Ars Nova (theater)
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Ars Nova Theater

Ars Nova
Ars Nova.jpg
Address511 West 54th Street
New York City
United States
DesignationNew York City Landmark

Ars Nova is an Off-Broadway, non-profit theater in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. Ars Nova develops and produces theater, comedy and music created by artists in the early stages of their careers.

The theater was founded in 2003 in memory of Gabe Wiener, a music producer who died at the age of 26, by his sister, Jenny Steingart and her husband Jon Steingart. The theater's mission is to provide a venue for smart, surprising new work from emerging artists.[1]

Mainstage productions

Past mainstage productions

Past Ars Nova productions include Game Play,[2]Eager to Lose,[3]Core Values,[4]The Netflix Plays,[5]Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,[6]The Urban Dictionary Plays,[7]The Lapsburgh Layover, Be a Good LIttle Widow, The Wii Plays, Now Circa Then, Bloodsong of Love, Missed Connections NYC, Sax & Dixon: We Thee Wed, Mel & El: Show & Tell, Two Girls for Five Bucks and the Ten Dollar Heartbreakers, Playlist, Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, Boom, From up Here, Dixie's Tupperware Party, At Least It's Pink, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Holy Cross Sucks!, Freestyle Love Supreme and The Wau Wau Sisters. [8]

Programs and series

In addition to its mainstage theatrical productions, the theater produces a number of series, festivals and programs.

54/10 Music Marathon

In 2010, Ars Nova began its annual summer music marathon, 54/10, named for the theater's location at the cross streets of 54th Street and 10th Avenue. Past acts have included Clydesdale Erotic, Justin Levine, Langhorne Slim, Semi Precious Weapons, Jay Brannan, The Woes, The Defibulators, Cynthia Hopkins, and The Spring Standards.[9] In 2013, the festival continued as an integrated part of ANT Fest.[10]

ANT Fest

In 2008, Ars Nova premiered its All New Talent Festival, or ANT Fest. The festival ran from October 16 through November 24 and showcased the work of 175 new artists.[11] ANT Fest has since become an annual event, lasting for 30 nights and giving early-career artists a forum to present original material in front of a New York audience. Each show is given only one performance in order to allow for greater risk taking and the development of as many new artists as possible over the 30 night period.[12] As of 2012, the festival has been moved from fall to summer.[13]

In 2013, ANT Fest combined with the 54/10 music festival, with upcoming bands featured twice per week in the evenings after regular ANT Fest shows.[14]


Showgasm is a monthly variety show. It showcases short works (five minutes or less) by young artists who have not yet developed a full-length show, as well providing a venue for veteran Ars Nova artists to showcase new material.[15]


Uncharted is a music series for up-and-coming musical theater writers to showcase original work through concerts. Previous artists in the series include: Joe Iconis, Justin Levine, Daniel Zaitchik, Andrew Lippa, Chester Gregory, Debra Barsha, Gavin Creel, Scott Mebus, Bob Stillman, David Clement, Daniel Cartier, GrooveLily, Johnny Hancock, Janice Lowe, Michael Longoria, Ben Birney, Rob Seitelman, Alan Zachary, Michael Wiener, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Pale Horse and Rider, Lori Michaels, The Davenports and Nick Blaemire.[16]

In 2013, Ars Nova added a new Uncharted writer's group modeled after Play Group. Curated by Kent Nicholson, the group brings together rising composers and writers monthly to workshop and develop new musicals. 2013 Uncharted artists include Julia Meinwald & Gordon Leary, Anna K. Jacobs & Michael R. Jackson, Charles Vincent Burwell & James D. Sasser, and Jen Silverman & Shaina Taub. [17]

Out Loud

The Out Loud series connects emerging playwrights with professional directors to help facilitate the writer's creative process and contribute to his/her professional development. The majority of the plays produced during Out Loud come from members of Ars Nova's Play Group.[18]

The Writer's Room

In 2012, the Manhattan Theatre Club launched The Studio at Stage II, with the intention of producing new works at the New York City Center. As a part of this program, the Manhattan Theatre Club teamed up with Ars Nova to create the Writer's Room. Together, the two theater groups will jointly select four playwrights per year to receive Writer's Room Commissions. The commissioned writers will then come together to participate in a program designed to encourage artistic risk taking and provide developmental support.[19]

Play Group

The Play Group is a coalition of emerging playwrights, who meet on a biweekly basis to develop and discuss their works-in-progress. If accepted into the two-year program, the writers are given a chance to develop their plays with peer support and input, culminating in a public reading of their completed works. In addition to receiving support from the other Play Group members and Ars Nova staff, participants gain access to Ars Nova's network of artists, tickets to Ars Nova productions and the opportunity to participate in the Out Loud reading series and annual Play Group project. [18]

