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The Noguchi Museum is one of the most magical places in Queens. The space, designed by the late Japanese-American sculpture artist Isamu Noguchi, includes an open-air sculpture garden and several galleries, each with its own feel and family of Noguchi sculptures. The works of art and the spaces in the museum are complex, mysterious, and playful. In short: this is an amazing place to spend a day creating.

The workshop will begin with a meditation practice to open up the senses, and will continue with a silent walking meditation around the galleries of the museum, followed by writing prompts and discussion to get the ideas flowing. Participants will then have time to explore the museum independently and write, draw, or do other creative work. The workshop will conclude with a sharing circle where participants can share their work from the day with the group.
Writers, artists, musicians, and creatives of any kind are welcome to attend. No experience with meditation necessary. Please bring your own writing and/or art materials.

Sunday June 15
2-5:30pm

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106

Museum Admission:
General admission: $10
Seniors (65+): $5
Students with a valid ID: $5

This workshop is being sponsored by Mission to (dit)Mars, an Astoria-based theatre collective, and Mindful Astoria, an Astoria-based meditation group.

Instructor:
Emily Herzlin is a writer and teacher with a particular love for memoir and poetry. She received her MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia in 2012. She began practicing meditation in 2003. In college she found her way to the Interdependence Project, where she now teaches meditation courses and retreats. She is a Certified MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) Teacher, and trained in MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has been teaching meditation since 2011 to groups and individuals. She works as a Mind-Body Therapist at Weill Cornell Medicine, and formerly at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She also completed a yearlong meditation teacher training program at the Interdependence Project. She is also a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program. Emily is the founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Astoria, a meditation community in Astoria, Queens.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: 6 as the culminating event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 18th at 7pm.

ALL SYSTEMS GO: 6 is an evening of excerpts from ten brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.   The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  

“Our writers have adeptly responded to the social and political issues happening right now with a diverse and stirring array of plays that examine so many aspects of our world today: sexuality, loneliness, race, class, religion and, above all, the importance of human connection.” said co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn

Participating playwrights for this event are Jonathan Alexandratos, Kari Bentley-Quinn, Mrinalini Kamath, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tyler Rivenbark, Jason Tseng, Nat Cassidy, and Ray Yamanouchi.  

Laura Pestronk adds “This year’s Propulsion Lab dives headfirst into the deep end, grappling with strong, scary subjects with grace and fearlessness and even hilarity. I’m proud of what is looking to be our no holds barred boldest All Systems Go yet!”

The cast includes Justin Ahdoot, Lesslie Dodge Crane, Duane Fergusan, Paula Galloway, Daniel Isaac (Billions), Karen Johal, Patrick Andrew Jones, Mariana Newhard, Jim Nugent, Tara Pacheco, David Shih, Elijah Trichon, Anthony Willis, and Jr. Rachel Wong.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, and Dev Bondarin.  Stage Management by Jodi Witherall.

“I can’t believe we are at All Systems Go! year six. This is by far the most diverse and exciting grouping of excerpts we have been given to present and I am so excited to share it with our theater community here in Queens.” said co-founder Meredith Packer

All Systems Go: 6 will include excerpts from the following ten new plays:

THE TWIRLY POP EXPRESS by Jonathan Alexandratos
A father and son rebuild old animatronic animals from The Twirly Pop Express, the robotic band from a now-defunct kids’ party arcade. When the robo-animals come to life, they expose the true heart of the father and son’s relationship.

21ST CENTURY HISTOTRAGMEDY: A BERNIE CAROL by Scott Casper
A look at the history, tragedy, comedy of the century thus far. In this act, Bernie Madoff is visited by three spirits, guiding us all to a possible redemption we may not deserve.

FOUNDATIONS by Nat Cassidy
A construction crew waits out a sudden rainstorm and, as they exchange stories, they begin to realize that the apartment complex they’re building might actually be haunted.

FIDDLERS by Lisa Huberman
As a left-wing anti-Occupation activist, Ava thought she had a clear sense of her identity as a secular American Jew. But when she brings her non-Jewish boyfriend home at the anniversary of her mother’s death, she is forced to confront her own biases, insecurities, and inherited traumas.

B-A-B-Y by Mrinalini Kamath
Manika, a former spelling bee participant, now all grown-up and a pediatrician, goes about having a child in an unconventional way.

