LabWorks Artists About » LabWorks » LabWorks Artists Meet New Victory LabWorks Artists and get to know their work! New Victory® LabWorks has helped develop over 60 projects on their journey to the stage, more than half of which have developed into full productions, touring across the country and around the world. 2020-21 LabWorks Artists nicHi douglas nicHi douglas is a Brooklyn-based performer, choreographer, director, writer and ART-IVIST who spells her name with a capital H. she is the Head of Movement in the NYU/Tisch Playwrights Horizons Theater School studio. she has worked in various capacities with artistic institutions across the country including Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, the National Museum of African American Music, The Public Theater and Carnegie Hall, among others. she is currently co-directing an event in celebration of womxn at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. nicHi received her BFA from NYU/Tisch and MFA from The New School. ChelseaDee Harrison ChelseaDee Harrison is a multi-hyphenate, interdisciplinary creator and arts educator. Specializing in theater-making, she performs, teaches, curates, co-facilitates, develops curriculum, directs and produces arts events. Her focus is creating new works of theater that highlight history and challenge dominant narratives and ensuring art is a tool in the hands of the people. She has also facilitated arts workshops and residencies with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York City Department of Correction, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Nambi E. Kelley Award-winning playwright Nambi E. Kelley was chosen by literary legend Toni Morrison to adapt her novel Jazz for the stage (Baltimore Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company). Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son has played across the country and premiered off-Broadway at The Duke on 42nd Street (The Acting Company). Nambi is a former playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, Goodman Theatre and New Victory Theater. Awards include this year’s NNPN annual commission, the Prince Prize 2019 and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant 2018-19. Nambi is a staff writer for a new show on Fox and for Showtime’s The Chi. Christopher Rudd Jamaican born dance-maker and 2019 Guggenheim Fellow Christopher Rudd credits the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and New World School of the Arts for his performance career. Highlights include dancing for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal and Cirque du Soleil. He founded RudduR Dance in 2015 to accomplish the goal of bettering the world through dance. RudduR Dance was presented on four continents in its first four years. The company made its City Parks SummerStage debut by participating in a globally accessible Juneteenth Tribute on June 19, 2020. Rudd has also made headlines by creating TOUCHÉ, an interracial homosexual pas de deux, for American Ballet Theatre. 2019–20 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Jody Drezner Alperin and Vicky Finney Crouch; Andrea Ang and Leah Ogawa; Tom Costello and Brendan Dalton; Sarah Dahnke; Laura Galindo; ChelseaDee Harrison; Dan Jones in collaboration with Chava Curland; Jess Kaufman; Jeanna Phillips, Alex Thrailkill, and nicHi douglas; Christopher Rudd; and Trusty Sidekick Theater Company. Jody Drezner Alperin and Vicky Finney Crouch Jody Drezner Alperin and Vicky Finney Crouch (Directors, All American Boys 2016), of Brooklyn’s Off the Page, adapts Kip Wilson’s young adult novel White Rose. Andrea Ang and Leah Ogawaga Andrea Ang (No Place, The Tank’s LadyFest) and Leah Ogawa (Molding, Flushing Town Hall) employ shadow puppetry and movement in Whale Come Home!, an environmentally conscious immersive theatre piece telling the coming-of-age story of a young whale’s empowering quest to return her family back to their ancestral home. Tom Costello and Brendan Dalton Tom Costello and Brendan Dalton (previous collaborations at Atlantic for Kids, The Flea Theater, and The Pit) explore the virtues of gentle masculinity through original music, storytelling and the tale of a pregnant seahorse. Sarah Dahnke Sarah Dahnke draws communities together in To Grow a Pomegranate and uses the power of dance and movement to explore immigration, otherness and adoption. Laura Galindo Musician and performer Laura Galindo (Fountain, LabWorks 2018-19) leads audiences on a genre-bending musical journey in Annie Aspen’s Musical Space Spectacular!. ChelseaDee Harrison In Sheela and the Amazons, ChelseaDee Harrison (In Perpetual Flight: The Migration of the Black Body) deconstructs common perceptions of the Amazons and weaves together powerful stories of matriarchal societies using puppetry, dance, song and original music. Dan Jones in collaboration with Chava Curland Playwright and puppeteer Dan Jones, in collaboration with director Chava Curland, fuses contemporary storytelling, puppetry and mask work to update Ray Bradbury’s popular fantasy novel The