Ars Nova presents
Oratorio for Living Things
Directed by LEE SUNDAY EVANS
ARS NOVA AT GREENWICH HOUSE
27 BARROW STREET
ABOUT THE SHOW
In this sweeping world premiere, composer Heather Christian imbues the classical oratorio with blues, gospel, jazz and soul. The result is an in-the-round fusion of music and theater, staged by Obie Award-winning director Lee Sunday Evans and featuring eighteen virtuosic singers and instrumentalists. Both otherworldly and achingly intimate, Oratorio for Living Things heralds Christian as an undeniable artistic force — and inspires us to reflect on the mystery of human experience, set against the vast scope of cosmic time.
Please note that the remainder of Ars Nova’s season, including Oratorio for Living Things, has been cancelled.
For a full statement, please click here.
A GIFT FROM THE COMPANY
In the early days of quarantine, as we all tried to adapt to the new world around us, the company of our suspended production of Oratorio for Living Things came together (at a distance) to record a song from the show, each in their isolated locations. Oratorio for Living Things contemplates the mysteries of human experience set against the vast scope of cosmic time — a fitting and beautiful undertaking in this period of change and transformation. Until we can come together to experience Heather’s stunning music in person, please enjoy this gift from the company to all of us.
For full lyrics and Latin translation, click HERE.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Take a look behind the scenes at the first rehearsal for Oratorio for Living Things.
Ars Nova presents
Oratorio for Living Things
Directed by LEE SUNDAY EVANS
March 10 – April 12, 2020
ARS NOVA AT GREENWICH HOUSE
27 BARROW STREET
By HEATHER CHRISTIAN
Directed by LEE SUNDAY EVANS
Music Direction BEN MOSS
Scenic Design KRISTEN ROBINSON
Costume Design MÁRION TALÁN DE LA ROSA
Lighting Design JEANETTE OI-SUK YEW
Sound Design NICK KOURTIDES
Orchestrations HEATHER CHRISTIAN, FRASER A. CAMPBELL, LAURA DADAP, FRED EPSTEIN, CAMELLIA HARTMAN, BEN MOSS & PETER WISE
Latin Consultant & Translator GREG TAUBMAN
Casting Director HENRY RUSSELL BERGSTEIN, CSA
Production Stage Manager JOSEPH FERNANDEZ, JR.
Presented in association with ROSALIND PRODUCTIONS INC.
ABOUT THE TEAM
HEATHER CHRISTIAN (Composer) is an Obie Award-winning composer/playwright/performer and 2019 Sundance Time Warner Fellow. She makes original performance work (Animal Wisdom Bushwick Starr, Mission Drift Nat’l Theatre London, The World Is Round BAM,) as well as scores film (The Shivering Truth (Adult Swim), Lemon, Gregory Go Boom, Sundance Grand Jury Prize) and has released 9 records with her band Heather Christian & the Arbornauts. Heather is an Ars Nova commissioned artist and a 2019 Steinberg Commission at Playwrights Horizons. heatherchristian.com.
LEE SUNDAY EVANS (Director) is a two-time Obie Award-winning director + choreographer, and was recently appointed the Artistic Director of Waterwell. Recent credits include Dance Nation by Clare Barron, Detroit Red by Will Power and The Courtroom, a reenactment of one woman’s deportation hearings with transcripts arranged by Arian Moayed. Her work has been seen at BAM, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf, The Atlantic, WP Theater, The Play Company, The Bushwick Starr, ArtsEmerson, Edinburgh International Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Watermill, Sundance Theater Lab, Juilliard, Clubbed Thumb and New Georges among others.
BEN MOSS (Music Direction / Performer) is a performer, music director and songwriter. Broadway: Head Over Heels, Amélie, Deaf West’s Spring Awakening. Off-Broadway/Regional: The Hello Girls (Prospect), The Bongo Hour with Peter Smith and Sandy Honig (The Slipper Room), Arlington (Vineyard), After Anatevka (Audible), 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Milwaukee Rep), Striking 12 (Prospect), The Mad Ones (Prospect), Brooklynite (Vineyard), Chasing The Song (La Jolla), America is Hard to See (Edinburgh Fringe), Spring Awakening (1st National Tour) and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. @BenKMoss and benkmoss.com.
