HERE Extends Nick Lehane's Puppet Play CHIMPANZEE to May 5
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:38 pm EDT 03/14/19


True Events of Chimpanzees Raised as Children in Human Homes Inspires Puppet Play


Created by Nick Lehane

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan)
$25 general, $45 reserved

here.org; 212-647-0202

“To endow animals with human emotion has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about animals and us.” – Frans de Waal, primatologist and ethologist

In response to popular demand, HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director) extends the world premiere of Nick Lehane’s Chimpanzee, to May 5. Currently scheduled to run until March 17, the production will pause and then resume performances April 16–May 5. Visit here.org for the performance schedule.

Sara Holdren in New York Magazine wrote, “Nick Lehane’s gorgeous puppet play about an aging, isolated chimpanzee piecing together fragments of her youth with a human family is based on true events. Sometimes bleak, sometimes beautiful, it’s a meticulous, deeply felt nonverbal memory play.”

Chimpanzee was inspired by the stranger-than-fiction stories of chimpanzees raised in as children in human homes. These cross-fostering experiments tested the effects of raising chimpanzees as human children, specifically language acquisition. When the chimpanzees matured, or when funding dried up, some cross-fostered chimps went on to live as test subjects in a very different area of scientific research: pathogen studies performed in biomedical facilities.

Chimpanzee was developed through workshops at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Jim Henson Carriage House, and Puppet BloK at Dixon Place before it premiered on March 14, 2019 at HERE as part of its nationally recognized Dream Music Puppetry Program.

Lehane’s other puppet work has been shown at The Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Special Effects Festival at The Wild Project, and Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis. Select puppet performance credits include Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning (HERE/international tour), The Islamic Solidarity Games Opening Ceremony (Baku, Azerbaijan), Doug Fitch’s Petrushka (Barbican Centre/New York Philharmonic) and El retablo de maese Pedro (Bard SummerScape), The Old Man and the Old Moon (PigPen Theatre Co.), Little Red Fish (Puppet Kitchen/New York City Children’s Theater), Pip’s Island, James Ortiz’s The Little Mermaid and “Lore” (Amazon). Lehane studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School and holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

The cast of Chimpanzee includes Rowan Magee, Andy Manjuck, and Emma Wiseman. The creative team includes Marika Kent (lighting design), Kate Marvin (sound design), and Mariah Plante (stage manager).

Tickets, priced at $25 general admission and $45 for reserved seating, can be purchased by visiting here.org or by calling 212-647-0202. In person sales at the box office after 5pm only on performance days and two hours prior to curtain for matinees. For Group Sales, contact tickets@here.org.

The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director), named a Top Ten Off-Off Broadway Theatre by Time Out New York, is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines—theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art.

HERE’s standout productions include Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle’s all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee’s Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, James Scruggs’ Disposable Men, Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts, Kamala Sankaram’s Miranda, and Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning, among many others.

HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program, under the artistic direction of Basil Twist, with producing direction from HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, is one of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary adult puppet works, particularly works that feature live music as a collaborative element. Through Dream Music, HERE seeks to secure the future of puppetry by providing increased development and performance opportunities to puppet artists, and by collaborating with artists from other disciplines to develop new puppetry techniques. In addition, the program brings to New York the finest of international puppetry, reflecting on Twist’s roots at the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Dream Music was inaugurated with the premiere of Basil Twist’s OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998 and the opening of the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, an intimate space created specifically for intimate puppetry. In honor of Dream Music’s 20th Anniversary in 2018, HERE produced a revival of Symphonie Fantstique in what would become a six-month long run of the production.

HERE is also recognized nationally and internationally for the annual PROTOTYPE festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre, co-founded and co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects. Founded in 2013, PROTOTYPE commissions, develops, produces, and presents new 21st century works of contemporary opera and music-theater.

Since its founding in 1993, HERE and the artists it has supported have received 18 Obies, 2 Bessies, 5 Drama Desk Nominations, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Doris Duke Awards, and 2 MacArthur Fellowships.

Funding Credits

Chimpanzee is made possible through the generous support of the Jim Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson. Chimpanzee was the recipient of The 2019 Jim Henson Foundation Residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

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