THE DIVER by Kari Bentley-Quinn
Thirty years from now, New York City is hit by a massive tsunami that has changed the landscape and the citizens of the city forever. Amena Fakhoury, one of the last Syrian refugees living in the United States, has been scuba diving to find the lost items of the people who were taken in the wave, and for any evidence of the people she lost. In the meantime, the Muslim community she lives in is being oppressed, jailed and monitored by a privatized police force.

DEDICATED TO YOU (LOVE, RYAN WOO) by Kristine M. Reyes
Ryan has been secretly writing love songs for his long-time crush, Xian, who’s got the hots for Tristan, the new kid in school. In this adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Ryan is Asian, Tristan is white…and Ryan doesn’t stand a chance.

ALL THE PLACES BETWEEN MOONRISE AND MOONSET by Tyler Rivenbark
Witness is a poor, mostly ignored, teenager in a small rural Southern town called Warsaw. This is what he’s seen.

LIKE FATHER by Jason Tseng
A queer contemporary adaptation of Oedipus Rex. Joe asks his old friend Tyrese to help him run the bed and breakfast he and his late husband recently acquired. Eddie arrives with a secret past that threatens to disrupt Joe’s delicate present.

PURE LOVE by Ray Yamanouchi
Four people of color navigate romance and desire.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

Astoria Performing Arts Center at
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 

CALLING ALL PLAYWRIGHTS!

Apply to the 2018-2020 Propulsion Lab!

The Application process is now open closed.   

Applications are now open for the 2018-2020 Propulsion Lab. The Propulsion Lab is a bi-monthly (every other Monday) writers group for Queens-based playwrights.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Please submit one full length play (60 pages or more) in PDF format.  This should be a blind copy – your name should not appear on any pages in the script.  Please choose the play you think represents you best as a writer. It doesn’t matter if it has been produced or if it is a first draft.
  • Please submit a brief cover letter using our online form.  You will be asked to supply the following information: Name, Neighborhood/Address, Phone/Email/Website/Twitter (if applicable), Productions/Awards you would like us to know about, how you heard about the lab, and also what you hope to gain from being a part of the Lab. This is not an artist statement so PLEASE don’t be formal, we just want to get to know you!
  • You must currently reside in the borough of Queens (any neighborhood), and have been a resident for at least 6 months. In order to be part of the lab, you must live in Queens during the course of the lab. Please make sure you have no immediate plans to relocate if you apply!
  • Willing and able to attend bi-monthly meetings.  Labs are held every other Monday usually from late August to mid-June.  Regular attendance is very important to the continuity of the work and to support your fellow writers.
  • Must commit to working on one full length play during the course of the lab.

The deadline to apply is June 30th 11:59pm EST! The deadline has now passed.

Participants will be notified at the end of August with labs beginning in September. 

 

Nat Cassidy (photo by Prospect Photography)

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with FOUNDATIONS, a new play by Nat Cassidy.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, April 16th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Entering the world of FOUNDATIONS you’ll find there’s a new apartment complex being built in your neighborhood: Melody Gardens, offering luxury living at affordable prices. But one day, as they wait for a rainstorm to pass, the construction crew of Melody Gardens begins trading stories about the dreams they’ve been having lately, and they realize: stories are like buildings. We design them. We live in them. And sometimes, they turn out to be haunted.  Foundations is directed by Jordana Williams.

 

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

On why this eerie script was selected, co-founder Meredith Packer explains “In this play, Nat asks us to take a dark and terrifying look at something as mundane as the apartments we live in. And he makes them thrilling, thought-provoking, and nightmare-inducing.”

“Nat has brilliantly conquered the horror genre, and his plays usually keep me up all night with one eye open.” explains Laura Pestronk.  “The extremely exciting and fearful FOUNDATIONS is no exception, and it had me checking my apartment twice before drifting into a likely nightmare.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “FOUNDATIONS sent more than one shiver down my spine, and proves that Nat is one of the best horror writers for the stage. Not only is this play frightening and unsettling, it features a cast of well drawn characters and edge of your seat suspense.”

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

new-labbies

Mission to (dit)Mars is excited to announce the selection of three new members to the 2016-2018 Propulsion Lab, a Queens based writers group serving emerging playwrights from the borough.  In addition to the new lab members, three returning members have been named Writers in Residence and two have been named Orbiting Artists.  

The three new Propulsion Lab members are Nat Cassidy (Astoria), Jason Tseng (Long Island City) and Ray Yamanouchi (Astoria).   For the Propulsion Lab, each playwright will focus on writing a new full-length play over the course of the year.  The new members were selected by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer and Laura Pestronk.  The writers group meets bi-monthly in Queens.     

