December 8, 2017 - New York, NY

NYU Skirball 2018 Winter/Spring Season

Showcasing Provocative Ideas in The Heart of Greenwich Village

Highlights include:


  • RIOT, a raucous cocktail of theater, spoken word, comedy, circus and dance, from Ireland’s outrageous THISISPOPBABY and features Panti Bliss, Ireland’s most famous Drag Queen
  • Teatro La Re-sentida from Chile makes its American debut with The Dictatorship of Coolness, a blistering and hysterical attack on political hypocrisy
  • Berlin’s outrageous Gob Squad collective’s War and Peace invites audiences into an immersive video/theater salon, mixing current politics and social attitudes with those of Tolstoy’s masterpiece in a U.S. premiere
  • MAI (Movement Art Is) features Lil Buck and Jon Boogz in the N.Y. premiere of Love Heals All Wounds
  • The American premiere of Until Our Hearts Stop, choreographed by Meg Stuart, features musicians and dancers in a nightclub setting
  • David Lang’s ICE: the whisper opera invites audiences to explore the sounds of silence
  • French choreographer Jérôme Bel invites everyday New Yorkers to discover their inner dancer in Gala
  • Co-presentations with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival include the N.Y. premiere of Thunderstorm 2.0, directed by the internationally acclaimed Wang Chong; and the U.S. premiere of Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s theater/dance piece, Pursuit of Happiness
  • 4 Dance Festival features four companies from Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia


NYU Skirball’s 2018 Winter/Spring season will feature works by some of the world’s leading provocateurs, artists and activists, performing unconventional and often controversial works, showcasing diverse and cutting-edge international talent from Slovakia, Brussels, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, the U.K. and the United States.

Presentations are enhanced by free pre-and post-show discussions and special events, drawing on the expertise of NYU’s renowned faculty and educational resources. The events are designed to provide context and allow audiences to interact with the artists, reflecting NYU’s commitment to education in, and through, the performing arts.

NYU Skirball 2018 Winter/Spring Season


THUNDERSTORM 2.0     N.Y. Premiere                

January 6 at 7:30 pm; January 7 at 4 pm

Cao Yu’s early 20th-century drama, Thunderstorm, regarded as a masterpiece in Chinese theater, is dismantled and reassembled in this new interpretation helmed by internationally acclaimed director Wang Chong. Using real-time video editing and sound mixing from action occurring on stage, a hypnotic, near-silent movie unfolds to tell the explicit story of two women discovering that they have been cheated on by the same womanizing playboy. Performed in Chinese with English subtitles.

Updating the story to a Beijing official’s home in the 1990s, Chong and Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, his company of Beijing performers, reinvent the classic play to reflect the complexities of contemporary capitalist-communist society, the ubiquity of technology and the sex-obsessed global landscape. Chong incorporates live pingtan players, a centuries-old form of traditional Chinese musical storytelling, to create the dialogue and soundtrack onstage.

Co-presented with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival

Tickets start at $25


PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS     U.S.  Premiere                    

January 12 & 13 at 7:30 pm; January 14 at 2 pm

OBIE-Award winning, New York-based performance group Nature Theater of Oklahoma takes on the American Dream and the bleak desert of its aspirational aftermath. Created in collaboration with six dancers of the highly acclaimed Slovenian dance company EnKnapGroup, Pursuit of Happiness charges through a rough-and- tumble, endlessly morphing myth of the Wild West, where whiskey pours, fists fly, and bullets ultimately settle the score.

Co-presented with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival

Tickets start at $25


ICE: the whisper opera

January 24 – February 4*

 the whisper opera, with words and music by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang and direction and design by Jim Findlay, is performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with the musicians, singer, and audience enclosed in an intimate onstage set, and is performed almost entirely in whispers. Lang explores the question: “what if a piece were so quiet and so personal to the performers that you needed to be right next them or you would hear almost nothing. The only way this piece can be received is if you are there, in person, listening very closely.”

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. The group currently serves as artists in residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

*Schedule: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 3 pm

Tickets start at $75



February 10 at 7:30 pm 

Rivers of Sound is a 17-piece musical ensemble led by composer, trumpeter, santur player and vocalist, Amir ElSaffar. In performing Not Two, an original composition by ElSaffar, each musician interacts with the group through both improvised and composed material to create a novel composite sound. An expert in Jazz and Iraqi maqam, ElSaffar is a master of diverse musical traditions and a singular approach to combining Middle Eastern musical languages with jazz and other styles of contemporary music. His music is both timely and urgent.

