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Check out photos from our latest show, City Council Meeting, running through May 22nd!
img_0228 HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties Step_and_Repeat_1 img_0050 img_0064-1 img_0053 img_0078 Step_and_Repeat_16 img_0018 Step_and_Repeat_28 Step_and_Repeat_11 Step_and_Repeat_20 img_0120 img_0117 Step_and_Repeat_31 Step_and_Repeat_30 img_0516 img_0181 img_0213 img_0316 img_0311-1 img_0399 img_0435 img_0390 img_0403 HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties Step_and_Repeat_32 Step_and_Repeat_25 Step_and_Repeat_14 Step_and_Repeat_22 HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties Step_and_Repeat_19 Step_and_Repeat_26 Step_and_Repeat_27 Step_and_Repeat_18 HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties HERE's 20th Anniversary Benefit: Roaring into Our Twenties Step_and_Repeat_4 Step_and_Repeat_2 Step_and_Repeat_29 Step_and_Repeat_23 Step_and_Repeat_24 Step_and_Repeat_21 Step_and_Repeat_17 Step_and_Repeat_15 Step_and_Repeat_13 Step_and_Repeat_12 Step_and_Repeat_10 Step_and_Repeat_9 Step_and_Repeat_8
Our 20th Anniversary Benefit was a huge success. Thanks to everyone that came and celebrated this momentous birthday with us! Click here to see a slideshow of the event.
Check out the trailer for Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin's A Marriage: 1 (Suburbia). The building-wide mixed media installation takes over HERE April 23 - May 4.
We're roaring into our twenties with a Pro-HERE-bition party for the ages!
Save the date for our 20th Anniversary Benefit on Monday, May 6th!
Featuring a tented street party with pop-up performance by HERE artists, past and present.
Click here to purchase a $150 Off-Off Broadway Baby Ticket.
Check out a sneak peek of Wind Set-Up, a theater piece using puppetry and simple, every day objects. Wind Set-Up was created by Lake Simons and John Dyer runs Mar 27 - 31 @ 7pm.
Your favorite documentary series about NYC-based performing artists is making its grand return with TWO NEW SEASONS and TWENTY NEW EPISODES.
We re-launch an updated website and the first episode of SEASON 3 on APRIL 8. Please join us on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 at HERE to celebrate with a screening and public discussion on the issue of Art and Commerce, moderated by David Cote with remarks by Bill T. Jones.
Visit www.madehereproject.org or www.hulu.com/made-here to re-watch your favorite episodes.
Suspended - Bahar Behbahani Suspended - Bahar Behbahani Drew - Sean Fader Jeffrey - Sean Fader OPA! - Sean Fader OPA! - Sean Fader Second Skin - Aiden Simon Wind Chime - Jamie Knowles Agony; Never Ending - Negar Behbahani Rolling - Marielis Seyler Bird - Marielis Seyler Snails - Marielis Seyler Rabbit with Bandages - Marielis Seyler Butterflies - Marielis Seyler Lamb - Marielis Seyler Woman on a Ledge - Marielis Seyler
View a slideshow of pieces from Looks Like Torture, a HEREart exhibition co-curated by Nicholas Cohn Art Projects and Amy Kisch, AKArt, currently on view through March 30.
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Stop by HERE, Thurs Feb 21 from 5pm, for the Opening Reception of the new HEREart exhibition; Looks Like Torture co-curated by Nicholas Cohn Art Projects and Amy Kisch, AKArt. Free wine, snacks and performances!
Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim Chang(e) - Soomi Kim GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater GENET PORNO - Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater Glass Mouth - Leyna Marika Papach Glass Mouth - Leyna Marika Papach Glass Mouth - Leyna Marika Papach Glass Mouth - Leyna Marika Papach SPHINX - Yoav Gal SPHINX - Yoav Gal SPHINX - Yoav Gal SPHINX - Yoav Gal SPHINX - Yoav Gal SPHINX - Yoav Gal Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Weights and Balances - Bora Yoon Send for the Million Men - Joseph Silovsky Send for the Million Men - Joseph Silovsky Send for the Million Men - Joseph Silovsky Send for the Million Men - Joseph Silovsky The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt The Pigeoning - Robin Frohardt Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis Restless Nest - Rebecca Davis
Here is a slideshow of CULTUREMART, our annual festival featuring resident artists' works, played from Jan 28 to Feb 10.
Click here to check out interviews with Resident Artists from all 15 shows and hear about what's happening in CULTUREMART 2013.
