Blog

Don’t miss these January Workshops

We have two exciting workshops to catch this January. On January 23rd, Producing Director Alexandra Lalonde and Di Glazer will discuss contracts and collaboration agreements in our Self-Producing for Artists & Ensembles.

The TEAM’s signature workshop Devising Within a Democracy will be back for a 2-day workshop on January 24th and January 25th, led by TEAM company members Rachel Chavkin and Libby King.

Learn more about and register at: theteamplays.org/workshops/upcoming.

Celebrate 15 Years of the TEAM!

The TEAM and our extended family of artists invite you to celebrate 15 years of groundbreaking work exploring the funny, messy, and mythic experience of being American.

Get your tickets here.

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Upcoming Workshops!

The TEAM has 5 exciting workshops that you can register. This fall, our “Devising Within a Democracy” workshop returns and will be taught by TEAM member Libby King and collaborator Zhailon Levingston. Learn about the TEAM’s unique collaborative writing process.

We also have 4 “Self-Producing for Artists & Ensembles”. In this series, TEAM Producing Director Alexandra Lalonde and an industry guest will review topics on the business side of making and sustaining your work.

Learn more about our workshops at theteamplays.org/workshops/upcoming.

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Join our TEAM: We’re Hiring!

The TEAM is seeking a part-time Associate Producer to work in partnership with the Producing Director to strategically advance the company’s mission to create new work about the experience of living in America today, and to tour that work nationally and internationally.

Click here to learn more or to apply.

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New Devising Workshop with Rachel!

June 22: Devising Within A Democracy with Artistic Director Rachel Chavkin
12pm-4pm, 520 8th Avenue, Manhattan
All the good stuff will be covered, including suggestions to move from intellectual or thematic ideas to dynamic theatrical moments, ways to generate material through different assignments, cultivating an ensemble bond and navigating emotional waters amidst a process, writing on your feet, strategies for editing as a group, and bridging into the editing and synthesizing process.

Let’s get to work! Register at http://theteamplays.org/workshops/upcoming/

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Responses to 2019 US Tour of Anything That Gives Off Light

Strong and thoughtful… (ensemble and music) combine to create an ambiance, a taste of and for Scotland and Scottishness that likely to be matched only by Forfar bridies, meat pies and very buttery shortbread.
Newsweek

Anything That Gives Off Light is both an entertainment and a thought piece that focuses on whether we are stuck in our histories, or whether we can cast off the constrictive ties and reinvent new and better histories for ourselves in the modern world.
Front Row Center

[A] pugnacious, liquor-soaked musical… The songwriting duo the Bengsons composed the eclectic array of tunes—some poppy, some folksy, all good… A rich seam of aching observations about land and soil and property.
New Yorker

When I first saw it in 2016…I found the magical adventure form of the show where we zip between Scotland and Appalachia “a fitting way to explore [something] as complex a morass as identity. Nothing is fixed. Ideas morph with time and so too must our storytelling.” With songs by the Bengsons, it is a foot-stomping journey where the characters go beyond that surface layer of who they are and start peeling back their own sense of where they come from and what home is in a smart, probing, and unique way.
Recommended by Exeunt NYC

Interviews and First-person accounts

  • Jess Almasy + Reuben Joseph talk devising, identity, and the humanity on the other side of the aisle. [READ]
  • Jess Almasy writes about Sex, Politics, and Regional Control and the challenges of bringing Anything That Gives Off Light to the stage. [READ]
  • Davey Anderson talks to Broadway World about the show [LISTEN]
  • Diep Tran and Jose Solís talk about their impressions of Anything That Gives Off Light at Joe’s Pub on Token Theatre Friends. [WATCH]
  • Also, our friend Josh Groban stopped by:

Read what press had to say about Anything That Gives Off Light‘s 2016 Premiere here.