In addition to the new lab members, Mission to (dit)Mars has named Lisa Huberman (Woodside), Kristine M. Reyes (Astoria) and Tyler Rivenbark (Sunnyside) as our Writers in Residence and Mac Rogers (Astoria) and Tori Keenan-Zelt are our newly created Orbiting Artists.  Returning Propulsion Lab members are Jonathan Alexandratos (Astoria), Scott Casper (Astoria), Mrinalini Kamath (Astoria), and Amy Witting (Sunnyside).

On what excites her about the new members, Kari Bentley-Quinn explains “Each has a distinct voice and point of view, not to mention a ton of talent, and all three are a wonderful addition to our already exciting and diverse group of talented playwrights.”  

Laura Pestronk adds “The talent pouring forth from the new labbers blew us all away, and we’re so happy to get to work with such diverse and lively new voices!”

Commenting on the returning lab members, Meredith Packer states “It’s such a privilege to meet with this group of writers each year. I am so excited to get in the room with our familiar and fresh faces and see what worlds we will explore together this year.”

The Propulsion Lab was created to meet the needs of like-minded theater artists who wanted to have a way of developing new work locally in Queens on an on-going basis.  In addition to bi-monthly meetings, the lab will include industry meet and greets with Artistic Directors and Literary Managers, three Launch Pad readings of full length plays, and All Systems Go! 5, an evening of excerpts from the new Propulsion Lab plays.

Writers in Residence positions are a way to address the growing needs of certain lab members who have been with us for some time by offering additional developmental support custom tailored to them. In exchange, our writers in residence act as artistic associates on Mission to (dit)Mars’ behalf and help our organization in certain capacities, such as reading script submissions.

Orbiting Artists are informal positions that allow current lab members whose availability has changed due to unforeseen reasons the chance to continue participating in the Propulsion Lab on a limited basis.

 

BIOS OF THE NEW PROPULSION LAB MEMBERS

Nat Cassidy (Astoria)

Nat Cassidy is an award-winning writer, actor, director, and musician.  He’s appeared in television shows such as “The Following” (Fox), “The Affair” (Showtime), “Red Oaks” (Amazon) “High Maintenance” (HBO), as well as numerous productions and workshops both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. Nat’s plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including 3 times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won in 2009, and in 2011 for Outstanding Solo Performance). His work has been seen throughout the country and is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, NYTE, Applause Books, and Indie Theatre Now (where he is a bestselling playwright). In 2012 Nat was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a world-premiere opera; and in 2014 his play Any Day Now was chosen to be part of Primary Stages’ ESPADrills (The Duke Theatre, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel). He’s an inductee in the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame, an NYTheatre Person of the Year, and was a finalist for the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. www.natcassidy.com

Ray Yamanouchi (Astoria)

Ray Yamanouchi was born in Queens, raised on Long Island, and received a BA in film and theatre from Hunter College in Manhattan. His plays include Tha Chink-Mart (PlayPenn 2018), Impact (Semi-finalist, National Playwrights Conference 2017), andThe American Tradition (New Light New Voices Award 2018). He has developed work with WT Theatre, Mission to (dit)Mars, The Blank Theatre, Rising Circle Theater Collective, Ars Nova, and Playwrights’ Center. You can find him online @NotoriousYAMs, or as the host of RE:, a NYC theatre talk show (www.retheatre.nyc).

Jason Tseng (Long Island City) makes plays, comics, illustrations, and games — mostly about queer people and people of color. Most recently, his play Rizing received its world-premier in New York City with Flux Theatre Ensemble. His work has been featured in GeeksOut’s LGBT comics anthology Power, Sub Rosa magazine, and Nonprofit Quarterly. He also produces the podcasts Play x Play –featuring the best plays you’ve never heard of– and Queer and Present Danger, a queer nerd pop culture podcast. Find more at JasonTseng.com.

To view bios on all our Propulsion Lab members, please visit: http://missiontoditmars.com/2014/08/25/the-2014-2015-propulsion-lab/

Made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

QCA-Logo

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Kari Bentley-Quinn

Kari Bentley-Quinn
Kari Bentley-Quinn

Neighborhood: Astoria/Woodside
Website: http://kbquinn.wordpress.com/

Kari Bentley-Quinn is a playwright based in New York City, originally from the little coast town of Stratford, CT. Her plays have been presented at or developed with Lark Play Development Center, The Brick Theater, The Secret Theatre, Artemisia Theater, The One Minute Play Festival,  Lesser America, Caps Lock Theater, Effable Arts,  Packawallop Productions,  The Access Theater, FringeNYC, the Play Development Collective, and more.

