Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wonderful feature in the NYT today on Ars Nova, the venue that supported the development and production of TRUTH last fall--a great group of people doing real, substantive work that helps artists immensely.

A Week In The Life Of Ars Nova:

Something felt very unusual about the first public reading, earlier this month, of Brooke Berman’s “Out of the Water.” It wasn’t just that the play was good; that sometimes happens. Nor was it so rare to find, even on a bitter Monday night in February, an enthusiastic audience of 40 and a top-notch cast of young theater names. But it seemed almost suspicious that a hip new play by a writer not widely known was being presented in a room with comfortable seats. Also, the heat worked. And what had become of the rats and pigeons that usually attended such readings? Who printed the nice programs? Why were the bathrooms so lovely?

The answer to all of these questions was Ars Nova, the mighty little uptown-downtown theatrical venture on far West 54th Street, which was presenting “Out of the Water” as part of its Out Loud play-reading series. In a landscape defined by stately institutional behemoths and youthful but impoverished start-ups, Ars Nova has designed something new from the best elements of each. That night, and in different, surprising ways every night that week, the young theater focused on the necessary middle, valorizing emerging art and artists by putting them in an environment usually reserved for grandees.