Production History

Street Scene1

 

2016

The PlantationBNW The Plantation 1

A World Premiere

Claire Beckman’s bold adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, set in 1870 Virginia during the oft overlooked Reconstruction Period, was an immersive site-specific production staged inside the historic Commanding Officers House on Governors Island (a short ferry ride from Brooklyn). The Plantation re-imagines Chekhov’s classic in order to explore the tectonic shifts in the social status of Black and White Americans directly after the Civil War, seeking to explore the root causes of some of America’s most pressing social issues with both humor and heart.

 

The Immortals

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers directed by Rebecca Martinez  Picasso's Masterpiece from The Immortals

Matisse’s Self Portrait directed by Jackie Alexander

Picasso’s Masterpiece directed by Claire Beckman

Glasshouse Art/Life/Lab, Williamsburg

A World Premiere

Charles L. Mee “re-makes” history with his unique style of collage-writing by using existing letters and writings of Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso and their contemporaries in this trilogy about the lives of artists.

 

Brave New WorksIMG_3308
Four readings of new plays by Brooklyn playwrights.
Readings took place at Art/NY’s South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

In Loco Parentis
by Adam Kraardirected

Directed by Shannon Sindelar

The Romantics
by Rehana Lew Mirza
directed by Cynthia Babak

Games for an Empty Cul-de-sac
by Brian Watkins
directed by Danya Taymor

Weren’t You in My Science Class?
by Trish Harnetiaux
directed by Katherine Brook

 

2015

NwDk3Jpzf77i-sBVSDXYQd4gD8HflJuIYq6v4c3D3qVUew Works
Four readings of new plays by Brooklyn playwrights.
Readings took place at Diana’s Event Space in Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.

I Will Buy Everything
by Ariel Stess
directed by Shannon Sindelar

Exacto Knife
by Julia May Jonas
directed by Leonie Ettinger

Picasso’s Masterpiece
by Charles L. Mee
directed by Claire Beckman

The Crying Lettuce
by Alexandra Collier
directed by Meghan Finn

 


Major BarbaraMB_Ian Whitt_ Grace Rao_Photo by Joseph Henry Ritter

by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Shannon Sindelar
First Unitarian Congregational Society, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

One hundred years after its premiere on Broadway, Major Barbara’s examination of war funding and the nature of power stood the test of time. In this comedy, George Bernard Shaw pits Salvation Army officer Barbara against her armaments manufacturer father, and questions how human dignity and even faith can be bought.

The McKinney Chapel at Brooklyn’s First Unitarian provided an environment that amplified the themes of the play. With alley seating and minimal props, the clash between the respective viewpoints of father and daughter on war and morality and the notion of true salvation created an explosive environment; through this stripped-down, hyper-clarified approach, BNW presented a world that was dynamic, lean and agile.

 

The Miser

Miser_1by Molière
Directed by Alice Reagan
The Grand Prospect Hall, South Park Slope, Brooklyn

The Miser is Molière’s darkest comedy: a grim fable for our times containing some of the most absurd and delightful classical, comedic dialogue ever written. The play is a harsh indictment wrapped in pastel-colored candy coating. Written in 1668 at the beginning of the market economy, The Miser sits almost too easily in 2014, when movements the world over are forecasting capitalism’s collapse. Under the direction of Alice Reagan, BNW’s production invited audiences into the opulent and overwhelming Grand Prospect Hall in South Park Slope for a truly unique evening.

 

2014


Pink Melon Joy14393978960_08217f79c6_k

by Gertrude Stein
Directed by Katherine Brook
Cloud City, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
New York premiere

This early Gertrude Stein play is a thrilling example of Stein’s “theater of landscape.” Director Katherine Brook’s production took a strong point of view on Stein’s abstract, fragmented text, interpreting its domestic-centered language as a fanatical pursuit of sweetness amid horror and violence.

 

NUN$

IMG_0290
by RN Healey
Directed by Shannon Sindelar
The Brick Theater, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
World premiere

Healey’s work explored the price of an idyllic life at a rural convent and the extreme measures some must take to maintain a self-imposed standard of normalcy. 

 

 

NNew Works Honey Dropew Works
Four environmentally-specific, staged readings around Brooklyn. The 2013-14 season included:

Captain Mike
by Gary Winter
directed by Kristen Seemel
The Waterfront Museum, Red Hook

#therevolution
by Kristoffer Diaz
directed by Liesl Tommy
61 Local, Cobble Hill

Tipoldemoder
by Mark Sitko
directed by Knud Adams
The Bushwick Starr, Bushwick

Honey Drop
by Erin Courtney
directed by Lisa Peterson
Ditmas Park residence

 

2013

Street Scene
by Elmer RiceStreet Scene
Directed by Claire Beckman
5th St between 8th Ave and Prospect Park West, Park Slope, Brooklyn

Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Street Scene received an environmental staging using a Park Slope apartment building. Brave New World Rep brought the period piece out of the proscenium box, and into our contemporary world.