Kari’s full length plays include The Permanent Night (2008 FringeNYC award winner), Paper Cranes (Packawallop Productions),The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens (The Secret Theatre New Voices Project), The Ocean Thought Nothing (2014 O’Neill Conference Finalist), Prepared(PlayPenn semi finalist) and The Worst Mother in the World.

Kari has been a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, The Playwrights Realm, and the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, as well as being a nominee for the Doric Wilson Playwriting Award. Kari has an MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly. At Hunter, she was the 2015 recipient of the Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Don Nguyen

Don Nguyen
Don Nguyen

Neighborhood: Long Island City
Website: thenuge.com and sadplaywright.com

Don Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and currently resides in Astoria, Queens. Don studied theatre at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he served as the Artistic Director of the Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha from 1999-2003.

Full length plays include: RED FLAMBOYANT (World Premiere – Firebone Theatre Company 2015, 2015 GAP Prize Winner, Ojai Playwrights Conference, finalist – O’Neill NPC), SOUND (Azeotrope/ACT, BAPF,  Playwrights Realm Fellowship, finalist – Princess Grace Award), THE COMMENCEMENT OF WILLIAM TAN (Yale Cabaret, NYSAF), THE MAN FROM SAIGON (NYSAF, Naked Angels), THE SUPREME LEADER and HELLO, FROM THE CHILDREN OF PLANET EARTH.  Don’s work has been developed or produced at The Public Theater, The Flea, Ojai Playwrights Conference, New York Stage & Film, Naked Angels, Naked Radio, The Civilians, Ma-Yi Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Joe’s Pub, The 52nd Street Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Tofte Lake.  Don is the recipient of the 2015 GAP Prize from the Aurora Theatre and New York Stage & Film Founder’s award and has been a finalist for The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Princess Grace Award, Woodward International Playwriting Prize, and New Dramatists.  Nominations include: the Laurents/Hatcher award and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award.  Don is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, The Civilians inaugural R&D Group, the 52nd Street Project, and a co-founder of Mission to (dit)Mars, a Queens based theatre arts collective.  For more information, please visit: thenuge.com

His one-act play The Harlequin Maneuvre was a finalist in the Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act Festival (2004) and was published in The Best of The Strawberry One-Act Festival, Volume 1. It has subsequently been produced in New York, Nebraska, and Canada.

Other one act plays include Fat Ugly Vampire (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY), The Imaginary Association of Flight Attendants (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY),Love 160 (The Pack Lounge Series 3, Robert Moss Theater, NY),The Dragon Lord and the Fairy Queen (commissioned by The Lincoln Community Playhouse), A Decision of Extraordinary Magnitude, and a collection of eight Halloween plays: Bloodsucker, The Woman in the Blue Dress, Iron Chef: Battle of the Global Cuisine, Cooking with Julia, Soulmates, Torture, Survivor Down Under, and The Deadly Seduction, which were all produced by The Shelterbelt Theatre.

Other short plays and monologues include The Rocket Boys (52nd Street Project), Sexual Chocolate (The Secret Theatre, Long Island City), Girl Reflected and Look, A Lion (Emerging Writers Retreat, Public Theater).

Other writing credits include The Living Newspaper Workshop where he wrote several one acts and a webisode.  In July 2011, The Living Newspaper was invited by Liz Engelman and the Jerome Foundation to spend a weeklong residency at Tofte Lake Center in Minnesota to develop a play about overpopulation.

Don spent a week at a writers retreat at the Vineyard Arts Project in the summer of 2010, where he developed The Imaginary Association of Flight Attendants and The Man from Saigon.

Don is a member of the New York Public Theater’s 2008 Inaugural Emerging Writers GroupThe Civilians R & D Group and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.  He frequently volunteers at The 52nd Street Project.  Don is also the creator of sadplaywright.com, an online photo gallery of his sad playwright friends.

Click here to view my list of plays.

Meredith Packer

Meredtih Packer
Meredtih Packer

Neighborhood: Astoria

Meredith Packer is a New England transplant who graduated with a BA in Theater from Wagner College in 2005. In 2006, she co-founded Amsterdam Artists, LTD with whom she helped produce & direct two successful productions before parting ways in 2008. She has also produced and directed with the Effable Arts, LTD. She has had brief stints with NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and with the technical team at New World Stages and AML entertainment. While an artistic nomad, she has made a home in Astoria for the last 5 years.

