Marla and Her Prayers

Next up: What would YOU forgive?

I am thrilled to be directing an Off-The-Page of Marla and Her Prayers by Kim Merrill at New Perspectives. Kim's darkly comic play digs deep into the soul of Marla as she wrestles with a dead gay son, his teenage killer, a born-again mother, and her own inner demons. Touches of magical realism and an original score are guides along the pathway of this lyrical, sometimes absurd, investigation into life's most profound mysteries.

The cast and production team are fantastic! This workshop features Ephraim Birney*, Anne Fizzard*, Jane Ives*, Dawn McGee*, and Jose Antonio Melian. Christopher North is Composer/Sound Designer, Meganne George is designing Sets and Costumes, and Deborah Constantine is designing the Lighting. Carolina Arboleda is the Stage Manager.


Wednesday-Friday, April 2-4, 7:30pm; Sunday, April 6, 2:00pm


The Shadow Puppet Troupe of Wat Bo

Puppets? Non-western theater? From Cambodia?

Yes! Right here in NYC this week!

This troupe very rarely performs outside of Cambodia, and we are so lucky to have them at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place this week. I watched the spacing rehearsal this afternoon, and can not wait to see the first rehearsal with lighting on Monday night. This is something special, and something we rarely see here in the U.S.A.

If you want to stop by rehearsal on Monday or Tuesday night, please text me so I can confirm what's going on. The dress is slated for 8pm on Wednesday.

Performances are at 8pm on Thurs 4/25, Fri 4/26, Sat 4/27 & Sun 4/28. The show is family-friendly and free.

Sbeik Thom (shadow puppetry) is an ancient and sacred form of Cambodian theater traditionally performed on ceremonial occasions. Performances of Sbeik Thom feature puppeteers and dancers manipulating large-scale leather shadow puppets against a lit screen while accompanied by a pinpeat ensemble. Commissioned by Arts Brookfield as part of Season of Cambodia, the Sbeik Thom Troupe from Wat Bo in Siem Reap will perform Sor Neakabas – a tale from the Reamker, Cambodia’s beloved version of the Ramayana epic. Under threat of extinction during the Khmer Rouge regime, this Sbeik Thom performance is not only a New York City premiere, but also a testament to the strength of a remarkable nation, culture, and community of artists.

Anne Militello: Light Cycles

The west wall of the Winter Garden is comprised of three layers, the highest standing at 120 feet. To my great surprise, Arts Brookfield had never used the glass wall as a canvas in its 24-year history – most likely due to the significant costs and rigging challenges involved with such an undertaking. In the fall of 2011, our Executive Director suggested that I re-visit a proposal made a few years earlier by Anne Militello. At that point, we had chosen to execute a portion of her vision, the extremely popular “drip” lights that have brightened up the Plaza trees for the past few winter.

Exciting conversations with Anne followed, as she refined her ideas for the installation. She envisioned three different sizes of color changing LED embedded discs hung on strands, like pendants on a bracelet. Her renderings and animations were inspiring. And like all site-specific commissions with custom designed materials, it was a leap of faith. Fast forward through material tests, equipment tests, many production meetings, my first trip to Vegas to see a prototype disc, repeated assurances to my boss that it would be worth every cent, and the first night of installation. The second night, the first sets of strands were turned on to make sure they worked.

It was stunning.

It’s one of the handful of times in my life that the reality of the art surpassed my imagination - and there were still 2/3 of the strands to be installed and programming to be completed. Now, the Winter Garden and Plaza are animated nightly by a different sequence of movements and colors inspired by natural phenomena. Anne’s magnificent installation makes the atrium sparkle like a gorgeous gem on the Manhattan skyline. It’s worth the trek to Lower Manhattan.

Light Cycles, an installation by Anne Militello commissioned by Arts Brookfield, has just been extended through mid-April, sunset to midnight.