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Sundance Institute Announces Acting Company for 2010 Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA

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Los Angeles, CA – Sundance Institute announced today the acting company for its Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA. This program will run March 28 – April 11, 2010 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass. Under the artistic direction of Philip Himberg, Producing Artist Director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Lab will provide fellows with guidance in the development of new work for the stage. 

The Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA acting company includes: Molly Camp, Johanna Day (August: Osage County, Proof), Matthew Dellapina (I Am Nobody’s Lunch), Maria Dizzia (In the Next Room/The Vibrator Play), Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), MacKenzie Meehan, Alfredo Narciso (A Streetcar Named Desire, Drunken City), Owiso Odera, Frank Wood (Sideman, August: Osage County, Spring Awakening), and Gregory Wooddell (Some Men).

“Sundance Institute is honored to welcome this extraordinary acting company as charter members of the newest iteration of our annual Theatre Lab,” said Himberg. “As always, the Sundance acting company imbues these new plays with life and allows the playwrights to finally see and hear their work.”

Dramaturgical support will be provided by Janice Paran (Sundance Institute Artistic Associate) and Shirley Fishman (La Jolla Playhouse). The Creative Advisors include Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman, and  a second to be determined. The Casting Director for the Lab is Alan Filderman. The Stage Management team includes Bonnie Brady, Brian D. Gold and Christine Lemme. This pilot Lab, in addition to the upcoming Theatre Lab on Governor’s Island in June, was created because of a temporary loss of space at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah, due to renovation. The new Labs will serve as many playwrights as in previous years. 

Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA Projects:  

A Small Fire by Adam Bock; Directed by Trip Cullman 
A Small Fire asks us: When life hands you a big change, how do you respond? Do you try to return to the way things were, or do you take a chance and change even more? People love and hate change, because it demands that we be clear about who we are, and who we want to be. 

Bwagamoyo by Shailja Patel; Directed by Liesl Tommy 
Bwagamoyo charts a voyage from colonial Zanzibar to Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence, by way of the male body. Drawing on the history of the artist’s father, born and raised in Zanzibar, and Patel’s personal involvement with Kenya’s post-election crisis, Bwagamoyo shows how the architecture of Empire is codified on the bodies of men. How the stories of our bodies are intimately mirrored in the larger Body Politic, and our national histories. Bwagamoyo is the second work in Patel’s four-part opus, Migritude

Out of Orbit by Jennifer Maisel; Directed by Jackson Gay 
A mother and her teenage daughter. The Jet Propulsion Lab Scientist and the underachiever. Sara lives on Mars time, spearheading the Mars Rover Expedition, visiting a planet she cannot touch, while her daughter, Lis, on earth time, falls under the spell of the cyber-cypher Edgar2330. Sometimes it takes being worlds apart for an exploring woman and a longing-to-be-explored girl to find each other in our increasingly disconnected universe. 

As previously announced, John Kelly is the 2010 Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellow in Residence at MASS MoCA. John will be writing and editing The Escape Artist, a collision of music, video and story. In a studio dubbing recording session for cinematic re-enactments of the paintings of Caravaggio, a singer hired to lay down the tracks channels the characters that populate the paintings, encounters unexpected technical difficulties, and reveals a turbulent personal history of his own. 
Sundance Institute  
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don’t Cry, Sin Number, Born into Brothels and Trouble the Water. www.sundance.org. 

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Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

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