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From our Artistic Director

“Rattlestick’s 30 year legacy of championing new work that sits outside the mold of traditional theater making has made an indelible mark on the American theater. Our 2024-2025 season, my first, builds on this foundation as we move towards holistic commitments to our artists, making space for them to develop their work on their own terms. Rattlestick is committed to championing theatrically expansive artists who create in inventive and unexpected ways."

-Artistic Director Will Davis

The “On the Road” season enables Rattlestick to begin reimagining its beloved home in the heart of the West Village. First built in 1854 and occupied by Rattlestick since 1999, Rattlestick’s home will undergo a renovation that enhances accessibility with the installation of an elevator and new bathrooms. The theater will transform into a responsive, flexible performance space that can be reshaped for each show and capable of hosting more community events and celebrations.

On the Stage

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We Are Your Robots

Book and Lyrics by Ethan Lipton

Music Composed and Performed by Ethan Lipton, Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy and Ian Riggs

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Co-Produced with Theatre for a New Audience

November - December 2024

The season opens in Fall 2024 with the world premiere of a new musical, We Are Your Robots, by Obie-winning playwright Ethan Lipton (No Place to Go, Tumacho) and directed by two-time Tony nominee Leigh Silverman. Co-produced with Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, We Are Your Robots features text and songs by Lipton, and music by his bandmates of 20 years: Eben Levy on guitar, Vito Dieterle on saxophone, and Ian Riggs on bass. The quartet play robots who’ve come to the theater to answer the question, “What do humans want from their machines?” With witty songs that are “twisted, dark and sophisticated both lyrically and musically, yet schleppy, sweet and sad all at once” (NPR), We Are Your Robots looks at brain mapping, consciousness, violence, surveillance, and the problem better known as being human.

 

We Are Your Robots was originally commissioned by: Media Art Xploration, Inc. with support from the Ensemble Studio Theater / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project

 

We Are Your Robots was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project (www.orchardproject.com), Ari Edelson, Artistic Director.

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Ethan Lipton’s produced plays include Tumacho; Red-Handed Otter; Luther; Goodbye April, Hello May; 100 Aspects of the Moon, and Meat. His musicals No Place to Go (Obie Award) and The Outer Space (Lortel nom.) were developed with his band, Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra, and produced by The Public in Joe’s Pub. The band has released five studio albums and played venues including SF Jazz, Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, MASS MoCa, Pitchfork Paris, Theatre de la Ville, the Gate (London), the Pavilion (Dublin), and the Troubadour in LA. Ethan won the 2023 Kleban Prize for librettists and is a Creative Capital Grantee. He’s been a Guggenheim Fellow, an Alpert Prize Fellow at MacDowell, a Clubbed Thumb Associate, part of the Public’s EWG, a Space on Ryder Farm resident and the Playwrights Realm’s inaugural Page One Fellow. www.ethanlipton.com

Leigh Silverman With Ethan Lipton: Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb) and with his Orchestra: No Place to Go and The Outer Space (Public). Broadway: Yellow Face (upcoming); Suffs (Tony nom); Grand Horizons; The Lifespan of a Fact; Violet (Tony nom), Chinglish; Well. Recent: Harry Clarke (West End, BRT,Vineyard/Audible); Suffs (Public); Merry Me (NYTW); The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Shed, CTG); Soft Power (CTG/Curran, Public); Hurricane Diane (NYTW). Encores: Violet; The Wild Party; Sutton Foster’s streaming concert, Bring Me To Light. Audible: Yellow Face; Harry Clarke; Dykes to Watch Out For. 2011 Obie Award; 2019 Obie for Sustained Excellence.

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Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, and led by Horowitz and Managing Director Dorothy Ryan, Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) is a New York City home for Shakespeare and other contemporary playwrights. It performs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds; is devoted to economic access through its New Deal Initiative which offers $20 tickets for age 30 and under and full- time students of any age; and promotes humanities and education programs. TFANA created and runs the largest program to introduce Shakespeare and classic drama in New York City’s public schools; the program has served more than 140,000 students. With Shakespeare as its guide, TFANA explores the ever-changing forms of world theatre and builds a dialogue between the language and ideas of Shakespeare and diverse authors, past and present. TFANA also builds long-term associations with artists from around the world supporting their development as well as commissions, translations, residencies through the Merle Debuskey Studio Fund. In 2001, TFANA became the first American theatre invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in 2007, TFANA returned to the RSC. The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and TFANA have inaugurated The Shakespeare Exchange, the exchange of two productions in the 2024 and 2025 seasons. In 2013, TFANA opened its first permanent home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center (PSC), Brooklyn, with the 299-seat uniquely flexible Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage and the 50-seat Theodore Rogers Studio. TFANA honors the Lenape and Canarsie People on whose ancestral homeland PSC is built. www.tfana.org

