Ars Nova has launched a new digital streaming platform to present works during its 2020–2021 season. Ars Nova Supra showcases NYC emerging artists, with a number of works set to debut in October.
“I don’t see a future for the performing arts that doesn’t include a full embrace of digital mediums,” says Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan. “That was true before COVID-19, and the pandemic drilled home a whole new set of reasons why. Ars Nova Supra will help us address today's urgent need to keep artists working, and keep audiences entertained from the safety of their homes."
The October presentations are: Showgasm. (October 8), with guest host Sonia Denis, featuring Odinaka Ezeokoli, Rebecca O'Neal, and Jonathan Teklai; Laura Galindo in Concert! (October 16), featuring Henry Trinder, Isaiah Hazzard, Greg Tock, and Sam Revaz; Find Him (October 23), written and performed by Dylan Guerra; The Other Other (October 27), created by Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Kameron Neal; and A Blue Moon Study by O-die (October 31), created by lim with puppetry created by Marte Ekhougen. All October shows premiere at 7 PM ET.
The season also includes Ars Nova Experiences, a series of off-screen, tactile works. It begins in November with P.S., created by director-developer Teddy Bergman (KPOP) and playwrights Sam Chanse and Amina Henry, with materials designed by Kimie Nishikawa (Dr. Ride’s American Beach House). The work brings storytelling to audiences as they receive letters at home sent between two characters isolated from each other. The eventual final act culminates in a live, in-person performance that reunites these characters. A second Ars Nova Experience takes place in Spring 2021 with details to be announced at a later date.
The Off-Broadway institution will then close out the year with its 24-hour Forever Telethon December 4. In addition, Ars Nova announced it remains committed to producing Heather Christian's Oratorio for Living Things, which closed after two preview performances due to COVID-19, and the Off-Broadway premiere of (pray), created by nicHi douglas, with music composed by Starr Busby & JJJJJerome Ellis. Dates and ticketing information will be announced once it is safe to return to theatres.
Ars Nova has also introduced two new development projects to support theatre artists during the pandemic. In the Vision Residency, artists will create new works for Ars Nova Supra, and receive a total of $19,500 for administrative and creative support. The inaugural class is made up of Starr Busby, nicHi douglas, JJJJJerome Ellis, raja feather kelly, Jenny Koons, David Mendizábal, and Rona Siddiqui.
Another program, Camp, provides peer support and feedback as storytellers work on new comedic pieces in weekly meetings facilitated by co-directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring. The residency culminates in a full-length performance on Supra. Applications are now open.
Finally, Ars Nova is extending its commission timelines and residencies through 2021, providing each artist with a $2,500 no-strings-attached Flash Grant to be used however they choose. Khiyon Hursey is this year’s newest resident.