(NEW YORK, NY) -- New York Stage and Film, considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” returns July 17-August 1 with in-person programming in Poughkeepsie for their 2021 Summer Season. In partnership with Vassar College, Marist College, and Revel 32 °, NYSAF will serve the needs of theater and film artists today, bringing them safely together in community to generate new stories and reconnect with one another and audiences.
“NYSAF is excited to gather artists in the Hudson Valley - and we eagerly await that first rehearsal when we come together to build stories that are the bridges for connecting communities,” said Artistic Director Chris Burney. “We are grateful to our institutional partners—Vassar College, Revel 32 ° and Marist College-- for working with us to make the summer possible and to help bring live theater back to audiences. After a year of working with artists online, we cannot wait to be back in person and in process together.”
For 37 years, NYSAF has operated as a vital incubator for artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that continue across the country and around the world. With artist-driven flexibility, resources and opportunities are shaped to meet projects at every step of their development. NYSAF is eager to gather once again, reaffirmed in the commitment to supporting the nation’s leading generative artists in the creation of innovative and bold stories for the stage and the screen. Casting and Artists-in-Residence to be announced at a later date.
To celebrate the reopening of NYSAF’s Summer Season and to make the work available to all, all tickets for presentations at Vassar and Marist Colleges will be Pay-What-You-Can. They will be available beginning July 1.
Tickets for South at Revel 32 ° are available for purchase at www.revel32.com.
NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM at VASSAR COLLEGE: NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season will kick-off with an outdoor event at Vassar College which has historically hosted the annual Powerhouse Season. Taking full advantage of the campus grounds, guests will be welcomed to the Outdoor Amphitheater for a concert presentation of songs from Mexodus by Brian Quijada and Nygel D.Robinson.
"Vassar College is thrilled to continue our decades-long partnership with New York Stage and Film and to present Mexodus, which was featured earlier this year as part of Vassar’s ModFest. As the world continues to reopen, Vassar is excited to welcome NYSAF and the public back to campus to kick off a summer season of artistic exploration both here on campus and in Poughkeepsie,” said President Elizabeth H. Bradley.
MEXODUS- Co-created and Performed by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson; July 17 at 7:00pm at Vassar College: Outdoor Amphitheater; July 24 at 3:00pm at Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent. MEXODUS is a concept album inspired by the estimated 4,000-10,000 enslaved people in the Southern part of the United States who pursued a journey into Mexico instead of looking north. This under-told chapter of the Underground Railroad is an exploration of Black and brown bodies standing together against oppression.
Brian Quijada is an actor, playwright, and composer and Co-Artistic Director of The WildWind Performance Lab at Texas Tech University. His hip-hop solo show WHERE DID WE SIT ON THE BUS? has been produced at Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista (Jeff Award), Ensemble Studio Theatre (Drama Desk Nomination), Boise Contemporary, 1st Stage, City Theatre Pittsburgh, and most recently, a digital production at Actors Theatre of Louisville (Drama League Nomination). His plays have been developed at The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh CLO’s Spark Festival, Victory Gardens’ Ignition Festival, New Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre, and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Musical Theatre Conference. Commissioning institutions include Seattle Repertory Theater, A.R.T., 1st Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Kennedy Center. He is a proud member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Nygel D. Robinson is a singer, actor, writer, and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. Select musician theatre credits include Larry in the workshop and Lincoln center concert version of BEAU: THE MUSICAL; Jesus in GODSPELL (St. Michael’s Playhouse), and Actor/Musician in THE ALL NIGHT STRUT (Milwaukee Rep). Robinson is the co- writer of the new musical concept album MEXODUS alongside Brian Quijada.
NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM at REVEL 32 °: NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season will be further enriched by an inaugural collaboration with Revel 32 °, a historic music venue in the heart of Poughkeepsie.
“When we opened Revel 32 °, we knew we wanted to create a unique environment and offer special experiences for the community,” says Partner Gina Sullivan. “That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with New York Stage and Film and to invite the public to enjoy their work in our newly renovated home on Cannon Street in downtown Poughkeepsie.”