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Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods

Written and Performed by Emma Horwtiz and Bailey Willaims
Directed by Tara Elliott
Co-Produced with New Georges
March - April 2025

In Spring 2025, Rattlestick will team up with New Georges to present Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods, a fun, titillating, and surreal theatrical experience by the playwrights and performers Emma Horwitz and Bailey Williams and directed by Tara Elliott. In every woods, there is a box. The box is full of lesbian erotica. Emma and Bailey are going to read some for you. Set inside an intimate archive of towering bankers boxes, Two Sisters… teases a literary reading, a dialogue, an interview, a magazine. A researcher collides with a librarian, paranormal investigators are abducted by aliens, and a pet shop owner receives a late night visitor. As these narratives weave and connect, the private becomes public. Two Sisters… asks how we become visible to ourselves.

Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods was originally developed in New Georges’ Audrey Residency program. A workshop production was presented in January 2024 by The Exponential Festival at the Loading Dock Theatre.

Emma Horwitz  is a writer of plays, fiction, and comix from New York City. Her play Mary Gets Hers premiered with The Playwrights Realm at MCC in Fall 2023, directed by Josiah Davis (NYT Critic’s Pick.) Emma is the 2024/2023 Page One Playwright with the Playwrights Realm, an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, & was in residence at the William Inge Center for the Arts in 2024. This summer, she will be in residence at the Eugene O'Neill Center Theater Center with the National Play Conference. Emma is an Affiliated Artist with New Georges, where she received a 2022 Audrey Residency with Bailey Williams. www.emmahorwitz.com

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Bailey Williams is a playwright, performer, and producer. Past productions include Coach Coach, dir. Sarah Blush, Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks 2024; Events, dir. Sarah Blush, The Hearth at The Brick, December 2022; I thought I would die but I didn’t, dir. Sarah Blush, The Tank, May 2019; Buffalo Bailey’s Ranch for Gay Horses, Troubled Teen Girls and Other: a 90 Minute Timeshare Presentation, The Exponential Festival, January 2018. MFA: Brooklyn College. www.baileywilliams.live

Tara Elliott is a director and choreographer of plays and devised works. She is the recipient of a Venturous Theater Grant for development of experimental audio drama, Pleasure Machine and a Tow Travel Grant for research in Cuba. She has developed new plays with Clubbed Thumb, Pipeline, Fresh Ground Pepper, LaMicro Theater, Goethe Institut, and the Exquisite Corpse Company, among others. Her work has been seen in London, Seoul, Edinburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, and Santiago, and in NYC theaters including The Public, Cherry Lane, The New Ohio, HERE Arts, and Walkerspace. Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow. New Georges Affiliate Artist. CoCo Resident with Colt Coeur. Drama League Directing Fellow. MFA Directing: Brooklyn College. She currently teaches directing at NYU Tisch: Playwrights Downtown.

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Since 1992, New Georges (Susan Bernfield, Artistic Director/Producer; Jaynie Saunders Tiller, Executive Director/Producer) has advocated for an intergenerational ecosystem of exuberant theatrical minds, furthering fierce new works along with long-term wellbeing, expanding aesthetic boundaries and gender equity in tandem. Projects in their “weird or weird-ish” aesthetic have wit (in the classical sense), are funny (in any sense), are idiosyncratic, often impossible, maybe messy. Grounded in community and collaboration, their development pathways, resources, and artist services include The Room, their permanent workspace, founded in 1994. They scaffold and support New Georges’ affiliated artists, the largest ongoing working community of women+ theater artists in New York City. As a pivotal home and launchpad for now two generations of artists, their impact reaches every corner of the culture.

Waverly Performance Studio

Rattlestick’s 2024-2025 season will usher in a new era of supporting theatrically expansive new works called the Waverly Performance Studio. This one-of-a-kind approach to the act of theater making will include commissioning support, multi-year development, and presentation commitments with week-long workshops with the entire creative team called Production Incubators, all building towards an eventual Off-Broadway premiere.

Sin Padre

by Arturo Luíz Soria 

Directed by Danilo Gambini

October 2024

Sin Padre thrusts us into the heat of the kitchen where Turo drunkenly fumbles to make his Nonno's famous tomato sauce for his niece. Following the sudden death of his brother, he’s left to pick through the pieces of his life as he grapples with what it means to be a queer man thrust into a father figure role.

