Just Do Art

Compiled by Scott Stiffler | TRIBECA PAC ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE FESTIVAL
This summer, six emerging and established theater artists will present new work — created as part of Tribeca PAC’s Artists-in-Residence Program. Get a sneak preview at “The Artists-in-Residence Work & Show Festival” — which features the work of artists from a broad range of backgrounds (Israeli, Indian, Chinese and British) performing their own dance, opera and theatrical productions. Thurs., May 26 through Sat., June 19 at 7:30pm. At the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St.). For performance schedule and tickets ($10), call 212-220-1460, visit tribecapac.org or purchase at the box office (open Tues.-Sat., 12pm–6pm).

“Balance” — by Helaina Regen-Tuero (age 16, grade 11). Image courtesy of the artist

ART. WRITE. NOW.
Arts World Financial Center’s tribute to current and past winners of the prestigious national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards gives you the ground floor opportunity to witness the creative process of the country’s top creative teens. “ART. WRITE. NOW.” takes over the Courtyard Gallery, as six Awards alumni work in a storefront — creating new work in full view of visitors. Artists and writers chosen by the program have shown an exceptional capacity for photography, sculpture, poetry, film, painting, fashion, drawing, short stories, video game designs and more (past winners include Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Sylvia Plath and Joyce Carol Oates). Free. From 12-4pm on June 2-3, 7-10, 14-16. At the World Financial Center Winter Garden and Courtyard Gallery (200 Vessey St.). For info, call 212-945-0505 or visit artsworldfinancialcenter.com and artandwriting.org.

And you think you’ve got problems? See “I Plead Guilty.”

THEATER: I PLEAD GUILTY
While some of our fair city’s “edgy” artists have been hard at work creating manifestos about what a big jerk their ex is, playwright and anti-Putin/Russian opposition leader Natalia Pelevine has given her attention to weightier matters most Americans couldn’t begin to fathom — if we took the time to contemplate them. The original production, based on events surrounding the Moscow theater siege of 2002, was banned by Russian officials. No wonder, since Pelevine’s play shines a light on the disastrous results of the Russian government’s rescue efforts (which left 130 hostages dead from the gas they used). This new production focuses on two women — an Islamic terrorist and her hostage-journalist. Through their relationship, “I Plead Guilty” explores war, revenge and motherhood. Closes May 29. Wed.-Fri. at 7:30pm; Sat. at 3pm & 7:30pm; Sun., at 7:30pm. At the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). For Tickets ($18), call 212-868-4444 or visit smarttix.com.

Maurizio Casa & Elena McEntire as Don Jose & Carmen. See “Amore Opera.” Photo by Richard Borowsky

AMORE OPERA
Amore Opera’s 2010-2011 season concludes with a production of Bizet’s “Carmen” as well as family friendly “Opera in Brief” matinee performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore.” Sung as an Opera Comique version, with English dialogue and fully staged with orchestra, “Carmen” concerns what happens when Spanish officer Don Jose falls for gypsy girl Carmen. Jealousy, obsession and murder soon follow (hey, it’s opera!). On the lighter side, the satirical “H.M.S. Pinafore” is a tale of mistaken identity and the virtues of true love. Spoiler alert: After lots of clever singing, things work out just fine — well, at least better than they do for Carmen and her beau. At The Connelly Theater, 220 E. 4th St. (btw. Aves. A & B). “Carmen” performances are May 25-28, 7:30pm and May 29, 2:30pm. “H.M.S. Pinafore” performances are May 28, 11:30am & 3pm. “Carmen” tickets: $40; $30 for students/seniors). “Pinafore” tickets: $15. To order, call 888-811-4111 or visit amoreopera.org/tickets.

HUDSON RIVER MIDDLE SCHOOL OPERA COMPANY
Do you remember what you were doing when you were in the 7th grade? If you can remember, congratulations on still having your wits about you. Now the stuff that was on your plate back then; did it involve putting on an opera? No? Well then, that’s all the more reason to admire the young 7th grade artists from IS 289. As if staging their own opera weren’t ambitious enough, check out the description (from an email they sent us): “In our opera, we are trying to show how conflict occurs when diverse people express their beliefs. We learned about the northern colonies, southern colonies and the middle colonies in our social studies class.” The students then took their notes and created an opera based on the stance or belief of each colony. For more info, visit is289.org or call 212-571-9268. The opera will be performed at 10:30am on June 1, 2, 3; and also at 6:30pm on June 2 (at 201 Warren St.). For info, call 212-571-9268.

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