"The Abominables," by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman, at Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis in 2017. The show was developed as part of LabWorks. Pictured: Henry Constable and cast. (Photo by Dan Norman)

New Victory Theater Announces 2018-19 LabWorks Artists

New Victory Theater provides support to New York-based artists and companies developing new works for young audiences.

NEW YORK CITY: The New Victory Theater has announced its 2018-19 New Victory LabWorks Artists. The LabWorks program provides New York City-based artists with resources and support to develop new works for family audiences.

The selected artists and companies are encouraged to make works that challenge preconceptions commonly held about theatre for young audiences. The LabWorks Artists will receive a stipend, and will be offered rehearsal space at the New 42nd Street Studios. In addition, the LabWorks Artists will receive technical assistance and professional development opportunities including workshops, master classes, and networking events. This year LabWorks Artists will develop a wide range of works, including:

  • Bluelaces Theater Company will build an immersive, multi-sensory “pirate on the seven seas” adventure for young people with developmental differences. The company creates welcoming environments that encourage sensory and social play and challenge theatrical convention.
  • Dance theatre company Breton Follies will develop a comedic cabaret for children told through animalistic characters, celebrating the female form while debunking gender stereotypes.
  • Opera and musical theatre composer Faye Chiao (To See the Stars, 2017 OPERA America Female Composer Discovery Award) and playwright Anton Dudley (Letters to the End of the World, 2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist) will blend contemporary storytelling with classical forms to build the musical universe of Baba Yaga and the Firebird.
  • Actor and magician Max Darwin (The Amazing Max) and Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris Jr. (Birdman) team up to play with interactive storytelling and magic in Something in This World, as they tell the story of a solitary, imaginative boy and his search for connection.
  • Molly Powers Gallagher (The Mighty Patsy Mink!) will create The Living History Project, an immersive and empowering new play that aims to rewrite history and bring to life the untold stories of five female change-makers and innovators.
  • Hit the Lights! Theater Co. (WHALES, DUNGEON), a company that tells stories through shadow puppetry and live silhouette acting, will animate the story of a Horse and its Tail who’ve been separated, and their journey to find each other once again in HORSETALE.
  • Hip-hop playwright Aaron Jafferis, alt folk songwriter Rebecca Hart, beatboxer Yako 440, and the Mixing Texts Collective, featuring breakdancing pioneers Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio and Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, will use the four elements of hip-hop to reveal the hidden strengths of vulnerability in How to Break. The project, a compelling take on the layered experience of illness, was originally conceived by the Mixing Texts Collective (Jafferis, Adam Matta, Chris Edwards, Kwikstep, and Rokafella).
  • Nambi E. Kelley will lead audiences on an exciting watercolor adventure in Jabari Dreams of Freedom, where a young African American boy learns lessons of history and the power of imaginary time travel as he finds hope and courage in visual art, befriending a 7-year-old Barack Obama along the way.
  • Valerie Clayman Pye, along with Spellbound Theatre (The World Inside Me, two-time Henson Foundation Family Grant recipients and winner of AATE’s 2017 Zeta PhiEta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award), New York’s only theatre company creating work exclusively for ages 0-5, will connect multimedia and Shakespeare’s lyrical text to form a visual, celestial realm in Shakespeare’s Stars.
  • Preeti Vasudevan and her dance company Thresh will fuse Southern Indian dance and Western music in Drumming a Dream, a fun-filled folktale adventure about a young girl and her travels with a magical talking drum.

New Victory LabWorks, established in 2012, has helped develop more than 34 projects. Projects that have gone on to full productions include The Abominables from the Civilians; Birdheart from Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane; Laser Beak Man from Dead Puppet Society; Air Play (New Vic 2018) from the Acrobuffos; and The World Inside Me from Spellbound Theatre , which will appear at the New Victory this upcoming spring.