June is proving to be a busy month for New York theater, with a rich variety of virtual offerings from Gingold Theatrical Group (GTG), National Asian American Theater Company (NAATCO) and Vangeline
Now in her 16and season, GTG continues its development of new games with the Phase 1 Games in progress of this year’s Speaker’s Corner Writers Group. Named after the corner of Hyde Park in London where George Bernard Shaw and other political orators have given speeches since 1855, the group consists of six to ten writers each year, who spend time exploring a specific piece of Shaw and to write new individual pieces in response. to its text and its avant-garde humanitarian ideals.
This year’s six free virtual tabletop readings, which began June 5 and will run through June 17, feature work in development inspired by Shaw’s weapons and manby writers Kate Douglas (The Apiarydirected by Colette Robert, who started the series), Aeneas Sagar Hemphill (Karma Sutra Chai Tea Lattedirected by Arpita Mukherjee, June 8), Sophie Sagan-Gutherz (the scold’s bridledirected by Jaye Hunt, June 10), Seth McNeill (Untitled Conspiracy Gamedirected by Lico Whitfield, June 12), Divya Mangwani (Vigil Auntiesdirected by Aneesha Kudtarkar, June 15), and Marcus Scott (This is the neighborhooddirected by Christopher Burris, June 17), all from 7 p.m.
GTG Associate Director Ilana Becker, who runs the Speaker’s Corner Writers Group, said, “It was a joy to witness and participate in the development from the ground up of these six fiercely funny, wildly intelligent and genuinely ambitious plays. While they are all unique pieces in tone and exploration, they also all emerge distinctly from this moment of vast friction and change.
The tickets for the Phase 1 Games in progress the readings are free; to pre-register for the webinars, click here.
NAATCO, founded by Mia Katigbak and Richard Eng in 1989 to affirm the presence and importance of Asian American theater in the United States, presents the remote U.S. premiere of And if if only, a new play by British playwright Caryl Churchill. Made for digital presentation by OBIE-winning filmmakers Les Waters and Jared Mezzocchi, and in collaboration with Virtual Design Collective (ViDCo) – a newly founded collective of over 20 designers, programmers and technicians using innovative ways to tell stories. stories and build online communities – the nightly live performances will air Monday, June 7 through Saturday, June 12 at 7 p.m.
Katigbak said the work, which she described as a “brilliantly written short piece that contains heartbreaking ideas, great heartbreaks, oceans of loneliness and grief, stillness and transmutation”, was brought to her by Waters, after asking Churchill to allow NAATCO to present with an all-Asian American cast. She has accepted; the fifteen-minute NAATCO production stars Katigbak, as well as Paul Juhn, Kylie Kuioka, Jon Norman Schneider and Bernard White.
Waters explained, “With each piece, Caryl reinvents the question: what is a piece? This piece asks us what do we do when our loved one/partner dies? What could we have done differently? What if What if What if. Mezzocchi added, “This text is such a robust landscape of the mind that it lends itself so incredibly to this form and I’m inspired to watch it open up new realms for the virtual performance space.”
For tickets from And if if onlypriced at $15, go in line. Please note that this piece contains a sequence of flashing lights, which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities.
In collaboration with the visionary Vangeline Theatre/New York Butoh Institute, dedicated to advancing the post-war avant-garde Butoh movement in the 21st century, Howl Arts will present free streams of the fifth annual Queer Butoh. Returning during Pride Month, the series features LGBTQ Butoh dancers from Singapore, South Africa and Italy reflecting on the intersection of Queerness and Butoh.
Hosted by teacher, dancer, choreographer and founding artistic director Vangeline, the free Tuesday night digital series, starting at 8 p.m., features 60-minute pieces from XUE (Flowers, performed in Brooklyn, 2019, with an introduction by the artist, electric guitar accompaniment by John Barrington and video documentation by Mika Orotea) on June 8; Damiano Fina (playing Helios, and discuss Queer Butoh Pedagogy) on June 15; and Tebby WT Ramasike (In search of a soul: the cry of a blind man . . . the callplayed at TATWERK Berlin, in February 2015, with an introduction by the artist) on June 22.
After the first streams on the Howl websitebands of each representation of Queer Butoh 2021 will be available for viewing until June 30 on the Vangeline Vimeo page.