MARCH 17 – MAY 22, 2022
ARS NOVA @ GREENWICH HOUSE
27 BARROW STREET
NEW YORK, NY, 10014
APPROX. RUN TIME
TIX START AT $35
“PROFOUNDLY STRANGE & OVERWHELMINGLY BEAUTIFUL – HEATHER CHRISTIAN’S RAPTUROUS NEW MUSIC-THEATER WORK TURNS A TINY AMPHITHEATER INTO A VAST CATHEDRAL OF SOUND”
– Jesse Green, The New York Times
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.
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Composer HEATHER CHRISTIAN
Director LEE SUNDAY EVANS
Music Director BEN MOSS
Scenic Design KRISTEN ROBINSON
Costume Design MÁRION TALÁN DE LA ROSA
Lighting Design JEANETTE OI-SUK YEW
Sound Design NICK KOURTIDES
Latin Translation & Latin Consultant GREG TAUBMAN
Stage Manager JO FERNANDEZ
Assistant Stage Manager KELSEY VIVIAN
Associate Director KEENAN TYLER OLIPHANT
Assistant Director LIZA COUSER
Assoc. Music Director JACKLYN RIHA
Casting HENRY RUSSELL BERGSTEIN, CSA
Oratorio for Living Things is produced in association with ROSALIND PRODUCTIONS INC.
LEE SUNDAY EVANS (Director) is a two-time Obie Award-winning director + choreographer, and the Artistic Director of Waterwell. Recent credits include Dance Nation by Clare Barron, HOME by Geoff Sobelle, In the Green by Grace McLean, 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, among others.
BEN MOSS (Music Director/ Performer) is a performer, songwriter, orchestrator, and music director. Broadway: Head Over Heels, Amélie, Deaf West’s Spring Awakening. Other credits include Heather Christian’s PRIME (Playwright’s Horizons “Soundstage”), The Hello Girls (Prospect Theater), Arlington (Vineyard Theatre), After Anatevka (with Alexandra Silber, Audible), Striking 12 (Prospect), Chasing The Song (La Jolla Playhouse), America is Hard to See (Life Jacket), Spring Awakening (1st National Tour), Ben Moss & Friends (The Duplex) and The Bongo Hour with Peter Smith & Sandy Honig (The Slipper Room). On all platforms @benkmoss and benkmoss.com.
KRISTEN ROBINSON (Scenic Design) is an award winning designer, artist and educator. Her work ranges from digital performance scenography, to site specific installations, to outdoor Shakespeare. You can view her work at www.kristenrobinsondesing.com. She is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Purchase College. A Princess Grace Fellow, she holds her MFA in Theatre Design from Yale University and is a member of USA829
MÁRION TALÁN DE LA ROSA (Costume Design) Born in Mexico City, Mexico, and based out of Brooklyn, Márion has collaborated with artists and innovators throughout her career. She is the Wardrobe Supervisor and a designer at the Juilliard School and the resident designer for NYU Steinhardt School’s Verbatim Performance Lab under the direction of Joe Salvatore. Some collaborations of note include Fire in My Mouth (2019) with composer Julia Wolfe and the NY Philharmonic; Unveiling (2021) with choreographer Sonya Tayeh and artist Moses Somney at Guggenheim Works in Process; Swing Out (2021) with Choreographers Caleb Teicher, Evita Arce, Latasha Barnes, and Nathan Bugh for the Joyce Theater; There is a Time(2020), a re-imagining for Limon Dance Company with Dante Puleio, and On the Other Side (2021) with Chanelle DaSilva and composer Cristina Spinei for Parsons Dance for the Joyce Theater among many others. Márion is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829
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.
GREG TAUBMAN (Latin Translation & Latin Consultant) helps stories find their form and storytellers hone their craft—primarily as Co-Founder + Partner at FORGE (www.forgenyc.org). His Greek and Latin translations have appeared in The Public’s Bacchae (2009), Antigone/Progeny (Extant Arts, 2012) and Bad News! (Poet’s House, 2015). BA: Princeton (Classics, summa cum laude); MFA: Columbia (Directing). Projects in development include the non-fiction book Such Stuff: The Essential Value of Art & Dreams, the Arcsong story-cycle, and a theatrically-inspired tarot deck.
JO FERNANDEZ (Production Stage Manager) (formerly known as Joseph Fernandez, Jr.) Broadway: The Ferryman, Head Over Heels. Other New York: Only An Octave Apart (St. Ann’s Warehouse); The Underlying Chris (Second Stage), Public Works’ Hercules, Julius Caesar, The Gabriels Trilogy (The Public); If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be…, Men On Boats, The Christians, Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons); Continuity, India
KELSEY VIVIAN (Assistant Stage Manager) Some credits include: Off-Broadway: The Mother (Atlantic Theater Company); Twelfth Night (The Public Theater). NYC: The Mile-Long Opera (The High Line); Lear: That Old Man I Used to Know (Smith Street Stage). Regional: Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf Theatre), Godspell, Outside Mullingar, Spamalot, Fox on the Fairway, Young Frankenstein (Saint Michael’s Playhouse); Fun Home, The Call, Blackberry Winter, Native Gardens, American Hero (Vermont Stage Company); Julius Caesar (Vermont Shakespeare Festival). For Gram and Grandpa.
