Curator’s Note

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Welcome from the Curatorial Team

Hello and welcome to PRELUDE.13, the tenth annual PRELUDE Festival at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.

A “prelude,” according to Webster, is “an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter.” It is intrinsic then that the direction in which to plan and experience a prelude is with sights set forward. Each October for the past ten years, PRELUDE has introduced New York artists and audiences to the season ahead. This season, as a slight departure, we approached the occasion of PRELUDE.13 as a critical juncture; a moment to consider what came before, chart the evolutions that brought us into the now, and to launch inquiries into where we can go from here. The next ten years are our “more important matter.”

What started a decade ago as a way to facilitate exchange between current scholarly and artistic practices rooted in New York City no longer binds these proceedings by the roles we play and the spaces in which we play them. The PRELUDE of today is a collective laboratory of local artistic process, celebrating and inquiring into the unique creative forces that live and thrive in this city. PRELUDE.13, subtitled FORWARD, is a place to discover and engage in what voices, ideas, and debates are colliding to shape the near and distant future of contemporary theatre and performance in NYC. In celebration of the festival’s first decade, PRELUDE.13 also recognizes and reflects on the community of artists, audience, scholars, and other participants who have contributed to a decade of discourse.

Events are scheduled to alternate between the Graduate Center’s Martin E. Segal Theatre and the Elebash Recital Hall, but be attentive to unexpected encounters in unusual sites. If the zeitgeist does in fact point us to the core of the present disposition, a new elocution will emerge in the next decade surrounding social, site-based, and participatory practices in the theatrical realm. As a (willing) participant in this year’s events, you may find yourself in hallways with strangers, processed for access to an alien spacecraft, exploring the geography of your own psyche, asked to sleep during the performance, or even (finally!) in Brooklyn (for the closing night party, transportation provided).

Whether you have arrived at PRELUDE as an artist, spectator, scholar, or any combination thereof, over the next three days you are part of a communitas. Onstage, online, onscreen, on the page, on the streets, or with a drink in hand at our closing night Tenth Anniversary Celebration, we implore you to observe, engage, commune, and critique with us. Our aim this week is for collision – with both the work and the people around us. Our duty thereafter is to carry this spirit, our experiments, and our inquiries FORWARD.

Thank you for participating in this milestone PRELUDE year!

– The Prelude Team,

Caleb Hammons & Frank Hentschker

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