Media Blog

Cellular Songs

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Created by Meredith Monk

Pairing voice with movement, instrumentation, and a site-specific video installation, Cellular Songs contemplates the fundamental unit of life and its relation to the universe. Drawing inspiration from biological processes—layering, division, replication, mutation—Monk looks to underlying systems in nature that can serve as a prototype for human behavior in our tumultuous world. Monk and the four women of her peerless vocal ensemble present a new work, continuing their investigation of the interconnected, ineffable relationship between humans and the natural world.

\ Production History

BAM Harvey, March 2018

\ Creative Team

Composed and Directed
Meredith Monk

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Costume design and scenography
Yoshio Yabara

Lighting Design
Joe Lavasseur

Sound Design
Eli Walker

Undesirable Elements: Generation NYZ

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Written by Sara Zatz and Kirya Traber, in collaboration with the performers

CAST
Edwin Aguila, Monica Victoria Tatacoya Castañeda, Syl (Andrea) Egerton, Murtaza, De-Andra Pryce, Porscha Polkahantis Rippy, Rafael Rosario

Ping Chong + Company amplifies the voices of young New Yorkers in the 25th Anniversary of UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS at The New Victory Theater. With affecting vulnerability, bold honesty and enduring spirit, Syl, Porscha, Edwin, Mohammad, Monica, De-Andra and Rafael bravely speak their truths and share their stories. From East New York to West Harlem and from the South Bronx to Far Rockaway, witness the jubilant victories, recent discord and distant dreams of coming of age in this great, big city.

To create this show, co-writers and directors Sara Zatz and Kirya Traber reached out to over 50 community organizations and schools across the five boroughs of New York City, seeking young adults from a range of neighborhoods, identities, and experiences who were interested in telling their stories on stage. The Generation NYZ performers illuminate, in their own words, the challenges and joys of growing up in New York City, and all that goes into making our city inclusive, gritty, determined, creative and rich with community.

\ Production History

The Duke on 42nd Street, January 2018

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Sara Zatz and Kirya Traber

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Marika Kent

Sound Design
Luqman Brown

Appoggiatura

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A trip to Venice brings love, loss, pain and joy to three weary travelers in search of healing and happiness. Hearts leap, time bends and the floating city works its wonders in this magical play filled with music and amore.

\ Production History

Indiana Repertory Theatre, March 2018

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Peter Amster

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Lee Savage

Costume Design
Tracy Dorfman

Lighting Design
Alex Ridgers

Sound Design
Todd Mack

The Brobot Johnson Experience

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Written and Performed by Darian Dauchan

One hundred years from now a race of Hip Hop androids known as Brobots will form a unit, The Tribe Called Space Quest, to spread their message of peace, love, and dopeness all over the universe. Through live looped vocals, rhymes, and beat-boxing, they perform the origin story of the first of their kind. They call it The Brobot Johnson Experience, a Sci-Fi Hip Hop solo concert that defies both space...and time.

\ Production History

The Bushwick Star, February 2018

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Andrew Scoville

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Raul Abrego

Costume Design
Asa Benally

Lighting Design
Sarah Johnson

Sound Design
Matt Stine

Ajijaak on Turtle Island

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Written by Ty Defoe

Separated from her family, young whooping crane Ajijaak undertakes her first migration from Canada to coastal Texas alone. Her journey is disrupted by environmental, industrial, and mythical chaos. Ajijaak must follow her intuition to fly onward, learning from the neo-indigenous communities she encounters along the way. Bringing community together through puppetry, traditional dances, projections and kites, jijaak on Turtle Island will inspire the next generation of eco-champions.

\ Production History

La Mama, February 2018

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Ty Defoe and Heather Hensen

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Christopher Swader & Justin Swader

Costume Design
Lux Haac

Lighting Design
Marika Kent

Sound Design
Emma Wilke

Puppet Design & Fabrication by
 Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

Music by
Dawn Avery & Larry Mitchell, Kevin Tarrant, and Ty Defoe

The Wizard of Oz

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Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama team up with New York’s 2 Ring Circus to create a dazzlingly acrobatic take on The Wizard of Oz. This stage adaptation contains all your favorite characters and songs from the Oscar winning movie score, including “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard (Follow the Yellow Brick Road),” and more. The cirque-like feats of 2 Ring Circus make it an Oz—and a holiday family treat—like you’ve never seen before. Great songs and L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters make this musical a classic.

\ Production History

Syracuse Stage, November 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Donna Drake

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Linda Buchanan

Costume Design
Jessica Ford

Lighting Design
Herrick Goldman

Sound Design
Jon Herter

30 Años de Navidad

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El escenario se viste de la más mágica Navidad, para recibir a Mamá y Papá Noel con sus elfos del Polo Norte; Juan Navidad, las hadas y duendes de luz; venados, osos polares y todos los personajes fantásticos bailando y cantando junto a un elenco de 80 voces y orquesta de 30 músicos en vivo. ¡Una celebración de Navidad como nunca antes se había visto!.