LIZA COUSER (Assistant Director) (she/her) is a director and producer of new plays and musicals based in New York City. She is interested in the complex, comedic, absurd, heart-wrenching, ensemble-driven, and formally adventurous. Select recent credits: PRIMETIME THEATER FESTIVAL (Co-Founder & Producer), MEAT (Director, Vox Fest), POLYLOGUES (Producer, HERE Arts Center), WITH WORDS THAT DON’T EXIST (Director & Composer, Vox Lab). Liza has collaborated and presented work with Ars Nova, Northern Stage, The Tank, New London Barn Playhouse, 59E59 Theaters, Theater for the New City, BRIC Arts, and Dartmouth College. She is an alum of the Roundabout Directors Group, SDCF Observership, Ars Nova Artistic Fellowship, and 24 Hour Plays Nationals. Lizacouser.com
JACKLYN RIHA (Associate Music Director) is a New York based music director, orchestrator, vocalist and music arranger. Recent highlights include: Associate MD for ORATORIO FOR LIVING THINGS (Ars Nova, Off-Broadway), Associate MD for LOCH NESS (Merry Go-Round Playhouse, Regional), Associate MD on a workshop production of TRUMP L’OEIL and a reading of SHANGHAI SONATAS (Showtown Theatricals). Jacklyn is also the current Music Assistant for THE BOOK THIEF and BETWEEN THE LINES.
HENRY RUSSELL BERGSTEIN
JOHNNY BUTLER (Performer) is a Grammy-award winning saxophonist, composer, audio engineer, dancer, and filmmaker. Over the years, he has worked with many of his idols, including Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule), Wynton Marsalis, The Levon Helm Band, Tune-Yards, Theo Croker, Kassa Overall, Joe Lally (Fugazi), and Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds.
KIRSTYN CAE BALLARD (Performer) is a Philadelphia based performer and composer. She is thrilled and honored to be BACK with Oratorio! Some previous credits include Animal Wisdom (Bushwick Star) Folk Wandering, and Annie Salem: An American Tale (Polyphone Festival). Her compositions forIMMERSION have been recognized by the 2019 SheNYC Arts festival. Some of her original music can be found on all streaming platforms. Huge thanks to Heather, and to the Ballard family for the tremendous support!
JANE CARDONA (Performer) (they/she) Broadway: To Kill A Mockingbird (Pump Organ), Head Over Heels (MD (Replacement), Associate MD), Moulin Rouge (Sub Conductor, Transcriptionist), Jagged Little Pill (Sub Conductor, Music Assistant), SpongeBob (Understudy Rehearsal Pianist), Misery (Music Assistant). Off-Broadway: The Public. Regional: Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film.
SEAN DONOVAN (Performer) is an actor, singer, dancer, and writer. 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.
CLERIDA ELTIMÉ has made her mark in classical, pop, and hip hop music, performing with artists including Frank Ocean, J.Cole, Nas, Solange and the legendary Stevie Wonder. She has performed at prestigious venues such as Madison Square Garden, NPR Tiny Desk Office, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Central Park’s SummerStage and The Museum of Modern Art. Clerida’s love of music and affinity to growth has also propelled her to the big screen, where she performed a blind audition for NBC’s The Voice in early 2020. She just wrapped up an off-broadway musical where she doubled playing cello and electric bass, an instrument which was self-taught during the pandemic. Clérida’s primary studies were with Julia Lichten, of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and is a graduate of Purchase College (BM’ – Cello Performance). She is an active freelancer in the Tri-State area also teaches private lessons across Long Island.
CLÉRIDA ELTIMÉ has made her mark in classical, pop, and hip hop music, performing with artists including Frank Ocean, J.Cole, Nas, Solange and the legendary Stevie Wonder. She has performed at prestigious venues such as Madison Square Garden, NPR Tiny Desk Office, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Central Park’s SummerStage and The Museum of Modern Art. Clerida’s love of music and affinity to growth has also propelled her to the big screen, where she performed a blind audition for NBC’s The Voice in early 2020. She just wrapped up an off-broadway musical where she doubled playing cello and electric bass, an instrument which was self-taught during the pandemic. Clérida’s primary studies were with Julia Lichten, of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and is a graduate of Purchase College (BM’ – Cello Performance). She is an active freelancer in the Tri-State area also teaches private lessons across Long Island.
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.
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) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and educator, born & based in downtown NYC. She is also a co-founder of Ladybug Land, a healing homestead & artist retreat center in the Catskills, NY.
