Makers Lab provides a dynamic group of generative theater artists with individually tailored residencies designed to holistically support their careers and develop their new works. Working in a range of category-defying forms and disciplines, these artists, collaborators and companies use Ars Nova as a home base for twelve-month creative residencies. Through a wide range of development tools, institutional resources and hands-on artistic support, Makers Lab residents are encouraged to think big, take risks and push their creative potential as they make work under our roof.
Laura Galindo is an artist of many hats who enjoys testing how many of these hats can balance on top of her head at once. This past summer, she and her band debuted Annie Aspen’s Musical Space Spectacular! at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest. She is a Victory Theatre LabWorks resident for the 2019-2020 season. Her band, Laura Galindo and The Boys, plays regularly around NYC and her EP Tastes Like Dreams is available on all platforms. She also loves to act, using the chops she got from her fresh BFA Drama degree at NYU. Basically, she’ll try anything once and almost always just keeps doing it. She’s cooking up new things, all of which can be tasted at @thelauragalindo on Instagram and a website which she’ll eventually make.
Michelle J. Rodriguez is a vocalist, songwriter, musical theater composer and actor. Born in Orlando, Florida to Puerto Rican parents and raised in Kirkland, Washington and Lexington, Kentucky, Ms. Rodriguez sings and writes songs that shake your heart and remind you of home in all its forms. With a voice that is “clear and compelling” and a sound that features “flourishes of bolero, bossa nova and even jazz” (Chicago Tribune), Ms. Rodriguez captivates as a performer at venues like Joe’s Pub (NYC), Ars Nova (NYC), The Hideout (Chicago) and Steppenwolf (Chicago) with her stunning vocals and vulnerability onstage.
Ms. Rodriguez made her Joe’s Pub début at the Public Theater in November of 2017 after a sold-out performance of her original musical, East o’, West o’! at ANT Fest at Ars Nova in June of 2017, which earned her a mention in The New Yorker. Beloved by NPR’s All Songs Considered team, her music project MICHA became a finalist for NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest with her song “Nena Nena Nena,” praised for a “bilingual set spanned laid-back southern soul and Latin pop flare” (NPR). She has received support from Ars Nova, New York Theater Workshop, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and the University of Chicago. Musicals include East o’, West o’! (Ars Nova/ANT Fest) and works in development Jiran, Bibliophile and Rokera. Ms. Rodriguez recently made her Public Theater début composing the music for The Mobile Unit’s production of The Tempest directed by Laurie Woolery, and she is currently under commission by the Public Theater for a new musical for their Mobile Unit program. B.A. Williams College. michamusica.com
Jillian Walker is a multi-faceted artist and thinker who is shaping culture through interdisciplinary forms of performance. Her genre-pushing work SKiNFoLK: An American Show has appeared in the Starr Reading Series, ANT Fest at Ars Nova and the inaugural SPARK Festival for new small musicals at Pittsburgh CLO. Her play Sarah’s Salt. has received developmental support from Roundabout Theater Company and MCC Theater, and was chosen as an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Relentless Award (American Playwriting Foundation). With dramaturgy as the core of her artistic practice, Jillian is theatermaker as archaeologist. She investigates the processes and workings of time, ritual, identity and structure to unearth the ways theatrical forms can impact the larger cultural landscape. Through her residency at University Musical Society (University of Michigan), she researched her new play, Tignon, and a lecture/performance work, Songs of Speculation, which premiered at JACK in November 2018. Jillian was recently commissioned to create brand-new work for the critically-acclaimed Soho Rep. and holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University.