a sonic narrative collection by

James Harrison Monaco

directed by

Andrew Scoville

A symphony of stories finds its rhythm in Travels, a vivid travelogue set to music by James Harrison Monaco. Weaving global movement, desire and heartbreak into an electro thrill ride, Travels reimagines oral traditions for the 21st century, unpacking how far you can go when you really listen.

All tickets are Name Your Price & General Admission

MARCH 20, 2024 - APRIL 20, 2024
ARS NOVA
511 W 54TH STREET, NYC

THE COMPANY

El Beh HS_PH copy (1)

El Beh (all pronouns only in rotation – if just using one: they/them) is a genderqueer, chinese-american theatre artist, performer, actor, musician, singer, composer, drag artist, mover, shaker, educator, forever student and glowing unty to many a nibling. Growing edges and digging deep are their fuel along with shared experiences, community making, alternative mutual aid solutions and constantly trying to fuck up the systems that need fucking. He was most recently seen in Sam Pinkleton’s Wizard of Oz (ACT), César Alvarez’s Noise (Northern Stage), and Taylor Mac and Matt Ray’s Bark of Millions (Sydney Opera House, BAM & Zellerbach Playhouse).

Ashley De La Rosa Headshot

Ars Nova: (pray) Broadway: Mean Girls, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. National Tours: Hamilton: An American Musical, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, RENT. Television: Dear Edward (Apple TV+), The Other Two (HBO). Her original music is available for streaming on all digital music platforms. Grateful to be here. 

James Harrison Monaco

James Harrison Monaco (Writer) tells stories with music. He considers this one of the oldest art forms in the world, and he’s always looking for new ways to do it. He’s obsessed with stories of travel, immigration, quiet violence, quiet grace, global loneliness, and time. He’s also a translator (Spanish and Italian), a music composer, and he writes fiction & non-fiction. His work has been presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center (where he’s a New Writer in Residence), MASS MoCA, The Bushwick Starr, The Momentary, and many others. He is one half of the music-storytelling duo Jerome & James. www.jamesharrisonmonaco.com

Eslaminia, Mehry orange

Mehry Iris Eslaminia Broadway: 1776. The Shed: Here We Are. Regional: ENGLISH Berkeley Rep, 1776 A.R.T., Twelfth Night, Appoggiatura, Denver Center: The Corpse Washer, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville; You Can’t Take It With You, The Curious Incident … Indiana Repertory/Syracuse Stage; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Creede Repertory.Graduate U of N Colorado. A first generation El Salvadorian-Iranian-American. Thanks to friends, family & Ann Kelly for their endless support. @mehryiris

Murchison, John at Joes Pub

John Murchison is a multi-instrumentalist who has played bass, qanun, and oud in theater works like Great Comet (Broadway), In The Green (LCT3), The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr) and Oratorio For Living Things (Ars Nova). He is one of the most in-demand bassists for Arabic music in the United States, and is cofounder of Brooklyn Maqam, a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and promoting Arabic music around NYC.

THE TEAM

James Harrison Monaco tells stories with music. He considers this one of the oldest art forms in the world, and he’s always looking for new ways to do it. He’s obsessed with stories of travel, immigration, quiet violence, quiet grace, global loneliness, and time. He’s also a translator (Spanish and Italian), a music composer, and he writes fiction & non-fiction. His work has been presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center (where he’s a New Writer in Residence), MASS MoCA, The Bushwick Starr, The Momentary, and many others. He is one half of the music-storytelling duo Jerome & James. www.jamesharrisonmonaco.com

Andrew Scoville is a director specializing in immersive layouts, technological landscapes, and hybrid-genre theater-making. He recently directed Theater of the Mind, a large-scale multi-room theater/neuroscience experience by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He was Associate Director to Alex Timbers on Byrne’s immersive musical Here Lies Love on Broadway. Previously he collaborated with James as the duo James & Jerome on Piano Tales which has been performed in theaters across the country, brownstones, flower shops and restaurants. Past collaborations with Ars Nova include Love Machine (ANT Fest 2012), Molly Murphy & Neil deGrasse Tyson… (ANT Fest 2015), People Doing Math Live! (ANT Fest 2015), Memory Retrograde (2017). www.andrewjscoville.com

