Monday, March 3, 2014

AntiMatter Collective presents The Tower 4/12-26 @ Standard Toykraft

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AntiMatter Collective Presents

Created by Adam Scott Mazer, with Philip Gates, Maya Rook, and the ensemble
April 12-26 @ Standard Toykraft - Brooklyn, NY

The Tower featuring Courtney Fenwick, Andrew Krug, and Rebecca Hirota Photo credit: Jonathan Shaw
The Tower is a psychedelic journey into the history and mythology of the Donner Party, a group of snowbound pioneers who notoriously resorted to cannibalism to survive the brutal winter of 1846-47. Historical narrative collides with hallucinatory imagery to create a shifting landscape filled with the whispers of the past and the roar of the future. A vision of adolescent America: frostbitten, bloodstained, ravenous. 

Elizabeth Bays (AntiMatter's MOTHERBOARD)
Dan Bielinski* (CSC's Macbeth)
Courtney Fenwick
Rebecca Hirota* (AntiMatter's MOTHERBOARD)
Marlowe Holden
Andrew Krug* (AntiMatter's MOTHERBOARD)
Scott Raker*
Leah Walsh* (Signature's The Orphan Home cycle)
Curry Whitmire* (nominated NYIT Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role, christopher marlowe's chloroform dreams)
*courtesy AEA

Written by Adam Scott Mazer (AntiMatter's DEATH VALLEY, MOTHERBOARD)
Directed by Philip Gates
Dramaturgy by Maya Rook
Choreography by Marine Sialelli
Scenery by Patrick McNaughton
Lighting by Alana Jacoby
Sound by Will Fulton
Props by Danielle Baskin
Projection by Sam Kusnetz
Special Effects by Stephanie Cox-Williams (named NYC's Queen of Gore by New York Press)

The production, presented by AntiMatter Collective, will play a three-week engagement at Standard Toykraft (722 Metropolitan Ave, 3rd Floor, Williamsburg), April 12-26; Wednesday through Sunday at 8pm. Tickets ($15) may be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

ADAM SCOTT MAZER (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based writer, actor, director, and fight choreographer. He graduated Brown University with a degree in Theatre Arts, and has since appeared in or directed productions for EST, Vampire Cowboys, Target Margin, UglyRhino, Piehole, Depth Charge, The Samuel French OOB Festival, and Columbia's MFA program. His original plays DEATH VALLEY and MOTHERBOARD were produced by AntiMatter Collective in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He also moonlights as an illustrator; his graphic poetry collection THE BONES OF US, with writer J. Bradley, will be released in March 2014 by YesYes Books. 

PHILIP GATES (Director) is a theater artist living in Brooklyn. Previous directing work includes christopher marlowe's chloroform dreams with Lunar Energy, and Play at the 133rd St Arts Center. His original productions include THUNDERBALLED (Dixon Place), Muse: A Dadacabaret Starring Tippi Hedren (Standard ToyKraft), and Before Placing Me On Your Shelf (FringeNYC), an adaptation of poems by James Tate. He recently appeared in Dave Malloy & Eliza Bent's Blue Wizard/Black Wizard at the Incubator Arts Project, and assisted David Adjmi on his plays 3C (Rattlestick) and Marie Antoinette (ART, Soho Rep). BA Bowdoin College.

MAYA ROOK (Dramaturg/Historian) lives in Brooklyn, where she pursues her interests in academia, visual art, writing, and meditation. As a PhD student in American Cultural History at Drew University, Maya focuses on intersections of popular and counter-cultures, gender and sexuality, and spirituality. Her academic work casts a wide net, ranging from seventeenth-century Puritan foodways to 1960s psychedelia. Along with a professional background in publishing, editing, and historical research, Maya also holds an MA in History from the University at Albany and a BA in History and Black Studies from SUNY New Paltz. 

Necessarily ephemeral, theater is not matter (though it may matter, we hope). ANTIMATTER COLLECTIVE was formed in order to excavate a new kind of theater that confronts the chasms between art and entertainment, the comic and the tragic, the squalid and the transcendent. The foundation of our process is the conviction that the collective intelligence and ideas of the group, when properly harnessed, will always lead to richer work than those of the individual. Periods of discussion, development, and play challenge everyone involved to map out the depths of their initial impulses and push beyond. This leads to work that is smart and subtle without sacrificing its visceral punch and sense of pure fun. 

We developed this shared aesthetic and ethos of collaboration initially in DEATH VALLEY, our original zombie-western created for Vampire Cowboys' Saturday Night Saloon and then produced in full at the Bushwick Starr in the summer of 2011. Subsequent work has deepened our exploration of modern myths with Greg Moss's sixsixsix, a menacingly metatheatrical riff on Faust produced first at the AXA in Action festival in Prague, and The Dreams in the Witch House, a shadow puppet adaptation of an H. P. Lovecraft novella, created for the Brick's Tiny Theater Festival. Both were remounted together as DEMONOLOGY at the Magic Futurebox in the summer of 2012. Most recently we challenged the limits of the theatrical with MOTHERBOARD, our post-Robocalyptic tragicomedy at The Secret Theater in the fall of 2012. 

Darkly funny, emotionally challenging, genre-savvy, character-driven, and loaded with tightly choreographed action and cutting-edge effects, AntiMatter makes sharp-edged work that appeals broadly to non-theater-goers and aficionados alike. Although our work is marked by a finger-on-the-pulse contemporaneity, we are all fundamentally purists to theater's original function: gathering as communities in order to experience our collective stories, and to have a blast while doing so. Stories matter because we tell them, and we tell them because they matter. That illusory, transient significance is a kind of alchemy, making something out of nothing—kind of like theater itself. We think that matters.

"Staged with verve and even a touch of menace."
New York Times (DEATH VALLEY

"MOTHERBOARD has the distinction of being the most violent stage production I've ever seen… Watch as android skin is peeled back to reveal circuitry; watch out for sudden bloodsplatters. The ring of gunshots and the smell of smoke from blanks fills the air… [It] is never boring, and provokes an edge-of-the-seat tension that holds up for hours. Fans of horror and suspense will love the action, while the play also asks speculative questions about the rightful use of technology alongside those of love, family, and politics " 
"The creators of MOTHERBOARD will not be bested when it comes to imagination, creativity and ingenuity. AntiMatter Collective serves up a production that is not only visually striking but also comes with a meaty plot and rich characters… Playwright Adam Scott Mazer pens an amazing journey of discovery for his main characters. Creating sympathy for a doomed robot character has been done many times before but Mazer does it with all the skill and style of some of science fiction's greatest  writers… Motherboard is a good time from start to  finish. All the production aspects come together to create an immersive world that will transport you… Sci-fi  theater at its very best."

"The 'anything could happen' atmosphere amplifies this show into absolutely must-see territory. We'll leave it there; to say  anything else would be to spoil the brilliant fever-dream you're in for with DEMONOLOGY."
Flavorpill Editor's Pick

"If you are an adventurous theatergoer and are looking for what curiosities alternative theater might have to offer you need look no further than AntiMatter Collective's DEMONOLOGY... this frightening and fascinating experience will make you feel like you've been missing something even if you're a regular devotee of downtown independent theater." 

"Thanks to a cunning transposition of genre conventions, the Western-zombie mash-up DEATH VALLEY, written and fight directed by Adam Scott Mazer, comes off tighter than Dick's hatband." 
Backstage Critics Pick

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