FALL 2019
 

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SWEENEY TODD
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Produced by the Yale Dramatic Association

November 20-23, 2019

A wrongfully convicted man seeks revenge. A struggling business owner does anything to survive. A child is separated from her parents. A young woman isn’t believed. A politician abuses his power. An immigrant hides their identity. A couple is punished for falling in love. A young adult is left to pick up the pieces. Thrilling and dark, funny and terrifying, Sweeney Todd tells the story of a community devouring itself from within and the potential for violence that lies within us all.

Stripped down to reveal the complicated psychological truths at its core, our production will approach Sweeney Todd as if it were a new work, free of expectations and pre-conceived assumptions. Reimagined for the twenty-first century, this production for the Yale Dramatic Association is inspired by British cafes, American diners, and fast food chains that serve as de-facto community centers across both the UK and US.

THE LITTLE PRINCE
Music & Lyrics by Rachel Portman
With an English Libretto by Nicholas Wright
Based on the Novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In Development

Our production of Rachel Portman’s THE LITTLE PRINCE imagines Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story as a fable for a world in the midst of a migration crisis. As a group of migrants await their fate at the United States’ Southern border, the adults recast their children's experiences with smugglers, officers, and good Samaritans as intergalactic encounters with strange grownups and resplendent beasts in a world without borders. While remaining faithful to Saint-Exupéry’s story, we deliberately pushed against his iconic drawings to reinterpret this tale through a diverse, nuanced, and contemporary lens. Our production was selected as one of four winners of Opera America’s 2018-2019 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase.

Collaborators: Noam Shapiro (director), Santiago Orjuela-Laverde (scenic), Haydee Zelideth (costumes), Reza Behjat (lighting), Yana Birÿkova (projections), and Tamrin Goldberg (choreography).

View our storyboard and conceptual sketches

MEASURE FOR MEASURE
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Noam Shapiro
Dramaturgy by Annie Wang

In Development

"To whom shall I complain?" - Act II, Scene IV 

Vienna is beset with corruption, but the Duke is unwilling to use his authority to enforce the law. Instead, he departs Vienna and instates Angelo as his deputy. Angelo quickly moves to set an example by sentencing a young man named Claudio to death for premarital sex. When Claudio's sister, Isabella, pleads with Angelo for mercy, he offers her an ultimatum. Isabella’s clarity in the face of hypocrisy exposes the misdeeds of those who cloak themselves in morality to commit injustice. All she must do is get someone to listen.  

This production of Measure for Measure was initially workshopped as part of the League of Independent Theater’s Space Residency in July and August of 2018.

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THREE HARES

Three Hares is a collaborative venture that brings together diverse and multidisciplinary artists to create political and socially conscious theater helmed by Noam Shapiro. Check out its recent projects.

JUST MISSED

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ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD
music & lyrics by Paulo K. Tiról
directed by Noam Shapiro
produced by Megumi Lee
presented as part Access Theater’s Association Series

May 2-May 12
Access Theater
380 Broadway, 4th Floor

Stories of domestic workers, young lovers, judgmental church ladies, selfless overseas fathers, undocumented immigrants, and millennials living their best lives on social media. On This Side of the World is a theatrical song cycle capturing voices from the Filipino immigrant experience in the United States. Through eighteen musical monologues, the cycle lifts up the stories of new immigrants and the children of immigrant families. What emerges is a mosaic of love and loss, humor and heartache, yearning and faith eight thousand miles from home. On This Side of the World was supported through a Creative Engagement Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Listen to demos from On This Side of the World by visiting the show’s website.

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THE FLOOD
Music by Korine Fujiwara
Libretto by Stephen Wadsworth
Directed by Stephen Wadsworth
Co-Commissioned Opera Columbus & ProMusica

Southern Theater, Columbus, Ohio, February 8-10
Tickets: https://www.operacolumbus.org/events/the-flood/

Noam was thrilled to be assist Stephen Wadsworth on the world premiere of The Flood at Opera Columbus in Columbus Ohio. The Great Flood was a transformative event in the history of Columbus and Ohio. A 1913 superstorm caused the largest flood in 100 years, sending tsunami-like waters into unsuspecting communities in central and western Ohio, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless. In Columbus, the Scioto River flooded Franklinton – a diverse, working-class and immigrant neighborhood – with waters up to 17 feet deep, killing 96 people, injuring hundreds, and destroying over 500 buildings. The Flood tells the story of human connection through loss and shared tragedy, and the event’s lingering effect through multiple generations of a family. Four stories unfold simultaneously, moving between rooms, occasionally joining together, often overlapping, and gradually revealing a web of relationships between 1913 and 2014.

