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Livestreamed on this page from Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October 2021.

United States
Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October

Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!

An array of short performances, readings, and screenings, plus conversations with artists across the United States

Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the Graduate Center, CUNY presents its 2021 PRELUDE festival, "Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!," virtually from October 25 to October 31. This fest is the annual flagship event of the Segal Center. Traditionally, it is dedicated to artists at the forefront of contemporary NYC theater, dance, interdisciplinary and mediatized performance and offers an array of short performances, readings, and screenings: a survey of the current New York moment and the work being prepared for the next season and beyond, plus new commissions and panel discussions with artists, scholars, and performers.

This year, the Graduate Center at CUNY is still closed for public programs, so the fest is being presented online only for the second year. Works by 19 theater and performance companies will explore their artistic practice and critical discourse as part of this year’s festival. Twelve are from NYC and seven are from across the USA. It is the first time since Prelude’s inception that work from across the country will also be shown. The organizers feel it is important to show support in this difficult time to groundbreaking regional performance work, signaling that the metropolitan cultural supremacy of New York City is being challenged by experimental ensembles who have space, time, and close ties to the communities they work in. Artists from Austin, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco are being presented.

Inspired by Prelude curator Jay Wegman, the fest is employing a radically new format titled Chain Curating. The Segal Center chose three curators from New York. Each initial curator nominated just one artist and selected a fellow curator to do the same. This chain model produced twelve brilliant New York curators and twelve truly diverse New York artists/ensembles who have something to say. Companies from outside New York were curated by Jake Hooker.

All events are free and open to the public on the festival's digital platforms. The itemized schedule of performances follows below. Fourteen pre-recorded pieces will be available for anytime viewing during the week of Prelude on the PRELUDE website and the Segal Center YouTube Channel from Monday 25 October to Sunday 31 October. Five live streamed performances happening on each weekday of the festival week across PRELUDE and The Segal Center's long-standing digital collaborator HowlRound.

Alongside the 19 performed pieces, the HowlRound website will host daily Segal Talks with the Prelude 2021 artists and curators, Panel Discussions with contemporary creators on conversations spanning criticism, Indigenous art, the resounding effects of the Seventies and more, as well as the much awaited Franky Award Ceremony. Schedule of talks follows below.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
stefa marin alarcon and Ita Segev (New York); Mariam Bazeed (New York); Arien Wilkerson/Tnmot Aztro (New York); Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (Philadelphia PA); Natalie Greene and Michelle Talgarow from Mugwumpin (San Francisco CA); Maura García (New York); Sibyl Kempson with 7 Daughters of Eve Theatre & Perf Co. (New York); Adil Mansoor, Nicole Shero, and Paul Kruse from Hatch Arts Collective (Pittsburgh PA); Carra Martinez (Live In America @ Fusebox Festival, Austin TX); LOUD Theatre (New Orleans LA); Maelstrom Collaborative Arts (Cleveland OH); A Host of People (Detroit MI); Damani Pompey with Magnus Works (New York); Isaac Pool (New York); Daisy Press/Voice Cult (New York); Alex Tatarsky (New York); Anh Vo (New York); Kiyan Williams (New York); and Declan Zhang (New York).

CURATORS
Sivan Battat, Malcolm Betts, David Bruin, Ty Defoe, Jesse Firestone, Alessandra Gómez, Nile Harris, Miranda Haymon, Jake Hooker, David Mendizábal, Lumi Tan, Jay Wegman, and Arien Wilkerson.

Prelude 2021 is produced by Andie Lerner and Tanvi Shah. Festival web development provided by Gaurav Singh Nijjer. Digital Marketing is by Cactus Juice. The 2021 Prelude Festival is supported by the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

Livestream Schedule

These livestream programs will be available on the PRELUDE and HowlRound websites.

Monday 25 October

Segal Talk: ‘Chain Curation: Thread 1’
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: David Bruin, Daisy Press, Nile Harris, Anh Vo, Malcolm Betts, Arien Wilkerson, and Damani Pompey

 

Panel Discussion: The New New York Theater Criticism
1:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Bedatri D.Choudhury, Christian Lewis, Helen Shaw, Jose Solís, Juan Michael Porter II, Ran Xia, and Sarah Rose Leonard
As we gather in theaters again, two new criticism projects will meet the resurgent New York theater on its own turf. How do they plan to change the field? Join us for a panel about new theater criticism with editors of the newly formed collectives "3Views" and the first announced members of the "DidTheyLikeIt" cohort, moderated by New York Magazine and Vulture theater critic Helen Shaw. With Sarah Rose Leonard & Jose Solís from www.3viewstheater.com and Bedatri D. Choudhury, Christian Lewis, Juan Michael Porter II, and Ran Xia from www.didtheylikeit.com. Panelists: Sarah Rose Leonard & Jose Solís from www.3viewstheater.com and Bedatri D. Choudhury, Christian Lewis, Juan Michael Porter II, and Ran Xia from "DidTheyLikeIt." Moderator: Helen Shaw.

