Join FPP at Silvana in Harlem, Tomorrow at 4pm!

FPP 4x6 for WebJoin us tomorrow afternoon at Silvana *a new location* in Harlem at 4pm for a reading of Karinne Keithley Syers’s My Address is Still Walton: a Play for the Set of Charlie Rose.

Immediately following the play, writers Randall Horton and Nicole Cooley share their work to wrap up our final event of the season. Silvana is located at 300 W 116th St. (at Frederick Douglass) in Harlem. As always, our events are FREE.

The FPP Interview: Randall Horton

FPP spoke with poet and writer Randall Horton about giving shape to the unseen, the intersections between poetry and prose, and the exhausting digging and wallowing required by writing a memoir. Randall reads with us at the FPP season finale on March 9 at Silvana in Harlem.

Bio Pic GtownYour poetry seems quite public, that is, interested in the social realm, in the institutions that rise up in and around communities.  You zero in on the exchanges among people and systems that we might observe, rather than focusing largely on interiority.  Can you tell us about your approach to writing about real or invented characters?

I think you are correct in terms of looking at the structures within society, and how these structures dictate human exchange. When looking at characters, I’m trying to figure out what society is doing to them. I think society invents characters. I love to look at that process.  To read the rest of the interview, go here.

The FPP Interview: Nicole Cooley

candidphotoFPP spoke with poet and prose writer Nicole Cooley about the searing imagery of post-Katrina New Orleans, the glory of dollhouses, and the joy of being a poet’s daughter.  Nicole Cooley reads with us at The First Person Plural Reading Series season finale on March 9 at Silvana in Harlem.

In your book of poems, Breach, we move through terrains physical and emotional as we imagine your New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. What did you feel most drawn to thinking and writing about in those days?  Which images stick with you still?

I wanted to write the poems because of the images–what I saw when I went to New Orleans three months after the hurricane and what I saw when I went to Mississippi a year after the storm. The front steps that lead to no house. The houses that looked fine until you saw–or my mother pointed out–the thin black waterline on the outside that meant the water rose inside the house and it was ruined.  Read the rest of the interview here.

The Grand Finale of the FPP Season – Sunday, March 9 at Silvana in Harlem!

Please join us for an afternoon of arts both literary and theatrical in the downstairs performance space of Silvana in Harlem at 4:00pm on March 9, 2014.  We will begin with a staged reading of Karinne Keithley Syers’ My Address Is Still Walton: A Play For The Set of Charlie Rose, directed and performed by Johanna McKeon, Caleb Bark, and Lacy Post, then we will hear poetry and prose writers Nicole Cooley and Randall Horton.  For this season finale, we will be in a new space, at the relatively new Silvana cafe and bar at 116th and FDB, across from Harlem Tavern.  Plan to eat delicious Israeli food and drink whatever suits!  As always, admission is free.

n_cooleyNicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans and now lives outside of NYC. She has published four books of poems, most recently Breach(LSU Press) and Milk Dress (Alice James Books), both in 2010, and a novel. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Feminist Wire, The Nation, and Poetry among other venues. She is currently working on a non-fiction book, My Dollhouse, Myself: Miniature Histories, as well as a new collection of poems, Of Marriage. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York.

Bio Pic GtownRandall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award and most recently a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. Randall is a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a member of The Symphony: The House that Etheridge Built. Randall is Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Haven. An excerpt from his memoir titled Roxbury is published by Kattywompus Press. Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press in the publisher of his latest poetry collection Pitch Dark Anarchy. He currently lives in NYC.