Tickets start at $40


THISISPOPBABY: RIOT       Premiere                                           

February 15 – 17 at 7:30 pm

 RIOT, the award-winning Irish theatrical extravaganza that mixes high art and trash culture, is a blend of cabaret, dance, circus, comedy and powerful spoken word. RIOT, featuring Panti Bliss, Ireland’s Queen of Drag, is both party and politic, a love letter of hope to the future, a divine celebration – and a blunt criticism – of the world today.

THISISPOPBABY, self-described “theatre makers, club creatives and good time gurls [sic],” lands somewhere between pop culture, counter culture, queer culture and high art.  Founded in 2007, the Dublin-based company has played to sell-out crowds and critical acclaim throughout Ireland and around the world, and created Ireland’s Queer Notions Arts Festival. Its productions have played to over 100,000 people around Ireland, the UK, Australia and beyond, winning five major theater awards, including Best Production at the 2016 Dublin Fringe Festival, and nominations for 14 more.

RIOT is co-presented with Irish Arts Center

Tickets start at $40



March 1 & 2 at 7:30 pm; March 3 at 3 pm

Featuring amateurs, professionals and everything in between, the 20 dancers of Gala will be cast in NYC from all walks of life. Through their movement, the gentle humanity of each performer lights up this inspired production. Breaking the sanctity of the stage, this is a jumble of joys, failures, and stumbling insights into the uniting power of dance.

Jérôme Bel, the “mischievously entertaining” (The Guardian) Paris-based choreographer, explores the relationship between choreography and popular culture, dancer and audience, often using humor to break the formality of a theater apparatus. Bel’s work has often been referred to as conceptual. He questions both art and contemporary dance by deconstructing modes of presentation and the notion of authorship while problematizing the historical prominence of technical virtuosity in dance.

Gala is part of the third annual Tilt Kids Festival, a cultural event for families presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).

Tickets start at $40


GOB SQUAD: WAR AND PEACE     U.S. Premiere                         

March 29 – 31 at 7:30 pm

Gob Squad, Berlin’s outlandish theater renegades, set their sights on Tolstoy’s opus War and Peace, only to discover that neither war nor peace are coming without a fight. The setting is a literary salon, where audience members join the cast in a live theater/video performance in which art and daily life, history and the present, reality and fiction blur. In this U.S. premiere, a never-ending parade of characters dance, dine and duel while performers prepare for scenes as if going into battle, all in order to reframe Tolstoy’s central inquiry: Can we live a moral life in an imperfect world?

Gob Squad, Berlin’s notorious and challenging arts collective, make live video performances that unsettle the lines between the prepared and the improvised, performer and bystander, fiction and life. Gob Squad has been devising, directing and performing together since 1994, motivated by a desire to elevate the everyday and empower audience members to step beyond their traditional role as passive spectators.

Tickets start at $35


TEATRO LA RE-SENTIDA: THE DICTATORSHIP OF COOLNESS     U.S. Premiere                         

April 5 – 7 at 7:30 pm

The Dictatorship of Coolness, and American premiere performed in Spanish with supertitles, is a raucous social satire reflecting on art, culture and contemporary lifestyles, inspired by Moliere´s The Misanthrope. The show is set on the 1st of May, as Santiago’s cultural and artistically elite gather to celebrate the new Minister of Culture. As the streets pulse with ambiance of protest, the Minister realizes the hypocrisy and inefficiency of bourgeois culture and renounces capitalism and greed, turning the celebration into a nightmare.

La Re-sentida (The Resentful), making its U.S. debut, is a collective of young activists and artists from the Chilean national theatrical scene who regard theater as a critical instrument with major political responsibility. Their work embodies the pulses, visions and ideas of their generation and assumes as duty, audacity, the desecration of taboos and reflection generated from provocation. Their works give theatrical creation great political responsibility, understanding it as an instrument of critique, reflection and construction. Their works have been performed in more than 17 countries.