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Arturo Luíz Soria is an Obie Award winning actor and writer. His solo show, Ni Mi Madre, premiered at Rattlestick Theater and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, Outer Circle Critics Award, a Drama League Award, and won the Obie Award for Best Performance. Ni Mi Madre will be playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer at The Pleasance Theatre. Arturo received a NYSCA Grant and commission from Rattlestick Theatre to write his follow-up solo show, Sin Padre. And, recently received another commission from The Alcove New Play Development Program at the Lucille Lortel Theatre to work on a new play called a La Kasa Mita’echo. As an actor, Arturo made his Broadway acting debut in The Inheritance (Tony Award for Best Play) and was also seen Off-Broadway in Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons) and Hit the Wall (Barrow Street Theatre). He can be seen on television in “Insatiable”, “The Blacklist”, “East New York", and “Found”. He holds an MFA from David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. www.arturoluizsoria.com

Danilo Gambini is a director, writer, and producer, originally from São Paulo, Brazil. He is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Studio Theatre. Recent directing credits include the world premieres of Ni Mi Madre (Rattlestick/ OBIE Award Winner, Drama Desk Nom., NYT Critics Pick), and the musical Sabina (Portland Stage Maine, co-directed with Daniella Topol), as well as Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress at Yale Opera. His production of Agreste at Spooky Action Theater in DC has recently received six Helen Hayes Awards nominations, including Outstanding Director. Upcoming productions include WIPEOUT by Aurora Real de Asua, at Studio Theatre. Other credits include Fun Home, The Tempest, Rock Egg Spoon (Yale School of Drama), Agreste (Drylands), Bakkhai, The Swallow and the Tomcat, Truck (Yale Cabaret). Opera: Don Giovanni, Ariadne Auf Naxos, Eugene Onegin (Theatro São Pedro). Before Studio Theatre, he was the Associate Artistic Director at Rattlestick Theater, Co-Artistic Director at Yale Summer Cabaret, and a member of Roundabout Director’s Group. He has developed work at The Public Theater, Joe’s Pub, The Old Globe, NYTW, Ars Nova, Milwaukee Rep, Chautauqua Opera, Yale Opera, Gulfshore Playhouse, among others. Danilo holds an MFA in Directing from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, a BFA in Film and Television (Curso Superior do Audiovisual) and an artist diploma as an actor from the School of Dramatic Art (Escola de Arte Dramática – EAD) both from the University of São Paulo. www.danilogambini.com

Untitled Ballet About the Rise and Fall of a Lesbian Bar

Directed and Choreographed by Will Davis

Spring 2025

Artistic Director Will Davis will begin work with his collaborators on a brand new dance-theater piece about… the rise and fall of a lesbian bar.

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Will Davis: As a director and choreographer, his work has been seen Off-Broadway at Signature Theatre, City Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, MTC, MCC, Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, and Soho Rep. Regionally, his work has been seen at La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Shakespeare Theater Company, Long Wharf Theatre and ATC in Chicago where Davis previously served as Artistic Director. He received a Helen Hayes award for best direction for his work on Colossal at the Olney Theatre Center, was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his direction of Men on Boats at Playwrights Horizons, and is the recipient of a Princeton Arts Fellowship. Davis is the Artistic Director of Rattlestick Theater.

Fellowships

Terrence McNally New Works Incubator

As a continuation of Terrence McNally’s singular legacy of mentorship, and his commitment to fostering bold new voices in the American theater, the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is designed to support ambitious early-career playwrights by giving them time and space to develop their work, professional mentorship with veteran playwrights, and access to the community of artists and work being developed at Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions. The Cycle 2 Fellows are Jesse Jae Hoon, Sam Mueller, and Eliana Theologides Rodriguez. They were selected from a pool of 500 applications, in consultation with the Playwrights Advisory Council, which includes: Sheila Callaghan, Halley Feiffer, Madeleine George, Mike Lew, donja r. love, Rehana Mirza, and Lynn Nottage.

Van Lier New Voices Fellowship

With the support of The New York Community Trust and the Jerome Foundation, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship was rehomed from The Lark in 2022. This fellowship provides substantial support to two emerging playwrights of color. The 2024-2025 cohort of Van Lier fellows will be announced in Summer 2024.

Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence​

Mellon Playwright-in-Residence Basil Kreimendahl will also continue his residency and develop his new play, Sadie River’s Drag Ball on the Lawn for a future Rattlestick production.

Directing Fellowship

This fellowship is a one-year program that provides early career directors institutional support to develop and build their professional networks. The Rattlestick Directing Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of Sonja Berggren and Patrick Seaver.

Global Forms

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Public presentations will also include the 6th annual Global Forms, a theater festival in June 2025 showcasing the work of immigrant theater artists. Global Forms was created in 2020 to meet the urgent, specific needs of immigrant artists during the pandemic. Since its inception, Global Forms has grown to a major annual event that has hired over 150 immigrant artists from 50+ countries.

Support

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