In the rehearsal room of Anything That Gives Off Light (Feb 2018)
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A RECONSTRUCTION writing residency with Jessica Almasy

this past November I had the good fortune to stay up at a farm cottage in northwest New Jersey to write for ten days towards the TEAM’s current / upcoming project RECONSTRUCTION (still working but the devil might be inside). it was a vivid, visceral, and deeply intimate experience focusing in on response material to the TEAM’s 2009 play Architecting, which originally looked at Gone With the Wind, rebuilding after hurricane Katrina, and in large ways the ethics and politics of gentrification that occurs in America when corporate / capitalist aims, largely under the direction of white affluent citizens, dominate a landscape still writhing from the inequities and racial divisions stemming back to the civil war. now, in 2019, we call back to that origin work with a response recalibrated to incoroporate a parallel company of artists of color (our original production was largely populated by non black artists) to (post Charlottesville) handle Gone With the Wind as more than just a literary artifact but as a Confederate monument –– and to potentially surrender Architecting’s experimental storyline (but a narrative nonetheless) for a form that is more dance theatre piece with tech and poetry and rigorously scored original music and song. 

Snippet: audio collage generated during the residency

during my time at the farm, I wrestled with what voice I could give or produce for the project writing solo as a 38-year-old female fourth generation Eastern European / European immigrant American who has come to be known on most if not all standardized forms as white, when the story in 2019 is undeniably so deeply identity-centric and the complications of writing for anyone else’s experience are undeniable, representation and authenticity being – in my opinion – one of the foremost political pursuits of art makers today. with an exacting and at times overwhelming sense of responsibility, I waded into very muddy spiritual waters attempting to write and create from both a hyperconscious and unconscious place of unknowing. the beginning process of generating art for and with the TEAM is always for me mystical and uncharted. but this experience was exquisitely separate from my prior 15 collaborative years in that it marked the first time I was sent to keep the flame of the project lit as an individual rather than in a typically heavily populated democracy-driven writers room of on average 13-plus wildly distinct humans with madly divergent aesthetics and processes. in some instances I was able to exchange materials electronically with collaborating artist Jerome Ellis who would riff on audio files and videos I haphazardly edited and he’d re-edit and send back. this was the first time I worked largely with voice memos as my medium. it felt like the text didn’t want to live solely on paper IE in one dimension. in my private work as a writer I’ve been deeply interested in the concept of seance, ghost invocations and rituals, having felt that the inundation of social media, frequent updates, podcasts, linear and subjective narration have run their course and in many ways exhausted their promise. the American musical as being retrofitted in the work Rachel Chavkin is collaborating with on Broadway to me is a cipher for the experimental world’s forms: how do we get to a new nontraditional sound and structure that speaks to the heightened state of our current American awareness without insisting that at any moment only one thing can occur? how do we access and amplify the danger and positive potentiality of the racially charged American psyche of an audience thro performance architecture in ways we have not seen before? so I feel like I was writing a ghost story, by lighting candles and sitting in the near dark alone in the woods and trusting whatever voice started to pour forward. sometimes that was a tormented note of Margaret Mitchell, dead but unburied, failing to atone for her sins or falling short of truly being able to reckon consciously with exactly what she had done, modernity of the now not being her forte. sometimes that work was a lament and a chest pounding, drawing from the images of a funeral march for New Orleans from our play in 2009.

when I emerged from my writing on day 7 or 8, beginning to see my journey home in 48 hours sight, it was only then that I realized I had actually gone some place. it was like I had burrowed into this somewhat deep and damp tunnel just below most of this country’s ground, where the dead live – the recent, the ancient, all the bodies that have been slain and continue to be slain for reasons of capital and control. I feel that on this ten day reclusion, I found that my contribution to the project may be to sing the voice of the dead, more so than the wrong or the right, but to chime in and resurrect some imagined call from them to us, the living. so for me, it’s not about what anybody’s tweeting out. it’s a call from the beyond that makes me want to write anything down in 2019. 

while at the cottage I also spoke to everyone I could see – waitresses at the local small-house-like diner, the groundskeeper, an itinerant actor (visiting from out of state). these people told me about their lives and the lives of the dead who’d come before them, and I listened with the thirsting ears of a blind seeker feeling out their path, and their wisdom and humanity made it into the blood of everything I thought up. for me, to write IN a place is inevitably to write that place down. even the trees.

Seeking: Winter/Spring Interns!

Intern with the TEAM!

The TEAM is now accepting applications from college students, graduate students, and recent grads for Winter/Spring internships in our Brooklyn office. This is an unpaid opportunity.

