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$12,128
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 4:59 AM UTC +00:00.

UP CLOSE Festival

Inspired by JANE JACOBS, top NYC theater artists join forces to reimagine Greenwich Village history as IMMERSIVE, all-ages storytelling

UP CLOSE Festival

Inspired by JANE JACOBS, top NYC theater artists join forces to reimagine Greenwich Village history as IMMERSIVE, all-ages storytelling

$12,128
pledged of $12,000pledged of $12,000 goal
201
backers
49hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 4:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

What if Jane Jacobs (the famed West Village urbanist, community activist and beloved Robert Moses foe) designed a theatre festival?  Whose stories would be told? And how?

Initiated in 2018 as an experiment in using immersive theatre to engage young New Yorkers with the histories of the spaces they inhabit, the inaugural UP CLOSE Festival played to enthusiastic crowds for two weeks in an historic basement theatre on Christopher Street. Praised both by critics (called"a hearty helping of community spirit" by the New York Times ) and audiences (“I love it, it is so good” – Jake, 7, NYC), the festival reimagines stories of the land now known as Greenwich Village as 10-minute plays set in an interactive neighborhood archive. 

Participatory in nature, UP CLOSE takes inspiration from Jacobs' rules for a healthy community in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, imagining her mandate for "mixed-use space" and "short blocks" as a 360° pre-show experience followed by a series of locally-inspired pieces, each created by teams of NYC's most adventurous theater artists. Now approaching its second year, the festival is presented by New Ohio Theatre as part of its Theatre for Young Minds initiative, and seeks to grow!

Buatti-Ramos Photography

 A PROMISING START

In December of last year, UP CLOSE premiered and made some headlines:

"The show feels like a rarity, something special,... a hole in the ground that leads to a wonderland." – Libby Emmonds

It reminded me what there is to love about theater, and how I can fall in love with it anew.” – Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater

"Fantastic" – Lainie Gutterman, Motherhood Later 

WHY WE NEED YOU

Ticket sales only cover a fraction of the costs involved in making the festival. In our second year, as we look to build up our support from major foundations, we rely heavily on contributions on this platform. We need the help of our community to bring this ambitious program to fruition.

OUR TEAM IS GROWING. We've added members to our production team, expanded the artistic teams, and hired festival advisors to help make this year an even greater success. The $12,000 will go directly to pay the artistic fees, advisor fees and materials budgets of this amazing team!

With your support, we can build the full team that this ambitious festival requires. 2018's inaugural festival brought together a team of 17, but this year, we have already assembled a team nearly TWICE the size:

Peter, Sara, Kamila, Marisol, Payton, Esteban, Brit, Lauren J, Emily, Lauren S, Ben, Robert, Adrienne, Bhurin, Paul, Marisa, Christopher, Flako, Jaime, Tiffany, Jahmorei, Tylor, Aaron, Ty, Biviana, Nick, Lulu, Sofia, Hanna, Tori  and more to come!

Also, as part of our expansion this year, we have invited New York City teenagers into the rehearsal room. These young theater-makers will join our professional devising team to research, create and perform unique Archive Apprentice characters that will serve at the stewards of our secret space. The funds raised here will allow us to pay them and provide Metrocard assistance. 

A larger, more connected community brings us closer to Jane Jacobs' ideals, and with a fully supported artist ensemble representing a wider range of perspectives, we'll be that much more successful at building a connection to the land our New York City audiences call home. We want to make Jane Jacobs feel proud.

Buatti-Ramos Photography

MEET OUR PRODUCTION TEAM

Peter Musante (Curator, Founding Artistic Producer) works at the nexus of immersive theater, dance, music, and technology to invent unique performance-based experiences that transform space and create community. His original works have toured internationally and are created collaboratively with a diverse group of artists – Andrew Schneider (YOUARENOWHERE – OBIE Award, international tour), and Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (Lincoln Center, Park Ave Armory, Abrons Art Center). Also in NYC: Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers; a canary torsi’s The People To Come; and Blue Man Group (Astor Place Theater). Peter served as 1-on-1 Experience Director for the Lincoln Center Education commission, Up and Away; and co-created the large-scale immersive Brooklyn Navy Yard tour, Private(i). He studied at UCLA and Brooklyn College's PIMA (Performance & Interactive Media Arts) program. He’s also a proud Clinical Skills Trainer for Medical programs across NYC and has the greatest dog in the universe, Palo. petermusante.com