Laura Pestronk

Neighborhood: Sunnyside

Laura Pestronk is an actor and director born and raised in New York City. She has lived all over Manhattan and grew up on the Upper East Side. She has since enjoyed living in both Astoria and Long Island City, and now happily resides in beautiful Sunnyside, Queens.

 Laura’s directing credits include Feedback by Jane Miller (Squeaky Bicycle Productions), Booze In the Boroughs by Penny Jackson (FACT), 200 Mystical Fictions by Debra Siegel (NY Fringe), Opening Night by Zach Rothman-Hicks (Where Eagles Dare), Jump! by Josh Sohn (Strawberry Festival- Best Play),  Unblessed by Kari Bentley Quinn (Packawallop).  Assistant directing credits include Marea(Packawallop- dir. Scott Ebersold) and Cardboard Box (Looking Glass- dir. Toby Bercovici).

Acting credits include The Tupperware Convention by Anna Governali , The Women’s Project by Mariana Newhard, Retrospective by Chris Van Strander,  Notes Between Us by Samantha Lee Manas, Kicked by Eljon Wardally. Laura’s one woman show, Interesting Topics In Significant Similitude Starring Cindy Cinnamon performed at Downtown Art and NYU. 

For the past 3 years, Laura has directed Broadway charity concerts raising money for the Humane Society and the Canned Food Drive. Both the annual Broadway Meows and Broadway Can concerts are written and composed by Seth Bisen-Hersh and perform at Don’t Tell Mama.

Laura received her BFA in Drama and Psychology from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She studied at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, concentrating in directing and acting. Laura is coordinator and member of the Pack- a collaborative group of writers, directors and actors. She is a founding member of Mission to ditMARS, a theater and arts collective based in Queens.

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As we are going into our fourth (!) season, we continue to grow and expand as an organization. With that growth and expansion comes the need to raise some funds. For the past three years, we have been so fortunate to have most of our resources donated. As Queens becomes an artistic center, those free/cheap resources are becoming more scarce. We want to keep our programs FREE for artists and the community. So, we are pleased to announce we are holding our very first fundraiser – kindly hosted by our friends at Sek’end Sun!

TICKET PRICES:
-Full Speed Ahead ticket ($20 online, $25 at door, cash only) – 2 drink tickets and 5 raffle tickets
-Warp Speed Ahead ticket ($40 online, $45 at door, cash only) – 4 drink tickets and 10 raffle tickets!
-Raffle and Support – $15 online – 5 raffle tickets and our heartfelt thanks!

Drink tickets included in admission get you well drinks, beer and wine ALL NIGHT LONG!

Raffle items include (More coming!)
-Tickets to Lincoln Center!
-Prints of photographs by talented artists!
-Naming rights to a character in Kari Bentley-Quinn’s next play!
-Gift certificates to local Queens businesses!
-Private acting coaching by Elizabeth Seldin
AND MORE!

Support ongoing arts in Queens by purchasing your ticket now!

Co-founder Laura Pestronk peeking through one of the sculptures

Poetry in Stone
A Day of Writing at the Noguchi Museum

with Emily Herzlin and Mission to (dit)Mars
Sunday August 23rd
1-4:30pm

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Rd, New York, NY 11106

Thank you to everyone who attended!  If you missed it, here’s a great blog post by co-founder Laura Pestronk about her day at the Noguchi Mindful Writing workshop.

And here are some photos from our day:

Writers of all genres and experience levels welcome. Composers, dancers, performers, and visual artists are also welcome to attend.

The Noguchi Museum is one of our borough’s magical spaces. The space, designed by the late Japanese-American sculpture artist Isamu Noguchi, includes an open-air sculpture garden and several galleries, each with its own feel and family of Noguchi sculptures. The works of art and the spaces in the museum are mysterious, evocative, and playful. In short: this is an awesome place to spend a day creating.

The workshop will begin with a brief contemplative exercise to open up the senses, and will continue with a silent walking meditation around the galleries of the museum, followed by writing prompts and discussion to get the ideas flowing. Participants will then have time to explore the museum independently and create writing about or inspired by specific works of art. The workshop will conclude with a sharing circle where writers can share their work from the day aloud.