QUENTIN OLIVER LEE is glad to make his Ars Nova debut with The Oratorio of Living Things! Select credits: B’way; Caroline or Change, Prince of Broadway. Tour; Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. Grammy award winner from Porgy & Bess at the Met Opera. Thanks to God, Fam, CTG, and everyone here today. Say hello at quentinoliverlee.com
LIZ LEIMKUHLER (Performer) is an actress, singer, comedian, and writer based in New York City. She is thrilled to be back with this piece after nearly three years (!!). Cherished past collaborators include Stevie Walker-Webb, Doug Hughes, Mark Wing-Davey, Dave Malloy, Jake Beckhard, Sofya Weitz, Lily Houghton, and Tom Costello. Liz performs monthly with Entirely From Memory at littlefield in Brooklyn. This is her Off-Broadway debut, and she graduates this month with her MFA from NYU. LizLeimkuhler.com
ANGEL LOZADA is a Queer Latine Artist who craves a deeper understanding of self and the world he lives in. Former credits include Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC, Hair (The Old Globe), Unmasked (Papermill Playhouse), Evita (Riverside Theatre), West Side Story (Maltz Jupiter), Jesus Christ Superstar (Chicago Lyric). He is super pumped to be making his Off Broadway Debut and would like to extend his gratitude to HCKR, Coach C, his parents and his partner in crime. @imangellozada
JOHN MURCHISON (Performer) is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist. Some past theater works include bass in Great Comet (Ars Nova->Broadway), qanun in “In The Green” (Lincoln Center), and bass/qanun/oud in “The Conversationalists” (Bushwick Starr). He is one of the most in-demand bassists for traditional Arabic music in the United States, and cofounder of Brooklyn Maqam, an organization dedicated to presenting and promoting Arabic music around NYC.
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.
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.
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.
DITO VAN REIGERSBERG is a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company. He has performed in almost all of Pig Iron’s productions since its founding, including the OBIE-winning original pieces Hell Meets Henry Halfway and Chekhov Lizardbrain. His alter-ego Martha Graham Cracker performs regularly at Joe’s Pub and is famously “the tallest, hairiest drag queen in the world” – check out her album of songs about show biz, heartbreak, and libraries called Lashed But Not Leashed.
A live audio described performance of Oratorio for Living Things will happen on Sunday, April 10 @ 2pm, performed by Tess Dworman.
Access to the live audio description is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis due to the number of devices available. That being said, we welcome you to invite guests, friends, and companions to join us in the theater!
For folks looking to access this accessible performance, please fill out this survey by clicking here. If you would like to process your tickets over the phone or have any questions about our venue’s specifications, please email email@example.com for a call back.
Braille and Large Print copies will be made available of the Libretto. Large Print copies of the Program will also be available. We will do our best to accommodate any access needs anyone in your party may have.
For all performances of Oratorio for Living Things folks will be able to join a standby line for day-of-show tix based on last minute cancellations and no-shows. Standby will begin 2 hours prior to curtain outside of Ars Nova @ Greenwich House (27 Barrow Street). Tix are $35 and can be purchased with cash or card. Limit 2 tix per person.
Note: Performances of Oratorio for Living Things will take place at 7PM Tuesday through Sunday, with additional 2PM matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays.
All performances of Oratorio for Living Things will have rush tix available via TodayTix! These tix are available for $35 each with a limit of 2 per person. Rush tix open at 9AM ET. Learn more and set an alert by visiting our TodayTix page.
What COVID-19 safety protocols are in place for the in-person performance of this show?
To best protect everyone present, Ars Nova will require all audience members and staff to provide proof of full-vaccination, with boosters strongly recommended, and to wear masks (N95, KN95 and equivalent masks advised) for all on-site performances and events at this time. For full details, please check out our Health & Safety FAQ page.
Where is this show taking place?
Performances of Oratorio for Living Things will take place at Ars Nova @ Greenwich House, located on 27 Barrow Street, New York, NY, 10014.
When are the performances?
Performances take place Tuesday–Saturday at 7pm with additional performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm starting March 26 and two 5pm performances on March 20 and 27. Click the “calendar” tab to view our performance dates.
There is no late-seating or re-entry (really, we mean it, we can’t!), so please allow for some extra travel time to be safe. Due to the unique configuration of the space, please do your best to leave any large items at home. We are not able to refund or rebook performances, so make sure to show up on-time.
How much are tickets?
Tickets for Oratorio for Living Things are $75 with premium tickets available for $95. You can purchase tickets here. We also offer rush and standby tickets for the show for $35. You can learn more about that by clicking the “Standby & Rush” tab.
A note on accessibility
Oratorio for Living Things is wheelchair accessible. Please note that there are designated wheelchair accessible seat locations as most other seating for this production is only accessible via stairs. If you have any questions or specific access needs you would like to share with us prior to your visit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional seating options and other information. Access needs and accommodations can include, but are not limited to:
A note on content advisories
Please note that this production includes haze effects.
Ars Nova is uncensored. We have chosen to provide content advisories — to the best of our ability — to inform audiences when shows contain racial violence, racist language, sexual violence or nudity. We provide information about this type of content in advance, based on our Core Values, so that each audience member can make an informed decision about if and how they’d like to engage with that content. We welcome artists to share additional information about their shows based on their own core values.