karinne-300x163Karinne Keithley Syers is an interdisciplinary artist and publisher of plays and performance texts. Her work spans dance, writing, sound, animation, essay, video, and projection, and has been seen in and out of New York since 1995. Recently her solo show Another Tree Dance premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City after a workshop performance at Mount Tremper Arts. Her chamber operetta/museum installation Montgomery Park, or Opulence, won a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2011, after its 2010 run at Incubator Arts Project. Her work has also been seen at Danspace Project, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Tonic, innumerable installations of Catch, several Little Theaters, The Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory festival, Surf Reality, and Ur, and has been supported by residencies and workshops at the MacDowell Colony, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab, Silo, and Mount Tremper Arts. She has collaborated as a performer with David Neumann, Young Jean Lee, Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson, Chris Yon, Sara Smith, Melanie Rios Glaser, Paul Matteson, and Yoshiko Chuma, as a sound and video designer with Big Dance Theater, Sibyl Kempson, Kate Weare, Ivy Baldwin, Chris Yon, Melanie Rios Glaser, Monica Bill Barnes, as a choreographer with The Civilians, Talking Band, Johanna McKeon, and Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, with whom she has also been a librettist. She founded 53rd State Press in 2007, and now co-edits it with Antje Oegel. They recently published their 19th book of performance scripts. She studied the dark (playwriting) arts at Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman, and is spitting distance from completing her Ph.D. in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her long-running audio serial The Basement Tapes of the Mole Cabal can be found on fancystitchmachine.org, along with her treasury of ukulele covers and stop motion animations.

walton

Postponed Due to Snow: My Address is Still Walton

photo 2The snow started coming down early here in the city, so tonight’s reading of My Address is Still Walton: a play for the set of Charlie Rose is postponed.

We are working on setting a future date, and we will post the updated information as soon as we have it.

In the meantime, here is a little Robert Hayden to warm you on this cold day:

Snow

Smooths and burdens,
endangers, hardens.

Erases, revises.
Extemporizes

Vistas of lunar solitude.
Builds, embellishes a mood.

The FPP Interview: Karinne Keithley Syers

karinne-300x163Karinne Keithley Syers’ play My Address is Still Walton: a play for the set of Charlie Rose, directed by Johanna McKeon, will be performed Tuesday, January 21st at Shrine in Harlem.  2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Doors open at 6:30 pm.  As always, our events are free and open to the public.

Syers talks with us about the dramatic function of the interview; what space exists between a question and it’s answer; and how choreography informs her writing.

Can you tell us a little bit about My Address is Still Walton, to give us a sense of what we might expect from the piece?

The subtitle is “A play for the set of Charlie Rose.” It’s a series of interviews in four parts, constrained by a few simple parameters: the interviews take place seated at Charlie’s round table, and everything that is said is either a question or an answer, except for one interview that also includes a translator. (Charlie Rose is not a character, just his set.)  Read the rest of the interview here.

Meet the Company of “My Address is Still Walton” at FPP on 1/21

Our first event of 2014 takes place at Shrine on Tuesday, January 21st!  We are so excited for this event as it is the first time we are hosting a staged reading of a play.   The work for the night, My Address is Still Walton, is written by the inimitable Karinne Keithley Syers and is directed and performed by Johanna McKeon, Caleb Bark and Lacy PostMy Address is Still Walton is an interview play, a dynamic argument that journalism is an equally dramatic context for the distillation of thoughts and lives as narrative storytelling.

The reading begins at 7pm.  Zubetei will open the evening with a set of digital music at 6:30 pm.  Shrine is located at 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in Harlem, New York.  We hope to see you there for another one-of-a-kind evening!

Karinne Keithley Syers is an interdisciplinary artist and publisher of plays and performance texts. Her work spans dance, writing, sound, animation, essay, video, and projection, and has been skarrineeen in and out of New York since 1995. Recently her solo show Another Tree Dance premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City after a workshop performance at Mount Tremper Arts. Her chamber operetta/museum installation Montgomery Park, or Opulence, won a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2011, after its 2010 run at Incubator Arts Project. Her work has also been seen at Danspace Project, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Tonic, innumerable installations of Catch, several Little Theaters, The Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory festival, Surf Reality, and Ur, and has been supported by residencies and workshops at the MacDowell Colony, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab, Silo, and Mount Tremper Arts. She has collaborated as a performer with David Neumann, Young Jean Lee, Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson, Chris Yon, Sara Smith, Melanie Rios Glaser, Paul Matteson, and Yoshiko Chuma, as a sound and video designer with Big Dance Theater, Sibyl Kempson, Kate Weare, Ivy Baldwin, Chris Yon, Melanie Rios Glaser, Monica Bill Barnes, as a choreographer with The Civilians, Talking Band, Johanna McKeon, and Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, with whom she has also been a librettist. She founded 53rd State Press in 2007, and now co-edits it with Antje Oegel. They recently published their 19th book of performance scripts. She studied the dark (playwriting) arts at Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman, and is spitting distance from completing her Ph.D. in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her long-running audio serial The Basement Tapes of the Mole Cabal can be found on fancystitchmachine.org, along with her treasury of ukulele covers and stop motion animations.