\ Production History

MISI Productions (Colombia), November 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed
DJ Salisbury

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Paul dePoo

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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Meet Christopher John Francis Boone. At 15 years old, he knows all the capital cities in the world and every prime number up to 7,507. But he struggles to understand the world around him. When Christopher is suspected of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to find the real culprit. His investigation will take him on a journey to a past he never knew and a future he never imagined possible. Based on Mark Haddon’s international best-selling novel and winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, this show is a thrilling and touching theatrical event.

\ Production History

Syracuse Stage, October 2017

Indiana Repertory Theatre, September 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Risa Brainin

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Russel Metheny

Lighting Design
Michael Klaers

Sound Design
Todd Mack

Costume Design
Devon Painter

Composer
Michelle DiBucci

THE PECULIAR PATRIOT

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Written and Performed by Liza Jessie Peterson

The Peculiar Patriot confronts the complex and critical issue of mass incarceration. With more than 2.5 million people behind bars, America is the world’s leading prison superpower. The Peculiar Patriot examines the human impact and inhuman machinery of the prison industrial complex and shines a glaring light on the racial disparities that feed the draconian system. The play follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates and gossip and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a shrewd indictment of the criminal justice system in her own authentic and inimitable style, with a heavy dose of humor to boot.

\ Production History

National Black Theater, September-October 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Talvin Wilks

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic/Lighting Design
Maruti Evans

Sound Design
Luqman Brown

Detroit '67

On the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots, CTC is honored to present Detroit ’67, set on the eve of the rebellion that ravaged the city. Written by Dominique Morisseau, a 2016 Obie Award Winner and the 2014 recipient of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, this moving, sharp-eyed drama filled with the iconic music of the time, explores the resilience of one family’s — and one American city’s ­— survival.

\ Production History

Chautauqua Theater, July 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Steve H. Broadnax III.

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Alan Edwards

Sound Design
Curtis Craig

Scenic Design
Michael Carnahan

Costume Design
Richard St. Clair

Alaxsxa | Alaska

ALAXSXA | ALASKA weaves puppetry, video installations, recorded interviews, and yuraq (Alaska Native Yup’ik drum and dance) in a collage of striking contemporary and historical encounters between indigenous Alaska Native communities and newcomers to the Great Land. The title of the piece includes the ancient indigenous Unangax tribal name for the rocky shores of the Alaska Peninsula: Alaxsxa (uh-LUK-shuh). This word is mirrored by and juxtaposed against the familiar, Anglicized version of this place name: "Alaska." The title serves as a metaphor for the personal and cultural encounters that lie at the heart of this project. Performers Ryan Conarro and Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Central Yup’ik) – along with puppeteer Justin Perkins – use movement, stories, and puppetry to reveal a series of little-known historical narratives of collisions between people and cultures in Alaska. These histories, at times humorous or tragic, juxtapose against Beaver and Conarro’s own memories. Through storytelling and yuraq, they recount their shared memories and unfold their personal perspectives as “insider” (represented by Beaver as a 21st-center indigenous artist and culture-bearer) and “outsider” (Conarro, confronting the ramifications of his choice to move to Alaska and his presence as non-Native artist, journalist, and educator).

\ Production History

Lincoln Center Education, May 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Ping Chong and Ryan Conarro

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Marika Kent

Sound Design
Lucy Peckham

Screen Design
Seth Kirby

Costume Design
Stefani Mar

CRANE: on Earth, in Sky

Journey with the majestic cranes as they fly across Nebraska and North America in this stunning production. Told through the artistic vision of co-creator Heather Henson, the production seamlessly integrates puppetry, traditional dances, projections, kites and aerial antics.

\ Production History

Lied Center, March 2017

\ Creative Team

Created by
Heather Henson and Ty Defoe

Directed by
Maija Garcia

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Zach Blane

Sound Design
Emma Wilk

Scenic Design
Christopher and Justin Swader

Costume Design
Donna Zakowska

Collidescope 3.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America

An equal society that pretends to be beyond bigotry but still practices hatred is not equal.

Internationally acclaimed auteur Ping Chong and noted director and dramaturg Talvin Wilks will collaborate with Wake Forest students to develop a theatrical presentation in response to the seemingly perpetual killings of young black men in America. From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, exploring the pre-Revolutionary War era when freedmen and slaves were contemplating their rights in a soon-to-be independent nation, then back to present day, this “kaleidoscope” explores the often tragic history of black and white race relations in America.