PAST PROJECTS

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THE LARAMIE PROJECT
By Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project
Directed
 by Noam Shapiro
Produced by the Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers

October 26-28 & November 2-4, 2018

In 1998, twenty-one year old Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence, beaten, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. He had been the victim of a homophobic hate crime that shook Laramie and his death marked a watershed moment in America. Composed on hundreds of interviews conducted with the town’s residents over the course of a year, The Laramie Project is a stark look at the violence and prejudice LGBT people face in contemporary America, the way a community responds to hate, and our capacity for hope in the midst of despair.

The Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers’ production marks 20 years since Matthew Shepard’s passing and the 100th anniversary of the Barnstormers. Featuring a diverse cast of twelve, this production—and the campus-wide programming surrounding the show—examines how far we’ve come since 1998 and how much work we have yet to do.

QUICK, CHANGE
By Ali Viterbi
Directed by Noam Shapiro
Drama League First Stage Residency

August 2018 Residency

Quick, Change explores power imbalances in the American theater, the repercussions of 'networking,' and the way people use and dispose of others. Gabriel Fox, a famous actor nearly past his prime, finds himself making a comeback as Richard III at a prominent, Tony-Award winning summer-stock theater. As Fox pursues a secret and questionable relationship with his twenty-one-year-old dresser Annie, he grows increasingly connected to the power-hungry Richard, only to find that his behavior will no longer go unchallenged. Drawing from Shakespeare's play, yet firmly grounded in the present, Quick, Change is a biting, urgent look at our culture at a tipping point and a response to our national conversation about sexual assault.

Quick, Change was developed as part of Noam Shapiro's First Stage Residency at the Drama League.

 

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MOURNING INTO DANCING
Based on the life and music of Debbie Friedman
Fresh Ground Pepper BRB Residency

July - August 2018 Residency

In 2011, singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman passed away after living for two decades with a chronic neurological condition. While many of her songs centered on themes like self-healing, her own illness was largely unknown by the public until her death. Yet, even as she fought her own private battles, Friedman’s music inspired a movement of healing services that are now practiced in houses of worship, homes, and hospitals across America. 

How does someone pour all of their energy into the healing of others while experiencing pain of their own? What is our obligation to turn our personal turmoil into a gift that’s shared with others? How do you practice self-care while also lifting up those around you? Where does song come into play for a body, a community, or a country in pain?

Noam was in residency with Fresh Ground Pepper in Little Pond in Nazareth, PA, where he developed Mourning Into Dancing, a new theater piece with music inspired by the life and songs of Debbie Friedman.

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GONZO
By Laura Winters
Directed
 by Noam Shapiro
Presented as part of the 2018 LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Rough Draft Festival

April 13 @ 7pm
April 14 @ 7pm
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City

On the eve of Mary-Beth’s eighteenth birthday and first professional porn shoot, her role model Chantal returns to Miami to make a comeback. When a new girl's arrival complicates Chantal’s plan, their shared house transforms into a battleground over who wins and loses when it comes to sexual empowerment and exploitation. Featuring a cast of diverse young actors, Gonzo is a frank, funny, and fierce look at empowerment and exploitation in the digital age. 

SPEAKING AS THEN
By Ruoxin Xu
Directed by Noam Shapiro
Produced by Lucia (Xiaoran) Zhu

March 16-17 at 7:00pm
March 18 at 2:00pm

The Schapiro Theater, Columbia University (605 W. 115th Street)

On the eve of Lunar New Year celebrations in Beijing, Tang Desheng’s children gather in their childhood home to debate the city’s plan to buyout their father’s valuable old apartment. When Dan (Tang Meng), who emigrated to America thirty years earlier after participating in a failed democratic movement, arrives with his American-born daughter, Abby, the family struggles to communicate, and inevitability opens old wounds. Speaking as Then explores the miscommunication brought on by a language barrier and the familial relationships that transcend spoken words. 

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THE MACHINE STOPS
Co-Created by Matthew Van Gessel & Noam Shapiro
Performed by Matthew Van Gessel
Directed
 by Noam Shapiro
Based on the short story “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster, originally published in The Oxford and Cambridge Review (November 1909)

Winter 2018 Workshop

After the Earth becomes inhabitable, humans retreat to self-contained cells underground, where they communicate with each other remotely through “The Machine.” But when Kuno longs for his mother’s embrace, each will risk catastrophe to gaze up at the stars one last time. E.M. Forster's prescient short story comes to life in Matthew Van Gessel's solo performance.

