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Michelle Tabnick
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LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y and Mystical Feet Company present The Mar Vista, Dec. 1-18

by Michelle Tabnick
November 23, 2016
14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 780-0800
LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture and Mystical Feet Company present The Mar Vista, a dance/theater work written and choreographed by Yehuda Hyman in collaboration with the Mystical Feet Company (Ron Kagan, Dwight Kelly, Ryan Pater, Ezra Lowrey, Amanda Schussel and Hyman) at The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th Street, from December 1-18, 2016. Performance schedule: Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $18 in advance or $22.50 at the door. Tickets are available at 646-395-4310 or www.14streety.org.

The Mar Vista is a comical and heartbreaking new dance/theater work by award-winning Brooklyn-based theater artist Yehuda Hyman and his Mystical Feet Company. A cast of six performs this unusual Jewish family saga spanning 90 years - a forbidden and passionate WWII romance, the mysteries of Istanbul, a 1960s family of immigrants on the West Side of L.A., gypsy dances, pop songs and water ballets, and above all the enduring memory of lost love.

“Mar Vista” is Spanish for “view of the sea.” It is also the name of the Los Angeles neighborhood where Hyman grew up, a working class area on the Westside that had a high population of World War II and Korean War veterans and their families, many of whom bought their homes with the help of GI loans. The neighborhood’s name held within it a promise of views of the Pacific Ocean for all.  Unfortunately, the Hyman’s small house was at the bottom of a big hill, which blocked his family’s view. In this lyrical and quirky new work, Hyman attempts to climb that hill and witness the distant sea.

Elizabeth Zimmer of The Village Voice said, "Hyman weaves the episodic work together with intensely physical storytelling, flinging his compact form about like a genie loosed from a magic lamp. Laced with music and dancing, the two-hour piece transports you across continents and a century to a deep, lyrical understanding of the making of an artist."*

* The Village Voice, October 19, 2016 - The Mar Vista selected as "Best Immigrant Saga" in their "Best of NYC" issue.

“LABA was the breeding ground for the birth of The Mar Vista,” explained Artistic Director Ronit Muszkatblit. “That year the theme of ‘Mother’ resonated with Yehuda and inspired him to develop this exciting dance theater work.”


YEHUDA HYMAN (Playwright/Choreographer) is the Artistic Director of Mystical Feet Company, www.mysticalfeetcompany.org. His plays include The Mad Dancers, David in Shadow and Light (co-written with Daniel Hoffman), Center of the Star, Swan Lake Calhoun, I Ask You, Ladies and Gentlemen (adapted from the memoir by Leon Surmelian), and solo plays, The Mad 7 and Max, Rapunzel and the Night. His work has been produced at the McCarter Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, San Diego Repertory Theater, Theatre J, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Piven Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, and The Marsh among others. Honors include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, the National Endowment of the Arts /TCG Playwright-in-Residence grant to work with Cornerstone Theater of Los Angeles, a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis, Heideman Award from Actors' Theater of Louisville and grants from the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity and Foundation for Jewish Culture. His poetry and prose have been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Northern California Jewish Bulletin, Minnesota Monthly, Revue Alsacienne de Litterature, Recours au Poème and Seeing Jewish and Israeli Dance, published by Wayne State University Press. He has translated the work of German poet, Eva-Maria Berg. Mr. Hyman recently acted in New York City with Target Margin Theater, The Civilians and in Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood at Jack Performance Space. He was an Artist Fellow at the LABA House of Study at the 14th St. Y (2013/2014). He received his M.F.A in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and has been a guest teacher there as well as at Princeton University, University of Southern California, Barnard College, New York University, Goucher College, Whittier College, University of Indiana and the Rhodopi Institute in Smolyan, Bulgaria. He is currently a teaching artist with Dancing Classrooms in the NYC public school system.