KRISTEN ROBINSON (Scenic Design) is a New York City-based set designer. Her work ranges from site-specific installations to outdoor Shakespeare. Selected Credits: In the Green at LCT3, [PORTO] at WP Theater, Heart of Darkness at Baryshnikov Arts Center; and Minor Character at Under the Radar Festival; Everybody Black and The Thin Place; Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Miller Mississippi at Long Wharf Theatre; Familiar at Steppenwolf Theatre; Ethel at Alliance Theatre. She is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Purchase College. A Princess Grace Fellow, she holds her MFA from Yale University. You can see her work at kristenrobinsondesign.com. Proud member of USA829.
MÁRION TALÁN DE LA ROSA (Costume Design) With more than two decades of design experience, Marion is recognized for her ability to bring an artist’s vision to life via her creations. Marion’s recent collaborations include GRAMMY-nominated, Julia Wolfe’s FIRE IN MY MOUTH at the New York Philharmonic, award winner Caleb Teicher’s commissions for The Guggenheim Work in Process, City Center’s Fall for Dance (among others), choreographer Sonya Tayeh’s Fall for Dance commissions and is resident designer NYU Steinhardt’s Verbatim Performance Lab under director Joe Salvatore, just to name a few. In addition, she has been the Wardrobe Supervisor at The Juilliard School for the last 15 years and designs for the Dance Division. mariontalan.com.
JEANETTE OI-SUK YEW (Lighting Design) designs for theater, dance, opera, musicals, music performances and installation. NY Times described them as “clever” and “inventive.” Recent: KPOP (Hewes Design Award, LIT Design Award; Lortel and Drama Desk Nominations); James & Jerome’s The Conversationalists; Object Collection’s You Are Under Our Space Control; Oneohtrix Point Never’s MYRIAD; Haruna Lee’s Suicide Forest; Aya Ogawa’s Ludic Proxy (Bel Geddes Design Enhancement); and Matthew Paul Olmos’ So Go the Ghosts of Mexico Part One (Best Lighting Design nomination). NEA/TCG Career Development Program recipient. jeanetteyew.com.
NICK KOURTIDES (Sound Design) designs for musical theater and creates sound environments for devised ensemble works. Select Off-Broadway: Blacklight, Greenwich House. The Lucky Ones, Ars Nova. Object Lesson, NYTN, BAM. Elephant Room, St. Ann’s. Carson McCullers Talks About Love, Rattlestick. Jomama Jones: Radiate, Soho Rep. Select Commercial: Magic Mike Live Las Vegas, London, Berlin, Australia. Regional: McCarter, Actors Theatre, CTG, Folger, Studio, Milwaukee Rep, La Jolla, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, etc.. With Pig Iron Theatre Company: A Period of Animate Existence, Cankerblossom, Isabella, Chekhov Lizardbrain, Mission to Mercury. With BalletX: Sunset, o639 Hours at the Wilma, the Joyce, Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Festivals. Site-specific works with PearlDamour, Lynn Nottage & Kate Whoriskey and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. 2006 Barrymore; 2015 Bessie. nickkourtides.com
FREDDY EPSTEIN (Orchestration) is a bassist, theater artist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY as well as Director of Operations at Chelsea Music Hall. Recent projects include The Infinite Hotel by Michael J. McQuilken (Prototype Festival) and Animal Wisdom by Heather Christian (Bushwick Starr). basslinepsychology.com
GREG TAUBMAN (Latin Consultant & Translator) helps stories find their form and storytellers hone their craft — primarily as Co-Founder and Partner at FORGE, a boutique arts consultancy (forgenyc.org). Greg’s Greek and Latin translation work has appeared in The Public’s Bacchae (2009), Antigone/Progeny (Extant Arts, 2012) and Bad News! i was there… (Poet’s House, 2015). Greg holds a BA in Classics from Princeton, an MFA in Directing from Columbia and has taught and directed students at Stanford, Columbia and LIU Post.
