A scene from Bated Breath Theatre Company's Beneath the Gavel''.
A scene from Bated Breath Theatre Company's Beneath the Gavel.
(© Bated Breath Theatre Co.)

Connecticut's Bated Breath Theatre Company will present the New York debut of its immersive theater experience Beneath the Gavel at 59E59 Theaters. The four-week engagement will run March 15-April 9 under the direction of Mara Lieberman, who is also the author of the piece.

Inspired by the experiences of auctioneer Barbara Strongin working at Christie's and Sotheby's, the piece is described as follows: "In Beneath the Gavel, the audience, at first observers, quickly become bidders — with fistfuls of cash — as the performers around them bring various roles to life: deep-pocket collectors, art dealers, artists, critics, and auctioneers. An experience like few before it, Beneath the Gavel boldly explores — through vivid storytelling and theatricality — how art is created and is assigned value. As the stakes rise, so too does our understanding of the excitement — and tension — of a world that values art as high commerce, at odds with a world that depends on art for cultural nourishment."

The cast includes Gabriel Aprea, Missy Burmeister, Corey Finzel, Sean Hinckle, Mia Hutchinson-Shaw, Moira O'Sullivan, and Debra Walsh.

Beneath the Gavel first premiered in March 2016 in partnership with the New Britain Museum of American Art.