Fact or Fiction: Current NYC Theatre Quiz
New York City relishes its avant-garde role in theatrical arts, with a variety of experimental productions that redefine and challenge conventional dramatic structure. How far can it go? To take our quiz, read the following summaries of reviews from 2014 and decide which performance is fact and which is fiction.
- Subway Scenes. The NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights is inviting commuting artists and artistic commuters “to propose and show work inspired by the city’s subways and buses.” The series intends to disrupt and question the traditional audience/performer separation, while also exploring the role appearance and imagination play in commuters’ minds as they observe those around them. For example, the dance routine, “Party To-Go” included two dancers in maintenance-man coveralls, prancing on and around a subway bench.
- Taxi-Cab Theatre. The play “Take Me Home” originates in an operational NYC taxi cab, for a maximum audience of just three people – all in the back seat during a choreographed drive around Manhattan. During the play, the driver/actor navigates the cab, weaving in stories while rehearsed action occurs on the streets and sidewalks. According to one reviewer, “The story that unfolds…has you on full alert…[as you] scan the passing landscape for fragments of street life placed there for your benefit.”
- Watery World. To raise environmental awareness of the shrinking polar ice cap, theatre students from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts recently staged the U.S. premiere of “Earth okkar er að drukkna” (“Our Earth is Drowning”). This Icelandic drama was performed as conceived, completely underwater by three performers in full scuba gear, utilizing the New York Aquarium’s Sea Cliffs exhibit and audience amphitheater. “Framed by the exhibit’s rocky coastline as a de facto proscenium stage, the seals, walruses and even the normally playful otters seemed unnaturally somber during the play’s climax,” wrote one reviewer.
- Dream Lover. “Dream of the Red Chamber: A Performance for a Sleeping Audience” opened recently in Times Square. Audience members are encouraged to sleep/nap/doze on portable cots during overnight performances lasting from 11 to 13 hours. While they are napping, “cast members in elaborate costumes act out scenes and gesture repetitively as their images are projected onto screens surrounding the space.” Set design includes dim lights and constant, droning music, with the spectacle “intended to permeate the visitor’s subconscious.”
Your answer? Readers of our blog will recall the taxi-cab performance (2) from our March 4 article. (3) is fiction – at least for now – and the rest are fact.