SOUTH - Book, Lyrics and Music by Florencia Iriondo; Music and Arrangements by Luis D’Elias; July 23-24 at 8:00pm; Doors open at 7:00pm at Revel 32 °. Inspired by her experiences as a Latina living in the US, SOUTH is an original, one-woman musical by Florencia Iriondo about finding one’s roots and the place called home.
Florencia Iriondo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in New Zealand and Ireland and has been in New York City since 2013. She is a lyricist at the Tony-honored BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop; a Eugene O’Neill National Musical Theater Conference Finalist; an LMCC and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Creative Engagement grant recipient; and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
SOUTH, Florencia's original musical about family, identity, and belonging was scheduled to be presented at the Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe Festival but was postponed due to the pandemic. Readings were presented at HB Studio, The Core Club, ArtsonSite, and The Players Club. The music debuted by curation at a sold-out concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Her song-cycle WHO’S FLO was awarded by the Global Music Awards and the Hollywood Songwriting Contest. She’s the founder and executive producer of LinkedIn's original video and podcast series, having previously worked at MTV, Viacom, and Sky TV. She has studied musical theater at Estudio Julio Bocca, acting at Stella Adler Studio, and sketch writing at Upright Citizens Brigade.
Luis D’Elias was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a recent New York Innovative Theater Award winner for Outstanding Original Music. An electronics engineering graduate, Luis has been involved in all aspects of music since his early days as a progressive rock guitarist, keen on combining Venezuelan traditions with the energy of rock and metal. Later, he went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music as a film composer and electronic producer, while performing, arranging, and collaborating with all sorts of artists, including A.R. Rahman, Alejandro Sanz, and Marcos Valle. Once settled in New York, he released his first album, Origenes y Destinos, which garnered nominations in several independent music awards festivals, all the while working as a sound designer for renowned software developer, Heavyocity. His band, New Caracas, has been featured in Billboard magazine and other major news outlets in Venezuela, and he most recently released their second production, NOS: an album inspired in the Latin American Diaspora.
NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM at MARIST COLLEGE: NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season artistic community campus will be centered at Marist College, where they will house artists participating in musical workshops, residencies, as well as the Filmmakers’ Workshop. Overlooking the Hudson River, audiences will join artists at an outdoor tent located next to the historic Cornell Boathouse for developmental presentations of musical works-in-progress.
Said Marist College President Dennis J. Murray, “Marist is delighted to be partnering with New York Stage and Film to bring high-quality cultural offerings to the Hudson River Valley. Our region has become a major hub for the creative arts, and there’s a ready-made audience for the world-class theatrical and musical productions for which NYSAF is so well known. Our campus’ beautiful riverfront will serve as a dramatic backdrop for a diverse array of performances. We look forward to supporting NYSAF’s summer season and to a robust collaborative relationship.”
INTERSTATE; Book by Melissa Li and Kit Yan; Music and Lyrics by Melissa Li; Poetry and Additional Lyrics by Kit Yan; Directed by Jesca Prudencio; July 25 at 3:00pm at Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent. Fueled by his desire to connect with the Queer Asian community, transgender slam poet Dash goes on a cross-country tour with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. News of the tour reaches Henry, a transgender teenage blogger from Kentucky, who finds inspiration and solace in the band's political and personal music as he explores his own relationship to gender. INTERSTATE is a Queer Asian-American pop-rock musical about two trans people at different stages of their journeys navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding community in the era of social media.
Kit Yan and Melissa Li are a Queer Asian-American writing team based in New York City. They are 2021 Kleban Award winners; 2019 Vivace Award recipients from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation; 2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows; MacDowell Fellows; and Lincoln Center Writers-in-Residence. Their musicals include INTERSTATE (Mixed Blood, NAMT, NYMF “Best Lyrics”); MISS STEP (in development), and CANCELLED (Keen Company). Upcoming works include audio and virtual plays for Playwrights Horizons and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Their work has been supported by theaters around the country including The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Weston Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals Johnny Mercer Colony, Musical Theater Factory, and many others.
