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An introducion to New York Narratives

While some may consider New York the epicentre of global culture, cities such as Paris, London and Melbourne have each played seminal roles in creating a cultural diaspora of multi–talented theatre makers.

Continuing Melbourne Festival’s commitment to this city’s vibrant independent scene New York Narratives brings together two influential yet distinctly individual independent theatre venues and producers—Performance Space 122 (PS122) in New York and Arts House in Melbourne.

Since it started as an East Village artist squat in 1980, PS122 has evolved from a scrappy underdog providing artists a space to experiment, to a globally renowned leader at the forefront of contemporary performance in New York and around the world.

Under the curatorial vision of Mark Russell (1985–2005) and Vallejo Gantner (2005–present), PS122 has presented over 25,000 artists from more than 20 different countries for hundreds of thousands of audience members since its beginning in 1980.

Through the presentation of artists such as John Leguizamo, Jonathan Ames, Eric Bogosian, Blue Man Group and Young Jean Lee, PS122 has launched careers and art forms, and developed new art practices that have enriched the cultural petri dish that is New York City and subsequently the globe.

In Melbourne, Arts House, which is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary, has become an important arbiter of independent performing arts and made significant contribution to the creative development of our city.

The two organisations share a dedication to support the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives, and providing incomparable experiences for audiences through works that challenge boundaries of live performance.

New York Narratives showcases the historic and contemporary influences of each city’s independent theatre practitioners on local, national and international artists and audiences.

In addition to staging works from two of PS122’s distinguished alumni—Andrew Schneider and Okwui Okpokwasili—the program will also include video installations and films that chronicle artists and productions presented at PS122 over the past 3 decades; a hands–on interactive performance with Melburnians and Andrew Schneider; a multi–faceted exhibition of Arts House’s first decade; and pre/post show talks with the creative artists behind the shows.

Browse all New York Narratives events.



London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off and it must hurry to meet it.

Dorothy Parker