About Ars Nova

Our history

Take a look back! Founded in 2002, Ars Nova fosters a creative environment that welcomes emerging artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines and serves as a creative home and laboratory — a place to meet collaborators, test ideas, develop new work, earn industry recognition and launch their unique voices and careers.

Dubbed by The New York Times as one of New York’s “most adventurous Off-Broadway companies,” Ars Nova was honored with a 2015 OBIE Award and a 2015 Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for our sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work.

Notable past productions include: The New York Times’ “Best of 2018” Rags Parkland Sings The Songs of The Future created by Andrew R. Butler, directed by Jordan Fein; the extended, sold-out The Lucky Ones, created by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, directed by Anne Kauffman; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; “Best New American Theatre Work” OBIE Award-winner, The New York Times’ “Best of 2016” and “one of the best 25 plays of the last 25 years” Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special, directed by Taibi Magar (now on international tour: Edinburgh Fringe First, “Best of 2018” Washington Post); “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner FUTURITY, by César Alvarez with The Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson; The New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015,” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” J@CUZZ1 by The Debate Society, directed by Oliver Butler; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail.



Oratorio for Living Things

March 17 – May 22, 2022



In this sweeping world premiere, composer Heather Christian infuses the classical oratorio with blues, gospel, jazz and soul. Oratorio for Living Things unfolds the complex layers of what it means to be alive and our relationship to time. Staged by Obie Award-winning director Lee Sunday Evans and featuring eighteen virtuosic singers and instrumentalists, the experience surrounds and uplifts, celebrating our curiosity, our wonder, and what we’re capable of becoming when in communion with each other. The resulting music-theater event heralds Christian as an undeniable artistic force.

Hound Dog

October 10 – November 5, 2022

With Music & Lyrics by MELIS AKER & THE LAZOURS
Directed by MACHEL ROSS


In Melis Aker’s world premiere play HOUND DOG, a young musician returns from abroad to her hometown of Ankara, Turkey to look after her widowed father. Forced to reckon with the family and community she left behind, an investigation into her grieving parent’s strange pilgrimage to Graceland unravels into a sonic mirage of memory packed with humor, nostalgia and the love we cultivate across generations. Directed by Machel Ross with music by Aker and the Lazours, this cross-cultural jam-session-meets-play explores the winding path towards forgiveness and belonging. 

A co-production with PlayCo