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"Beast Visit." (Photo by David Pym)

Live Performance Returns to New York (Bushwick, to Be Precise)

Two socially distanced outdoor productions will unfold in the same Brooklyn neighborhood next weekend.

BROOKLYN: In a coincidental convergence that follows news of socially distanced live performances around the U.S., both sanctioned by Equity and not, two separate New York theatre companies have announced live outdoor performances to go up next weekend in the neighborhood of Bushwick.

First up is Beast Visit, from Downtown NYC’s Obie-winning HERE, which is billed as “free, intimate, outdoor experience” that will welcome audiences of 13 per day for “a sunset encounter with a group of lonesome creatures currently living in a mysterious sculpture garden” at Rubulad. Created by HERE resident artist Normandy Sherwood for her company, the Drunkard’s Wife, which she co-leads with musician Craig Flanagin, this is a commission that’s part of the #stillHERE: IRL series. It runs Aug. 20-22 and 25-27.

“At this moment, I think a physical experience of wonder is necessary,” Sherwood said in a statement. “With Beast Visit, I wanted to pair my lifelong love of mythical and monstrous beasts with the loneliness so many of us have witnessed. Setting that experience inside Rubulad’s mysterious sculpture garden felt like the perfect and safe way to explore all of that right now.”

Masks designed by Scarlet Moreno for “Quince.”

Meanwhile Brooklyn theatre ensemble the TEAM is co-producing Quince, an immersive take on the quinceañera from the artistic duo Ellpetha Tsivicos and Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez, for four masked and socially distanced performances at the People’s Garden in Bushwick, Aug. 21-22, 2020. Creators are integrating precautions against the spread of COVID-19 into the proceedings, including providing the audience with colorful custom face masks designed by Scarlet Moreno, and limiting audiences of 45 to seated groups of two to four, set six feet apart from other groups.

“As the children of immigrants, we have always existed in a world where taking extra steps is required,” said director Ellpetha Tsivicos in a statement. “As conscious members of many communities, we know that, whether we’re dealing with a global pandemic or racial, gender, or economic equity, we start with an awareness of our neighbors’ needs first and work outward from there.”

Added writer Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez in a statement, “We believe the need for art is dire during COVID-19, and the absence of it has taken a toll on many. We feel so lucky and privileged to be able to showcase a queer, Latinx story involving questions of life, death, and identity at this challenging moment in time, and we hope the play can serve as a cathartic release to help us work through our collective trauma together.”

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