JOSEPH FERNANDEZ, JR. (Production Stage Manager) Broadway: The Ferryman, Head Over Heels. Off-Broadway: The Underlying Chris (Second Stage), Hercules, Julius Caesar, The Gabriels… (The Public); Continuity, India Pale Ale (MTC); If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be…, Mankind, Men On Boats, The Christians, Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons); Charm (MCC). Other NY: The Mother of Us All (NY Phil/Met Museum/Juilliard), Of Thee I Sing (Carnegie Hall). Many thanks to Ars Nova, the whole Oratorio company and especially Sydney.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
RYAN AMADOR (Performer) has released 3 full-length albums and 5 EP’s of original music online. He is best known for his queer-related music videos Define Me & Spectrum and song Instead. As a theater-maker, Ryan has written & directed productions in New York, Cincinnati, Seattle, New Orleans, & Abu Dhabi. He is currently in development on Q2, a 21st-century musical, in collaboration with James Lecesne & The New Harmony Project. Education: NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
KIRSTYN CAE BALLARD (Performer) is a Philadelphia based performer and composer. She is thrilled and honored to be a part of Oratorio! Some previous credits include Animal Wisdom (Bushwick Star), Folk Wandering and Annie Salem: An American Tale (Polyphone Festival). Her compositions for IMMERSION have been recognized by the 2019 SheNYC Arts festival. She recently released her debut EP, Something Finished, Somewhat Complete. Huge thanks to Heather and the Ballard family for the tremendous support!
CHRISTIAN BRAILSFORD (Performer) Christian has performed all over the world, including places like Hong Kong, performing in the The Lion King as “Scar”. He has performed in places including Japan, South Korea, China and Singapore and many more. Christian recently made his New York City debut in the Off-Broadway) musical, Cleopatra in the role of “Marc Antony”! He is honored to be a part of the World Premiere of Heather Christian’s Oratorio For Living Things. He thanks his family and friends for their unconditional love and continuous support.
FRASER A. CAMPBELL (Performer) Originally from Perth, Scotland, composer and saxophonist Fraser A. Campbell has been based in Brooklyn, NY for the past 10 years. A graduate of Berklee College of Music (BM) and William Paterson University (MM), he has performed with various groups throughout NYC as well as writing, arranging and scoring for tv, film and dance. His music has been performed at BAM, Le Poisson Rouge, Place des Arts, MassMOCA and New York Live Arts among others.
LAURA DADAP (Performer) Off-Broadway/International: Voca People. National Tour: Nickelodeon Presents: Storytime Live! Regional: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Arkansas Rep) Workshop/Lab: Agent 355 (CTC, MTF, Village Theatre), Darling Grenadine (NMTC, NAMT), The Golden Spike (MTF, BRIC), Seawife (NAMT), Bhangin’ It (Rhinebeck, La Jolla Playhouse, Project Springboard). Proud graduate of Emerson College and founding member of Macabre Americana, a folk fusion band that sheds light on the dark side of American history. lauradadap.com.
SEAN DONOVAN (Performer) is an actor, dancer, writer and director. He’s collaborated with Heather Christian in multiple capacities for the past 15 years. His recent plays include Cabin (Bushwick Starr) and The Reception (HERE Arts). He’s been nominated twice for BESSIE awards for Outstanding Performer. Recent credits include Elements of Oz (Skirball), Play (BAM), House/Divided (BAM). He’s a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He’s trained, performed and taught throughout the U.S. and abroad.
CARLA DUREN (Performer) Broadway: Hairspray; 110 in the Shade. Off-Broadway: High Button Shoes (Encores! at City Center); Chick Flick; Fortress of Solitude; Brooklynite. Regional Theater: Marginal Loss; The Bluest Eye; It Shoulda Been You, Ruined (SFBATCC Award); Amélie, Parable of the Sower, Robert Wilson’s Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter. Film: Knucklehead, Maid in Manhattan, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. TV: Bull, Gotham, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Mysteries of Laura. Album: BlackFolkRockStar. @carladuren.
