theater

New play WOLF/LAMB set for Triskelion March 5, 6, 7

Triskelion Arts (190 Calyer Street) will preset Annalyn Lehnig in LAMB/WOLF, an unlikely love story between a wolf who longs for company and a lamb who dreams of sovereignty. Written and performed by Annalyn Lehnig, LAMB/WOLF is a brutal, sensual tale for anyone who’s felt deeply connected or deeply alone with enough courage to ask themselves:

Who am I’?
Have you ever felt hunger that’s buckled your knees?
A longing so hollow that your bones start to thin?
Loneliness.
Or have you yearned to hear the sound of your own voice above the deafening babel of the flock?
Sovereignty.

Using rhyme, music and stylized movement Lehnig seamlessly weaves a universal tale of becoming, of the life/death/life cycle, amounting to a brutal, unpredictable end. LAMB/WOLF is physical and vulnerable, dangerous and sensual. In Lehnig’s capable hands, the audience is always cared for.

LABM/WOLF performs March 5–7 at 8 PM in Triskelion’s Muriel Schulman Mainstage Theater.  Tickets are $18 in advance or $22 at the door. They can be purchased here.

About the Artist
Annalyn Lehnig is an actress, dancer, teacher and writer living in Brooklyn. She has shared her work in Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans, Minneapolis, New York, and Lewiston, ME.

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BENT Brings LGBTQ+ Storytelling and Female Driven Theater to Triskelion Arts

When you think of love in February, you might think Valentines Day, or Galentine’s day or any amount of candy-covered sentiments…but if you are interested in thinking about the true meaning of love – even in the face of impossible odds, check out the brand new production of BENT, coming to Triskelion Arts (106 Calyer St.) in February featuring a Greenpoint-based production team, and LGBTQ+ cast.

BENT is a tragic love story set in Nazi Germany that follows the relationships and persecution of gay men during the Holocaust. The 1979 play, which originally starred Ian McKellen and Richard Gere, grabbed a Tony nod during its original Broadway run, and put playwright Martin Sherman in line for a Pulitzer.

Now, director, producer and Greenpoint resident Emma Coulter is bringing it back to the stage. Coulter and her team, who have staged the show before, know the power of the story they are telling. “…[Bent reminds us that] it’s worth the risk to care, and to love. Even if it means being killed. Because if we don’t do that, there is no point to living,” Coulter says. Producer Kira Geiger promises the show is “surprisingly funny, incredibly sexy, and absolutely heartbreaking…you will leave the theater a changed person.”

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An Immersive Goodbye Party Comes to a Williamsburg Backyard

Shuga Pie Supreme is thrilled to present The Goodbye Party by Charlie O’Leary, directed by Charles Quittner, at Boscoe Barles Backyard (290 North 6 Street) this Friday through Sunday at 8.

This outdoor, site-specific play centers on a goodbye party for the (semi-)fictional Stevie. “I wanted to write a play about the impossibility of letting go, a play that was a tribute to my time in New York, but mostly I just wanted to trick this group of collaborators into hanging out with me for a week. I think this play is a reflection of that,” says O’Leary. “Also, it’s a pizza party.”

This 60-minute musical play will feature Ae Andreas (AKA God Complex, BK Drag King of the Year), Robert Dowling (Ding Dong It’s The Ocean), Chris Ignacio, and Curry Whitmire. Anne Ciarlone produces the play with music by David Carl, Nikolai Mishler, and Charlie O’Leary. “I’ve always wanted to do a backyard-in-Brooklyn play, despite never actually having lived there,” O’Leary adds. “I’m so glad that Boscoe Barles has given me the opportunity to join the ranks of low-budget site-specific theatremakers all the borough over.”

Tickets are a suggested donation of $12 and can be reserved at goodbyeparty.bpt.me.

Shuga Pie Supreme is a Brooklyn-based performance company of fleeting trifles and pizza parties “having fun with futitlity” (The New York Times). They previously produced Cowboy at Target Margin, …Coriolanus and It’s Cymbeline 🤷🏻 at the Brick, He Hurt Himself in His Confusion at The Glove, and Toxic if Swallowed at AmericanAF and The LGBT Center.

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In “Cabin,” A Queer Thriller Takes Over The Bushwick Starr

Tyler Ashley in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

We’re always voyeurs, as audiences in a theater, but the three-paneled walls we peer through in Cabin only heighten our perverse role. In this titular cabin, men are spied on by more than just the audience.

Is Sean Donovan’s new play a bittersweet romance, a queer thriller, or a haunting look at outsiders in unfamiliar terrain? It boldly marries all three in its intricate constellation — or cobweb — that is now playing through June 8 at The Bushwick Starr.

S meets Paul, then S meets Stewart, and soon the three are escaping the city to galavant and smoke and make love deep in the woods, high in a relative’s getaway home, so elevated it sits above the rolling fog. The home’s clear vistas offer no safety.

Not long into their increasingly regular sojourns, S (Sean Donovan, who also directs) meets a mysterious older townie who develops a strange and off-putting obsession with the three gay men, who together exist in a relatively stable friendship and romance.

Sean Donovan in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

This is what S regales in a mammoth monologue at the geographical center of Cabin. We learn about the cabin’s history and tchotchkes, we see Stewart (Tyler Ashley) try out a new dance routine with Paul (Brandon Washington), and we then worry for their safety. But how the play’s eerie quality emerges is both jarring and subtle — it happens all at once, and yet it was there all along. Can queer men be safe even in isolated, fortressed havens?