Well-Disciplined Kids Recreated Mainstream Music Video Recreated Mainstream Music Video Recreated Mainstream Music Video Recreated Mainstream Music Video Rapid Proto-type of A Figure Rapid Proto-type of A Figure Yefeng Wang: 冷淡/Impersonal
View a slideshow of pieces from Yefeng Wang: 冷淡/Impersonal, a HEREart exhibition, on display from Jan 3 - Feb 16.
BLOG #1: Media and Puppetry
by Jared Mezzocchi
As an interactive media designer, I am always asking who is in control. At times, it’s the performer, at other times it’s the operator, and at even more controlling times it’s the timecode of the video being played. Most of the time, however it is an ebb and flow between all three options. Here’s an example:
PAINTER walks onstage with a blank canvas. She puts it on a set easel. Once ready, she snaps. A picture of her face appears, perfectly mapped to the canvas. She begins to draw. But the movie starts to spin, propelling PAINTER to follow the shape of the face as it turns, creating a spiral of a portrait. This continues for a length of time, until PAINT MASTER appears behind PAINTER’S back. PAINTER does not see PAINT MASTER enter, but upon their entrance, the video snaps off. PAINTER stops drawing and freezes. She slowly turns to PAINT MASTER, who is shaking their head.
Okay, so in this example all three options exist. The first cue is the video appearing BECAUSE the PAINTER snaps. It’s entirely on PAINTER to tell us when she is ready with her marker and secure canvas. Then the video begins, and as it plays out it begins to spin. The video will remain spinning for, let’s say 10 minutes. We’ve made a super long video of a face spinning just in case it needs to last that long. In fact, it WILL last that long if PAINT MASTER never enters. And PAINTER will just remain drawing her face, and drawing her face, and drawing her face. Since PAINTER cannot see PAINT MASTER’S entrance, however, it’s the operator who cues it to disappear. This communicates to PAINTER to continue in the progress of the scene. Perhaps, the audience may gather, the PAINT MASTER has killed the PAINTER’S chaotic imagination. Perhaps, the audience may gather, the video is simply an extension of a conflict between how the two characters view the art of painting. Whatever the case, the control of the scene is passed around like a cupcake from magnolia’s bakery. Mmm Delicious. Who wants to take hold and have a bite?
Okay. So what does this have to do with puppetry? EVERYTHING. I was watching some Youtube videos of puppets one night, as I do, and saw one that had an amazing transfer of who was in control. The puppeteer stood above the marionette. The marionette took note of the string attached to his hand and challenged it. He looks up and sees the puppeteer. He grabs the string and yanks it. He loses control of his arm. The puppet is fascinated by this and continues to all his limbs, his head, and eventually is left as a heap of material on the stage as the puppeteer looks at his dangling strings and exits. THIS IS THE SAME THING, I thought. I probably yelled it out loud, as I do.
In fact, there’s a lot of similarities I see in puppetry outside of just the notion of control. Bringing in an object that has functions without it looking pretty is a big similarity. How do I, as a video designer, bring in placeholders that allow my actors to understand the function of the video, the arrival of the video, the departure of the video, the location of the video, and so on and so forth? If I bring in placeholders that lack the high quality of the show’s aesthetic, but presents a rehearsal with enough tools to find explore rhythm and blocking, how different is that from bringing in a puppet of Kermit before painting him green? Do people stop rehearsal and demand that Kermit is green in order for rehearsal to be effective? Okay, maybe someone would. But they would be way out of line.
But seriously, puppetry and media. It’s helps me bring a visual, nebulous landscape into a tangible object on stage. It allows me to ask the right questions of how much to bring to a rehearsal. By thinking of media as a puppet, it demands questions to be answered in tangible ways, such as:
1. Who is in control of the projections? // (Who is puppet / puppeteer?)
2. If performer is controlling media, WHAT of the media do they control? // (What joints does each puppeteer control?)
3. What media / equipment should be brought to rehearsal? // (How much of a puppet should be brought for puppeteers to rehearse? What must function?)
4. When saying, “I want projection” how many forms does that actually conjure? // (When saying puppet, do you mean Sock? Marionette? Dummy? What does each form do to a narrative?)
So when I went to a WIP (Work-In-Progress) at HEREarts Center and witnessed the extraordinary work of Robin Frohardt’s THE PIGEONING, I thought to myself, I MUST interview her on these topics and ask how she, as a puppeteer, tackles these same issues.
As you read this interview with Robin, first and foremost enjoy. Secondly, as I hope this introduction has helped form the bridge, I ask that you see the analogy. As multimedia directors and performers and designers, I hope we can see puppetry as this effective tool to better understand that we do not need to see an in-the-can 2 hour perfectly edited film in order to start rehearsing with it. Jim Henson surely didn’t have Statler and Waldorf on a perfectly sculpted balcony in order to script the first senile banter between the two. Or, maybe he did.
