The New Victory Theater Announces 2016-17 LabWorks Artists

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The New Victory Theater Announces 2016-17 LabWorks Artists


New York, NY (August 16, 2016) — The New Victory Theater, a leading presenter of Theater for Young Audiences, announces the 2016-17 New Victory LabWorks Artists. This year’s roster will include projects from a variety of art forms–theater, musical theater, aerial acrobatics, physical theater, magic, music and Vietnamese water puppetry–and explore an extensive range of topics, from one of Iran’s most beloved folk tales to the experience of American trans youth.

Designed to foster the creation of new work, New Victory LabWorks offers resources and opportunities for professional exchange among a broad spectrum of artists living and working in New York City. Managed by the New Victory Artistic Programming staff, New Victory LabWorks has grown to include a diverse spectrum of nearly 500 New York City-based arts professionals, including artists, practitioners, educators, presenters and producers.

In an effort to promote the creation of homegrown performing arts for family audiences, New Victory LabWorks offers a program for artists of all disciplines who desire an experience tailored to their specific needs and individual creative processes. Artists, selected by application, receive a stipend, coveted rehearsal space in the New 42nd Street Studios and the possibility of holding open rehearsals for industry professionals and New Victory Member families. Facilitated by New Victory staff, these experiences provide the invaluable response of peers and target audiences.

The 2016-17 New Victory LabWorks Artists include:

  • Only Child Aerial Theatre, led by Nicki Miller (The World is Round) and Kendall Rileigh (Golda’s Balcony), will use aerial and ground acrobatics, live music, projection and shadow work to celebrate how imagination and play connect the young and the old in Story Hour.
  • Tim Kubart and Mario “The Magician” Marchese, the 2016 Grammy® Award winner of  Best Children’s Album, teams up with the subject of the indie documentary Building Magic, to create a combination of handmade magic and homemade music that celebrates creativity and imagination in Makers and Shakers.
  • Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe) pens a musical adaptation of The Great Blueness by Arnold Lobel (author of the beloved Frog and Toad series), about a town where everything is gray until the local Wizard accidentally discovers a magical new world of color.
  • Blessed Unrest (NY Innovative Theatre Award for Sustained Excellence), led by Artistic Director Jessica Burr (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award), adapts The Snow Queen, using physical theater to build the peculiar lands and wild creatures encountered by the courageous heroine as she journeys to rescue her friend.
  • Spellbound Theatre (Wink, 2014-15 LabWorks Artist and two-time Henson Foundation Family Grant recipients), New York’s only theater company creating work exclusively for ages 0-5, explores how the human body works through humor, music, puppetry and digital media in The World Inside Me.
  • Kathleen Doyle, a two-time Fulbright Grant recipient and costume and puppet designer, shares the ancient art of Vietnamese water puppetry in an untitled new work.
  • Puppet Kitchen Productions (The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, John Tartaglia’s Imaginocean) employs puppetry and clowning to tell the story of two best friends who  disappear into the art they were tasked to hang. Pictures at an Exhibition is inspired by the real life story behind Mussorgsky’s piano suite of the same name.
  • Louisa Thompson Pregerson, a two-time Obie Award-winning designer, creates a new work inspired by her recent project Washeteria, a site-specific work set in a fantastical laundromat. Washeteria had its world premiere at Soho Rep with the generous support of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
  • Maaa Theater, co-founded by theater director Mohammad Aghebati (Hamlet, Prince of Grief) and filmmaker Mehrnoush Alia (Scheherazade), stages The Little Black Fish, one of Iran’s most celebrated stories for kids, about a young fish who leaves his home stream for new waters and goes on an eye-opening adventure.
  • The Village of Vale, 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice Winner, uses live music, storytelling, puppetry and visual arts to animate a series of dark folk tales all set in a mysterious village.
  • Drew Petersen, associate artistic director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and drama teacher at the Blue School, brings to life the unlikely friendship between Nera, an abstract art-obsessed Brooklyn 5th grader with synaesthesia, and Chester, a middle-light class boxer with more passion for the sport than skill in The Prizefighter of P.S. 217.
  • Zachary Fine (Walled In, Manifest Destiny) takes a closer look at Dennis, a character that appears only once in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in So Please You or The Tragical Comical Tale of Dennis, The Almost Silent Shakespearean Actor.
  • Chad Beckim, finalist for the 2015-16 Jerome Fellowship and Kevin Spacey Foundation, explores the mental, physical and emotional landscapes that American trans youth and their families must navigate in Little Man.

New Victory LabWorks Artists also have access to the feedback and support of New Victory staff, as well as professional development and networking events with New Victory visiting companies and guest artists. All season long, the greater New Victory LabWorks community is invited to attend workshops, master classes and various networking events, as well as performances in the New Victory season, to promote local, national and international exchange and further their exploration of theater for family audiences.

For more information about New Victory LabWorks, please contact the New Victory Artistic Programming Department at [email protected].

To join the email list and receive updates on upcoming events and programs for artists, please visit

New Victory LabWorks is supported, in part, by a grant from the Madeleine L’Engle Fund of the Crosswicks Foundation.

About The New Victory Theater

The New Victory Theater brings kids to the arts and the arts to kids as New York City’s premier theater devoted to the highest quality performing arts for kids and families. Serving the city in all its diversity, The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street presents theater, dance, circus, opera and music from around the world at affordable ticket prices. In addition to its public performances, the New Vic is also the largest provider of live performance to NYC school kids, serving 40,000 students in grades PreK-12 from more than 200 schools, after school programs and day camps each year. The New Victory Theater’s contributions to the cultural landscape of the city have been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, a national Arts Education Award from Americans for the Arts and a 2012 Drama Desk Award for “providing enchanting, sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.”

New 42nd Street Studios

Dedicated to performing artists, the New 42nd Street Studios is a premier rehearsal space and performing arts complex designed to mirror the energy on the street below, and through its expansive glass walls, reveal the creative process at work. Featuring a mix use of rehearsal studios, administrative offices and a black box theater, the New 42nd Street Studios serves a vast and diverse group of nonprofit dance, theater and opera companies, as well as Broadway musicals and plays. A catalyst for new artistic works, the New 42nd Street Studios have housed more than 700 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions in their early stages. Designed by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects, the project has also received numerous design awards, including a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The New 42nd Street

Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent nonprofit organization charged with the continuous cultural revival of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Committed to the transformational power of the arts, The New 42nd Street builds on the foundation of seven historic theaters to make extraordinary performing arts and cultural engagement part of everyone’s life. The New 42nd Street fulfills this purpose by ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of 42nd Street’s historic theaters; maintaining and fully using the New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street to support performing artists in the creation of their work; and through The New Victory Theater, New York’s premier theater for kids and families.

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