Brandon Washington and Tyler Ashley in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

To clearly answer that would both spoil and undermine this play, which provides no easy answers. But here’s what this sly and dangerous play does do: it uses those three window panes for more than just peering, as in one mystical touch they become a reflector for the warm vignettes of memories past. It showcases Tyler Ashley’s virtuosic dance and lip sync talents. (For proof, see last year’s Bushwig performance.) And it ends with a lyrical blow so theatrical you’ll be reminded, again and again, how marvelous The Bushwick Starr is, how idiosyncratic its programming, and how mysterious and tender this gem of a play is.

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Thursday Spotlight: Meet Director Dina Vovsi

Dina Vovsi

When we discuss the art scene in Greenpoint, we often focus on the Pencil Factory’s many inhabitants or the other visual artists working out of their studios, homes, and even in our neighborhood parks. But North Brooklyn has always been teeming with artists of many different stripes, including versatile theatermakers like director Dina Vovsi. Dina has worked in collegiate and Off-Broadway theaters, crafted plays centering on immigrant experiences, and created immersive experiences in outdoor settings. Below, we get to know the Greenpoint-based director while discussing her career, the importance of affordable housing, and — of course — her dog Bruce.

Greenpointers: How long have you lived in Greenpoint, and what brought you here? 

Dina Vovsi: I’ve lived in Greenpoint for about two and a half years. Before moving here, my partner and I were in Kensington for a year, and before that, I lived in Williamsburg for six years, so I’ve spent a lot of time in North Brooklyn. I am super lucky — my name was drawn in the affordable housing lottery for an apartment in a brand-new, mixed-income building, which has made being an artist significantly more possible over the past couple of years. It’s been a financial game-changer, and I can’t stress enough how everyone needs to be submitting for these buildings on NYC Housing Connect; I know quite a few people who have been selected recently, so it’s really not as impossible as legend says. We live in the quieter, north end of the neighborhood, and I love being near the water and walking our dog, Bruce, to Transmitter Park and Greenpoint Landing. More people know his name than mine, which I’m totally fine with. Continue reading

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US Premiere of “Bleach” Follows Lonely Bushwick Rentboy

Eamon Yates in “Bleach.” Photo by Hunter Canning

Check your coat at the door, and maybe your comfort.

But what else would you expect going to see an immersive play about a gay sex worker in a Bushwick basement? Bleach, the UK-imported one-man show now at Tyler’s Basement (637 Wilson Avenue), boldly but often unsuccessfully tests the limits of actor-audience intimacy. An attendant at the theater asks if you’ll be comfortable with the performer touching you; the character, a gay prostitute, is a pro after all. He gets paid to touch.

Even if you say no, it’s hard to emerge unscathed. In Tyler’s subterranean shoebox studio where the ten-max audience members convene, it’s difficult to not at least brush shoulders with the single performer in Dan Ireland-Reeves’s erotically stimulating but intellectually numbing play. Continue reading

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Obie Award Winner David Greenspan Returns To The Bushwick Starr

David Greenspan performs in his new memory play. Photo by Maria Baranova.

The time it may take you to get to The Bushwick Starr may last longer than its current production, but any trip to this experimental Brooklyn venue is worth the journey.

Now playing at 207 Starr Street, downtown guru David Greenspan’s 45-minute The Things That Were There is a cubist family drama that wisely deconstructs its genre but unfortunately does not carry much heft. In the zippy one-act, nimbly directed by Lee Sunday Evans, Lenny (Greenspan) introduces his birthday party and the family antics that surround it, highlighting pointed episodes from his relatives’ lives. Continue reading

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Shakespeare in the Popup Park Kicks Off Tonight (7/25) [UPDATE: Cancelled Due To Weather]

Central Park might have the Delacorte Theater, but north Brooklyn has Bushwick Inlet (popup) Park, and the good folks at Hip to Hip Theater Company are turning the provisional green space at 50 Kent Avenue into a makeshift Globe Theater this summer.

Hip to Hip will stage All’s Well that Ends Well tonight, and King Lear on August 22nd. Each performance will begin at 7:30 and run 95 minutes. An interactive kids workshop will begin 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Tickets are not necessary; blankets, low chairs and picnic fare are encouraged!

What: Shakespeare in the Popup Park
When: [CANCELLED] Tonight August 22nd at 7:30pm
Where: Bushwick Inlet (popup) Park, 50 Kent Avenue

UPDATE: Tonight’s performance has been cancelled due to the rain. Check out King Lear on August 22nd.

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“Then She Fell” Continues to Lure Audiences to North Brooklyn — And Down the Rabbit Hole

Photo by Chad Heird

Much like the White Rabbit, I was very late to the party.

Third Rail Projects has been enchanting audiences in Brooklyn since 2012 with its immersive show Then She Fell, a deep dive into the rabbit hole and through the looking-glass. Last week, I finally got to experience this gritty gem.

Set inside the Kingsland Ward at St. John’s (195 Maujer St) in East Williamsburg, the three-story building is made out to be an eerie sanatorium of sorts that probes into the underside of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass — examining the insidious relationship between the author and his muse, the young Alice Liddell. In light of current conversations about #MeToo, the alleged relationship between Charles Dodgson (the man behind the pen name of Carroll) and Alice Liddell leaves little room for speculation. Continue reading

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The Bushwick Starr’s “Singlet” Tests the Limits of Intimacy

Singlet at The Bushwick Starr, photo by Sasha Arutyunova

Consider yourself blessed, Brooklyn: the downtown and all’s-fair-in-love-and-cabaret artist Erin Markey is performing within walking distance from the L Train. Markey, whose preferred gender pronoun is they, has written — and is performing in — Singlet, a bold world premiere that is now extended at The Bushwick Starr through June 12 (207 Starr Street). Known for their one-of-a-kind and genre-defying Manhattan performances, Markey now comes to their home borough with a stunning and zippy world premiere. Continue reading

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