July 22, 2015 - New York, NY

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Beth Morrison Projects and HERE’s Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now present the New York Premiere of Dog Days Composed by David T. Little Libretto by Royce Vavrek January 9 - 11, 2016

Based on the Short Story “Dog Days” by Judy Budnitz


World Premiere Cast and NEWSPEAK Chamber Ensemble

The New York premiere of Dog Days, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s highly-acclaimed opera, will have its New York premiere from January 9 – 11, 2016 at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, directed by Robert Woodruff with music direction by Alan Pierson. Dog Days will be co-presented by NYU Skirball Center, Beth Morrison Projects and HERE’s Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now.

Dog Days incorporates elements of opera, musical theater, and rock-infused-concert music to investigate the psychology of a working class American family against a not-so distant-future wartime scenario. This black comedy asks: is it madness, delusion, or sheer animal instinct that guides us through severely trying times? Where lies the line between animal and human, and at what point must we give into our animal instincts to survive?

Dog Days will feature the world premiere cast: John Kelly, Lauren Worsham, James Bobick, Marnie Breckenridge, Michael Marcotte and Peter Tantsits, accompanied by David T. Little’s chamber ensemble NEWSPEAK with with special guests.

Dog Days is the story of a country fallen into chaos as an undefined war rages on U.S. soil. Roads are closed except for military use, there is no work, no power, schools close and food runs out. A family of five—parents, two sons and a young daughter – do what they can to survive. The father goes hunting every day, but all the animals have fled. A man in a dog suit arrives and befriends the young girl, becoming her pet and only friend. As conditions worsen and starvation sets in, the family struggles with unsettling questions about the nature of humanity.

David T. Little (composer)’s operas include Soldier Songs and Dog Days, both presented as part of the Prototype Festival. Recent/upcoming works include Agency, Charm, Hellhound, Haunt of Last Nightfall, JFK with Royce Vavrek, and the music theater work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman. His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, the Park Avenue Armory, the Bang on a Can Marathon and major concert halls across the country. Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, has served as Executive Director of MATA, is currently Director of Composition at Shenandoah Conservatory, is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, and is developing new work through the Met/Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam and Innova labels. He is published by Boosey & Hawkes. http://www.davidtlittle.com

Royce Vavrek (librettist) is an Alberta-born, Brooklyn-based librettist. He has collaborated with David T. Little on Dog Days; Am I Born; Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera; archaeology; Last Nightfall and JFK. He has collaborated Ricky Ian Gordon on 27; with composer Missy Mazzoli on Song from the Uproar and Breaking the Waves; and with Paola Prestini on The Hubble Cantata. Other recent and upcoming projects include Strip Mall with Matt Marks, Stoned Prince with Hannah Lash, Midwestern Gothic with Josh Schmidt, O Columbia with Gregory Spears, Knoxville: Summer of 2015 with Ellen Reid and The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters. Royce is co-artistic director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with Lauren Worsham. http://davidtlittle.com

The world premiere production of Dog Days was originally produced by Peak Performances at Montclair State (NJ) in association with Beth Morrison Projects. Tour produced by Beth Morrison Projects. Dog Days was commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State (NJ).

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by Executive Director Michael Harrington, the NYU Skirball mission is to showcase and support diverse and eclectic talent from around the world, while cultivating audiences for live performance through deeper engagement opportunities. For more information visit: www.nyuskirball.org.

 Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now Festival runs January 6-17, 2016 and features acclaimed opera and artists, presenting new works by Du Yun and Royce Vavrek, Heidi Rodewald and Donna Di Novelli, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh, Jorge Sosa and Laura Sosa Pedroza, Dez Mona and B.O.X., and Bombay Rickey, presented at HERE and partner presenting venues 3LD Center for Art & Technology, French Institute/Alliance Française, National Sawdust, NYU’s Skirball Center, and St. Ann’s Warehouse. http://bethmorrisonprojects.org; http://www.here.org

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now is an annual festival of visionary opera-theatre and music-theatre works by pioneering contemporary artists from New York City and around the world, founded in 2014 and directed and curated by Kristin Marting (of HERE), Beth Morrison (of BMP), and Kim Whitener (of HERE). Prototype has produced and presented 91 performances, shared the work of more than 275 local, national, and international artists, exposed visionary work to more than 9,000 people, and filled 19 stages across multiple boroughs of New York City. It has unleashed a powerful wave of opera-theatre and music theater from a new generation of classical and post-classical composers and librettists. http://prototyefestival.org


Dog Days will run for three performances, from January 9 – 11, 2016 at 8 pm at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012. Tickets for Dog Days are $20 – $75 and are currently available to Skirball and Prototype Members only. Tickets will be available to the general public on September 7. Ticket can be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org or in person at NYU Skirball Center Box Office: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M.