Due to the severe weather caused by Hurricane Sandy, all performances of Audience, from Belgium's Ontroerend Goed, have been cancelled. Refunds will be issued to all ticket buyers. Information on a revised U.S. premiere date at the NYU Skirball Center is not available at this time.
Belgium’s critically acclaimed, award-winning company Ontroerend Goed was originally slated to return to New York with the U.S. premiere of Audience, one of the their most inventive performances. In this marathon of theatrical surprises, four actors turn a camera onto the audience and examine what it means to be a viewer. This would be the company’s first appearance in New York since the 2010 Under the Radar Festival, which featured Ontroerend Goed’s work for teenage performers, Once and for All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen.
Audience is the latest in a series of Ontroerend Goed works that pry open the cracks between performer and audience. The company’s production The Smile Off Your Face, for example, put show-goers in wheelchairs, tied them up and blindfolded them—and won a Fringe First award in the 2007 Edinburgh Festival. In the company’s Internal, one of the more talked-about productions in the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe, where it played at the Traverse Theatre, the company took audience members, one by one, into private booths and got them to confess personal secrets.
Audience is inspired, in large part, by an experience that director Alexander Devriendt had at a stand-up comedy show he attended with his girlfriend, whom the comic verbally assaulted as part of his performance. Devriendt, who felt he couldn’t retaliate for fear of appearing not to have understand the humor, began thinking about how being an audience member dictates or constrains one’s behavior. Audience pushes this line of inquiry, employing innovative techniques to toy with the viewer and expose the ways a thought can be manipulated. The result is visceral piece of theater that in Edinburgh and London in 2011 sparked furious debate among critics and audiences alike.
Audience is performed by Roos Van Vlaenderen, Matthieu Sys, Tiemen Van Haver and Joeri Smet. The production features sets and costumes by Sophie De Somere, and lighting design and music by Timme Afschrift. Aaron De Keyzer is the camera operator.
Ontroerend Goed is one of Europe’s most daring theater companies. The company pushes theatrical boundaries, offering unique experiences for courageous audiences. Ontroerend Goed, a play on words best translated as "Feel Estate," has created both intimate one-on-one performances as well as large-scale theatrical works. The company seeks to open up the medium of theater to a diverse audience by exploring the boundaries and codes of the performing arts. Ontroerend Goed has received awards and worldwide recognition for its innovative work, including an unprecedented number of Fringe First Awards at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where Audience was also one of the most tweeted about show in the festival's history.
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of NYU Skirball reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance.
The NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York. For more information, visit www.nyuskirball.org.