"Spilling over with original thoughts...Smart, silly, joltingly insightful..." Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Mike Iveson makes his debut as a playwright with SORRY ROBOT, a satirical, sentimental, song-studded spaz opera. Four performers and a piano create a haunting world where robots long to feel the same things that their embarrassing and sort-of-pathetic human masters feel, at a hotel that doubles as a software development facility in the dystopian state of Florida in the near future.
Beloved downtown performer, and recipient of Performance Space 122's 2013 Ethyl Eichelberger Award, Mike Iveson leads the charge with nine original perverse pop songs which provide a window into the hidden hankerings of robots and humans alike -and which just may convert every human in the room into a metallic automaton.
No robots were harmed in the making of this piece.
Writer and Composer: Mike Iveson
Director: Will Davis
Set & Costume Design: Parker Lutz
Lighting Design: Lucrecia Briceno
Producer: Ariana Smart Truman
Stage Manager: Maurina Lioce
Movement Consultant: Greg Zuccolo
Master Electrician: Darielle Shandler
Sound Engineer: Alex Dietz-Katz
Production Interns: Giovanna Almeida, Sonia Bloom, Laura Cornachio, Sami Mericle
Assistant to the Producer: Marisa Blankier
Featuring Performances by Anthony R. Brown, Mike Iveson Jr., Nicky Paraiso and Tanya Selvaratnam,
Sorry Robot was commissioned by PS122, the Jerome Foundation and the Ethyl Eichelberger Award with funding generously provided by the Gesso Foundation. Sorry Robot was developed, in part, with assistance from The Orchard Project, a program of The Exchange (www.exchangenyc.org), and made possible with the support of Collapsable Giraffe.
About the Ethyl Eichelberger Award
Since 1995, PS122 has given this commissioning award annually to an artist or group that exemplifies Eichelberger’s larger-than-life style and generosity of spirit; that embodies his multi-talented artistic virtuosity, bridging worlds and inspiring those around them. Each winner receives an initial $5,000 commission to create a new work along with full production support when the work premieres. Previous winners of the award include Justin Vivian Bond, Julie Atlas Muz, Peggy Shaw, among many others. The Ethyl Eichelberger award is made possible by the generosity of the Gesso Foundation.
About New Ohio Theatre
New Ohio Theatre is a two-time OBIE Award-winning performance venue that serves the vast independent theatre community of New York and the adventurous audiences who love them. As a small, downtown, artist-run organization with a twenty-plus year history as a beacon for bold and inventive work, we know the challenges and rewards of producing and presenting alternative, groundbreaking theatre. In any given year, there are over 500 independent theatre companies working for opportunities to develop and present new work. We believe the best of this community operates at the core of the contemporary theatre conversation (about both content and form) and acts collectively to expand the boundaries of the public imagination. With our move to Christopher Street, we aim to establish a professional, high-profile platform for the independent theatre community, reestablishing the West Village as a destination for mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish, and profound theatrical endeavors. The New Ohio was founded as Soho Think Tank, Inc., in 1994 by playwright/director Robert Lyons.
About Performance Space 122
Performance Space 122 (PS122) provides incomparable experiences for audiences by presenting and commissioning artists whose work challenges boundaries of live performance. PS122 is dedicated to supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives. We are an innovative local, national and international leader in contemporary performance.
Beginning in 2011, PS122 embarked on one of the most unusual and potentially radical shifts in its history, including a re-structuring of artist support, a business model overhaul, and the renovation of our building. As PS122’s East Village home undergoes a much-needed interior renovation supported primarily by the City of New York, DCA and DDC, PS122’s core activity continues to be providing audiences with contemporary live performance.
For over 3 decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community. Under the curatorial vision of Vallejo Gantner (Artistic Director 2005 – present) PS122 has developed a set of programs designed to re-establish the value of live performance, provide singular experiences for audiences that inspire critical thinking, and sustain the creative process for artists throughout their career. Largely in partnership with peer organizations, PS122 currently presents artists in all disciplines in spaces all over the city during an annual fall & spring season and COIL festival in January.
