Universes



Universes is an ensemble of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse poetry, theater, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues and Spanish boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand of performance, inviting old and new generations of theater-makers as well as theater-goers and new comers to reshape the face of American theater.
 

UNIVERSES: Live From the Edge

Universes’ presents Live From the Edge, an evening that showcases the ensemble’s special brand of fusion theater in a "best of" evening that tracks the evolution of their poetic language from childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theater, hip-hop and gospel. Redefining what theater is and who it speaks to, Live From the Edge is a unique performance event that turns the poem into a communal act.


SLANGUAGE
Developed and Directed by Jo Bonney

The boundary-smashing Slanguage, Universes’ tour-de-force full evening work, brings together the unique mix of language and culture that is life on the American streets. Built loosely around the structure of a subway ride from Brooklyn to the Bronx, Slanguage synthesizes traditional theater with poetry, storytelling, rap, gospel, jazz riffs, bluesy laments, Spanish boleros, and other poetic forms, to paint a rich portrait of the sights and sounds of New York City. Through Slanguage, Universes integrates theatre and street humor with emotional truth, amplifying the issues of poverty, family, drugs, racism, and street violence, yet finding hope in the contemporary urban landscape.
 

BLUE SUITE
Directed and Developed by Chay Yew

Blue Suite is an affecting portrait of artists and the vibrant culture, traditions, and personal experience they bring to their work. When Junior, a hard-luck horn player prepares to play his instrument, his Duende appears and suddenly his life unfolds in a series of provocative vignettes told through a stirring mix of jazz, flamenco, blues and poetry. Led by his “Duende”, Junior is forced to confront his own mystery. Here, they battle to the death as Jazz idly argues its own existence. Utilizing Lorca’s Flamenco Duende and summoning Miles Davis’ “Sketches of Spain”, Blue Suite takes us on an internal journey, where art lays at the balance as passion fades.
 

AMERIVILLE
Premiering Spring 2009

Universes is looking at Ameriville as a piece using Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans as a lens to further scrutinize and explore the state of the union in its attitudes about race, poverty, politics, history and government. Ameriville is about America, and Universes has moved their neighborhood to put this country under the microscope. This is not a documentary piece though it will have some documentary perspectives. Universes will employ poetry, music, movement and drama to get to the heart of this tragedy.

 
Courtesy of the Artist

photo by:
Courtesy of the Artist
Ameriville

Heather N. Hershey

photo by:
Heather N. Hershey
Universes

Craig Schwartz

photo by:
Craig Schwartz
Universes