An Immersive Theatre Festival About New York City
For New Yorkers Of All Ages
What if Jane Jacobs (the famed West Village urbanist, community activist and beloved Robert Moses foe) designed a theatre festival?
Whose stories would be told? And how?
Taking inspiration from Jacobs' rules for a healthy community in The Death and Life of Great American Cities,: population density, mixed uses, old buildings, and short blocks, New Ohio's basement theater transforms into a living archive of the neighborhood as audiences engage in a hands-on 360° pre-show experience, then become immersed in a series of short-form (10-15 minute), locally-inspired pieces, each created by teams of NYC's most adventurous theater artists.
The event, recommended for all ages (5+), is presented by New Ohio Theatre as part of its Theatre for Young Minds initiative.
The UP CLOSE Festival was instigated by interdisciplinary artist and educator Peter Musante along with longtime collaborator Summer Shapiro as an experiment in using immersive theatre to engage young New Yorkers with the histories of the spaces they inhabit. For over a decade, Peter has made all-ages site-specific immersive creations with Trusty Sidekick Theater Company at Lincoln Center Education and The Park Avenue Armory, and teams up this season with co-artistic producer and award-winning theatre educator Sara Morgulis, a longtime collaborator of the New York City Children’s Theater.
"Young people learn and live through play, exploration, and experimentation. Immersive theater offers them the chance to have a multi-sensory, tactile experience in which they have agency and the freedom to choose their own adventures."
— Marisol Rosa-Shapiro, UP CLOSE lead artist
photo by Mia Aguirre, 2018
* TIME OUT NY's Pick, BEST IMMERSIVE THEATER IN NYC
* Featured in NYTimes' 6 IMMERSIVE THEATER SHOW TO SEE IN NYC
* NYTimes Pick: THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS THIS WEEKEND
* "The show feels like a rarity, something special,... a hole in the ground that leads to a wonderland." – Libby Emmonds
* “It reminded me what there is to love about theater, and how I can fall in love with it anew.” – Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater
* "Fantastic" – Lainie Gutterman, Motherhood Later
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