A CASUAL TALK IN REGARDS TO PUPPETRY WITH ROBIN FROHARDT
Robin Frohardt is a visual artist and puppet designer living in working in Brooklyn, NY. She began as a painting major at the University of Washington in Seattle and was soon lured to San Francisco by it’s colorful underground theater and circus scene. It is there she cut her teeth, teaching herself and learning from a host of others the skills needed to contribute creatively to a number of large scale sculptural projects as well as a few vaudeville style theater and performance troupes. Traveling to Taiwan and Thailand in 2005 and 2006 her focus shifted primarily to puppetry and large-scale puppet building for parades and puppet festivals. Upon returning to the US in 2006 she founded the Apocalypse Puppet Theater. That year they received a grant for the fabrication of the Apocalypse Stagecoach a travelling theater pulled by a team of 8 bicycles.
In 2008 she came to New York to work with a team of artists called the Swimming Cites building sculptural junk rafts that traveled down the Hudson River and into New York City.
This adventure was so inspiring she decided to stay. And with the exception of two more raft trips (one to Venice and one down the Ganges in India) she has been working here in New York ever since. She has worked on a variety of projects such as set design and fabrication for Jollyship the Wiz-bang and IRT, a full scale play performed entirely on the New York City subway. She designed and built puppets for The Colonists a bee-based puppet show written by Nick Jones. In this recent year she began to develop The Pigeoning her first original work. She presented part of the show at this year’s Puppet Lab.
Interview taken on a bench outside of HEREarts Center’s Cafe in Lower Manhattan.
October 22, 2012.
Edited and Transcribed by Rachel Wohlander
JARED: What I want to do is talk about your process. How did you come into the world of puppetry? Was it an evolution? What attracts you to the form?
ROBIN: Well I studied painting at the University of Washington. I didn’t finish, but I was always really interested in painting and the visual world. When I left school I went to San Francisco and worked at this place called the Odeon, this weird funky bar that was a place for odd and unlikely entertainment. It was run by this guy called John who had a touring punk rock circus for a number of years, and he had it as a venue for things that didn’t have a place in other bars. There were puppet shows, and juggling acts and trapeze acts, so I got exposed to a lot of cool people and weird things. I wanted to be creative but I didn’t know what it was that I wanted to do. I met some awesome puppeteers from Seattle who were touring the country with a puppet show that was a Charles Bukowski story about necrophilia done in puppets. And I didn’t even know that this was an option. So I became friends with this guy. And he went to Taiwan and was working at this place called The Dream Community in Taipei. He was bringing artists over to make this big parade. So I went over there and did that. That’s where I started making puppets. I made giant puppets there, which was really fun, and then went to Thailand and participated in a puppetry festival there, and made a bunch of stuff, and then came home and was super excited to keep doing it. So I started shows with my friend Freddy and a few of my other dear friends. We started our own company, The Apocalypse Puppet Theatre, and built this giant stagecoach thing, traveled around, did shows. And puppets just became this great medium because I was also interested in building, being a craftsperson and constructing things, building sets, carpentry and welding and all that. I was surrounded by people who knew how to do that stuff really well, which was great. So puppets were a great combination of the painting world and the building world and the creative story-telling world. And also the laughter world.
J: Right. That’s true. Do you have a particular kind of puppet that you enjoy, or do you decide based on the narrative. What’s your decision-making process?
R: I really want to create a whole puppet. That’s been my go-to because I want the puppeteer to disappear. Some puppets are operated from below, you can only see half of them. In order to see the full body, I feel like it needs to be this [Frank's] style. I made one muppet-y one I really like, but I still painted onto the fabric. I want control at the end. Also to make a face, I sculpt it out of clay. I can adjust it and sculpt it with my hands to make it exactly what I want. But with foam you can’t really get a lot of detail and you have to pattern it. It’s very technical and it’s not sensual, for lack of a better word. It’s not like you can use your hands and feel it and make it, you have to plot and think.
J: Do you think about their expression prior to, or how does that evolve?
R: I guess I do. With Frank, I guess I lucked out with that face. He’s neutral enough that his expression changes.
J: What are your thoughts on the visibility of the puppeteers? What do you do to try to enhance that or not?