 

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LITTLE LEAGUE
by Jack Spagnola
directed by Noam Shapiro
produced by Lizzy Ana Lincoln
presented by Frigid Festival - Horse Trade Theater

February 15 @ 8:50pm | February 18 @ 3:30pm
February 24 @ 6:40pm | February 25 @ 12:10pm | March 2 @ 8:30pm

The Kraine Theater - 85 E 4th St. (between Bowery and 2nd Ave)

In the bleachers during little league games, parents root for their children, teenagers flirt with heartbreak, and secrets quietly come into play. Darya and Sam have dated since middle school, however, with Darya going off to school in California and Sam staying on the East Coast, a cloud of ambiguity hangs over their final weeks together. Marsha and Phoebe love watching their six-year-olds' play baseball. For each mom, little league is a brief time when they can let their hair down. But when adult-sized questions creep into their kid’s heads, both mothers struggle to find the right answers. LITTLE LEAGUE is a heartfelt comedy about the compassion and courage it takes to grow up.

 

EMERSON LOSES HER "MIAND"
by Laura Winters
directed by Noam Shapiro
produced by Emma Hills
executive produced by Three Hares
presented by NY Winterfest & Lyra Presents

January 8  @ 9pm
January 10  @ 9pm
January 13 @ 3:30pm
Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26 St. (between 9th and 10th Avenues)

A Jew, a Catholic, a Southern Baptist, two Muslims, an Atheist, and an Agnostic get on board a pedal trolley to kick off Emerson Greene's bachelorette weekend. Although most of the bridesmaids are here to party, Hana Mian, the groom's eldest sister, has a few small questions about the interfaith Jewish-Muslim wedding, like: is the caterer aware that his meal needs to be kosher and halal? No matter how high tensions get there's only one rule: you can't get off the trolley...

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WOMEN SCOUTS
by Ryann Weir
Directed by Noam Shapiro
Produced by Allyson Morgan & Courtney Ulrich
Craftsmas at Ensemble Studio Theatre

December 17 @ 7pm
Ensemble Studio Theatre
545 West 52nd Street, 2nd Floor - (between 10th & 11th Aves)

3 Youngblood writers craft 3 ten minute plays, each featuring one of EST's craft fair artists' pieces, followed by a 90 minute craft fair/mini holiday party with those items on sale with snacks and drinks. WOMEN SCOUTS features a Her Highness Builds Robots, a feminist coloring created by Laura & Beth Winters, with illustrations by Tyler Feder.

When three Girl Scouts gather to strategize their next cookie sale, they quickly discover that growing up can feel scary and sad, but also powerful and majestic. WOMEN SCOUTS features Yasemin Eti, Emma Munson, and Rachel Lin.

DOWNTOWN RACE RIOT
by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld
Directed by Scott Elliott
The New Group

November 14 - December 23, 2017
The Pershing Square Signature Center
The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre
480 West 42nd Street

Noam was excited to assist Scott Elliott as the Directing Intern on The New Group's Downtown Race Riot. On a hot late summer day in 1976, a mob of young men – all white except one – descended on Washington Square Park with pipes and bats, and attacked any people of color they could find. Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s Downtown Race Riot takes us back to this day as two boys, torn between loyalty to each other and to the neighborhood, grasp for ways to keep the violence from destroying their friendship forever. A snapshot of a time not so different than today, when a new social freedom ran smack into the forces of reaction, and when the stakes were truly life and death.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Created by Matthew Van Gessel & Noam Shapiro
Directed by Noam Shapiro
Executive Produced by Three Hares

October 5-7 at 7 p.m.
The Tank
312 West 36th Street / First Floor

ABOUT THE SHOW:
When Bozo, a hapless clown, discovers an abandoned baby, he's tasked with teaching her the difference between right and wrong. But Bozo can't do it alone! He'll need the audience's help as he navigates between good and bad role models. As he'll discover, the line between right and wrong isn't always so clear, and nice guys sometimes finish last. Will we find a way to come together for the sake of the child, or will we tear this baby apart?

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EMERSON LOSES HER "MIAND"
a developmental reading at Dixon Place
by Laura Winters
Directed by Noam Shapiro

October 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Dixon Place Lounge
161A Chrystie St, Manhattan

ABOUT THE SHOW
A Jew, a Catholic, a Southern Baptist, two Muslims, an Atheist, and an Agnostic get on board a pedal trolley to kick off Emerson Greene's bachelorette weekend. Although most of the bridesmaids are here to party, Hana Mian, the groom's eldest sister, has a few small questions about the interfaith Jewish-Muslim wedding, like: is the caterer aware that his meal needs to be kosher and halal? No matter how high tensions get there's only one rule: you can't get off the trolley...