Halloween Tree. Jess Kaufman Jess Kaufman (Dear Edwina, ‘SWonderful: The New Gershwin Musical) adapts Randall de Seve’s popular children’s book Mathilda and the Orange Balloon in collaboration with UK-based DH Ensemble to be fully accessible to D/deaf and hearing audiences. Jenna Phillips, Alex Thailkill and nicHi douglas Jeanna Phillips, Alex Thrailkill (Cowboy Bob, Secret Supper: The Musical) and nicHi douglas (where love lies fallow, The Shed; Black Girl Magic Show!) use a mix of disciplines to immerse audiences in an imaginative, devised world. Christopher Rudd Christopher Rudd (2019 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow) of RudduR Dance will create Witness, an exploration of America’s racial bias through contemporary dance and technology in a powerful fusion of art and activism. Trusty Sidekick Theater Company Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (Up and Away, Shadow Play) bring both the excitement and the hardships of the American frontier to life in Goldrush, combining theater, music, magic and puppetry in this interactive new show that will travel around early childhood classrooms. 2018–19 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Bluelaces Theater Company; Breton Follies; Faye Chiao and Anton Dudley; Max Darwin and Alexander Dinelaris Jr.; Kate Douglas; Molly Powers Gallagher; Hit the Lights! Theater Co.; Aaron Jafferis, alt folk songwriter Rebecca Hart, beatboxer Yako 440 and the Mixing Texts Collective with Kwikstep and Rokafella; Nambi E. Kelley; Valerie Clayman Pye with Spellbound Theatre; Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers; and Preeti Vasudevan. Bluelaces Theater Company Bluelaces Theater Company, known for creating welcoming environments that encourage sensory and social play and challenge theatrical conventions, builds an immersive, multi-sensory “pirate on the seven seas” adventure for young people with developmental differences. Breton Follies Breton Follies, New York City’s on-the-rise immersive dance theater company and incubator for in-house choreographer Breton Tyner-Bryan, debunks stereotypes based on gender and celebrates the female form in a comedic cabaret for children told through animalistic characters and rooted in classical ballet and Latin rhythms. Faye Chiao and Anton Dudley Faye Chiao, composer of opera and musical theater (To See the Stars, 2017 OPERA America Female Composer Discovery Award), and Anton Dudley (Letters to the End of the World, 2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist) blend contemporary storytelling with classical forms to build the musical universe of Baba Yaga and the Firebird. Max Darwin and Alexander Dinelaris Jr. Renowned actor-magician Max Darwin (The Amazing Max) and Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris Jr. (Birdman) team up to play with interactive storytelling and magic in Something in this World, as they tell the story of a solitary, imaginative boy and his search for connection. Kate Douglas Kate Douglas emphasizes conservation in an immersive botanical exploration designed to find the rarest flower in the greenhouse: Middlemist Red. Molly Powers Gallagher Molly Powers Gallagher creates The Living History Project, an immersive and empowering new play that aims to rewrite history and bring to life the untold stories of five female change-makers and innovators. Hit the Lights! Theater Co. Hit the Lights! Theater Co. employ their signature cinematic style of shadow puppetry and live silhouette acting to animate the story of a Horse and its Tail who’ve been separated, and their journey to find each other once again. Aaron Jafferis, Rebecca Hart, Yako 440 and the Mixing Texts Collective Hip-hop playwright Aaron Jafferis, alt folk songwriter Rebecca Hart, beatboxer Yako 440 and the Mixing Texts Collective, featuring breakdancing pioneers Kwikstep and Rokafella (Victory Dance 2014 & Soular Power’d, New Victory 2002-03) use the four elements of hip-hop to reveal the hidden strengths of vulnerability in How to Break, a compelling take on the layered experience of illness. Nambi E. Kelley Nambi E. Kelley leads audiences on an exciting watercolor adventure in Jabari Dreams of Freedom, where a young African-American boy learns lessons of history and the power of imaginary time travel as he finds hope and courage in visual art, befriending a 7-year old Barack Obama along the way. Valerie Clayman Pye with Spellbound Theatre Valerie Clayman Pye, along with Spellbound Theatre (The World Inside Me, two-time Henson Foundation Family Grant recipients and winner of AATE’s 2017 Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award), New York’s only theater company creating work exclusively for ages 0-5, connects multimedia and Shakespeare’s lyrical text to form a visual, celestial realm in Shakespeare’s Stars. Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers Kaneza Schaal (Go Forth, Jack&Jill) and Christopher Myers (Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator) team up to consider mapping, migration and the storytelling central to the lives of young people seeking refuge and asylum throughout the world today in Cartography. Preeti Vasudevan Preeti Vasudevan and her dance company Thresh, Inc. (Victory Dance 2017) fuse Southern Indian dance and Western music in Drumming a Dream, a fun-filled folktale adventure about a young girl and her travels with a magical talking drum. 2017–18 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: AchesonWalsh Studios; Christopher Anselmo and Jared Corak; beat piece; Howie D, Tor Hyams, Lisa Rothauser, Matte O’Brien and Tate Theatrics, Kate Douglas; Saskia Lane and Stephanie Fleischmann in collaboration with Julian Crouch; Phantom Limb Company’s Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko; Marisol Rosa-Shapiro and her Soledad Ensemble; Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers; Louisa Thompson and Modesto “Flako” Jimenez. AchesonWalsh Studios AchesonWalsh Studios uncovers the true story of a famous performing hippopotamus in William Johnson Hippopotamus XIII, using puppetry to explore the challenges of immigrating to America. Christopher Anselmo and Jared Corak Christopher Anselmo (Atlantic, Fable) and Jared Corak develop Fountain, a new musical that explores the peculiar and perilous oddities of Florida through the eyes of a young girl as she hunts for the healing waters of the Fountain of Youth to save her ailing grandfather. beat piece beat piece, led by Leah Moriarty, a dance artist trained in South Asian, Arabic and African Diasporic techniques, sets out to address the way we identify ourselves, our histories, our fears, and our relationships while challenging the role of spectators in With Feeling. Howie D, Tor Hyams, Lisa Rothauser, Matte O’Brien and Tate Theatrics Backstreet Boy Howie D, Grammy®-nominated Tor Hyams (Kidzapalooza, Austin Kiddie Limits), Lisa Rothauser (The Producers), Matte O’Brien (The Wonderful Mr. & Mrs. O’Leary, Peter & I, White Noise) and Tate Theatrics (The Blue Flower) develop HOW WE DO, a new musical about a biracial teen finding his place and acceptance in the awkward halls of middle school as he and his new-found friends embark on a journey through musical genres. Kate Douglas Kate Douglas emphasizes conservation in an immersive botanical exploration designed to find the rarest flower in the greenhouse: Middlemist Red. Saskia Lane and Stephanie Fleischmann in collaboration with Julian Crouch Stephanie Fleischmann and Saskia Lane in collaboration with Julian Crouch (Birdheart, 2013-14 New Victory LabWorks) and director Melissa Kievman, meld concert and theater to tell the story of a humble, hopeful plant in The Sweetest Life, an indie-folk adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s little-known tale “The Flax.” Phantom Limb Company’s Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko Phantom Limb Company’s Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko (Memory Rings, Peer Gynt, Lemony Snicket’s The Composer Is Dead) employ the Japanese style of Hachioji cart puppetry to tell the story of how two young animals find common ground in Over River and Wood. Marisol Rosa-Shapiro and her Soledad Ensemble Marisol Rosa-Shapiro and her Soledad Ensemble, incorporate the stories of child refugees and migrants from across the globe in The Seven Ravens Project, a physical theater adaptation of a lesser known tale from the Brothers Grimm. Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers Kaneza Schaal (Go Forth, Jack&Jill) and Christopher Myers (Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator) team up to consider mapping, migration and the storytelling central to the lives of young people seeking refuge and asylum throughout the world today in Cartography. Louisa Thompson and Modesto “Flako” Jimenez Obie Award winner Louisa Thompson (In the Blood, Samara, Washeteria) and Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, (Samara, Furry!/La Furia!, Conversation: How to Make It in Black America, Pt. 1) create a tactile exploration of clothing and textiles in WORKSHOP!, a play-based theatrical event. 2016–17 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Chad Beckim; Blessed Unrest; Kathleen Doyle; Zachary Fine; Andrew Gerle; Tim Kubart and Mario “The Magician” Marchese; Maaa Theater; Only Child Aerial Theatre; Drew Petersen; Puppet Kitchen Productions; Spellbound Theatre; Louisa Thompson. Chad Beckim Chad Beckim, finalist for the 2015-16 Jerome Fellowship and Kevin Spacey Foundation, explores the mental, physical and emotional landscapes that American trans youth and their families must navigate in Little Man. Blessed Unrest Blessed Unrest (NY Innovative Theatre Award for Sustained Excellence) led by Artistic Director Jessica Burr (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award) adapts The Snow Queen, using physical theater to build peculiar lands and wild creatures encountered by the courageous heroine as she journeys to rescue her friend. Kathleen Doyle Kathleen Doyle, a two-time Fulbright Grant recipient and costume and puppet designer, shares the ancient art of Vietnamese water puppetry in a new, untitled