Jesca Prudencio is a director and choreographer dedicated to developing new theatrical works that humanize issues nationally and internationally. Recent works include UNREMARKABLE! A MELISSA LI AND KIT YAN CONCERT SPECIAL (Musical Theatre Factory); THE INTERVIEW, a virtual play by Ekaterina Avgustenyak (Arena Stage & Forum for Cultural Engagement, DC); INTERSTATE by Kit Yan and Melissa Yi (Mixed Blood); and the award-winning short film American Quartet (Filmelodic, NYC). Other credits include THE GREAT LEAP by Lauren Yee (Steppenwolf); VIETGONE and ACTUALLY (San Diego Rep); CALLING (La MaMa ETC); MAN OF GOD (East West Players); PDA (La Jolla Playhouse's WoW Fest); A&Q (Pineapple Lab, Philippines) and FAN (B-Floor, Thailand). She is a recipient of The Drama League Fellowship and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship.
WHITE GIRL IN DANGER - Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson; Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz; July 31 at 7:00pm and August 1 at 3:00pm; Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent. White Girl In Danger, a new musical from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael R. Jackson (A STRANGE LOOP), is the story of Keesha Gibbs, a young woman who lives in the "Blackground" of a melodramatic soap opera town called Allwhite. Tired of repetitive Blackground stories of enslavement and police violence, Keesha sets out to become Allwhite's leading heroine by appropriating the storylines of her three main rivals, Meagan, Maegan and Megan. But as she gains power for herself, she also attracts the attention of the Allwhite Killer, putting her story and her life in more danger than ever. A thrilling, binge-worthy and wildly funny dark new musical satire.
Michael R. Jackson. His 2020 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award-winning A STRANGE LOOP (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) was called "a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins" and a "gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies" by Ben Brantley for The New York Times. In The New Yorker, Vinsom Cunningham wrote, "To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M. C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor." In addition to A STRANGE LOOP, he has also written the book, music and lyrics for WHITE GIRL IN DANGER. Awards and associations include a New Professional Theatre Festival Award; a Jonathan Larson Grant; a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award; an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award; a Whiting Award; the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting; an Outer Critics Circle Award; a Drama Desk Award; an Obie Award; an Antonyo Award; a Fred Ebb Award; a Windham-Campbell Prize; a Dramatist Guild Fellowship and he is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group.
Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. Recent projects include: HANSEL AND GRETEL (Houston Grand Opera); AFROFEMONONOMY (PSNY); ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE (Atlantic Theater Company); FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (TFANA); GIRLS (Yale Repertory Theater); MARYS SEACOLE (LCT3, Obie Award); FAUST (Opera Omaha); FABULATION OR THE REEDUCATION OF UNDINE (Signature Theatre) ; THUNDERBODIES AND REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN (Soho Rep.); THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND and RED SPEEDO (New York Theatre Workshop); WATER BY THE SPOONFUL (Mark Taper Forum/CTG); PIPELINE (Lincoln Center); THE DEATH OF THE LAST BLACK MAN IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD (Signature Theatre, Obie Award); HENRY IV, PART ONE and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); THE BLUEST EYE (The Guthrie); WAR (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and Yale Rep.); SALOME (JACK); HOLLOW ROOTS (the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater). Upcoming projects include: DREAMING ZENZILE (St. Louis Rep) and THE LISTENERS (Opera Norway). She was recently named a 2018 United States Artists Fellow and a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. She is currently the resident director of Lincoln Center Theater. She is a graduate of Princeton and received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.
