Sponsored By Nobody is an international theatre company based in Brooklyn led by Kevin Doyle (artistic director), Mike Carlsen (associate artistic director) and active company members Mayra Castro, Keith Downing, Josh Edelmann, Sauda Jackson, and Eric Magnus. We create works of interdisciplinary theatre that explores complex social issues or public policy issues which we believe cannot be adequately represented via traditional theatrical realism. Our approach revolves around abstraction, repetition, deconstruction and splicing/collage techniques as a means to transcend our culture's generic responses to social issues. We incorporate elements of dance, film, installation, live-camera usage, and complex audio-video design systems -- while employing "found-texts" and our own original writing. Since 2007, Sponsored By Nobody has established a reputation between New York and Europe for presenting abrasive theatre that refuses to relinquish the idea of art as a catalyst for social change. With our core group of collaborators, we remain committed to a collaborative development process and operate with a sense of urgency on each project we undertake. The goal of maintaining a sense of relevance to our contemporary reality remains a foundation of our approach. Previous works: W.M.D. (just the low points) at The Game Is Up! Festival at the Vooruit Arts Center (Gent); ATM or this is [not] new york at the Monty Kultuurfaktorij (Antwerp); Behind The Bullseye at the Ontological Theater (New York); FOX(y) FRIENDS at HERE Arts Center (New York); Compression of a Casualty at the Brick Theater (Brooklyn); not from canada at the Monty Kultuurfaktorij (Antwerp); The Position at Soho Think Tank's ICE FACTORY Festival at the Ohio Theatre; and Americans n' Indians at the 3LD Art & Technology Center (New York) in a co-production with Het Festival (Gent) and Belgian actors Matthieu Sys and Boris Van Severen.
"Sponsored By Nobody are looking to defibrillate American theater with the short, sharp shocks of the uncomfortably familiar." -- THE BROOKLYN RAIL
During 2017-2018, Sponsored By Nobody will develop two original large-scale projects, while also reviving a previous work as a touring site-specific production. THE ARTS is a three-part work of interdisciplinary theatre that investigates and deconstructs the history of public funding for the arts in the United States and contrasts it with events in the European Union, where threats to public subsidy have manifested in recent years. THE ARTS is based upon transcripts from debates and hearings held in the U.S. Congress from 1963-1965 and 1989-1994; in addition to interviews conducted with arts leaders and citizens throughout the United States and Europe from 2012-2016. THE ARTS has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the 2017 IMPACT Residency Award from The Drama League of New York and The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. During 2017, SBN will focus on Parts One and Two of THE ARTS by condensing transcripts to revolve around two specific dates: October 26, 1963 and May 19, 1989. The former marks the first public hearings held in Congress on public funding of the arts. The latter marks the formal start of a backlash against arts funding, essentially beginning what we now call "the Culture Wars." Part Three emphasizes the present day funding realities and features a dramaturgical structure that allows for multiple perspectives presented on stage to culminate in a final unifying public action that can be tailored to fit the institution, city, or country wherever THE ARTS is presented. THE ARTS is currently being developed with the creative team of actors Mike Carlsen, Katey Parker, Sauda Jackson, April Sweeney, Josh Edelman, Chris Tyler and Chris Gentile; designers Jon Bernson, Kate McGee, Eric Magnus, and actor-designer Mayra Castro; and writer-director, Kevin Doyle. Early support for research on THE ARTS has been provided by a Saari Fellowship from The Kone Foundation; a Cultural Exchange Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the IETM (Brussels), the Pell Archive Initiative at the University of Rhode Island; and The Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, D.C.
"Sponsored By Nobody has emerged as one of the best kept secrets of New York's alternative theatre scene." -- De Morgen
The second large-scale project is TRIANGLE / TAZREEN that explores the global garment industry by focusing on workers who survived the 2012 Tazreen Factory Fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh and contrasts their experiences with those of workers involved in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City. Initial support for research on Phase One of the project was provided by a 2016 Individual Artist Grant from the Asian Cultural Council (New York) for artistic director, Kevin Doyle, to travel to Bangladesh. From October to December 2016, he researched the garment industry in Bangladesh and met with a dozen survivors of the Tazreen fire. He recorded their stories, while also securing their consent and agreement to work further on the project as both performers and collaborators. Phase Two of the project will involve researching New York labor history and interviewing descendants of Triangle victims and survivors still living throughout New York City. We hope to enter Phase Three of the project during 2017-2018 by conducting additional filming and rehearsals in both Bangladesh and New York. Our goal is to present a fully-realized, large-scale interdisciplinary theatre-film project during the 2018-2019 season. A concise breakdown of Doyle's time in Bangladesh with the Tazreen survivors and an outline of project can be viewed online at his blog here at -- thewavemakerfaltered .
"The sting of the playwright's satire is softened only by his gift for comic absurdity." -- THE NEW YORK TIMES