Interns will have responsibilities in the following areas:

Producing

Production interns will work alongside the Producing Director and Associate Producer on touring and company management for our upcoming tours of Anything That Gives Off Light and Primer for a Failed Superpower. Duties will range everywhere from shopping for set pieces to coordinating payroll paperwork.

Development and Grantwriting

Interns will work with the Producing Director and Fundraising Committee to execute a spring fundraising event, prepare and submit funding applications, and maintain donor and funder records. 

Marketing

Interns will work with the TEAM’s Associate Producer to execute social media plans and coordinate marketing for our run of Anything That Gives Off Light at Joe’s Pub.

We place a high priority on giving all interns ownership of projects and tangible experience in the day-to-day administration of a small ensemble company. When possible, interns also support and observe rehearsals and artistic development, as well as TEAM-led workshops. A minimum commitment of 8 hours/week is required for internships, beginning in January. The TEAM’s office hours are 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Scheduling is otherwise very flexible.

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to hello@theteamplays.org with “Internship” in the subject line. Please also provide a reference.

We look forward to working with you!

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What is the light you see(k) in the new year?

To our TEAM friends:

The days are getting shorter and darker, but it means we’re starting to approach the finish line for 2018 and this month, the TEAM is asking: What light do you see(k) in the new year?

Click above and check back regularly this December to activate the playlist where TEAM company members and collaborators sit down and take time to chat and connect about what keeps us moving together into 2019!

The TEAM has a busy and exciting year ahead, including:

  • First up in the new year, we’ll be launching the US premiere of Anything That Gives Off Light, our collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland and the extraordinary folk-punk duo the Bengsons. We’ll start the tour by returning the show to the place where so much of the play was written: the mountains and communities of Appalachia. We’ll go from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to the Crossing Roots Rural-Urban Theatre Workshop in Cumberland Gap, TN. There, we’ll be able to return the show to the students, historians, musicians, teachers, farmers, activists and storytellers who helped create the world of ATGOL. After that, we’ll bring the show home to New York for an extended run at Joe’s Pub from March 14-30. We can’t wait to see you there!
  • Then in May, we’ll be headed to Portland, OR for the first “tour” of Primer for a Failed Superpower! We’ll partner with BOOM Arts to build their own multigenerational community choir and mount the concert anew. Shows will be May 10 and 11 and we hope this will be the first of many local Primers.
  • From there, we’ll be diving into more work on Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside) – our new project wrestling with Gone with the Wind as a Confederate monument. We’ll be developing a script, building a set, and integrating glorious films we’ve made of our legendary collaborator Vinie Burrows. This is a huge undertaking since Reconstruction has a record 21 collaborators, but reckoning with a terrible past to reframe it for a more just present requires a lot of voices.
  • Through it all, we’ll continue to work on the Petri Projects: our seedlings of ideas for new plays. And with each project our family grows a little bigger, as we partner with new collaborators and center more voices in our work.

We’ll be working with a record number of collaborators in 2019, and with each new voice our work tells a fuller story of America. But our work requires support! We need to raise $20,000 by the end of the year in order to make all this happen. We hope you’ll consider a year-end gift to the TEAM this holiday season, amidst so many worthy causes in need of your support.

Donate Today

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Introducing PRIMER–the documentary

A little over a year ago, the TEAM produced Primer for a Failed Superpower – a concert featuring a massive multigenerational cover band of 32 teenagers, 30-somethings, and people 60+, celebrating protest music and activism from the past and present. We played two shows at Roulette. The room was sweaty and packed, and spirits were high. And the process was even more special, with deep conversations about generations and inheritance, race and religion and economics and gender and sexual identity.

Our dream was and is that Primer was both something we made, and something that others could remake. To that end, we commissioned filmmakers to produce a short documentary about the process and culminating performance. Camilo Quiroz and Ellpetha Tsvikos were with us nearly every step of the way and created this short film that captures what happened and hopefully can serve as a tool for others in the future.

– Rachel
#TeamPrimer

rachel-headshot-from-website

BTW: we’re bringing PRIMER to Portland in 2019!!! Please help us get there with a gift for the end of year. We’d love to share this work with more people.