work. Zachary Fine Zachary Fine (Walled In, Manifest Destiny) takes a closer look at Dennis, a character that appears only once in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in So Please You or The Tragical Comical Tale of Dennis, The Almost Silent Shakespearean Actor. So Please You was first developed with a world premiere at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival with the 2016 Conservatory Company. Andrew Gerle Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe) pens a musical adaptation of The Great Blueness by Arnold Lobel (author of the beloved Frog and Toad series), about a town where everything is gray until the local Wizard accidentally discovers a magical new world of color. Tim Kubart and Mario “The Magician” Marchese Tim Kubart, the 2016 Grammy® Award winner of Best Children’s Album, and Mario “The Magician” Marchese, the 2016 Grammy® Award winner of Best Children’s Album, team up with the subject of the indie documentary Building Magic, to create a combination of handmade magic and homemade music that celebrates creativity and imagination in Makers and Shakers. Maaa Theater Maaa Theater, co-founded by theater director Mohammad Aghebati (Hamlet, Prince of Grief) and filmmaker Mehrnoush Alia (Scheherazade) stage The Little Black Fish, one of Iran’s most celebrated stories for kids, about a young fish who leaves his home stream for new waters and goes on an eye-opening adventure. Only Child Aerial Theatre Only Child Aerial Theatre, led by Nicki Miller (The World is Round) and Kendall Rileigh (Golda’s Balcony) uses aerial and ground acrobatics, live music, projection and shadow work to celebrate how imagination and play connect the young and the old in Story Hour. Drew Petersen Drew Petersen, Artistic Director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and drama teacher at the Blue School, brings to life the unlikely friendship between Nera, a Wassily Kandinsky and abstract art-obsessed Brooklyn 5th grader who has synesthesia, and Chester, a middle-light class boxer with more passion for the sport than skill in The Prizefighter of P.S. 217. Puppet Kitchen Productions Puppet Kitchen Productions (The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean) employs puppetry and clowning to tell the story of two best friends who disappear into the art they were tasked to hang. Pictures at an Exhibition is inspired by the real life story behind Mussorgsky’s piano suite of the same name. Spellbound Theatre Spellbound Theatre (Wink, 2014-15 LabWorks Artist, two-time Henson Foundation Family Grant recipients and winner of AATE’S 2017 Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award), New York’s only theater company creating work exclusively for ages 0-5, explores how the human body works through humor, music, puppetry and digital media in The World Inside Me. Louisa Thompson Obie Award winner Louisa Thompson (In the Blood, Samara, Washeteria) and Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, (Samara, Furry!/La Furia!, Conversation: How to Make It in Black America, Pt. 1) create a tactile exploration of clothing and textiles in WORKSHOP!, a play-based theatrical event. The Village of Vale continue development of their work in the 2016-17 season. 2015–16 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Eco-Poets; Fiasco Theater; Jason Gray Platt and Mikhael Tara Garver; Superhero Clubhouse and Nate Weida; Underbelly; Urban Stages/Liz Parker, Rachel Sullivan and Spica Wobbe; The Village of Vale. Eco-Poets The Eco-Poets, Cecilia Rubino, Darian Dauchan, Shanelle Gabriel and Erik Maldonado team up to take on questions of sustainability, social justice and environmental challenges in the city and around the globe in their new show Enviro Slammin’. Fiasco Theater Fiasco Theater, lauded for their brilliant talent in shedding light and clarity on classic stage works, explore a new adaptations in their signature style. Jason Gray Platt and Mikhael Tara Garver Jason Gray Platt & Mikhael Tara Garver imagine the story of Shawn, a young girl with synesthesia and her feathery best friend, in Bird Brain, a fascinating immersive theater experience. Superhero Clubhouse and Nate Weida Superhero Clubhouse and Nate Weida, a collective of artists and scientists working at the intersection of environmentalism and theater, create a one-act musical about oysters and the ecological history of New York waterways in Salty Folk. Underbelly Underbelly, a collaboration between Katie Bender, Abe Koogler, Gabrielle Reisman and Stephanie Busing, will lead audiences in a rock inspired immersive journey through Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, a promenade theater piece originally commissioned by the ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas. Urban Stages/Liz Parker, Rachel Sullivan and Spica Wobbe Urban Stages/Liz Parker, Rachel Sullivan and Spica Wobbe, develop Layer the Walls, a theater piece that uses puppetry, mask and music to reveal the stories and lives of former residents of a Lower East Side tenement. The Village of Vale The Village of Vale, 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice Winners, use live music, storytelling, puppetry and visual arts to animate a series of dark folk tales all set in a mysterious village. A.R.T./Lila Rose Kaplan, Mike Pettry and Allegra Libonati; CollaborationTown; and Dead Puppet Society all continue development of their work in the 2015-16 season. Additionally, LabWorks Artists Pioneers Go East Collective, New York City Children’s Theater, The Hudson Vagabond Puppets, LAVABrooklyn, Marta Mozelle MacRostie and Rockitaerials join the program for rich artistic exchange and professional development opportunities. 