The play takes place entirely on the front stoop of a New York City apartment building and examines the complex daily lives of its lower income inhabitants (and those of the surrounding neighborhood). Rice captures an evening and a morning in the life of a New York City “village” rife with domestic quarrels, racial and ethnic tensions and economic anxiety.

 

Moby Dick–Rehearsed
Moby Dick Rehearsedby Orson Welles
Directed by John Morgan and Alec Harrington
The Waterfront Museum, Red Hook, Brooklyn

Orson Welles, famous for his movie Citizen Kane and infamous for creating a nationwide panic with his adaptation of War of the Worlds, turned his hand to another adaptation in 1955: Moby Dick. Welles strips Melville’s sprawling masterpiece to its bones, turning it into a play within a play. In the afternoon before an evening performance of King Lear, a Shakespearean theatre company delves into the text of Moby Dick. Brave New World Repertory staged this highly physical ensemble piece at the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, constructing Melville’s world on the bare stage of the barge. The cast repurposed the museum’s nautical artifacts to transform the Lehigh Valley Barge # 79 into the docks of Nantucket, the deck of Captain Ahab’s ship, and the wild and wasteful ocean.

 

 

 

2012

 

The Long Christmas Dinnerphoto
by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Claire Beckman
Home of Lindsay-Abaires (Ditmas Park) and
Akwaaba Mansion (Bed-Stuy)

This timeless 45-minute one act spans 90 years of Christmas Dinners with The Bayard Family. Performed twice, back to back by an African American and a Caucasian cast, Brave New World set the performances at the home of Chris and David Lindsay-Abaire in Ditmas Park and the Akwaaba Mansion in Bed-Stuy.

 

BNWRep Spring Residency
The Brooklyn Lyceum, Park Slope

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Terrace)
by William Shakespeare
Directed by John Morgan

A Brooklyn spin on the original working class situation comedy with Brooklynese accents,  mobsters, scheming wives and foolish husbands.

 

Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine
by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Cynthia Babak

A comeuppance tale about an African American nouveau riche publicist whose husband absconds with all her money, forcing her to crawl back to her humble Brooklyn roots and rediscover herself.

 

Sunday Tea Reading Series
Sunday afternoons during the Brooklyn Lyceum Residency, BNW actors and directors presented staged readings of: The Marquise by Noël Coward; The Learned Ladies by Moliere; Street Scene by Elmer Rice; A Kind (of) Mother by Lizzie Olesker; Waiting For Lefty by Clifford Odets; Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov.

 

2011

The Long Christmas DinnerCastA hate this town
by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Claire Beckman
The Old Stone House, Park Slope

This timeless 45-minute one act spans 90 years of Christmas Dinners with The Bayard Family. Performed four times back to back by an African American and a Caucasian cast, Brave New World initiated their inaugural holiday event at The Old Stone House of Brooklyn. The company served a Christmas meal to the audience before each performance.

 

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Terrace)SONY DSC

By William Shakespeare
Directed by John Morgan
Our Lady’s (Little League) Field of Holy Name Church, Windsor Terrace

A Brooklyn spin on the original working class situation comedy with Brooklynese accents, mobsters, scheming wives and foolish husbands. Performed in Our Lady’s (Little League) Field of Holy Name Church On Windsor Place.

 

The American ClockAm clock
by Arthur Miller
Directed by Cynthia Babak
The Brooklyn Lyceum, Park Slope

Miller’s semi-autobiographical play about life during the Great Depression illustrates the collapse of the banking system, unemployment, corporate takeovers and hopes pinned on a new President. The American Clock was presented as part of a space grant at the Brooklyn Lyceum.

 

2010

The Halloween PlaysSalsa
Three World Premiere Plays in Collaboration with Company XIV
Company XIV’s Theatre, Gowanus

Dénouement—A Murderous Masquerade, a Neo-Baroque murder mystery choreographed and directed by Austin McCormick, Company XIV founder
Too Much Candy, a spooky fairy tale confection spiked with a twist of Freud. By Cynthia Babak; Directed by Nell Balaban
Salsa, a psycho noir comedy about spicy hot sauce. By Greg Kotis; Directed by Chip Brookes

“…a stellar example of the artistic depths that can result from smart companies pooling their resources.”-offoffonline.com

 

Free Shakespeare in Prospect Park

As You Like ItAYLIlargeimage
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Claire Beckman
The Oriental Pavilion, Prospect Park

Shakespeare’s pastoral, feminist comedy performed in-the-round at the Oriental Pavillion with live cello and guitar.