johanna Johanna McKeon’s directing credits include Tokio Confidential (Atlantic Stage 2), I Have Loved Strangers (Clubbed Thumb), Comedy of Errors, Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (Vineyard Playhouse), The Moscows of Nantucket (Nantucket Theater Workshop), Semi-Permanent (NY Fringe Festival Award, Outstanding Solo Show), Functional Drunk (Ontological-Hysteric Theater), Hatful of Rain (ITS Festival, Warsaw). Associate Directing Credits Broadway: American Idiot, Grey Gardens. Upcoming: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Broadway Tours: American Idiot, Rent. Recent Musical Development Workshops: Golden Motors (Derek Bermel and Wendy S. Walters), Rosie! (Music by Larry Gatlin), Biederman’s Match (Book by Beau Willimon). Guest Faculty: Bard College, Strasberg Institute. Fellowships: Drama League, Boris Sagal and Fulbright. MFA, UT Austin.

Johanna has been reading this play aloud with Lacy and Caleb for the past year.

Caleb Bark is an actor, filmmaker and comedian living in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  He is a member of the sketch comedy group Olde English, and recently appeared in their film THE EXQUISITE CORPE PROJECT.  Caleb is also working to expand arts education in the Harlem Children’s Zone TRUCE program.  BA Theater, Bard College.

IMG_2028Lacy Post is director/actress based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Recent work: The Hungry Ghosts, Dixon Place; Seymour’s Fat Lady: A Free adaptation of J.D. Salinger’s Franny & Zooey, NYU Graduate Acting, Freeplay Festival; The Mike and Morgan Show, Access Theater. BA Theater, Bard College.

Music composed by Steven Lighty.

 

My Address is Still Walton, a play by Karinne Keithley Syers at FPP on January 21

waltonOn Tuesday, January 21, at Shrine in Harlem, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Doors open at 6:30 pm. The First Person Plural Reading Series will present our very first staged reading of a play, Karinne Keithley Syers “My Address is Still Walton.”   We are thrilled to be bringing this kind of new work to our incredible Uptown audience.

Soundtrack Page, Updated

imagesFPP writers and artists select a song to inspire themselves as they ascend to the stage.  The tunes they pick are always surprising.  Performers and their choice of music are listed on our Soundtrack page, and we’ve just updated it to include our our final FPP artists of 2013.  Come hear what Siddhartha Deb, Karen Russell, Elizabeth Kendall, Ru Freeman, Tonya Foster, Pam Sporn, R. Erica Doyle and everyone else is listening to on the FPP Soundtrack page.

The FPP Interview: Ru Freeman

IMG_7325In our interview with fiction writer and activist Ru Freeman, we learn more about the society she created for her novel’s Sal Mal Lane, how Sri Lankan culture is ruled by the “we”, and how her sense of the collective and the individual shifts when she’s in America. We’re also welcomed into Freeman’s personal Harlem.  Ru Freeman will be reading with fiction writer Karen Russell and filmmaker Pam Sporn on Tuesday, November 19th at Shrine.

In your gorgeous and captivating new novel On Sal Mal Lane, we experience a universe of good and evil on a single street in Sri Lanka.  Tell us a bit about the world you created, and how you chose this geographic containment for your storytelling.

The book opens with a scene that anybody can relate to: a new family moves into the neighborhood. It is easy for a reader to put themselves immediately on that street because we all know the way our curiosity and expectation mingles and cloaks a new arrival. For a time, until we learn about them, any new family is a tangible “location” for our dreams: they could be our friends, they could be our enemies, they could be our lovers.  Read the rest of the interview here.