R: Well I like to make the puppeteers disappear as much as possible. In the Pigeoning I had them wear hoods, but now I think I’m not going to because I really like the way it went with the work in progress. I think it adds to it being able to see their faces. I love to create this world, like a full, rich universe that he lives in, and make it to scale and realistic, and detailed. But then I love the moments when he’s just exposed as a puppet. And that’s the joke, and everyone laughs every time.
J: Can you name one of those moments?
R: When he gets excited and is just flopping around. Like those scenes in Team America when they go to fight. Because It’s puppets! And you get drawn in but then you step out, and everyone wants to see puppets fighting or having sex. Whenever someone picks up a puppet in my room, they instantly start doing something sexual or something violent. Maybe that’s just my friends.
J: That’s acceptable. Assuming that’s what the whole world wants- violence and sex, do you find that you find the golden moments to do that, or do you fight against giving the audience what they want?
R: Definitely. Especially with him, with his character being so reserved. In the beginning, when the lights go on and he’s just sitting there, everyone laughs. He’s just breathing and everyone laughs. It’s kind of like a tension that you want to keep going. I want to keep him contained, I don’t want him to be too wild and crazy. But once you go to that place where they’re fighting, and it’s over….
J: Right, and it’s like… what can we do now?
R: Right. And I think all the funny stuff, the good puppetry scenes in that show and a lot of shows, are when he does something really subtle. When he hesitates.
J: Why do you think that is? Is it because that’s such a nuanced thing that a human does?
R: I think it makes him more realistic, more real.
J: Do you find that those moments are the most simple to do but the hardest to discover, or vice versa?
R: It’s all about how good the puppeteer is, how they just think of that stuff, and are aware of it and be like, oh yeah his tie’s in his face, he wouldn’t want that.
J: How does that work in rehearsal? Do you come to them with a scenario?
R: Yeah, I’ll know the structure of the scene. So we’ll just improv and I’ll be like, I like that. And I’ll say what if we try this hand gesture. When it comes down to sliding down the bench, we have to totally stop and say what is this? It’s right hand slides, then this then this, then this. Then we have to practice that like a dance move because it’s actually three people all doing different things at different times and they all have to come together into this one motion so that has to be choreographed, we have to break it down.
J: Do you just talk to them about the scene, or is there a script that you send out?
R: Talk. I mean when I first started working with those guys we went through an outline, but then it’s all talking. Talking and improv-ing and videoing and looking back at the video. And being like, oh that doesn’t work that looks weird.
J: So when you walk in that first day of rehearsal, how finished is Frank, or whatever puppet you’re working with?
R: The puppet as an object? He’s pretty finished, but I always want to change something. The way I see it right now is that I’ll just keep Frankensteining that one puppet and adding and taping and hot gluing and wiring and make it a Frankenstein and then remake a final version of him for the show.
J: Do you feel like you have to instill the puppeteers with faith in the translation process? Like if the arm isn’t working that day and they know that it’s not working out, but in your head it’s working just fine because you’re seeing it. Are there things that you say, is there a standard way of dealing with it.
R: Not really, I just make fun of myself a lot. I mean it’s funny. When it’s wrong he looks funny so we just kind of laugh it off.
J: Is there a hierarchy to who controls the head and the feet and the hands?
R: Yeah, definitely the one who has the head is in control. If you’re going to get your phone, you look at your phone and then you hit your phone. It’s very rare that we do this [pick up phone without looking at it] and when you do it, it makes it look like you’re thinking about something else. So the head is the one that makes the decisions. So yeah, he is in control in a lot of ways. But they all have to work together. And that’s hard for people sometimes, especially the people on the feet. Because the best feet are really subtle feet, but sometimes people want to be on stage and want to be the head. It’s all about putting the right personality types in the right positions, and mixing it up a bit too. I keep Andy on the head because Andy is a more experienced puppeteer, but I think they’re working all together. I mean, in the Bunraku tradition, the Japanese tradition; it’s a super hierarchy. Like the head guy is the head guy and you will not operate the head of the puppet until that man dies, for the most part. And no women. And you start at the feet, and then maybe you can do the right arm, and then when the head guy passes away, maybe you can get that.
J: Right. What about the conversation with audio and how that informs the process? Do you ever generate content to received music or sound?
R: I think it’s always worked the other way for me. Sometimes. We used to do shows in Oakland and there would be a script written and we would play around with some stuff, and then Freddy would make these sound tracks, like prerecorded sound tracks that stand on their on as radio dramas, they were awesome. He’s got this massive collection of music and sound effects and voices. And then we would sometimes fill things in based on those.
J: Awesome. Maybe talk a bit about the process – how does it go from idea to the first rehearsal.
