We are . . . Sponsored By Nobody
"ATM or this is [not] new york" is a new play for interdisciplinary theatre that uses New Yorkers' interactions with our city's homeless population as a means to investigate shifting demographics and values under the financial crisis. It is presented in an installation art set design that simulates the automated teller sections of banks. For years, the city's homeless have masqueraded as "doormen" for bank patrons in return for change. A mixed cast of ten actors/dancers recreate a ritualistic routine of entrances, transactions, interactions and exits. Live cameras capture both spoken dialogue and a stylized physicality of pedestrian gestures. Words and movement are transmitted via close circuit television and multiple monitors/projectors, utilized during performance within a functional video design.
As native New Yorkers, we have observed the pattern of shifting demographics as gentrification transforms both commercial and public space in the city. The daily interaction with (or avoidance of) the city’s homeless population has remained a single constant one must negotiate regardless of class, race or income. This constant may serve as a means to examine two phenomena simultaneously. The first being what kind of city we have become in 2010, compared to the one we came of age in during the 1990s; second, being what kind of city we may devolve into as economic conditions from the financial crisis continue unabated.
We received a $10,000 "challenge grant" this month to support our new production and are using KICKSTARTER to raise the matching funds. We have been working hard in 2010 developing our new large-scale work called "ATM or this is [not] new york" -- and when we say large-scale, we mean it. It involves 9 actor/dancers, a lot of live cameras on stage, multiple projectors, live music -- and if that is not enough, we are using a great deal of movement, stylized physicality and modern dance.
The work has been going pretty well so far. We received residency support from The Watermill Center for the month of March 2010 out on the East End of Long Island:
You can view photos from our Watermill rehearsals here:
We received additional residency support from the NYC-based organizations CHASHAMA and the Mabou Mines/Suite Resident Artist program, as well as financial support from The Puffin Foundation. Our artistic director was awarded a residency this year at YADDO to continue writing the text and edit hours of film footage and interviews to incorporate into the final video design.
Our company will be working at University Settlement to work directly with homeless New Yorkers who have been displaced due to issues arising from gentrification in New York City. To learn more about the outreach programs at University Settlement, please visit:
However, this support is not enough to cover the costs of developing such a large-scale, interdisciplinary theatre project that requires months of hands-on research and rehearsals. Thankfully, this June we received a $10,000 "challenge grant" from a private donor, who is willing to match any funds we raise up to $10,000 to support our work on "ATM or this is [not] new york." So we are using KICKSTARTER as a means to raise the matching funds and hope you will consider offering your support to the project.
Here is a description of how we plan to use the funds raised through this 10k matching grant program on KICKSTARTER:
Starting in June 2010, Sponsored By Nobody will be in residence at The Performance Project at University Settlement in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Continuing the collaborative research process employed in our previous works "W.M.D. (just the low points)" (2008/09) and "Behind The Bullseye" (2009/10) -- the company will be working closely with the diverse populations University Settlement services in its outreach programs. We plan to investigate converging issues of gentrification, homelessness, the financial crisis and what it means to be from New York or [not] from New York.
The production has a cast of 9 actor/dancers -- 3 video and set designers -- 1 playwright/director -- 2 production/stage managers -- 1 choreographer -- 4 high definition cameras employed live on stage -- 3 high definition projectors -- 3 surveillance cameras employed live on stage -- a complex video and audio mixer system to switch between cameras and microphones on stage -- and 1 Mac Pro Quad-Core computer to run the entire system flawlessly. Our goal is to incorporate our interviews and outreach work into the video design, giving greater voice to a segment of the New York City population that is rarely seen or heard.
"ATM or this is [not] new york" will receive its world premiere at The Monty Arts Center in Antwerp, Belgium from November 10-13, 2010. The American premiere will take place in New York City during January 2011.
Sponsored By Nobody is a Brooklyn-based theatre company that develops and presents original work in New York City and Europe since 2005. Our previous works have included -- THE POSITION (2005) -- NOT FROM CANADA (2007) -- FOX(y) FRIENDS (2006/07) -- BEHIND THE BULLSEYE (2009/10) -- and "W.M.D. (just the low points)" which received its world premiere at The Game Is Up! festival at the Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent, Belgium on March 4-5, 2009.
Sponsored By Nobody is Michael Carlsen, Mayra Castro, Patrick Clancy, Keith Jamal Downing, Kevin Doyle, Josh Edelmann, Sauda Jackson, Véronique Jalbert, Natalie Kim, Wilson McGrory, Scott Miller, Kate Moran, Paul Newport, Sean O'Hagan, Hannah Louise Poston, Brendan Regimbal, Garret Savage, Sarah Stephens, Vicki Thomson and Peter Mills Weiss.
- (40 days)