Please arrive at 12:50pm and meet us at the entrance. We will enter the museum as a group at 1pm. Bring something to write with and on. $20 total- $10 museum admission and $10 for the class.

Here are some photos from All Systems Go: Mission 3

Artwork for All Systems Go: Mission 3

All Systems Go: Mission 3 – Monday, June 22nd!!

Cast of All Systems Go: Mission 3
Cast of All Systems Go: Mission 3

Click here to view photos from our event!

Mission To (dit)Mars is pleased to present our final Launch Pad event of the season!

ALL SYSTEMS GO: MISSION 3, is an evening of excerpts from nine brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.  Participating Queens based playwrights for this event are Amy Witting, Mac Rogers, Tori Keenan-Zelt, Jonathan Alexandratos, Mrinalini Kamath, Elizabeth Seldin, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, and Tyler Rivenbark.

 

In talking about this year’s lineup, Mission to (dit)Mars co-founder Meredith Packer says “I am proud that with our third All Systems Go!, Mission to Ditmars continues to bring the highest level of theater development to the Queens community.”

Co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “This is one of the strongest sets of plays we have seen in the Lab so far, with work that is fresh and, at times, truly groundbreaking.”

“We’re so excited to present all of the plays together in one night as our most diverse and bounteous All Systems Go! ever!” adds co-founder Laura Pestronk.

On the rise of new work in Queens, co-founder Don Nguyen explains “The breadth and scope of stories being told in the lab is truly remarkable.  Equally remarkable are the sheer number of writers, directors and actors who have all come together to work on these plays, which is a great indicator that Queens is becoming a hotbed for new work.”

The cast includes Hayley Treider, Dina Comolli, Jessica Cannizarro, Ava Eisenson, Elizabeth Seldin, Tara Pacheco, Gwen Sisco, Sara Thigpen, Wynne Anders, Aaron Kapner, David Shih, Tom McCormick, Anthony Fazio, and Sean Williams.

The evening is directed by Dev Bondarin, Jordana Williams, Aimee Todoroff, Christine Zagrobelny and Laura Pestronk.

The evening will include excerpts from the following nine new plays:

BRIGHT ANGEL QUADRANGLE by Mac Rogers: A horror story about love at first sight. A contentedly married woman finds her life turned upside-down one evening when she falls instantly in love with her friend’s new boyfriend.

WHAT HAUNTS YOU by Elizabeth Seldin: Theater ghosts in a theater. Having feelings. Feeling things.

THE SUCK by Tyler Rivenbark: Stephen Ajax is a Kid. Stephen Ajax is a Son. Stephen Ajax is a Boyfriend. Stephen Ajax is a New Father. Stephen Ajax is a Marine. Stephen Ajax is a Fragment.

DUCK by Jonathan Alexandratos: Teenage Duck Carl Duckett and his father are the only two Ducks living in a town populated entirely by Sheep.  This is what happens when Carl tries to survive that.

ELEVEN SHADES OF BLUE by Amy E. Witting: Four women from different times touch the sky, swim with the fish, and experience the details of a timeless Coney Island.

THE NEW DEAL by Mrinalini Kamath:  In the United States in the not-too-distant future, a violent act causes a state government to re-think capital punishment with a profit-bearing alternative.

EGGS ON ICE by Kristine M. Reyes: At Eggs On Ice, freezing your eggs has never been more convenient, affordable — or fabulous! Hit the snooze button on your biological clock while you focus on your career, and let us take care of the rest. Your future’s safe with us, ladies — we’ll make sure of that.

AIR SPACE by Tori Keenan-Zelt: When Mack and Babs lost their house, they moved secretly into the wall… from which they watch as Glory and Kyle try to flip it. A surreal comedy about inventing home, managing family, and what we hold onto when nothing we do is enough.

PERSEPHONE by Lisa Huberman: A contemporary take on the Persephone myth set on an organic farm in California, in which a teenage girl attempts to assert her own identity separate from her loving but controlling Earth goddess of a mother.

This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-44 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 22nd at 7pm.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website.

Monday, June 22nd 7 pm

Astoria Performing Arts Center
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-44 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left
Cast and directors to be announced shortly.

Please RSVP! This is usually our best attended event of the season and we would not want you to miss it.

There will be a reception to follow at a location to be determined. Please join us for a drink or two after the show!

We’re so excited to share this great work with all of you, and celebrate the end of our season.

Also – we are now on Instagram! Please follow us: @missiontoditmars. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook if you weren’t already.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.