BRIAN FLORES (Performer) Broadway: Head Over Heels (OBC, dir. Michael Mayer). Pippin in the 1st National Tour of Pippin (dir. Diane Paulus). Off-Broadway: NYTW: Othello (dir. Sam Gold), & Hadestown (dir. Rachel Chavkin), City Center. Regional: Two River Theatre, Buck’s County Playhouse, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. TV/Film: The Deuce (HBO), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon). Education: BFA Musical Theatre, University of Michigan, RADA. @_brian_flores.
ODETTA HARTMAN (Performer) carries cowboy soul into an era where country can clash with computers, and bluegrass isn’t afraid of bass. Her debut LP 222 was released on Northern Spy Records in 2015. On her latest release, Old Rockhounds Never Die , Odetta continues to explore the unique sonic vernacular of badass banjos, detuned violins, field recordings, superstitious soundscapes and vocal stylings ranging from sensual to spooky.
BARRIE LOBO McLAIN (Performer) is a Brooklyn-based performing artist and creator. Selected credits include The Bengsons’ Hundred Days (NYTW, La Jolla, US tour), Bernstein’s MASS (Ravinia, PBS), Sleep No More (NYC), Kansas City Choir Boy with Courtney Love (HERE NYC, A.R.T., US tour), This Clement World (St. Ann’s Warehouse.) Musical collaborations with Sherie Rene Scott, Andrew Rannells, Julie Klausner, Jo Lampert, Todd Almond, and Liz Swados. Composer for Pipeline Theatre Company’s recent production of Folk Wandering, currently recording an original solo album. BFA NYU Tisch. barriemclain.com.
BEN MOSS (Music Direction / Performer) See bio above
ONYIE NWACHUKWU (Performer) is truly excited to be a part of what has essentially been her church for the past several years! Previous work includes the Cirque Dream and Rent national tours, most recently the Off-Broadway World premiere of Daddy at the Signature Theatre and Sistas Off Bway. Many thanks to; Michael R. Jackson for being my conduit to Heather Christian and to Ars Nova for your continued support of the creative artist! And special thanks to God…. for leading me to Heather Christian.
GERIANNE PÉREZ (Performer) Broadway: In Transit (Kathy). First National Tour: Waitress (Ensemble, U/S Dawn), Vocalosity. Regional Theatre: In the Heights at the Hangar Theatre (Vanessa), Grease at Maine State Music Theatre (Rizzo). Gerianne has also performed at notable venues such as 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Endless gratitude to the phenomenal Oratorio team, BRS/Gage, and most importantly, my family. Proud graduate of NYU! @gerianne.perez, gerianneperez.com.
ASHLEY PÉREZ FLANAGAN (Performer) Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. Off-Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme, The Lucky Ones, Orpheus and Eurydice Are…In Love, Ars Nova; In The Green, LCT3; Hadestown, NYTW; In Love With Jobim, York Theatre. Recent: Moby-Dick, ART. Concerts: Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below. Film: The Kitchen. Ashley is a member of the indie-folk hop trio @moondrunkband.
MONA SEYED-BOLORFOROSH (Performer) is an experienced Music Director with a demonstrated history of working in the education and management industry. Focuses in Piano Performance, Composition, Conducting from Berklee College of Music.
SAM WEBER (Performer) is a multi-disciplined bassist, composer, arranger and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sam is an alumnus of Western Michigan University, earning both a BA in Jazz Studies (2010) and an MA in Music (2011). Since relocating to New York City in 2012, Sam has been performing non-stop with an eclectic community of musicians, playing everything from jazz, hip hop and rock to bluegrass and contemporary classical music.
ALAN WIGGINS (Performer) Broadway: Beautiful, The Lion King. International: Grease. Regional: Fulton Theatre, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre Center (Joseph…, Helen Hayes Award nomination). Love to my wonderful family and friends especially Mom, Dad! JBB! MTX! We Are!
PETER WISE (Performer) is a drummer, percussionist, sound designer and web developer with a voracious appetite for music and sounds of all kinds. Peter grew up playing music in the Berkshires (MA) and studied percussion at Stony Brook and Eastman. He has toured with many different groups and productions including Newspeak, Forever House, JG Thirlwell’s Maxorexia, Bobby Previte’s VooDoo Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage and David T. Little’s opera Dog Days. peterwise.net, foreverhouse.net.