Joshua Allen, Annie Baker, Rachel Bonds, Mike Batistick, Chad Beckim, Bekah Brunstetter, Sarah Burgess, Evan Cabnet, Jenny Connell, Kara Lee Corthron, Dylan Dawson, Kristoffer Diaz, Zayd Dohrn, Ron Fitzgerald, Liz Flahive, Sam Forman, Etan Frankel, Sarah Gancher, Nick Gandiello, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, Dipika Guha, Amy Herzog, Samuel D. Hunter, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kyle Jarrow, Jake Jeppson, Nick Jones, Stephen Karam, Jon Kern, Josh Koenigsberg, Steven Levenson, Barry Levey, Matthew Lopez, Liz Meriwether, Carly Mensch, Molly Smith Metzler, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michael Mitnick, Gregory Moss, Janine Nabers, Rachel Shukert, Mat Smart, Aurin Squire, Adam Szymkowicz, Kim Rosenstock, Sharyn Rothstein, Joe Tracz, Samuel Brett Williams, A. Zell Williams, Beau Willimon and Bess Wohl.[20]


The Artist in Residence program provides emerging directors, designers, composers, and playwrights with an artistic home for one year. Ars Nova's 2012 Artists in Residence are The Debate Society (Company-in-Residence), Portia Krieger (Director-in-Residence) and Shaina Taub (Composer-in-Residence). Each resident has access to the Ars Nova staff and resources, in return for providing expertise and assistance with artistic planning and production. Residents are also often commissioned to develop new work for the Ars Nova stage.[21]

Summer retreat

Each summer, the theater funds a group of artists to attend a week long retreat outside of New York City. The retreat is divided into focused work sessions, group discussions and social activities.[18]

Awards and honors

In 2008, the Village Voice awarded Ars Nova its "Best Theater Concessions" honor, commenting that "Ars Nova satisfies those few disconsolate [theater concession consumers] among us: In addition to reasonably priced cocktails, it features snacks thematically linked with the play on offer."[22]

Ars Nova's commissioned production of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 won several awards and nominations, including the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, a Special Citation from the OBIE awards, and five Drama Desk nominations. [23][24][25]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Green, Jesse (February 25, 2007). "Care and Feeding of Plays and Playwrights". The New York Times.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Vodka, Uniforms, Tolstoy, Songs and Vodka". New York Times. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Ars Nova Presents The Urban Dictionary Plays". Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "ARS NOVA: About Us; History". Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ Strassler, Doug (July 31, 2012). "Start Your Engines for 54/10 Music Marathon at Ars Nova". New York Press.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Inaugural Ars Nova Theatre Festival Takes Its First Step Oct. 16". Playbill. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ Scheck, Frank (October 16, 2011). "Upper Fest Side: talent shows are a steal". New York Post. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ Firestone, Lonnie (May 31, 2012). "Ars Nova's ANT Fest Fosters New Talent". Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b "Showgasm at Ars Nova". January 25, 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ Gioia, Michael (September 12, 2012). "Jeremy Kushnier, Kevin Massey, Ryah Nixon, Alexandra Socha Sing Matthew Robinson Tunes Sept. 12 at Ars Nova". Playbill. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Hairspray's Michael Longoria Plays Ars Nova April 11, 2005". Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Bob Stillman Performs Uncharted Songs at Ars Nova, Oct. 18". Wisdom Digital Media. October 11, 2005. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: David Clement And Daniel Cartier". SmartTix. SmartTix Entertainment Services, Inc. May 25, 2005. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: GrooveLily"., Inc. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: Janice Lowe"., Inc. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: Johnny Hancock". SmartTix. SmartTix Entertainment Services, Inc. May 11, 2005. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Hairspray's Michael Longoria Plays Ars Nova April 11". Wisdom Digital Media. March 28, 2005. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: Pale Horse And Rider, Lori Michaels, The Davenports". SmartTix. SmartTix Entertainment Services, Inc. October 11, 2005. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Uncharted: Ben Birney And Rob Seitelman". SmartTix. SmartTix Entertainment Services, Inc. June 6, 2006. Retrieved 2012.
    o "Let It Sing - The Songs of Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner"., Inc. Retrieved 2012.
    o Pincus-Roth, Zachary (November 10, 2006). "Evening of Songs by Miller and Tysen-- with McElroy and Caplan--Plays Ars Nova Nov. 12". Playbill. Retrieved 2012.
    o Gans, Andrew (June 26, 2006). "Wicked's Espinosa to Be Part of Pasek and Paul Evening". Playbill. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c "ARS NOVA: Programs On-Stage". Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "MTC Announces The Studio at Stage II, The Writer's Room in Partnership with Ars Nova, and Two Productions". June 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ "Play Group". Ars Nova NYC.
  21. ^ "Ars Nova Announces 2012 Programming Page 2". February 1, 2012. p. 1. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ "Best Theater Concessions in New York: Ars Nova Theater". Village Voice. Retrieved 2012.
  23. ^ "2013 Winners - Drama Desk Awards". Drama Desk Awards. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ "Obie Awards Honor 'Detroit' and 'Grimly Handsome'". NY Times. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "Natasha and Kid Who Would Be Pope win Prestigious Musical Theater Prizes". NY Times. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Simon, Perry Michael (October 20, 2011). "A Place To Start Something". Retrieved 2012.

External links

Coordinates: 40°46?03?N 73°59?26?W / 40.76757°N 73.99055°W / 40.76757; -73.99055

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