Summer Labs: Avery Leigh's Night Palace "In The Night Palace"
6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
Each year National Sawdust hosts an open call for emerging and established Brooklyn-based musicians to participate in the institution’s signature Summer Labs program, an opportunity for musicians to create and perform work in an inspiring space at a critical early stage in the journey of a work from concept to reality. Musicians who are selected to participate in the program are given time to develop and perform a 20–40 minute music-based work-in-progress in our state-of-the-art venue. Following their performances, artists will host a 15 minute audience Q&A to discuss their process and their new work on the National Sawdust stage.
In the Night Palace is a new music-theater work developed at Summer Labs, featuring music from indie pop band Avery Leigh’s Night Palace and a script from playwright Sam Max. Accompanied by guitar, bass, synths, harp, woodwinds, and lap steel, classically-trained vocalist and actor Avery Leigh Draut explores the mysterious processes of the natural world at night and the transformative joy and magic of femme friendships. Minimalist choreography and projected illustrations by Sam Max give shape and add detail to the world of the Night Palace.
Opera and pop vocalist, actor, and songwriter Avery Leigh Draut has made recent debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival (Sam Schanwald’s Twin Size Beds, for which she composed music), Mabou Mines, New York Theatre Workshop, COIL Festival (Dane Terry’s Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons), the Brooklyn Museum, and Joe’s Pub (Max Vernon’s Existential Life Crisis Lullaby). As a pop vocalist, her “otherworldly” vocals (Merge Records) have brought her to share bills with and/or support acts such as Andrew Bird, Kishi Bashi, and Kadhja Bonet. She writes for and performs in her own orchestral indie pop project Avery Leigh’s Night Palace, who are currently recording their debut album with engineer/producers Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Faye Webster) and Andy LeMaster (Connor Oberst, Phoebe Bridgers).
Sam Max is a 2020 Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award winner, and has received residencies and grants from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation (Taos, NM), The Mastheads (Pittsfield, MA), and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Their plays include Twin Size Beds (Under the Radar Festival at the Public, Joe’s Pub at the Public), Prosperity! (workshop, Rough Draft Festival), Coop (workshop, Pipeline Theatre Company), and Pidor and the Wolf (Finalist, 2019 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference). They have shown and developed work at Museum of Sex, Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, and Loading Dock Theatre, and have been a member of the Public Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group and Pipeline Theatre Company’s PlayLab. Sam was a recent addition to the Young & Hungry List, tracking “Hollywood’s Top 100 New Writers”. They have led artist workshops in France, Romania, and Indonesia, and currently reside in Brooklyn.