R: Thinking about it a lot. I write a lot of nonsensical notes that wouldn’t make sense to anybody but myself. I do a lot of sitting and visualizing; sometimes if I can just like sit in front of an open word document and just imagine things. I can normally see how it is in my head. So I do a lot of visualization I guess. Then I try to write that down in a way I can communicate to someone else.
J: Have you ever had an experience that just was like, “I did not express what I wanted well and this is the bi-product of that”?
R: Well, I think I feel like that near the end of every project, when things are unraveling a little bit, where I’m just like, this isn’t at all what I meant to do. But then that feeling does go away.
J: Have you ever had an experience where right before the show something breaks?
R: The arm came off of Frank in the final performance at St. Ann’s. I mean it’s awesome, it’s funny. I wish it wasn’t the performance that they taped and my only taping f that whole performance. What the puppeteer did, was he just did a really good job pretending that the arm wasn’t detached and you almost didn’t notice. The arm was attached at the shoulder, but it was kind of in a sleeve a little bit. So it looked like it was getting really long. It made for some seriously awkward moments. And people fill in a lot of gaps with puppetry too, so you don’t necessarily have to paint all the parts.
J: They can fill it in. Awesome.
R: Yeah, that stuff happens. Freddy and I, The Apocalypse Puppet Theatre would do all these shadow puppet shows that were really funny and wild, and we’d do them at parties. We did one at this big party outside of San Francisco — there’s this old brothel hotel from the 1800′s that’s empty now and our friends rented it out and had an all night party there and different artists did stuff in different rooms and we did too and the party just kept going on and on and everyone was really wasted and we didn’t go on until really really late at night, like we were trashed, but it didn’t matter, friends were there and everyone was like, “puppet show!” It was just what we wanted. Those puppets fell apart. The heads fell off.
J: I used to work at a club in downtown Manhattan, Santos Party House. To have a drunk audience when you’re starting out and trying to figure out what your aesthetic is like the best gift an artist could ever have, because the forgiveness level – they aren’t even aware they’re audience, they don’t even care. It’s great. So you can really fuck around. Have you ever done shows where a puppet is in communication with a human? Or, on top of that, have you ever had a puppet be aware of his puppeteer?
R: Maybe. I like those moments. I don’t think I’ve particularly done that. I probably wouldn’t do that with Frank. I feel like that’s a gag. It’s a funny gag. I’m not against gags, I use gags all the time. I haven’t particularly used that one.
J: Gotcha. I’ll be waiting for it.
Character development maquettes Comicbook reflexivity #3 Comicbook reflexivity #5 The Octopus, a short 'film' Nu Graphical Whimsies Nachman_10 Nachman_14 Drafting Film Pictures Drafting Film Pictures Drafting Film Pictures Drafting Film Pictures Kirk Nachman: de anima
View a slideshow of pieces from Kirk Nachman: de anima, a HEREart exhibition, currently on display through Dec 22.
HERE: How to Break 31 HERE: How to Break 36 HERE: How to Break 51 HERE: How to Break 57 HERE: How to Break 80 HERE: How to Break 97 HERE: How to Break 113
Check out the slideshow of How to Break, the HERE and Hip-Hop Theater Festival co-production in association with Collective Consciousness Theater.
It's the application you've all been waiting for! HERE is currently accepting applications to HARP, our HERE Artist Residency Program, which commissions and develops new hybrid works over a 1- to 3-year period. Our mid-career resident artists meet monthly, show works-in-progress, develop workshop productions, and mount full–scale productions.
Our deadline is January 2nd, 2013 at 12 noon. Click HERE to apply today.
In honor of our 20th Anniversary Season, we're offering ticket prices which will make our performances accessible to everyone. Tickets will be available for all HERE productions for :
- $10 in advance
- $20 (our usual price) 24-hours prior
- FREE for student with ID 30 minutes before showtime
This is ill: Check out the How to Break Trailer!
HERE is pleased to be a part of Blue Star Theatres, offering discounted tickets to military personnel and their families. Click here for more information.
Click here to watch Kim and Kristin's 2012-2013 20th Anniversary Season announcement!
Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine Photo by Richard Termine
Check out a slideshow of the first HERE co-production of the 20th anniversary season; Strange Tales Of Liaozhai, conceived and performed by Hanne Tierney.
HERE's on-site cafe, herb-n-peach eatery, has an awesome write up in The Wall Street Journal! Click here and find out what you should be eating next time you come!
Check out the trailer and the show HERE >>
Music by Jane Wang
Click here to watch Basil Twist's (HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program's Artistic Director) 2012-2013 Season announcement!