“New Work from New York” is the Cabaret’s holiday gift to Yale. The two-day event will feature Waterwell, a New York-based theater company, and glam-rock band Bambï on Friday and Pulitzer Prize nominee Eisa Davis, a playwright, actor and singer/songwriter on Saturday.
WEEKEND sat down to discuss the show with the Cabaret’s Associate Producer, Jake Jeppson DRA ’12, Managing Director Tara Kayton DRA ’11 and Artistic Director Andrew Kelsey DRA ’11.
Q: There’s a plethora of exciting new work in the city – what makes Waterwell and Elsa Davis stand out?
JJ: Andrew and I have worked with Waterwell on two separate occasions and have been very impressed. The show they’re putting up, GOODBAR, is a live concept album. It’s an exciting, new theatrical form. And that goes with our mission at the Cabaret — shifting perspectives.
JJ: And then Elisa just does all these fields. Again, she’s shifting perspectives.
AK: I mean, she was nominated for a Pulitzer for playwriting, won an OBIE (Off-Broadway Theater Award) for acting.
TK: We also like having two pieces that are so different — it gives the Yale community two tastes of what’s going on in New York.
Q: What should we expect — shock, awe, joy?
JJ: Joy. This weekend of performance is part of our ‘Quick and Dirty’ series, one that’s infected with theatrical energy. The audience is going to see a video-projected background, glass, animation, live dancers.
AK: It’ll be a sensory explosion. It’s that kind of show – a nod to our name and the living room element of our space. Both shows explore music’s role in live theatre. Waterwell incorporates a crossover piece of theatre. With Eisa, experimentation is embodied in the artist herself.
Q: Are people at the School of Drama enticed by this form as well?
AK: There’s the third-year director Michael McQuicklen — he creates theatre work that is auditory, tapping into what’s in the air this year.
MK: Today alone, I was contacted by students from almost every department. There’s a buzz because it’s something the Cabaret hasn’t typically done.
Q: So what’s your guiding light, your goal for the show?
JJ: It’s about more of a party atmosphere. This is our gift to Yale. We believe in generosity, and are presenting generous artists. The idea is really: ‘look at this thing that we’re offering you.’ It’s two theatrical experiences that can both translate to small cabaret and live on the big stage. And the artists are wonderful people we want to expose Yale to.
AK: They are buying into the way the Cabaret community operates: quick and dirty; all passion; being willing to extend yourself.
Q: Can we look forward to more ‘New Work’ soon?
AK: This is a treat — it’s safe to say it’s a one-time only event. We definitely want to include collaborators outside the YSD, from the other graduate schools or even outside Yale. But our focus is always on artists here at the university.
JJ: For now, though, this Friday is going to be really loud, rocky and exciting.
Waterwell and Bambï will perform on Friday, and Eisa Davis will perform on Saturday, both at the Yale Cabaret.