2014-15 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Acrobuffos; A.R.T./Lila Rose Kaplan, and Mike Pettry and Allegra Libonati; The Civilians; CollaborationTown; Dead Puppet Society; Elska; Full Circle Souljahs; Taylor Mac; James Ortiz; Spellbound Theatre. Acrobuffos The Acrobuffos partner with director West Hyler and air sculptor Daniel Wurtzel to experiment with fans, physics and flotsam in a comedic and touching struggle between humans and a wind with a will of its own in Air Play. A.R.T./Lila Rose Kaplan, Mike Pettry and Allegra Libonati A.R.T./Lila Rose Kaplan, Mike Pettry and Allegra Libonati (The Light Princess, New Victory, 2014-15) create a new family musical based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in which Orsino is a pirate king and Viola his first mate in The Pirate Princess. The Civilians The Civilians explore the hilariously high-stakes world of youth hockey in The Abominables, a new musical with a book by Steven Cosson and music by Michael Friedman. CollaborationTown CollaborationTown imagines the epic coming of age story of a young trilobite (the species that dominated the oceans hundreds of millions of years ago) through music, puppetry and a biting sense of humor in The Rise and Fall of the Trilobite Kingdom. Dead Puppet Society Dead Puppet Society develops Laser Beak Man, a bright, fast-paced new visual theater piece about a superhero with a literal interpretation of language, based on the drawings of internationally renowned Australian visual artist Tim Sharp. Elska Elska, a fictional character, is a modern pioneer who discovers a newly-formed Arctic island off the coast of Iceland where she chooses to live with a small cast of animals and original characters. Actor/singer/artist Shelley Wollert and collaborators Allen Farmelo and Lucas Segall expand Elska’s concert of the award-winning debut album, Middle of Nowhere, into a full theatrical production. Full Circle Souljahs Full Circle Souljahs (Victory Dance, 2014-15; Soular Power’d, New Victory, 2002-03) feature the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in a performance that blends the musical styling of a beatboxer and a live concert pianist with hip hop, street dance and ballet in Outside the Bachx. Taylor Mac Taylor Mac creates a queer love story for multigenerational audiences that questions the accepted notions of what it means to behave “correctly”—morally, sexually and intellectually—in The Fre. James Ortiz James Ortiz adapts A Christmas Carol using live music and full-scale puppetry to make the moral ghost story of Dicken’s tale more immediate, a little scary and incredibly human. Spellbound Theatre Spellbound Theatre develops Ears, Nose, and Tail, a new, original work, with interactive projection, real-time animation and shadow puppetry by artists Lauren Jost and Christine Dehne, for kids ages five and younger. 2013-14 LabWorks Artists Expand to see bios for: Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane; Fiasco Theater; The Object Group with Erwin Maas; Paper Canoe Company; Parallel Exit. Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane create an original work, Birdheart, featuring puppetry and live music inspired by the stunning and strangely beautiful images of albatrosses by acclaimed photographer Chris Jordan. Fiasco Theater Fiasco Theater lauded for their brilliant talent in shedding light and clarity on classic stage works, create a new adaptation of Measure for Measure. The Object Group with Erwin Maas The Object Group with Erwin Maas devise an entirely original work about a child with autism who examines his differences by escaping into adventures, inspired by Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Paper Canoe Company Paper Canoe Company (formerly Shoehorn Theater Company), a brand new company of old friends, apply their unique theatrical styles to the creation of their very first production as a new company, Light, A Dark Comedy. Parallel Exit Parallel Exit explores how their signature mix of physical comedy, dance and circus translates to an immersive theater experience in Best Fort Ever. 2012-13 LabWorks Artist Expand to see bio for: Trusty Sidekick Theater Company Trusty Sidekick Theater Company Trusty Sidekick Theater Company develops Finegan Kruckemeyer’s The Boy at the Edge of Everything, the heartfelt and humorous story of what happens when an over-scheduled boy from Earth collides with a lonely boy from space.