East River Commedia presents undergroundzero – a festival of theater artists, July 6th-25th at Performance Space 122
Now in its 4th year, the undergroundzero festival of preeminent experimental theatre returns to PS122 from July 6-25, 2010. Artists produce an uncurated theatrical work during this summer laboratory where experimental creativity is nurtured. In an interview with Paul Bargetto, the producer from East River Commedia, more insight is given as to the purpose and goals of the NYC festival. Paul Bargetto, the founder and Artistic Director of East River Commedia, holds an MFA from Columbia University in Directing and a BA in Drama from San Francisco State University:
What is Undergroundzero – as the producing company what is it that you, the East River Commedia, are striving to achieve?
undergroundzero is an annual summer festival/laboratory/ flying repertory of experimental/independent theater artists. The festival has a number of goals and objectives, but the central focus is to serve the creative needs of the artist. Artists are encouraged to bring pieces of their own choosing without curatorial interference or guidelines. Given this creative license our expectation is for the artist to take big risks and follow their heart.
For the company, the festival is an opportunity to demonstrate the proof of concept of a flying repertory. That being, a carefully selected group of theater artists who present their work in repertory, feeding on and being influenced by a continually evolving community without a permanent building, and the impossible fiscal responsibility this entails.
The work and artists we present are dedicated to exploring the edges of our art form, and it is our hope that new forms will appear that change, confound and inspire our audience.
Tell us a little about the process of coordinating this festival.
I coordinate the festival in a very informal process. There are no applications or deadlines and I do not list my contact information anywhere too obvious. Artist’s usually come to me through the network of the undergroundzero community or by word of mouth. If their work seems interesting to me, we sit down over a few drinks and discuss what it is that they are the most interested in making. I am looking for artists who are hungry for the opportunity to make something new; that challenges their own abilities and imaginations, and that demands to be created.
Another very important part of coordinating the festival is in assembling a team of great producers. This will be the third year I have worked with Jennifer Conley Darling who is one of the best young producers working downtown today. I was also very fortunate to enlist the services this year of Arwen Lowbridge, another fantastic producer. The art of the producer is essential in making a tightly scheduled festival full of passionate artists function at the highest level possible.
This year, the festival has grown to include a significant international component. I have been working closely with my friend and collaborator Saviana Stanescu, a playwright and poet from Romania. She has brought numerous international contacts to me and many of them are performing in the festival this year.
What’s special about THIS festival and how do you foresee this event affecting the community – not just the arts community?
What is special about this festival is the artists. We have assembled a group of great risk taking companies and individual artists who, by sharing a common space and time, can have a meaningful impact on the direction of experimental theater in New York. Along with our friends from overseas and the communities they touch it is my hope that the audience and community at large will be enriched by the dialogue we provoke and inspired by how much we can accomplish with so little.
This eclectic festival of dance, theatre, performance art, and multi-media works runs during July, so make time in your summer plans to catch a show or two or three while the festival lasts.
For Press Inquiries regarding the undergroundzero festival, please contact Emily Owens PR | [email protected] | 972.743.3746
SHOWS at P.S. 122 at 150 First Ave. at East 9th St.:
Tales of the Body (dance-theater piece from Catalonia, Spain)
July 7 & 9 @ 7pm, July 8 @ 9pm, July 10 @ 7pm, July 11 @ 3pm – Upstairs Venue
L.A. Party (spoken story collides with live video)
July 7, 8, 9, & 11 @ 7:30pm, July 10 @ 9:30pm – Downstairs Venue
The Ring: Inside the Squared Circle, Part 1 (re-imagines Richard Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle)
July 7, 8, & 9 @ 9:30pm, July 10 @ 7:30pm, July 11 @ 2:30pm – Downstairs Venue $18
Father of Lies (adaptation of Brian Evenson’s novel)
July 7 @ 9pm, July 8 @ 7pm, July 9 @ 9pm, July 10 & 11 @ 5pm – Upstairs Venue
The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer (one-man micro-epic puppet show)
July 10 & 11 @ 12pm, Mon July 12 @ 8pm, Tue July 13 @ 9:30pm – Downstairs Venue
The National Diet of Japan (7 actors travel a course based on Zen garden arrangements and the human digestive system)
July 10 & 11 @ 5:30pm – Downstairs Venue
The Last Burlesque Show in the World (ultimate Pinchbottom Burlesque show)
July 10, 17, & 24 @ 9pm – Upstairs Venue $25
Half Awake and Falling Through the Sky (Reading)
July 11 @ 7pm – Upstairs Venue $5 Suggested Donation
Quiet To Departure (performance art using Butoh dance, voice, and video)
July 13, 14, 16, 17, & 18 @ 7:30pm, July 15 @ 9:30pm – Downstairs Venue
Aspettando Nil (Waiting for Nil) (experimental theatre – Italian with English subtitles)
July 14, 16, & 17 @ 7pm, July 15 @ 9pm, July 18 @ 5pm – Upstairs Venue
Are We Here Yet?
July 14 & 16 @ 9pm, July 15 @ 7pm, July 17 @ 2pm, July 18 @ 3pm – Upstairs Venue
The Concretes (after Vladimir Sorokin) (multi-media theater adaptation of Vladimir Sorokin’s science fiction novel Le Concretes – Romanian with English subtitles)
July 14 & 16 @ 9:30pm, July 15 @ 7:30pm, July 17 & 18 @ 5:30pm – Downstairs Venue
Creating Illusion (solo performer – performance art)
July 17 @ 5pm, July 18 @ 7pm – Upstairs Venue
The Human Voice (La Voix Humaine) (Francis Poulenc’s solo opera – based on the play by Jean Cocteau)
July 17 @ 9:30pm, July 18 @ 3:30pm, July 24 @ 9:30pm, July 25 @ 5:30pm – Downstairs Venue
Blue Dress Reduction (storytelling, video, song, and dance)
July 20, 21, 23, & 24 @ 7:30pm, July 22 @ 9:30pm – Downstairs Venue
The Parting Glass (Irish drama by Dermot Bolger)
July 21, 23, & 24 @ 7pm, July 22 @ 9pm, July 25 @ 2pm – Upstairs Venue
From Dawn till Night (The Earth is Uninhabitable Like the Moon) (A multimedia experiment based on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1978 film In A Year With 13 Moons and Dangerous Ground’s third Fassbinder adaptation.)
July 21 & 23 @ 9pm, July 22 @ 7pm, July 24 & 25 @ 5pm – Upstairs Venue
Forever Art (solo show with “Andy Warhol”)
July 21 & 23 @ 9:30pm, July 22 @ 7:30pm, July 24 @ 5:30pm, July 25 @ 3:30pm – Downstairs Venue
AutoMotive (American Trilogy part 1) (Work-in-Progress. East River Commedia presents the first draft of a trilogy)
July 24 @ 2pm, July 25 @ 7:30pm – Upstairs Venue