with rock and roller Nick Cave and composer Fred Ho. HERE was started in 1993, when two downtown companies, HOME for Contemporary Arts and Tiny Mythic, combined forces to create a three theatre, two gallery art complex.
For tickets ($12), or more information on HERE's Fifth Anniversary Celebration, call (212) 647-0202.
-- By Sean McGrath