 

A Dripping Honeycomb and Other Holy Places: An evening of work-in-progress by Daisy Press
4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4)

 

Tuesday 26 October

Segal Talk: ‘Chain Curation: Thread 2’
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Miranda Haymon, Declan Zhang, Sivan Battat, Mariam Bazeed, David Mendizábal, stefa marin alarcon, Ty Defoe, and Maura García

 

Panel Discussion: Cattaneo & Marranca: New York Theater in the Past, Present and Future
1:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Anne Cattaneo, and Bonnie Marranca
Join us for a conversation with authors Anne Cattaneo (The Art of Dramaturgy​, Yale University Press, 2021) and Bonnie Marranca (Timelines: writings and conversations, PAJ Publications, 2021), hosted by Frank Hentschker. ​Drawing on both New York and international perspectives, these new books explore the complexities of making theater and thinking about theater. Panelists: Anne Cattaneo (The Art of Dramaturgy​, Yale University Press, 2021) and Bonnie Marranca (Timelines: writings and conversations, PAJ Publications, 2021). Host: Frank Hentschker

 

The Q&Q: An open studio with stefa marin alarcon in conversation with Ita Segev
4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4)

 

Wednesday 27 October

Segal Talk: ‘Chain Curation: Thread 3’
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Jay Wegman, Sibyl Kempson, Lumi Tan, Alex Tatarsky, Alessandra Gómez, Kiyan Williams, Jesse Firestone and Isaac Pool

 

Panel Discussion: Contemporary Indigenous Performance
1:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Rhiana Yazzie, Ryan “Opalanietet” Pierce, Vickie Ramirez and Ty Defoe
Join us for a panel investigating and exploring the complexities of how indigenous artists create performance, dance, music and theater in the United States. With Rhiana Yazzie, Vickie Ramirez and Opalanietet Pierce (moderator). Panelists: Rhiana Yazzie and Vickie Ramirez. Moderator: Opalanietet Pierce

 

Thursday 28 October

Segal Talk: ‘Chain Curation: Pan-US Artists’
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With: Sherrine Azab, Jake Hooker, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation’s Benjamin Camp, Maelstrom Collaborative Arts, Mugwumpin’s Natalie Greene, Hatch Arts Collective’s Adil Mansoor and Paul Kruse, Carra Martinez and indee mitchell

 

FRANKY Award Celebration- Recipient: Sade Lythcott
11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

 

Panel Discussion: Then/Now: Considering 1970s New York City and Performance Today
1:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
With:Hillary Miller, Julia Foulkes, Karen Jaime, and Ryan Donovan
Join us for a panel investigating how New York performance reacted to the crisis of the Seventies. How did it shape the landscape of contemporary work, what we should remember, and what might help us to create sense for the Time after Corona we are entering now? With Karen Jaime, Julia Foulkes and Ryan Donovan. Moderated by Hillary Miller. Panelists: Karen Jaime, Julia Foulkes and Ryan Donovan. Moderator: Hillary Miller.

Friday 29 October

2023 Theater & Performance Summer Festival for the City Of New York: A panel with Artistic leaders from CUNY City University Stages.
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
Join us for a panel with representatives from Cultural Institutes who bring global theater to New York City. Invitees are: The French Cultural Services, The Goethe Institut, Japan Society, Asia Society, Italian Cultural Services, The British Council, and others... The panel will explore questions around the creation of a global New York Theater and Performance Festival in the summer of 2023: How should such a festival look? Who would be and who should be the audiences? How can all five NYC boroughs be involved? What roles can New York City parks and parking lots play?

 

2023 Theater & Performance Summer Festival for the City Of New York: A panel with International Cultural Services, Centers and Institutions.
12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
Join us for a panel with artistic leaders from CUNY City University Stages: Baruch College, Hunter College, City College, Queens College, BMCC, Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Staten Island, and others... The panel will explore questions around the creation a global New York Theater and Performance Festival in the summer of 2023: How should such a festival look? Who would be and who should be the audiences? How can CUNY Stages in all five NYC boroughs be involved? What role can NYC parks play?

 

2023 Theater & Performance Summer Festival for the City Of New York: A panel with PRELUDE Curators and New York artistic leaders.
2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
Join us for a panel with PRELUDE Curators and artistic leaders from the New York City theater and performance scene. The panel will explore questions around the creation of a global New York Theater and Performance Festival in the summer of 2023: How should such a festival look? Who would be and who should be the audiences? How can existing New York stages be involved? What role can NYC parks play?

Background

ABOUT THE PRELUDE FESTIVAL
Since 2003, the annual Prelude Festival has given audiences a first look at new work and ideas by groundbreaking theater and performance artists based in New York City. Prelude has presented the work of more than three hundred artists, including Annie Dorsen, Jackie Sibbles Drury, Half Straddle, Lucas Hnath, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Young Jean Lee, Taylor Mac, and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, alongside legendary figures such as Richard Foreman, Marina Abramović, the Living Theatre, and many more.

ABOUT THE MARTIN E. Segal Theatre Center
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is a nonprofit center for theater, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY’s PhD program in theater. The Center’s mission is to bridge the gap between academia and the professional performing arts communities both within the United States and internationally.

ABOUT SEGAL TALKS
Since March 2020 the series featured over 150 talks with 150 artists from 50 countries. New York, US, and international theater artists, curators, researchers, and academics will talk daily during the week for one hour with Segal Center’s director, Frank Hentschker, about life and art in the Time of Corona and speak about challenges, sorrows, and hopes for the new Weltzustand— the State of the World. The series focuses on Theater, Performance and The Political, highlighting the Segal Center’s 2023 New York International Festival of the Arts Project and the Center’s Public Park Project.

ABOUT FRANKY AWARD
Named in honor of Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Executive Director and PRELUDE founder Dr. Frank Hentschker, the FRANKY Award was created to recognize an artist who has made a long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theater and performance in New York City.

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

Find all of our upcoming events here.

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