 

The CrucibleAbbytrialsmall
by Arthur Miller
Directed by Claire Beckman
The Old Stone House, Park Slope

Ten intimate lantern-lit performances staged in The Old Stone House, first constructed in 1699 (seven years after the Salem hangings). The company used the first floor of this unique Brooklyn location for the Parris and Proctor homes and the second floor for the dramatic trial and jail scenes. The play opened with Tituba and the adolescent girls of the village seen through the colonial windows dancing around a fire and pot of soup. New York Magazine Critic’s Pick.

 

2009

Tric_Steph_Cal mural2

The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Claire Beckman
Beach and Boardwalk, Coney Island

Afternoon performances of The Tempest were offered free to the public in the open air of the legendary Boardwalk and beach at Coney Island. Performed on the sand and a tiered platform in the center of an audience seated in 1,500 folding chairs along a 235-foot stretch of Boardwalk near the NY Aquarium. This production was awarded a “proclamation” by Borough President Marty Markowitz.

 

FREE Summer Garden Readingsmow[8]
The Member of the Wedding
by Carson McCullers
Directed by Claire Beckman
Community and Private gardens throughout Brooklyn

A classic coming of age story that centers around the special relationship between an African American nanny and the adolescent girl she mothered. A nod to BNW’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird, Frankie was played by Taylor Morgan, who played Scout in 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008

Fahrenheit 451F451
by Ray Bradbury
Directed by Royston Coppenger
Prospect Park Bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn!

On the eve of The Kindle this multi-media production of Bradbury’s classic dystopian society  where firemen burn books, included projection and video design and was performed for an audience of 1500; Sponsored and co-produced by BRIC/Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell.

 

2007Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
by Walt Whitman
Conceived, Adapted and Directed by Claire Beckman
Prospect Park Bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn!

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass inspired this multi-media production with dance and live music. Recipient of a 2007 BRIClab Residency.

 

 

2006

The Great White Hope
by Howard Sackler
Directed by Royston Coppenger
Prospect Park Bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn!

The epic story of Jack Johnson, the early 20th century boxing champion here called Jack Jefferson, included 65 characters played by 21 actors; the production featured video projections of images from Johnson’s  life and career, both torn apart by racism, segregation and the prejudice that created a demand for a “great white hope” to defeat him.

 

2005

To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Conceived and Directed by Claire Beckman
Porches and Sidewalks of Westminster Road, Ditmas Park

Arguably BNW’s seminal production, this free-to-the-public, site-specific event had amplified sound and lighting was attended by over 2,000 people. The action took place on the porches and sidewalks of six Victorian homes in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. 750 people were seated in folding chairs in the wide street and the rest stood. The community participated by playing small roles or volunteering. The production received a “citation” by Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“In a quarter-century of theater-going in New York, never have I seen an audience as integrated as the one that took their folding seats on Sunday: black and white, old and very young, with a healthy sprinkling of neighborhood teenagers. Rarely have I seen one so rapt or appreciative. That the show was free enhanced the magic; this was street theater, people’s theater, of the highest order…” Jeff Coplon, critic.

 

2004

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Royston Coppenger
MADARTS Studio, South Park Slope

BNW’s first full production had five performances and took place in an Art Gallery which was reconfigured into a theatre space.

 

2004-2009

BNW Play Reading Salon Serieson the waterfront

These popular readings began in living rooms all over Brooklyn and featured complimentary dinner and wine. The venues soon grew in size to accommodate demand and included intimate public spaces like The Old Stone House (The Crucible, Our Town, Three Sisters, An Ideal Husband, Much Ado About Nothing), The Waterfront Museum (On The Waterfront, The School for Wives), BRICStudio (Wild Oats, The Perfect Wedding), Akwaaba Mansion (The Great White Hope and Fabulation), Irondale Center (The Children’s Hour) and Issue Project Room (Waiting for Godot, No Exit). Among more than 50 readings in Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, Ditmas Park, Park Slope, Sunset Park and Fort Greene. Many went on to be full productions.

 

2003

BNW Shakes Pier in Brooklyn
selections from Shakespeare and Stoppard
Performed and Directed by the Founding Company Members

BNW’s inaugural showcase featured scenes from Shakespeare, Stoppard and a 1950’s radio sketch “A Shakespearean Baseball Game.” It ran over 3 weekends and was the featured entertainment for the BWAC fall art show.