Under the Radar and PS122’s COIL Festival have announced their line-ups for the 2016 festival season, and they come with pleasant surprises. First of all, I can’t help but plug the work I am myself involved in: Sister Sylvester is reprising They Are Gone But Here I Must I Remain as part of UTR’s Incoming! series. We’re pretty stoked about it. We go up on Saturdays January 9 & 16. It’s very exciting and we’re ecstatic to be part of the same festival as Toshiki Okada, whose God Bless Baseball is presented at the Japan Society as part of UTR. Kathryn Hamilton and I actually met at an afterparty back in January back in 2012 talking about Okada and how much we loved his work. I maintain he’s one of the most interesting theater artists working today, and worth checking out.
UTR also features a couple shows from local New Yorkers I’m excited about. Ever since I caught 600 Highwaymen’s This Great Land a couple years ago at the Fusebox Festival in Austin, I’ve been captivated by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone’s work. I actually missed Employee of the Year when they first brought it to NYC in October 2014 as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival, and I’m glad to have the chance to rectify that omission. Then there’s Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble. Last year my buddies Tei Blow and Sean McElroy blew everyone away with their presentation of an excerpt of their latest, The Art of Luv (Part 1) as part of Incoming. I’ve followed the company since their earliest work, and suggested them to everyone I could, but even I undersold them. The piece is a shocking and uncomfortable enactment of identity…I’ll leave it that vague. Don’t miss it when they bring the full-scale work this year.
Then there’s PS122’s COIL. 2016 will be the last year PS122 is homeless, so it’ll be interesting to see how COIL evolves once they have a home to program year-round again. For the time being it remains their premier showcase of new work. I want to call out first and foremost Michael Klien’s Excavation Site: Martha Graham U.S.A. I’ve been in an ongoing dialogue with Klien and his frequent dramaturgical collaborator Steve Valk for several years, since I saw the criminally under-appreciated Choreography for Blackboards at COIL in 2012. This is going to be an exciting piece, in collaboration with a forward-thinking Martha Graham Company. Otherwise, both niv Acosta and Kaneza Schaal (the latter seen recently in ERS’s Fondly, Collette Richland) are fantastic artists in rather different veins. findlay//sandsmark return with a new work, and Annie Dorsen brings her latest algorithmic theater piece, Yesterday Tomorrow. All are highly recommended.