Sara Morgulis (Associate Artistic Producer) is an award-winning TYA playwright, producer and director devoted to creating inclusive theatre for young people. As the Director of Education at New York City Children's Theater, she has written a multi-sensory musical FIVE, and an applied theatre anti-bullying workshop Fair and Square that have performed in over 350 NYC schools and community centers. As a freelance Director, her most recent work includes Please Bring Balloons (NYCCT) written by David Kilpatrick and performed at A.R.T/New York Theatres and University Settlement, and the award-winning Madman at the United Solo Festival last fall. Additionally, she curates arts programming for disabled audiences as the Director of Programs at Actionplay and serves as an Accessibility and Disability Inclusion consultant for arts organizations nationwide. 

Sara Morgulis and Peter Musante, Photo by Biviana Sanchez

MEET OUR ADVISORY TEAM

Ty Defoe (Giizhig), (Advisor) Oneida and Ojibwe Nations, is an interdisciplinary-hyphenated artist, writer, activist, shapeshifter, and Grammy Award winner. Ty aspires to an interweaving approach to artistic projects w/ social justice, indigeneity, indiqueering, + environmentalism. Ty’s global cultural arts highlights are: the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt; Ankara, Turkey International Music Festival, and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. Awards include: First American in the Arts,Global Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, a Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Jonathan Larson Award creating book + lyrics on Clouds are Pillows for the Moon, River of Stone, Hart Island Requiem, Red Pine, + The Way They Lived (Co-collaboration with Micharne Cloughley and The Civilians at the Met Museum of Art), Ajijaak on Turtle Island (Ibex Puppetry at La MaMa Theater, NYC, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, NE). Ty is co-founder of Indigenous Direction (w/ Larissa FastHorse), core member of All My Relations Collective, + artEquity facilitator. Writing publications: Pitkin Review, the Thorny Locust Magazine, Howl Round, and Routledge Press. Degrees from CalArts, Goddard College, + NYU Tisch.  He appeared on Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Young Anthony Black Elk + made his Broadway debut in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, directed by Anna Shapiro. Lives in NYC + loves the color clear. He|Him|We | tydefoe.com

Aaron Landsman (Advisor) is an award-winning playwright, theater artist/performer, and teacher. His work includes site-specific productions in the kinds of places where people perform their lives: homes, offices, buses and meeting rooms, as well as more traditionally staged works. His 2016 work  Empathy School/Love Story was the New York Times’ Critic’s Pick and Time Out New York’s Recommended Show. Landsman collaborated with many distinguished artists, including Elevator Repair Service (of which he is a company member), Clarinda Mac Low, Ogemdi Ude, director/dramaturg Mallory Catlett, designer/performer Jim Findlay, filmmaker/composer Brent Green, photographer Paul Shambroom, and others. Landsman’s work has been presented at many important venues and festivals in NYC and nationally, including Abrons Art Center, The Chocolate Factory Theater, EMPAC, and HERE Art Center, as well as internationally. He was a 2017-18 Guggenheim Fellow,  2014-16 Princeton Arts Fellow, and the recent ASU Gammage Residency Artist, as well as a Visiting Associate Professor at Princeton, and a recent finalist for the Alpert Award. www.thinaar.com

Modesto Flako Jimenez (Advisor) is a Bushwick-raised theater director, writer, poet, actor, producer, and educator. ATI & HOLA Award Winner, and profiled by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal profiled, Flako is best known for original productions and three signature festivals – Ghetto Hors D’Oeuvres, One Catches Light, and Oye! Avant Garde Night! – produced with his company Oye Group. Modesto is also an associated member of the Wooster Group, and the vice president of the board of  board of Brooklyn Poets. Flako has appeared on TEDxBushwick, Comedy Central’sThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart,  Favorite: Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr/IATI theater), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK), Take Me Home (3LD/ Incubator Arts Project), Oye For My Dear Brooklyn (The Performing Garage), Furry by William Burke (Bushwick Starr), Samara by Richard Maxwell (SoHo Rep; dir. Sarah Benson). He is the 2016 Princess Grace Award Honorarium in Theater awardee. In 2018, he became the first Dominican-American Lead Artist in The Public Theater Under The Radar Festival with his show Oye For My Dear Brooklyn. www.oyegroup.org

MEET OUR 2019 ARTISTS & THEIR PROJECTS 

 TEAM 1 - Marisa Blankier, Christopher-Rashee Stevenson, Modesto "Flako" Jimenez of Oye Group, with Perfect City 

1995 - a turf war on Thompson Street as rival shops compete: The Village Chess Shop and Chess Forum. 