Or Matias (Music Supervisor) is an Obie award-winning music director, pianist, and orchestrator based in NYC. Select highlights: Grey House (Broadway), Love Around the Block (Hermès), The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), Octet (Signature Theater & Berkeley Rep; Special Citation Obie Award), Preludes (Lortel nomination), and First Daughter Suite (Public). As music director he has worked extensively with Josh Groban, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Duncan Sheik, Phillipa Soo, Dave Malloy, and Rachel Chavkin. BM: Juilliard. MFA: NYU. Sponsor: Yamaha. https://www.ormatiasmusic.com

Diggle (Scenic Design) he/him/his is a proud Gay Mexican designer with Indigenous Mexica (Aztec) roots. Selected credits: Merry Wives of Windsor (Old Globe); The Harder They Come (Public Theater); Hair, Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really (Portland Center Stage); Cowboy Bob (Alley Theatre/NAMT); Gruesome Playground Injuries (St. Louis Rep); Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long Wharf Theatre); Shakespeare: Call & Response (Public’s Mobile Unit); The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr); Electra, Fade (DTC). Princess Grace Honoraria. www.diggledesigns.com, @diggle_designs

Sarita Fellows (Costume Design) was born in Freetown Sierra Leone, her more recent
works include projects such as Death of a Salesman, Broadway; Drinking in America,
Audible Minetta Lane Theater; Theater of the Mind, Denver Center of Performing
Arts; Elyria, Atlantic Theater Co; Blues for An Alabama Sky and Sweat, Guthrie theater;
Joy and Pandemic, and Our Daughters Like Pillars, Huntington Theater; Seize The
King, Alliance Theater; A Bright Room Called Day, Public Theater; Fefu and Her
Friends, American Conservatory Theater. In the dance world, Sarita has worked with
choreographers such as Liz Lerman, and Edisa Weeks. MFA in design from Tisch
School of Design. She recently was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Costume
Design (The National Black Theater Festival 2022). Lily Award (2020)

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design) award-winning designer for theatre, dance, opera, musicals, music performances and large-scale immersive installation. NY Times described her designs as “clever” and “inventive”. Recent: Kimberly Akimbo (Broadway), King Lear (STC), WILD: A Musical Becoming (A.R.T.), The Nosebleed (LCT3), Gloria: A Life (Daryl Roth Theatre), Walden (Theaterworks), Golden Shield (MTC), cullud wattah (The Public), Oratorio for Living Things (Ars Nova). Plus designing for immersive experiences like Nevermore Park: Home of Flyboy with artist Hebru Brantley. www.jeanetteyew.com

Nick Kourtides (Sound Design) designs for musical theatre and creates sound environments for collaborative ensemble works. New York: The Object Lesson (BAM Next Wave), Elephant Room (St. Ann’s), Our Aeneid (Red Bull), Carson McCullers Talks About Love(Rattlestick), Jomama Jones * RADIATE (Soho Rep), Chekhov Lizardbrain (Ohio). International: Lublin Konfrontacje Teatralne, Paris Quartier d’Ete, London Barbican, Edinburgh Festival. Regional: McCarter Theatre, Wilma Theater, Center Theatre Group, Folger Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, Prince Music Theater, 1812 Productions, Azuka Theatre, Inis Nua, Passage Theatre, Arden Theatre, and many others.

Ensemble works with Pig Iron Theatre Company: Cankerblossom, Isabella, Chekhov Lizardbrain, Mission to Mercury. With Rainpan43: The Object Lesson, Elephant Room, Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl. Nick was the Visiting Instructor in Sound Design at Swarthmore College in 2010, and received Philadelphia’s Barrymore Award in 2006.

Critics have called Nick’s work “…a wonder of innovation”, “…faultless and hilarious”, “..superb sound design”, “…exquisite”.