AMANDA ROSE SCHUSSEL (Performer) began her studies at Sarah Lawrence College and is currently attending Pace University. Amanda graduated from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in music. She was a dancer/ actor/ singer with the Times Square Kidz at New Dance Group. She then pursued instrumental music, studying the oboe and performing in chamber music groups and orchestras. Some of her performing arts credits include: All My Children, NBC; NY Fringe Festival; CBS Morning Show; Sarah Lawrence Chamber Group and Orchestra; Sarah Lawrence dance performances; the 10 Minute Central Park Play Festival at HB Studios; and a dancer in the NBC/Cozi TV Munster Stomp this past October. She looks forward to a wonderful run of The Mar Vista and sends her love to all her family and friends.

RON KAGAN (Performer), a native of New York City, is a graduate of LaGuardia HS for the Performing Arts and of the Macaulay Honors program at Hunter College. He holds an MFA in Acting that he received on a full-merit scholarship from Florida State University / Asolo Repertory Theatre, a top-ten conservatory for actor training. He lives with his wife and their four rabbits in Harlem. Ron was the head of community and customer care at Backstage Magazine. He continues to serve performers through his startup AUDITION HERO. https://auditionherohq.com/

RYAN PATER (Performer) is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina Ryan is now a Brooklyn-based actor, musician, and teaching artist. He is artistic director of Oh Force! Theatre Company and plays guitar in his band Lion and Spaniel. Ryan is a teaching artist at some wonderful organizations such as SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, ENACT, and Lincoln Center Education.

DWIGHT RICHARDSON KELLY (Performer) is an artist and Disability Services professional living and working in New York City. Originally from Massachusetts, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College where he studied the Creative Arts (sculpture, film, theatre and dance), Psychology and Disability Studies.

AMY PAGE (Costume Designer) previously collaborated with Yehuda Hyman when she created the costumes for Leaning into Moisture. She also creates costumes for the MFA dance students at Sarah Lawrence College, American Ballet Theatre's Education Outreach students, RIOULT Dance, Keigwin+Company, Ballet Academy East, Bronxville Ballet, and Ballet Hispanico.  Amy is often dressed in black, supporting artists as a dresser for various companies at the Joyce Theater, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Amy earned her degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.   

EZRA LOWREY (Sound Designer/Original Music/Performer) is a composer and performer in New York City. He has written and performed music for theater pieces including Holy Mathematics (Dixon Place), the Untitled Ginsberg Project (Alchemical Theater Lab), and the Weasel Festival (JACK, dir. Mia Rovegno) where he first worked with Yehuda. Ezra is the music director for MidnightRadio Show, a multi-media shadow puppet collective in Brooklyn. He also performs solo and with several bands throughout New York and North NJ.

KRYSSY WRIGHT (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer based out of Brooklyn. Since high school she has designed and built sets, designed and hung light plots, stage managed, set up audio and video systems, production managed, tech directed, and swept a lot of floors. While in NYC, Kryssy has worked with the Ensemble Studio Theater, Columbia University, INTAR, Noemie LaFrance, PS122, and many others. Kryssy has spent a significant amount of time in the Abrons Art Center, Wild Project, and Danspace Project at St. Marks. Outside of NYC she went on tour with The Civilians. Recently Kryssy joined the team at 14StreetY as the Technical Coordinator and Resident Designer. She is an Associate Artist with Third Rail Projects, whom with she was awarded a Bessie, and Avant Media Group. Her degree is from Bennington College.

About The 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y is a thriving and dynamic community center located in the heart of the East Village.  Our members have access to over 50 fitness classes per week, lap and family swim times, childcare, pick-up games in our basketball gymnasium and a fitness center filled with a full range of cardio and weight equipment.  Membership at the Y also gives you access to arts and culture programming, www.14streety.secure.force.com/ticket as well as early registration and discounts on all Y classes and programs like camps, preschool, and Two by Two. www.14streety.org.

Full Season Tickets and detailed information on shows available at: www.14streety.org/tickets.

“It all starts here. Art incubated at the 14th Street Y.”
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