Marisa Blankier, Modesto "Flako" Jimenez , and Christopher Stevenson, Photo by Biviana Sanchez

TEAM 2 - Spellbound Theatre: Lauren Sharpe, Robert M. Thaxton-Stevenson, Ben Weber 

a deep dive into the urban sanctuary that is St. Luke's in the Field community garden... 

Ben Weber, Robert Stevenson, and Lauren Sharpe, Photo by Biviana Sanchez

TEAM 3 - Adrienne Kapstein & Bhurin Sead 

1898-2019: an imagined experimental project at Bell Laboratories (now known as Westbeth Artist's Housing) that reveals a secret sonic history of our surroundings. 

Bhurin Sead and Adrienne Kapstein, Photo by Biviana Sanchez

ARCHIVE CREATORS

Marisol Rosa-Shapiro  is a performer, director, teaching artist, and creator of original works of theater.  She is a graduate of Princeton University and Helikos International School of Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy.  Recent directing projects include Soledad Ensemble’s The Seven Ravens Project (New Victory Theater LabWorks 2018). Recent performing credits include The Up Close Festival at the New Ohio Theatre (NYC); Barn Arts Collective's four-actor Twelfth Night (Maine);  and Spellbound Theater's Wink and The Last Coin (Symphony Space; Miami Theater Center).  Her own red nose clown solo show, Here at Home has toured to six cities across the nation. Marisol has worked as a teaching artist for The New Victory Theater, Tectonic Theater Project, Seattle Repertory Theater, Seattle Children's Theater, Partners for Youth Empowerment, and Seeds of Peace, among other organizations.  She is a proud volunteer performer and teacher with Clowns Without Borders USA, and was a 2019 Jim Rye Fellow with International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY). www.marisolmakes.com

Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, based in New York City, creates bold, original productions for young people and their families. Rooted firmly in the belief that kids deserve theater that ignites their imaginations and makes them think about the world in a new way, the company creates work that is multidisciplinary, and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, dance, animation, and video projection. Hailed by The New York Times for “blur[ring] the boundaries between the imagined and the real,” Trusty Sidekick often creates performances in unconventional spaces, including a settlement house in the Lower East Side, an island in New York Harbor, and a Revolutionary War-era battleground. Experimenting with new and exciting ways for audiences of all ages to interact with live performance, Trusty Sidekick redefines the theatrical experience for a new generation. www.trustysidekick.org

Our presenting partner and venue, New Ohio Theatre, is a two-time OBIE Award-winning performance venue that serves the vast independent theatre community of New York and the adventurous audiences who love them. As a small, downtown, artist-run organization with a twenty-plus year history as a beacon for bold and inventive work, we know the challenges and rewards of producing and presenting alternative, groundbreaking theatre. In any given year, there are over 500 independent theatre companies working for opportunities to develop and present new work. We believe the best of this community operates at the core of the contemporary theatre conversation (about both content and form) and acts collectively to expand the boundaries of the public imagination. With our move to Christopher Street, we aim to establish a professional, high-profile platform for the independent theatre community, reestablishing the West Village as a destination for mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish, and profound theatrical endeavors. New Ohio was founded as Soho Think Tank, Inc., in 1994 by playwright/director Robert Lyons.

Risks and challenges

As an independent, first-of-its-kind experiment in community, UP CLOSE depends entirely on its community of support to exist. This is our first time asking for money, after being exclusively, and modestly, funded from ticket sales last year. The inaugural festival was a great start, but we want UP CLOSE to be a mainstay in the West Village, and eventually grow to other neighborhoods, cities, countries. This is a CRUCIAL, make or break moment in the development of the project, and by joining us in the room, and on this platform, we can reach our goals.

Discovering all the untold stories of Greenwich Village history has been very eye-opening. It keeps us aware of the fact that when we ask, “what is the history of this place?”, we take on the responsibility of honoring indigenous communities and other marginalized voices whose histories are often excluded from collective memory.

With this in mind we know that mounting this ambitious project will be full of challenges but we think it's an immeasurably important thing to do with one's time, money and energy. Thank you for joining us.

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    SMILE: Social Media Shout!

    You'll receive a shout-out on the UP CLOSE Festival social media channels.

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    WAVE: Website Mention!

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    WALK: West Village Block Tour!