Stefania Bulbarella (Projections Design) is a Projections Designer from Argentina based in Brooklyn, NY. Broadway: Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (MTC). Off Broadway : Space Dogs (MCC), A Bright New Boise (Signature Theatre), Semblance (New York Theatre Workshop), The Watering Hole (Signature Theatre), amongst others. Awards: Hola Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Theatrical Design for Vamonos. Nominations: Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Video/Projection Design for Space Dogs. www.stefaniabulbarella.com

JJJJJerome Ellis (Select music) is an animal, stutterer, and artist. He was raised by Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants in Tidewater, VA, where he prays, gardens, and resides among the egrets and asters. Through music, literature, performance, and video he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. He dreams of building a sonic bath house!

The Telsey Office / Destiny Lilly, CSA (Casting) With offices in both New York and Los
Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theater, film, television, and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable, and anti-racist spaces through collaboration, artistry, heart, accountability, and advocacy. www.thetelseyoffice.com

Esti Bernstein (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based theatermaker and ice cream eater. Favorite credits include: The Good John Proctor (Bedlam), Is This A Room (Vineyard Theatre), WORK HARD HAVE FUN MAKE HISTORY (Clubbed Thumb), the bandaged place (Roundabout Theatre Company), Watch Night (PAC NYC), The Other Josh Cohen (Westside Theater), and STOMP. Five seasons at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Proud Resident Stage Manager for Broken Box Mime Theater. Love and thanks to friends and family, ACL, BBB, GVB, BNB, and FFB.

Travels is wheelchair accessible. If you wish or need to remain in your wheelchair throughout the show, our staff will remove the theater chair. This can be done by letting us know your needs/plans in advance; just email tix@arsnovanyc.com. It can also be done without prior notice when you arrive! If you wish to transfer to the theater seat from your wheelchair, we are happy to store your wheelchair or motorized mobility aid in the lobby during the performance. The House Manager will return your mobility device to you at the end of the performance as Travels has no intermission.

Licensed service animals (any dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities) are welcome at Travels. They must rest in your seating area throughout the performance and are unable to occupy the aisle. Please bring proof of certification or a license for your service animal and be prepared to present it to the House Manager upon request. You can send advance notice to tix@arsnovanyc.com, which is appreciated, but not required.

Our bathrooms are single-stalled, all-gender restrooms – everyone is welcome to use any bathroom of their choice. We have two single-person restrooms in the lobby; with the wheelchair accessible option located right outside the theater on the first floor (doors 7 feet 10 inches x 3 feet 10.5 inches).

We have space that can be made to offer privacy for feeding should you need at any time. See the House Manager onsite and they will arrange a comfortable space, with storage and refrigeration for your materials.

Info to come.

Performances of Travels will take place at Ars Nova, located on 511 West 54th Street, New York, NY, 10019.

Wednesday, March 20 – Saturday April 20, Monday – Saturday @ 7PM with additional performances on Saturday @ 2PM beginning March 30. Click the “calendar” tab on to view our full performance schedule.

Seating is general admission and first-come first-served. So, the earlier you arrive at the theater, the more choice you’ll have about where you sit! (Bonus: cheapest drinks in Midtown are at Bars Nova!)

The only way to guarantee you reserved seats is to become a Super Nova. Super Novas never hear “sold out,” get reserved seats in prime locations, and make fair wages and accessible tickets possible. Learn more about becoming a Super Nova here!

Tix to Travels are Name Your Price, meaning tix are available in $5 increments up to $100 and you pick the price that’s right for you! For this show, Name Your Price tix start at $5 for the first week of performances, $15 for the second week of performances, $25 for the third week of performances and $35 for performances thereafter, which means you can save big by coming to an early performance!

Once you’ve selected your performance date and time at check-out, you’ll see a number of ticket price options. Select the price point you want to pay and the number of tickets you’d like to purchase and they’ll be added to your cart. After that, continue through the check-out process and you’ll be all set!

Yes. The processing fees are charged by our ticketing and credit card processors, and increase along with the base price of your ticket.

There is no late seating or re-entry, so arrive early, nab the best seats, and leave yourself a little extra time to arrive and use the restroom before the show begins.