\ Production History

Wake Forest, February 2017

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Ping Chong

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Kevin Frazier

Sound Design
Jeff Dorfman

Scenic Design
Dahlia Al-Habieli

Costume Design
Tyler Wilson

Mary Poppins

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! The sound of it may be atrocious but it is synonymous with this beloved family musical. The Banks children, Jane and Michael, have been positively beastly to a series of nannies. Enter (from above) Mary Poppins with her magic tricks and common sense know-how to charm children and grown-ups alike and remind them and us how important they are to each other. Winner of multiple Tony Awards, Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stage magic. 

\ Production History

Syracuse Stage, November 2016

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Peter Amster

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Thomas Hase

Sound Design
Jon Herter

Scenic Design
Linda Buchanan

Costume Design
Devon Painter

Macbeth

Classical Theater of Harlem's Macbeth, a production for the people. This production is reimagined and framed in Ethiopia during the time of Haile Selassie. This outdoor production combines wild choreography, live african drummers, and the supernatural. 

\ Production History

Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, July 2016

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Carl Cofield

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Alan C. Edwards

Sound Design
John McKenna

Scenic Design
Christopher andJustin Swader

Costume Design
Rachel Dozier-Ezell

\ Press

Katherine Freer's projections fill the stage without hijacking one's attention, no small feat. 

- David Barbour, Lighting & Sound America

 

STET

A young journalist is assigned to write about sexual assault on college campuses and must find a unique angle for the story that will sell. During her investigation, she encounters a student with a horrific story to tell. Determined to bring the events to light, this ambitious reporter refuses to let anything stop her — including the truth.

\ Production History

Abingdon Theater, June - July 2016

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Tony Speciale

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Daisy Long

Sound Design
Christian Frederickson

Scenic Design
Jo Winiarski

Costume Design
Hunter Kaczorowski

\ Press

On the physical level, this production takes exacting care: Jo Winiarski's conference room set has wit and polish, and Katherine Freer's projections are likewise extremely well done. 

- Helen Shaw, TimeOut

The projection design by Katherine Freer served as another reminder of how much influence the media has on any story, and how permanent these stories become after they are put online.

- Liz Lombardi, Center On the Aisle

Collidescope 2.0

What would visitors from another world think if they looked at the race history of the United States? In Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre and Post Racial America, which [ran] at the UMass Amherst Department of Theater from April 14 to 23, an alien species attempts to make sense of a subject fraught with inherent misperceptions, ironies and contradictions. Taking an “alien” view of this aspect of human behavior, the gaze of Collidescope places these issues under a microscope. Traveling from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, exploring the Pre-Revolutionary War era when freedmen and slaves contemplated their rights in a soon-to-be independent nation, then back to the present day, this work creates a cubistic frame, revealing different angles from which to observe America’s troubled “peculiar” history and its on-going, violent consequences.

\ Production History

UMASS Amherst, April 2016

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic Design
Mimi Lien

Lighting Design
Webster Marshall

Sound Design
Amy Altadonna

Costume Design
Jessica Ford

The Great Gatsby

Money, class, romance and corruption collide as the Great American Novel comes to life on stage. Opulent parties, passionate affairs, jealousy and murder are tangled together in this powerful and vivid tale of American bravado, lost love and post-war recovery in the Roaring Twenties. The Great Gatsby is an eloquent evocation of a bygone era that deeply resonates with our world today.

\ Production History

Indiana Repertory Theatre, October 2015

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Peter Amster

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Thomas C. Hase

Sound Design
Victoria Deiorio

Scenic Design
Lee Savage

Costume Design
Tracy Dorman

Fried Chicken and Latkes

Based on her life growing up Black and Jewish, Rain Pryor portrays eleven pivotal characters that shaped who she is today. She takes her audience on a musical journey through the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, exploring her unique perspective on race, identity and the loss of her iconic father, Richard Pryor.

\ Production History

National Black Theater, August 2015

\ Creative Team

Directed by
Kahmilah Forbes

Projection Design
Katherine Freer

Scenic/Lighting Design
Maruti Evans

Sound Design
Eric Sluyter

Costume Design
Dede Ayite

Healing Wars

How do soldiers returning from the battlefield recover from their wounds? How do doctors and nurses heal the injuries those soldiers suffer, seen and unseen? Trailblazing choreographer Liz Lerman presents Healing Wars, a profoundly relevant and deeply moving new work. Through spoken word, video, and dance, Healing Wars reaches across the centuries to connect the modern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the American Civil War. The ensemble of performers is joined onstage by a young Navy veteran whose presence personalizes the tribute that this brilliant, deftly nuanced production pays to all soldiers and healers, past and present.

\ Production History

La Jolla Playhouse, 2015
Kasser Theater, September 2014
Arena Stage, June 2014

\ Creative Team

Created by
Liz Lerman

Video Design
Katherine Freer

Lighting Design
Jen Schriever (Kasser)
Heidi Eckwall (Arena)

Sound Design
Darren West

Scenic and Costume Design
David Reynoso