    Appreciate the urban design and the uniqueness of New York’s Greenwich village on an hour long curated walk to bring presence in the new year. Walk one city block and find the magic that emerges. Led by experienced Block Walk facilitator and 2018 UP CLOSE artist, Jamie Roach. Lasts one hour along a block by New Ohio Theatre and finishes just in time to enjoy an UP CLOSE performance! (Jan 1, 2 or 3, 2020)

    You'll also receive:
    + a discount code for 20% off regularly priced UP CLOSE Festival ticket
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    HIGH FIVE: Artist Docs!

    You'll receive a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Festival Artist's "Maker's Guide", which details the source material for this year and last years projects!

    You'll also receive
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website

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    HUG: Signed UP CLOSE festival poster!

    You'll receive a limited-edition UP CLOSE Festival poster signed by the team!

    You'll also receive
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"

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    EXCHANGE: Artist Lunch Date!

    You'll be invited to join UP CLOSE Artistic Producers Peter Musante & Sara Morgulis for a private meet-up at Peter's studio in Brooklyn over lunch to discuss artistic process, community and whatever else comes up!

    You'll also receive
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + a limited edition signed UP CLOSE festival poster

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    FAMILIA: Private Concert with SONIA!

    SONIA DE LOS SANTOS, the Latin Grammy Award nominee and friend of UP CLOSE, will perform an intimate concert for up to 3 lucky families (4 members max) in the party room of a West Village restaurant to be named. You will also receive a signed copy of ¡Alegría!, her Latin Grammy-nominated album and a catered family-style meal!

    You'll also receive;
    + your name listed in our "community of support" on our website, upclosefestival.com
    + a social media shout out

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    JOIN: Invitation to a final rehearsal!

    Thank you! You'll receive a special invitation to come join us for a final devising rehearsal and notes session.

    You'll also receive:
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + a limited edition signed UP CLOSE festival poster

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    LOVE: Special video thanks from cast!

    Thank you! You'll receive a special thank-you video from our cast and crew!
    You'll also receive a social media shout-out and your name will be listed on our website.

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    PAMPER: Private NYC dining experience!

    You'll be invited to join members of the UP CLOSE team for a private meal at a West Village establishment to be named later.
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + a signed limited edition UP CLOSE Festival poster

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    READ: Illustrated Book on Jane Jacobs!

    You'll receive a brand new hardcover copy of the beautifully illustrated children's book, "Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs" by Susan Hughes and Valerie Boivin. (Makes for a great gift!) We'll include a handwritten letter by UP CLOSE Festival creators.

    You'll also receive
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + your name listed in our "community of support" on our website, upclosefestival.com
    + a social media shout-out

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    LEARN: Hardcover book by Jane Jacobs

    You'll receive a brand new hardcover copy of the 50th Anniversary edition of "Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs – the source of our festival's guiding principles – along with a handwritten letter by UP CLOSE Festival creators.

    Makes for a great gift! The New York Times called it "The most refreshing, provocative, stimulating and exciting study of this [great problem]...It fairly crackles with bright honesty and common sense."

    You'll also receive
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + your name listed in our "community of support" on our website, upclosefestival.com
    + a social media shout-out

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    MOVE: Spring Physical Theater Intensive!

    You'll receive free admission to one spring workshop with Movement Theater Studio, offered by 2019 UP CLOSE Festival lead artist, Adrienne Kapstein (Co-Founder and Faculty, Movement Theater Studio).

    Workshop lineup to be announced, past spring workshops have focused on Lecoq intro, Neutral Mask, Clown, Commedia & Puppetry with sessions on FRI 6:30-10PM & SAT/SUN 10AM-3PM,

    The mission of the Movement Theater Studio is to create a home for the teachings of Jacques Lecoq in New York.
    All full time faculty at MTS have trained at École International du Théàtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris
    https://www.movementtheaterstudio.com/

    You'll also receive
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
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    LOCAL: Watercolor by Westbeth Artist

    You’ll receive an original 7"x10" watercolor by Roger Braimon – artist, tenant and President of Westbeth Artists Residents Council at the historic Westbeth Artists Housing (formerly Bell Labs). Support UP CLOSE & spread West Village art!

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    EMBRACE: 2 tickets to Blue Man Group!

    Two tickets to see New York City icon Blue Man Group live at the Astor Place Theater!

    You'll also receive
    + a social media shout-out
    + your name will be listed on our website
    + a .pdf of our UP CLOSE Artist "Maker's Guide"
    + a limited edition signed UP CLOSE festival poster

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