The following is a republished press release from the Cherry Arts and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at email@example.com.
The season reflects The Cherry Arts’ commitment to work that is “radially local, radically international, and seriously fresh.” Beginning in September with Storm Country, an inventive “headphone play” that guides audiences through an immersive experience of the true and fictional histories of Ithaca’s West End, the season goes on to feature What Happens Next, a newly commissioned multimedia play from internationally-produced Cherry playwright Saviana Stanescu, as well as Winter Animals / Nothing to Do with Love, the English-language première of two beautiful one-act works by Argentine writer Santiago Loza. In December, the season features a brand-new adaptation of The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen’s strange and beautiful fairy tale, in a collaboration between The Cherry and Ithaca puppetry company PuppHitz.
Storm Country embraces both The Cherry’s “radically local” and “formally innovative” mandates. Inspired by the Ithaca-based 1909 novel (and subsequent silent films) Tess Of The Storm Country, Ithaca writers Nick Salvato and Aoise Stratford have crafted a “headphone play” that immerses audiences in a soundscape of voices, music, and environments as they crisscross Ithaca’s storied West End.
Engaging a newly emerging theatrical form, Storm Country guides each listener on an individual journey that layers true and fictional tales onto the buildings and places we see every day, revealing secrets just beneath the surface. Audiences will never look at the streets of Ithaca in quite the same way again.
The Snow Queen is a weird and wondrous vision of puppetry, projections and song based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Adapted and directed by Cherry Artistic Director Samuel Buggeln and puppeteer Scott Hitz of PuppHitz, The Snow Queen will be a fascinating voyage for adults and younger people alike.
Andersen’s dreamlike and imagistic tale tells the story of Greta, a young girl on a mission to rescue her best friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen, encountering along the way a chatty raven, a feisty robber girl, a friendly reindeer, and a host of other curious characters.
In January, The Cherry returns to one of its core missions: new theater writing from around the world. Following up on the success of its held-over production of the innovative Iranian play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, The Cherry is thrilled to present two one-act plays by acclaimed Argentine playwright and filmmaker Santiago Loza. Loza’s works for theater have toured widely in Europe and Latin America and his films have screened at festivals around the world, including Cannes (where his film Los Labios won the Un Certain Regard prize.)
The Cherry is proud to be the first company to produce Santiago Loza’s work in English. In Winter Animals, an aging rural ranch hand makes a trip to the tiny Buenos Aires apartment of his bookish son and finds a truly unexpected roommate; in Nothing to Do with Love, a small-town dressmaker recalls her greatest artistic triumph from a startling perspective. Loza is a master of lyrical and mysterious storytelling, and we are very pleased to introduce his theatrical voice to the English-speaking world.
Finally, The Cherry presents What Happens Next, a newly-commissioned play with video from internationally-produced Romanian-Ithacan playwright Saviana Stanescu. Developed in August 2016 at a Cherry intensive writing retreat, What Happens Next tells the enigmatic story of two sisters — or are they sisters? or are they both even people? — investigating their relationship and history in a high-tech room that seems to continually transform.
As thought-provoking as it is ultimately moving, What Happens Next explores our fast-evolving relationship to technology as deeply as it explores the bonds that eternally link us— for better and worse— to the people we love.
Additional Cherry events will be featured in 2017, including collaborations with local musicians, art-as-activism programming, and presentations of performance artists from around the country.
The Cherry Arts is committed to the idea that world-class professional theater can also be accessible theater. All tickets to Cherry events are available at self-determined pricing, starting at $5.
In 2015-16, The Cherry’s “season zero,” Cherry productions were called, “Satisfyingly surreal… fascinating [,] loopy [, and] moving” (Village Voice); “smart, innovative, and delightfully snarky” (Huffington Post); and “beautifully staged” by The Ithaca Journal, which added, “The thrill of productions by The Cherry Arts, Ithaca’s newest performance organization, is that you never know exactly what to expect.”
The Cherry Arts is in the process of creating The Cherry Artspace, a waterfront arts venue at 102 Cherry Street on the Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca, NY. The Artspace will be a flexible, multidisciplinary home for locavore talent, hosting locally-grown theater, music, burlesque, opera, plastic arts, and more. Located across the street from Ports of New York winery, the building is projected to be completed by the end of the year. For more information visit TheCherry.org.
The Cherry Arts, Inc. is a not-for-profit theater company devoted to creating theater that is radically local, radically international, and/or formally innovative. The company creates works over long periods of time, developed by an ensemble of professional theater artists who are based in Ithaca.
(Featured courtesy of The Cherry. Pictured (L-R) are: Theo Wolf (Managing & Artistic Associate), Jennifer Herzog (Associate Artistic Director) and Samuel Buggeln (Artistic Director) of The Cherry.)