Thursday, May 22, I attended the first evening of the Incubator's Tiny Theater! Festival at the Ontological Hysteric Theater. Curated by Michael Gardner, of The Brick, and Shannon Sindelar and Brendan Regimbal of the Ontological, last night's show included a line up of 6 different performances all taking place in a 6'x6'x6' space in 10 minutes or less: a very focused emergent theater marathon!
By the end of the evening I felt elated: curators for Tiny Theater! have brought together an interesting and diverse group of performance artists. From puppetry to neo-futurism, the 6'x6'x6' metal cage on the stage was inhabited by very different performances: sometimes the cube looked spacious and empty, as in SPi Company's "They Are Bad People", where two actors simply sat on chairs for the entire performance. At other times, the cube felt crowded (see the very sexual "Five (Eduardinos)") or extremely constraining, as in 6-Speed, the New York Neo-Futurist piece in which actors toasted cookies and swayed on metal bars like children in a jungle gym. Each performance used the space more or less effectively, but overall the evening had a wonderful rhythm and energy.
Curators of Tiny Theater! have also successfully brought together different kinds of performances. For the most part, the tiny performances were entertaining: filled with humorous characters (such as the she-Kermit-the-Frog in "The Barber of Saskatoon") and ironic props (as The Angel of Repose's spinning halo in "The Alternative Lifestyle Fair"). Yet there were also more sobering pieces. In Portrait of JB, for instance, a woman dressed in white walked around the stage carrying the bleeding severed head of a pig, while a man smoked a cigarette in the back of the theater. Overall the evening was gracefully crafted and the differences among the pieces worked well within the rhythm of the festival.
I highly recommend seeing one of the three remaining performances. Here's more information:
TINY THEATER 8p.m. Thursday--Saturday, May 22--24. Additional 11p.m. performance Saturday May 24. $15 cash at the door, or reserve in advance here or by calling 212-352-3101.
Ontological Theater at St. Mark's Church, 131 E. 10th Street (at 2nd Avenue)
In case you can't make any of these shows, look out for upcoming Summer Residencies at the Incubator.