In addition to the commissioning and presenting of artists from NYC across the US, and around the globe, PS122 has increased our activity off the stage to provide audiences with a variety of access points and context for the work on stage. These activities include both talkbacks with the artists as well as in depth conversations that bring together luminaries from non-arts disciplines to discuss a variety of topics including everything from religion, to migration, to queer real estate and cultural diplomacy. PS122 encourages the asking of questions and debate of contemporary society’s issues in both artistic practice and audience experience.
Commissioned by The Kitchen, Mike Iveson's second full-length staged musical work, THE TEAR DRINKERS, is a suite of sci-fi songs for one of the most atmospheric performance spaces in all of New York City. It follows four humans who are kidnapped by two United States government workers and brought to an underground holding tank in New Mexico to determine which of them is actually an alien from another planet masquerading as an earthling.
Downtown performer Mike Iveson leads a team of exceptional artists, including pioneering video artist Charles Atlas, in a look at the private heartaches of humans and aliens alike. There will be some singing. As well as stuff that happens in a bathroom that probably no one wants to talk about.
A lot of stuff can happen in a bathroom that probably no one wants to talk about.
Featuring performances by April Armstrong, Anthony R. Brown, Don Castro, Gavin Price, Courtney Williams, and Akyiaa Wilson, with Mike Iveson on piano.
Written & directed by Mike Iveson
Video design Charles Atlas
Set and costume design Parker Lutz
Lighting design Zack Tinkelman
Choreography/Assistant director Greg Zuccolo
Stage management Maurina Lioce
Assistant stage management Hanna Novak
Producer Ariana Smart Truman
Line producer Lindsay Hockaday
The Tear Drinkers is made possible with support from Jerome Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Tear Drinkers was developed at residencies at The Kitchen and via Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space program. Rehearsal space was also provided in part by Clubbed Thumb/440 Studios and Abrons Arts Center. Many individuals contributed to make this project possible.
About The Kitchen
The Kitchen is one of New York City’s oldest nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. Our programs range from dance, music, performance, and theater, to video, film, and art, in addition to literary events, artists’ talks, and lecture series. Since its inception, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country, and has helped launch the careers of many artists who have gone on to worldwide prominence.
About Mike Iveson
Mike Iveson is a performer, composer and 2013 Ethyl Eichelberger Award winner. He wrote the music for the plays: DOT, by Kate E. Ryan (Clubbed Thumb/Ohio Theatre), Potatoes of August, by Sibyl Kempson (Dixon Place, Red Eye Theater/MN), and You For Me For You, by Mia Chung (Woolly Mammoth), as well as Kempson’s Fondly, Collette Richland (New York Theater Workshop/Elevator Repair Service). He has also composed music for many of choreographer Sarah Michelson’s dances, including commissions for France’s Lyon Opera Ballet's Love Is Everything and for Mikhail Baryshnikov & the White Oak Dance Project's The Experts, as well as for many Michelson shows including Group Experience (PS122), for which he won a Bessie Award for music composition; Shadowmann (The Kitchen and PS122); Daylight (PS122); and Dogs (BAM). As a performer he has appeared in Elevator Repair Service’s Fondly, Collette Richland; Arguendo; The Select; The Sound and the Fury; and Gatz, in a number of Sarah Michelson’s dances, as well as shows by Richard Maxwell/NYC Players, New Georges, Dancenoise, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Kate Benson, Tom Murrin/Jack Bump, Kristin Marting/HERE, Erin Courtney, Yvonne Meier, Aaron Landsman, Mike Taylor, and many others.
About Charles Atlas
Charles Atlas is an artist and filmmaker who has been producing works since the mid-1970s, including media/dance works, multi-channel video installations, feature-length documentaries, video art works for television, and live electronic performances.
Throughout his career, Atlas has collaborated with international performers and choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Douglas Dunn, Michael Clark, Leigh Bowery, Marina Abramovic, DANCENOISE, Yvonne Rainer, and Anohni.