NEW YORK: The Public Theater has announced the participants for the 2016 Under the Radar Festival, an annual celebration of experimental theatre from the U.S. and abroad. The Festival, now in its 12th year, will take place in a variety of Manhattan spaces from Jan. 6–17, 2016.
Arriving from France will be Germinal (Jan. 6–9), a playful reenactment of the creation of the universe from musician-philosophers Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort. The recipient of broad acclaim at the 2013 Avignon Festival, Germinal will be performed in French with English surtitles.
Employee of the Year (Jan. 7–17), a new play with music from the New York–based theatre collective 600 HIGHWAYMEN, will be performed at the Public’s Martinson Hall. Described as “a play with children for adults,” Employee of the Year is the story of J., a young girl who struggles to find her way in the world after the destruction of her childhood home.
Early Morning Opera, a performance art lab whose works have been presented at the Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will present The Institute of Memory (TIMe) (Jan. 8–17), the portrait of a Cold War operative and misanthropic father, written by his son, director Lars Jan.
The Art of Luv (Part 1) (Jan. 8–17), a theatrical response to the 2014 Isla Vista killings, will be performed by the Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble at the Public’s Anspacher Theater. Described as a “ritual-performance,” Art of Luv is a multimedia meditation on love, courtship, and the mythology of masculinity.
Musical storyteller Ahamefule J. Oluo will lead a team of musicians, including a 17-piece orchestra, in Now I’m Fine (Jan. 12–17), an experimental pop-opera based on experiences from his own life as the child of a white, Kansan mother and an absentee Nigerian father.
Chilean writer-director Guillermo Calderón, whose Neva was performed at the Public in 2013, returns stateside with Escuela (Jan. 13–17), a new work set in the latter years of Augusto Pinochet’s government. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles, Escuela follows a group of young leftist activists as they plot to overthrow the military dictatorship.
“Samedi détente,” a Rwandan radio program, provides the inspiration for a theatrical project of the same name (Jan. 14–17) from France’s Compagnie Kadidi. Rwanda–born theatre artist Dorothée Munyaneza unites with Ivorian dancer Nadia Beugré and French musician Alain Mahé for an interdisciplinary exploration of an adolescence marred by genocide.
Playwright and chelfitsch theatre company founder Toshiki Okada will the examine the cultural influence of American baseball in God Bless Baseball (Jan. 14–17). The new play, translated and interpreted by Hongyie Lee, will be performed at the Japan Society.
Inuit throat-singer Tanya Tagaq will perform in concert alongside a screening of Nanook of the North (Jan. 15–Jan. 17), Robert J. Flanerty’s 1922 silent film of life in the Arctic Circle. Tagaq, accompanied by percussionist Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot, will create an improvisatory soundscape in an effort to reclaim the controversial film that is often credited with the genesis of the documentary form.
Also featured under the festival banner are “Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub,” a trio of multidisciplinary concerts; “INCOMING,” a collection of works-in-progress; “The Reading Room,” a pop-up library and collaboration with the Strand Book Shop; and “CULTUREBOT: Scanning the Landscape,” a series of round table conversations on the state of contemporary theatre.