Theater News

Rattlestick Theater Announces 2024-25 “On the Road” Season

This 30th anniversary season is the first to be fully envisioned and curated by artistic director Will Davis.

Ethan Lipton and Leigh Silverman
Ethan Lipton and Leigh Silverman
(© Tricia Baron)

Rattlestick Theater announced its 30th anniversary season, which finds the company “on the road,” producing in partnership with Theatre for a New Audience and New Georges, and also launching Waverly Performance Studio, a multi-year commitment to the creation of new work in a robust, meaningful, and fully-supported way. Rattlestick’s 2024-2025 season is the first season to be fully envisioned and curated by artistic director Will Davis, the first transgender leader of a major institution without a defined LGBTQIA+ mission.

The season opens in the fall with the world premiere of a new musical, We Are Your Robots, by Obie winner Ethan Lipton (No Place to Go, Tumacho) and directed by two-time Tony nominee and frequent collaborator Leigh Silverman (Suffs). Co-produced with Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, We Are Your Robots features book and lyrics by Lipton, and music by Lipton and his bandmates of 20 years: Vito Dieterle on saxophone, Eben Levy on guitar, and Ian Riggs on bass. The quartet play robots who’ve come to the theater to answer the question, “What do humans want from their machines?”

In spring 2025, Rattlestick will team up with New Georges to present Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods by the playwrights and performers Emma Horwitz (Mary Gets Hers) and Bailey Williams and directed by Tara Elliott. Set inside an intimate archive of towering bankers boxes, Two Sisters… weaves and connects narratives, asking how we become visible to ourselves.

Waverly Performance Studio, which will include commissioning support, multi-year development, and week-long workshops with the entire creative team called Production Incubators, building towards an eventual Off-Broadway premiere, will begin in October with actor and writer Arturo Luíz Soria, whose solo show, Ni Mi Madre, premiered at Rattlestick and won an Obie Award for Best Performance. Soria, in collaboration with director Danilo Gambini, will begin work on Sin Padre, a companion piece to Ni Mi Madre in which following the sudden death of his brother, Turo is left to pick through the pieces of his life as he grapples with what it means to be a queer man thrust into a father figure role.

Will Davis will also begin work with his collaborators as part of the Waverly Performance Studio with his new dance-theater piece that centers on the rise and fall of a lesbian bar.

The season also includes, in June 2025, the sixth annual Global Forms, a theater festival created in 2020 to meet the urgent, specific needs of immigrant artists during the pandemic. Since its inception, Global Forms has hired over 150 immigrant artists from 50+ countries.

Rattlestick will continue its fellowship programs. Mellon Playwright-in-Residence Basil Kreimendahl will continue his residency and develop his new play, Sadie Rivers Drag Ball on the Lawn for a future Rattlestick production. The Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is designed to support ambitious early-career playwrights by giving them time, space, financial support to develop their work, professional mentorship with veteran playwrights, and access to the community of artists and work being developed at Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions. The Cycle 2 Fellows are Jesse Jae Hoon, Sam Mueller, and Eliana Theologides Rodriguez. With the support of the New York Community Trust and the Jerome Foundation, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, which provides substantial support to two emerging playwrights of color, was rehomed from the Lark in 2022. The 2024-2025 cohort of Van Lier fellows will be announced this summer.

This summer, Pride Plays, the initiative launched in 2019 by Michael Urie, Doug Nevin, and Nick Mayo, will return with a three-play Pride Plays Celebration at Rattlestick on June 24. Under the new leadership of Sam Gravitte and Sammy Lopez, and with the support of the original founders, Pride Plays will celebrate the rich tapestry of LGBTQIA+ experiences through the power of live theater.

The “On the Road” season enables Rattlestick to begin renovations on its home, first built in 1854 and occupied by Rattlestick since 1999, that enhances accessibility with the installation of an elevator and new bathrooms.

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