Highlights of the festival, which runs through Jan. 17, include Obie winner 600 Highwaymen, award-winning Chilean director Guillermo Calderón, Macklemore collaborator Ahamefule J. Oluo and trans spoken word duo DarkMatter.
Since its inception, the festival has presented over 194 companies from 40 countries and has provided a platform for such artists as Elevator Repair Service, Gob Squad and Young Jean Lee.
Curated by returning co-directors Mark Russell and Meiyin Wang, this year's festival launches Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub: In Concert, which highlights artists who are working at the intersection of music and theatre.
UTR also brings back the Incoming! Series, featuring members of The Public’s Devised Theater Initiative (DTI)’s Devised Theater Working Group. The series presents in-process works "of formal investigation and artistic ambition."
See below for more details on the line-up; click on selected links for video previews. Germinal
Jan. 6-9, 2016
Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort (France/Belgium)
On an empty stage, four intrepid performers begin to construct the world from scratch. With ingenious theater magic, they gleefully invent laws of physics, philosophy, music, language, and social interaction. One of the most talked-about pieces in the international performance circuit in recent years, Germinal uses the theater as a whimsical metaphor for human civilization.
Employee of the Year
600 Highwaymen (USA)
A play with children for adults. Five young girls tell the story of J., whose house burns down, taking with it everyone and everything she has ever known. From this moment, a singular journey begins. Performed in 600 Highwaymen’s arresting theatrical style and featuring the original songs of David Cale, Employee of the Year asks what it is to find your own way through life.
The Institute of Memory (TIMe)
Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera (USA)
Two men play with the past in the glow of a kinetic light sculpture signaling keystrokes from a hacked 50s typewriter. Featuring archival wire-tap transcriptions, the missives of communist spies, and MRI brain scans, The Institute of Memory (TIMe) conjures a portrait of director Lars Jan’s enigmatic father — a Cold War operative whose fascinating story prompts questions about privacy, memory, and fatherhood.
The Art of Luv (Part 1): Elliot
Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (USA)
On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger killed 6 people and injured 13 in a rampage motivated by his lack of success with women. Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble responds with a ritual-performance based on a cycle of found love stories — a meditation on masculinity, love and longing that confronts humanity's common search for love as we misunderstand it.
pomme is french for apple
Jan. 10 and 17
pomme is french for apple (Canada)
Pum (n): West Indian for a woman’s private parts. Comprised of a series of fast-paced vignettes, pomme is french for apple features a dizzying cast of charming and outlandish characters, in settings as diverse as the Caribbean, downtown Toronto, southeast London, and the too-tight crotch of the pants. pomme (sounds like…) is a fresh, funny and irreverent look at womanhood in all its glory: its perils, its pleasures and all kinds of madness in between.
Jan. 12 and 14
In a queer apocalypse where assimilation and white supremacy reign supreme, DarkMatter imagines alternatives. This trans spoken word duo speaks from beyond the gender binary in an explosion of queer rage, nursery rhymes, and unforgettable instagrammable fashions. #ItGetsBitter is their latest collage of camp, critique, and fluorescent lipstick created in collaboration with stage director Charlotte Brathwaite.
Now I’m Fine
Ahamefule J. Oluo (USA)
Comedian/musician/storyteller Ahamefule J. Oluo leads a team of talented musicians in a grand-scale experimental pop opera about keeping it together. Drawing from darkly funny personal stories about illness, despair, and regeneration, Now I'm Fine ranges from intimate to epic, featuring a 17-piece orchestra and a spectacular cast of performers.
Guillermo Calderón (Chile)
Chile, 1987. A group of young left-wing activists gather in a drab living room to receive paramilitary instruction aimed at overthrowing the Pinochet dictatorship. Wearing ski masks to conceal their identity from each other, they teach their respective skills: using a gun, political theory, clandestine organizational methods. With subtle humor and penetrating insight, Escuela illustrates the struggle and yearning of a generation prepared to use any means necessary to achieve justice and freedom.
God Bless Baseball
Toshiki Okada (Japan)
Presented by Japan Society
What does the sport of baseball mean to you? Visionary playwright/director Toshiki Okada explores this iconic American symbol and its popularity in Korea and Japan. Incorporating Okada’s distinctive style of hyper-colloquial speech and exaggerated commonplace gestures, the play examines influence and cultural assimilation on a global scale.
Dorothée Munyaneza / Compagnie Kadidi (France/Rwanda)
“Samedi détente was a Saturday radio program. In Rwanda, it was the main event of the week. We danced, we sang, we memorized the songs.” How do you speak about the unspeakable? Dorothée Munyaneza was 12 when blood turned Rwanda red in 1994. Twenty years later, she invents her own Samedi détente. Accompanied by Ivorian dancer Nadia Beugré and French musician Alain Mahé, she returns to the memories of her childhood with potent music, electrifying movement, and dispassionate testimony.
Tickets for UTR may be purchased online at UnderTheRadarFestival.com; The Taub Box Office at The Public at 425 Lafayette St.; or by phone at (212) 967-7555. Tickets for God Bless Baseball at Japan Society can be purchased directly from the venue at Japansociety.org.