All sales are final – there are no refunds or exchanges.

If you’re unable to use your tickets, you may donate them in exchange for a letter of tax credit by emailing tix@arsnovanyc.com.

We ask that you stay home if you aren’t feeling well or are awaiting the results of a COVID test. Please let us know prior to your ticketed performance, and we will work with you to find a solution if you’re unable to attend.

We welcome and encourage mask-wearing to protect yourself and others. However, as mask mandates have lifted and city, state and federal guidelines have changed, we will not be requiring them at most performances.

We will offer a mask-required performance on Thursday, March 21 @ 7PM for those individuals who are more comfortable attending a performance at which everyone is masked. Bars Nova will be closed for that performance and all patrons and front of house staff in attendance will be required to remain masked throughout the performance.

We no longer require proof of vaccination, but we strongly encourage all audience members to get vaccinated and boosted in accordance with public health guidelines.

We’ve upgraded the ventilation and air filtration in all of our spaces to meet or exceed the highest standards set by public health officials and our theatrical unions.

Our staff will clean and sanitize the theater and common areas and we’ll continue to provide hand sanitizer for your personal use.

Signage is posted in all spaces encouraging washing or sanitizing hands frequently.

Travels is wheelchair accessible. We hope you’ll let us know in advance by emailing tix@arsnovanyc.com to let us know if you are unable to transfer, so that we can make your visit as smooth as possible. Details on all of our accessibility offerings can be found under the “access” tab on this page. We also welcome any questions or information about your access needs ahead of your visit; reach out Audience Engagement Manager Declan Zhang. Access needs and accommodations can include, but are not limited to:

Guests arriving in a wheelchair, motorized mobility aid, etc;
Guests remaining seated in a wheelchair during the show;
Guests planning on transferring from their wheelchair or scooter into a seat;
Guests visiting with their service animal;
Guests looking to utilize an Assistive Listening Device during the show;
Guests hoping to access our Audio Described Performances
Guests who require specific chair accommodations such as high-weight capacity seats, purchasing multiple seats for one person, or information regarding chair specifications;
Guests wishing to learn how to best navigate the space prior to their visit and would like more detailed specifications of the venue.

Travels is wheelchair accessible. We hope you’ll let us know in advance by emailing tix@arsnovanyc.com to let us know if you are unable to transfer, so that we can make your visit as smooth as possible. Details on all of our accessibility offerings can be found under the “access” tab on this page. We also welcome any questions or information about your access needs ahead of your visit; reach out Audience Engagement Manager Declan Zhang. Access needs and accommodations can include, but are not limited to:

Guests arriving in a wheelchair, motorized mobility aid, etc;
Guests remaining seated in a wheelchair during the show;
Guests planning on transferring from their wheelchair or scooter into a seat;
Guests visiting with their service animal;
Guests looking to utilize an Assistive Listening Device during the show;
Guests hoping to access our Audio Described Performances
Guests who require specific chair accommodations such as high-weight capacity seats, purchasing multiple seats for one person, or information regarding chair specifications;
Guests wishing to learn how to best navigate the space prior to their visit and would like more detailed specifications of the venue.

The development and production of Travels is supported, in part, by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Frank Young Fund for New Musicals, Tobin Theater Arts Fund, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Tix to Travels are Name Your Price, meaning you decide what you pay! The minimum price for Name Your Price tix start at $5 plus fees the first week of performances and go up in $10 increments each week of performances, so you can save by booking tix to earlier performances in the run. And fun fact: for every dollar you spend on your ticket, we spend the following on the show:

  • $.74 on artist, creator, & crew compensation
  • $.13 on production materials like scenery, costumes, lighting & sound equipment
  • $.09 on marketing & engagement materials like photos, music videos, audio-description, etc.
  • $.04 on company care like physical therapy, water and throat lozenges!

To cover all those expenses for the entire run of the show, every ticket would need to sell for $258! If you are able to make a donation to help pay the artists who made Travels fair wages while keeping tickets affordable for all New Yorkers, please do!