NationalSawdust+ presents "Gatekeepers"
6pm doors • 7pm show
NS+’s 2018-19 season continues with Gatekeepers, featuring influential figures who spy and cultivate talent across different fields. The event brings together pioneering literary figures Chris Jackson (publisher and editor-in-chief of One World, who has edited books by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Eddie Huang, and Trevor Noah, among others) and Emily Nemens (whose first issue as editor of The Paris Review has just been released, and has a debut novel forthcoming); Paola Prestini, composer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of National Sawdust (one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Musical Innovators”); Evan Cabnet, LCT3’s artistic director (who has developed new plays and musicals for the past 15 years and directed works by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Stephen Sondheim, and Christopher Shinn); and Peoplmovr’s Geoffrey Jackson Scott, who has also worked extensively in new play development (New York Theatre Workshop, Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater).
This event, moderated by NS+ curator Elena Park, will include Crystal Hana Kim reading from her just-published debut novel, If You Leave Me (Harper Collins); a performance by LCT3 playwright in residence Michael R. Jackson; and Emma O’Halloran’s Hildegard Award-winning composition, Constellations (featuring the Refugee Orchestra Project, conducted by Sam McCoy).
NationalSawdust+ is a lively performance and conversation series in which luminaries from across disciplines share their passion for music and explore ideas, making surprising connections. Curated by Elena Park, the series taps artists and thinkers from theater, film and visual art, literature, science and beyond, to create insightful programs that reflect their own interests. Whether through live performances, conversations, or readings, each program has its own alchemy, engaging the audience in new and unexpected ways. Often topical, and always imaginative, NationalSawdust+ is an ideal space for those with curiosity, adventure, and vision.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Evan Cabnet is the Artistic Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater. During his tenure, LCT3 has produced world premieres by Zoe Kazan, Martyna Majok (winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama), Antoinette Nwandu, Bryna Turner, Miranda Rose Hall, and Third Rail Projects. As a director, he has worked with such writers as Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Stephen Sondheim, Christopher Shinn, Donald Margulies, Theresa Rebeck, Liz Meriwether, Helen Edmundson, Takaya Okamoto, and many others. He is a former Associate Artist with the Roundabout Theater Company, a frequent guest director at the Juilliard School, and a former Performance Consultant for the Metropolitan Opera.
Chris Jackson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of One World, a just re-launched imprint of Random House. Previously, Jackson was an Executive Editor at Spiegel & Grau from its founding in 2006, where he edited prize-winning and bestselling authors including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bryan Stevenson, Eddie Huang, Jill Leovy, Matt Taibbi, Victor LaValle, and Jay Z. His forthcoming One World authors include Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Alex Wagner, Quiara Hudes, Molly Crabapple, Marwan Hisham, and Binyavanga Wainaina. His own writing has appeared in TheAtlantic.com, The Paris Review, among other places. Jackson is a native of New York, where he currently resides.
Michael R. Jackson holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and Musical Theatre Writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He wrote book, music, and lyrics for the musicals White Girl In Danger and A Strange Loop (which will receive its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons Theatre in May of 2019). He has received a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant, a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, a 2017 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a 2016/2017 Dramatist Guild fellowship, and was the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-In-Residence. He has commissions from Grove Entertainment & Barbara Whitman Productions and LCT3.
Emily Nemens joined The Paris Review as editor in the summer of 2018. Stories published during her tenure at The Southern Review were selected for the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize anthology, and the inaugural edition of PEN America Best Debut Fiction. Her debut novel, The Cactus League, is forthcoming from FSG, and her stories can be found in The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, and n+1.
A native of Quincy, IL, Geoffrey Jackson Scott is a Brooklyn-based cultural organizer, curator, creative producer, and engagement strategist who has worked to advance equity and inclusion in arts and culture for nearly fifteen years. His theater credits include serving as Director of New Play Development at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago (2012-14) following eight seasons as the Literary Associate at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), where he led the Artist of Color Fellowship program, supporting the cultivation, development, and production of new work by both emerging and established artists. From 2007-2009, he served as curator of The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center’s Prelude Festival. Geoffrey is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Peoplmovr, a creative studio specializing in engagement and communications that partners with artists, organizations, and communities to develop and deliver unique engagements designed to bring arts and culture closer to people, and people closer to arts and culture.
Named one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Musical Innovators 2016″ and one of the “Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music” (The Washington Post), Prestini’s music has been commissioned by and been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, BAM, and the Barbican Centre, by groups such as Brooklyn Rider, Attacca Quartet, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and Choir of Trinity Wall Street, among others. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of National Sawdust (NS), a nonprofit Brooklyn-based space for arts incubation and performance, and the “visionary-in-chief” (Time Out New York) of VisionIntoArt, the multimedia production company she co-founded in 1999, now merged with National Sawdust.
Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and musician whose work moves freely between acoustic and electronic forces. Emma has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, and symphony orchestra. Her compositions have been performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and MATA Festival, and she has collaborated with artists such as Crash Ensemble, Contemporaneous, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concert music, O’Halloran composes for theater, and has worked on original music and sound design for several productions at the Wilma Theater, Philadelphia. She also performs and produces with Games Violet, a duo that makes hybrid rock/electronic music, and they released their debut LP, Tragic Milkshake, in November 2016.
Current and future projects include a new work for Iarla Ó Lionáird and Mobius Percussion, and a 30-minute vocal work for Beth Morrison Projects. O’Halloran lives in New Jersey and is currently a doctoral fellow at Princeton University.
Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel, If You Leave Me, was published in August 2018. She was a 2017 PEN America Dau Short Story Prize winner and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, Jentel, among others. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Washington Post, Elle Magazine, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Apogee Journal and is the Director of Writing Instruction at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Elena Park has curated and moderated many NationalSawdust+ events since its October 2015 launch with composer Terry Riley + director Francois Girard. Her series has developed into an unusual platform for intimate performance and conversation; luminaries from Marina Abramovic to Yo-Yo Ma, Julie Taymor to Patti Smith, and Esperanza Spalding to Pussy Riot Theatre explore ideas and make connections across disciplines. New work has been shared by figures such as RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad, multidisciplinary artist Carrie Mae Weems, and visual artist Mickalene Thomas (who made her VJ debut in the space). In addition to playing with subjects such as food and mixology, perception, and literature, the adventurous series regularly addresses current social issues with events such as “Who Owns the Story” (about ownership of story) and “Gatekeepers” (bringing new voices to the fore in different fields). When not in Williamsburg, Elena keeps busy with film and television projects (including Mozart in the Jungle and the film Bel Canto), consults with institutions such as the Kennedy Center, and works on the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD and radio shows (as Supervising Producer / Executive Producer, respectively).