Highlights of the festival include Moms, in which a chorus of young men will push strollers while discussing the struggles of motherhood as though they were women; An Evening With Bina48, the world’s most advanced social robot's theatrical debut; and This Place, a series of scenes along Pier 66 that will evoke images from early settlement through an imagined future.
Under the mentorship and guidance of En Garde's founder Anne Hamburger, teams of playwrights, directors, devisors, choreographers and designers have created site-specific works to be presented over the two days.
Hamburger established BOSSS to give this group of artists a chance to expand their imaginations as well as reach new audiences, who may not usually have access to live arts.
"The BOSSS Festival is a fantastic way to introduce park-goers to innovative performing arts and for existing fans of En Garde Arts to discover hidden corners of Hudson River Park," said Madelyn Wils, CEO and president of Hudson River Park Trust, in a press statement. "We are thrilled to partner with En Garde Arts to support this free opportunity for audiences to discover living art that reacts and engages with our Park’s rich environment."
Below is the line-up of events and artists: Given The Present, The Future Does Not Depend On The Past
Sam Alper, Playwright
Deepali Gupta, Composer and Lyricist
Jimmy Maize, Director
For the past three years, playwright Sam Alper has collected auto-generated spam comments posted on a Wordpress site. He now has over a hundred pages of algorithms impersonating humans, using the language of advertising, viral news stories and personal anecdotes. He is distilling this text to create the script for a massive, mobile, interactive performance in the Chelsea Waterside Park. Directed by Jimmy Maize, with choral arrangements by Deepali Gupta, Given the Present the Future Does Not Depend on the Past shines a light on the robotic ur-text of global capitalism’s spam.
Barbara Cassidy, Playwright and Director
Jessica Corbin, Composer/Music Director
Johari Mayfield, Choreographer
Three teenage girls, Mattie, Brooke, and Queenie decide to drink an “elixir” and stay out all night in order to feel alive. Weird things ensue. People follow them. They ask questions of each other—the kinds of questions about life that prompt all night talks. Finally, they come upon a group of strange women sitting along the Hudson River. The girls “know not what to do.” This performance features music and dance.
Sarah Delappe, Playwright
Morgan Green, Director
Sarah Delappe will create a chorus of young men who will push strollers while discussing the struggles of motherhood as though they were women.
The Queer Garden
Kenny Finkle, Playwright
Jessie Geiger, Director
The Queer Garden is an outdoor spectacle installation that is part living sculpture garden, part happening, part love story, and part fairy tale. The work—sometimes reflective, sometimes active—seeks to question queer identity past, present and future. The audience is invited to engage in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Produced by Liz English.
We Were Wild Once Episode 6: Talks With A Drunk
Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, Director
Vincent van Santvoord
Sanaz Ghajarrahimi will create a piece with her company, Built4Collapse, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book "On Booze." With text, dance, music and media, Ghajarrahimi will create a lifetime—asking, by the end, “Was it worth it after all?”
Night, Janitor, Carousel
Ellie Heyman, Director
Robbie Cucchiaro and Christy Gressman, Julian Koster, Performers
A janitor has been hired to clean the carousel at night. This solitary worker battles crushing loneliness as real and imaginary realities collide.
An Evening With Bina48
Andrew Scoville, Director
Dave Tennant, Designer
Kate Freer, Designer
Andrew Scoville, Dave Tennet and Kate Freer seek to explore the use of robots in theatrical storytelling. In this production, they are teaming up with Bina48, the world’s most advanced social robot, to create an evening of conversation unlike any other. Bina48 has been in TED Talks throughout the world and featured in various publications, including The New York Times. This performance marks Bina48’s theatrical debut, as a robotic actor in collaboration with a human creative team.
Lee Sunday Evans, Director
A collaboration between director Evans, producer Alisa Simonel-Keegan of Keegansmission, and Designer Deb O. Together they create an interactive installation and performance through a series of scenes along Pier 66 at the panhandle. The piece will bring viewers through transitions in time and through events that had major socio and environmental impacts on the city, the waterway, and development, and evoke images from early settlement through future imaginations.
Gnomads of the Garden
Stephanie Okun, playwright
An unexpected bunch does unexpected things.
Conceived by PopUP Theatrics
Written by Peca Stefan, Directed by Tamilla Woodard
On Pier 66, two self-improvement groups try to negotiate space and time on this section of prime peaceful waterfront real estate. With the title and text, inspired by the sculpture that adorns the edge of the pier, Long Time pits spiritual gurus against fitness freaks in an epic turf battle for the well being of mankind, creating an unforgettable, reality-altering experience for participating and witnessing audiences. The history of human conflict unfolds in a screwball comedy of errors, in which every second weighs more than a year, and a minute more than a century.
Choreographed by Megan Weaver and Hassan Christopher
In this choreo-play staged upon Allan Wexler’s iconic Two Too Large Tables (in Hudson River Park at 29th Street), the four lost suits of Heart, Club, Spade and Diamond haunt the strange and surreal moments that occur when we come to the table and pull up a chair.
BOSSS is the latest in a series of site-specific theatrical events available in New York, including Speakeasy Dollhouse: Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic, which recreates the glamour and debauchery of the prohibition era; Sleep No More, the city's long-running and popular site-specific re-imagining of Macbeth; and Then She Fell, an immersive theatre experience that combines a hospital ward with the writings of "Alice in Wonderland" author Lewis Carroll.