NYSAF Hosts The Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory In Process With The Local Community at Marist College: The Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory presents (a two-night collaborative event) Thursday, July 22nd 6:00pm-8:00pm workshop; Thursday, July 29th 6:00pm-8:00pm performance. The Lab invites our Hudson Valley community to join us for two nights of play and performance. On July 22nd, we begin with a monologue and songwriting workshop focusing on the topic of Summer in the Hudson Valley.
The following Thursday, July 29th, workshop participants perform monologues and songs from the stage. You must attend the in-person workshop to perform. RSVP here.
Founded in 1861, Vassar College (Elizabeth H. Bradley, President; Ed Cheetham, Powerhouse Theater Program Producing Director) is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus. The College makes possible an education that promotes analytical, informed, and independent thinking and sound judgment; encourages articulate expression; and nurtures intellectual curiosity, creativity, respectful debate and engaged citizenship.
Vassar supports a high standard of engagement in teaching and learning, scholarship and artistic endeavor; a broad and deep curriculum, and a residential campus that fosters a learning community. Vassar strives to pursue diversity, inclusion, and equity as essential components of a rich intellectual and cultural environment in which all members, including those from underrepresented and marginalized groups, are valued and empowered to thrive.
Revel 32 ° - Built in 1845 as a Methodist Church and later purchased and expanded in 1895 by the Masons, this former iconic building in the City of Poughkeepsie has undergone a major transformation to become a one-of-a-kind event space in the Hudson Valley. In 2019 family members Jim & Gina Sullivan, Lillie & Nick Muscente, Vito & Jen Galasso, John & Karen Galasso, and James & Rebecca LaRusch purchased the former Masonic Temple. A true "hands-on" team, the group has renovated the building and brought it back to its original glory with many modern & elegant enhancements. Revel 32 ° is part of the revitalization of the City of Poughkeepsie and the local community.
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently ranked among the best colleges and universities in America by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 386 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (3rd Most Innovative School/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. The College is top-ranked for long-term study abroad (#3 in the U.S.) by the U.S. State Department’s Open Doors report.
Along with the College’s prestigious reputation as a whole, it also boasts a robust Arts and Music scene for its students and the community. Marist offers more than 15 academic programs in music and arts including Art History, Digital Media, Studio Art, Music, Theatre, and its world-renowned Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs, ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Colleges That Are Shaping The Future of Fashion.” Marist also provides a wide range of non-academic opportunities in the arts, such as over 15 College-and student-run music ensemble groups and the Marist Theatre program and performances. The College also operates the Institute for Data Center Professionals, which provides individuals and corporate teams with skills-based education and credentialing to support the data center and enterprise computing environments of the future. Marist educates more than 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees, and also Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.
HUDSON VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS LABORATORY provides opportunities to experiment with the performing arts through educational and community-centered programming in the Hudson Valley. We foster collaboration and learning by providing a home base for performing artists of all levels to create and learn together. From engaging with different techniques to performing shows to developing new work, the Lab is committed to making space for local artists to excel and thrive.
New York Stage and Film is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater, film and television. Since 1985, New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The New York Times calls the company a “formidable breeding ground for new work,” and dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to NYSAF, including the Tony Award winners HAMILTON, HADESTOWN, SIDE MAN and THE HUMANS; Broadway productions such as AMERICAN IDIOT, HEAD OVER HEELS, JUNK, BRIGHT STAR and DIANA; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as DOUBT, The WOLVES and TAYLOR MAC’S A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC.
The 2021 Summer Season is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; by funding from Dutchess Tourism and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson; and by leadership support from the Shubert Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Board of Directors of New York Stage and Film.
NYSAF plans are subject to change as CDC, state and local guidelines develop. Programming is subject to change pending approval from Actors Equity Association. Currently, NYSAF is planning to require physical distancing at outdoor venues at Marist and Vassar Colleges. At this time, NYSAF is not planning to require proof of vaccination and/or negative test results for guests. Capacity will be strictly limited with up to 199 audience members. Guidelines for Revel 32 are set by the venue and can be found on their website. Any changes to guidelines will be communicated by email to all reservation holders.