Tickets start at $35


MAI: LIL BUCK AND JON BOOGZ: LOVE HEALS ALL WOUNDS      N.Y. Premiere                       

April 14 at 3 pm & 7:30 pm

Love Heals All Wounds, an evening-length work by MAI (Movement Art Is), addresses social issues such as police brutality and violence in America while seeking to promote diversity, inclusion, and empathy as a uniting force. MAI (Movement Art Is), co-founded by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, uses movement artistry to inspire and change the world while elevating the artistic educational and social impact of dance. Through movement art films, workshops, performances and exhibitions, MAI is resetting the spectrum that defines dance.,

Jon Boogz is a movement artist, choreographer and director who seeks to push the evolution of what dance can be – sharing with audiences of all backgrounds an appreciation of the melding of art forms while inspiring and bringing awareness to social issues. He co-starred in the viral short film Color of Reality, which continues to screen at film festivals worldwide and has won numerous awards.

LIL BUCK is an international phenomenon. He began jookin’ – a street dance that originated in Memphis – at age 13 and went on to train in hip-hop and ballet. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” his collaboration with Spike Jonze and Yo-Yo Ma performing The Swan went viral in 2011. Since then he has collaborated with a broad spectrum of artists across the world, and is an avid arts education advocate and recipient of the WSJ Innovator Award.

Tickets start at $40


V.4 DANCE FESTIVAL     U.S. Premieres                        

April 19 & 20 at 7:30 pm

The V.4 Dance Festival brings together some of the boldest dance-makers from The Visegrád Group (V4), the cultural and political alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, for this rare two-day festival of Central European contemporary dance.

The Festival offers a satisfying and intimate sampling of the fantastical and the hypnotic, the tongue-in- cheek and the playful humdrum of everyday. Featuring performances by Debris Company with choreography by Stanislava Vl?eková (Slovakia), V?ra Ondrašíková (Czech Republic), Pawe? Sakowicz (Poland), and Timothy and the Things with choreography by László Fülõp (Hungary). Curated by Laurie Uprichard.

Tickets start at $20

MEG STUART/DAMAGED GOODS: UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP     U.S Premiere                         

May 4 & 5 at 7:30 pm

In Until Our Hearts Stop, six performers and three musicians find themselves in a place that is both a nightclub and an arena: an unreliable, high-octane refuge, a place of desire and illusion, experiencing extreme intimacy at each other’s hands. To the sound of throbbing basses, piano and drums – a mix between improvisation and composition – they connect and explore each other, drawing the audience into their immersive world.

Meg Stuart is a New Orleans-born choreographer and dancer living and working in Berlin and Brussels. Stuart moved to New York in 1983 and was actively involved in the downtown New York dance scene. Together with her company, Damaged Goods, she has created over 30 stage works, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, site- specific creations and improvisation projects. Stuart strives to develop a new language for every piece in collaboration with artists from different creative disciplines and navigates the tension between dance and theater. Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with Kaaitheater (Brussels) and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).

Tickets start at $40




Serious Fun invites children, families, students and teachers to experience the wonder and excitement of live performance, with age-appropriate pre-and-post show activities, including creative workshops and talkbacks. Upcoming Serious Fun productions include Gala on March 3 and MAI: Love Heals All Wounds on April 14).



National Theatre Live returns to NYU Skirball with screenings of acclaimed broadcasts. Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 5 million people at 2000 venues in 50 countries.

March 4:          Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Benedict Andrews, starring Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell

March 25:        Julius Caesar, directed by Nicolas Hytner, starring David Calder and Ben Whislaw

Tickets: $25


Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 212.998.4941, or in person at the NYU Skirball Box Office, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M.


Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St.; R & W to 8th Street; 6 to Astor Place.


NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 860-seat state-of-the art theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.

NYU Skirball’s unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists.

Jay Wegman is responsible for the direction and leadership of the Center’s artistic programming. He previously served as director of the Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement from 2006-2016, where he curated a balance of local, international, emerging and established multi-disciplinary artists. During his tenure, Abrons was awarded a 2014 OBIE Award for Innovative Excellence and a 2015Bessie Award for Best Production. He also served as Canon for Liturgy and the Arts at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine for over a decade and was a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from 2004-2005. Jay is a graduate of Yale University.

Designed by architect Kevin Roche with excellent sight lines and acoustics, NYU Skirball features state-of-the-art technology and broadcast capabilities, making it a sought-after venue for film and television screenings and premieres, theatrical events, live radio, and podcast presentations.

 Programs, artists and ticket prices are subject to change.


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