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Single, Broke and Pregnant: One Artist’s Quest For Motherhood

Staceyann Chin on the set of Motherstruck! Photo: Timmy Blupe

Staceyann Chin on the set of Motherstruck! (Photo: Timmy Blupe)

Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, the poet Staceyann Chin spent her teenage years terrified of getting pregnant. “Every Bible lesson, biology lesson, and casual reference to the future was marked with the warning: if you get pregnant, your life is over,” she wrote later.

When Chin began dating women, she was relieved, thinking that this panic would no longer be a part of her life. But at 35, after yet another debilitating breakup, Chin woke up from her solitary life in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, haunted by a wholly different inconvenient truth: despite the fact that she had no partner, no stable income and no medical benefits, she wanted to have a baby.

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Performance Picks: Tarot Card Donner Party, New Play Readings, and More

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Would you rather spend a short evening watching stuff in a bar or dedicate your whole day to the wildest and most visceral of performance art? This week, you can do both.

WEDNESDAY

Where The Wild Things Are 8
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9pm; $7-20 suggested donation. More info here
Party moguls Brooklyn Wildlife present the eighth edition of their evening variety show at Bizarre Bar, home to all shapes and sizes of variety show. At any given moment, you can catch “aggro” raps by Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky, beats by Star Falcon and Rob Interface, performance art poetry by Terminal Intrusion (Nyssa Frank, owner of The Living Gallery), burlesque, and more. The event asks attendees to wear a costume from a childhood story, a mascot outfit, or just to come half naked. So, suit up. Or down.
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Tonight: Get Doused at this Whiskey-Filled Macbeth Inside a Distillery

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Tonight, a unique production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth opens in Williamsburg. Where’s the theater, you ask? Nowhere to be found, actually: This production will be taking place inside of a distillery. The three-year-old New York Distilling Company will act as the stage for this re-imagined play, which features an original live musical score and physically-charged action that happens all around the audience. Of course, an open bar of custom Macbeth-themed cocktails will be served at the adjoining bar, The Shanty— reportedly home to one of the city’s “booziest cocktails.”

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Performance Picks: Parental Comedy, Suburban Theater, Radical Vaudeville

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It’s December. Instead of thinking about how time is quickly passing you by, take a pause from reality and step into one of the many intriguing performances available this week. Some of them are even free.

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Gaby Hoffmann, Jennifer Tilly And More Perform 100 Monologues To Benefit PS122

(photo: Maria Baranova)

Eric Bogosian (photo: Maria Baranova)

Not all fancy benefit performances open with a casually-dressed Eric Bogosian nursing a Brooklyn Lager and proclaiming in a deep drawl to the cocktail-clutching audience, “I’ve got a long, thick, well-shaped prick,” but Performance Space 122 isn’t your typical theater.

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Performance Picks: Tween Twins, Social Media Scripting, And A Helping Of Violence

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As it turns out, most of this week’s performances to catch are in Williamsburg. Maybe there’s hope for culture there after all… Aside from The Bedford Stop, of course.
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Tonight: A DIY Riff On Shakespeare That’s Been ‘Grappling With Issues of Blackface’

(photo: Mark Gowers)

(photo: Mark Gowers)

It’s raining when I head to Greenpoint to meet writer Sean Edward Lewis and actress Claire Campbell, theater artists making experimental work under the name Lilac Co. They’re a unique pair, reminiscent of the muse and the artist: Campbell, fresh-faced and young, is from Brighton, England (“Lots of hippie mums by the sea”), fresh out of drama school overseas. Lewis, older and gruffer, grew up north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, attended CalArts for graduate school, and has been in New York writing and showing his own experimental work as an auteur of sorts for ten years now.

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Performance Picks: Queer Comedy, Cryptic Spooks, A Live Movie Musical

This week, whether you want to be entrenched in the Halloween spirit or just want to watch some good old fashioned people telling jokes, you can slide on over to one of these shows to get your fill.

WEDNESDAY

esoterica

Esoterica Teaser Performance

At Visana NYC, 321 1st Avenue, East Village. 11:30 doors, midnight performance; free. More info here

There isn’t much info available on this late-night performance preview at a speakeasy—it appears to be purposefully cryptic—but Esoterica’s website indicates it’s a richly-visual performance experience based to some degree on Dante’s Divine Comedy, where heaven and hell intermingle. “A portal to The Inferno will be opened,” the Facebook event declares. Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

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Performance Picks: Site-Specific Stuff, Queering the Feminine, Synth Comedy Theater

Several free festivals and absurd doses of comedy await you this week. Read on to get the scoop.

THURSDAY

The Terrible Them

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at The Experiment Comedy Gallery, 20 Broadway, Williamsburg. 8pm. More info here.

The Experiment Comedy Gallery, a newly opened waterfront space for offbeat comedy, brings this one-night-only play (previously seen at The Creek and The Cave in 2014) by Gonzalo Cordova and Nick Naney, inspired by the dramatic sci-fi horror of filmmaker John Carpenter. Created and performed by comedians but billed as theater in a satisfying collision of artistic disciplines, The Terrible Them tells the tale of a disgraced journalist who gets the chance to revitalize his career in the midst of an alien invasion. Featuring a large cast of funny folk, visual effects and an “original synth soundtrack” by Steven DeSiena.

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Roam a Church After Dark During ‘Surrealist Immersive’ Show, Houseworld

(photo: Emily Kendall)

(photo: Emily Kendall)

Get off at the Bedford L. Walk ten or so minutes into Greenpoint. Pass the house with the eerily-lit windows, but don’t forget it. You’ll be getting to know it quite well later. Turn the corner and enter the old church. This is where your journey begins.

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Theater: cheap&easy OCTOBER

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Brooklyn-based group Object Collection helmed by writer/director Kara Freely and composer Travis Just promises a “live shredding of art world criticism” in this experimental chamber opera celebrating the written word through the exploration of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Sergei Eisenstein’s 1928 film October and art journal October. It is rumored there will also be zombies and séances. Conveniently (or spookily) occurring in the very month it delves into.

cheap&easy OCTOBER is written and directed by Kara Freely and composed by Travis Just, with installation by Hannah Dougherty, lighting design by Jeanette Yew, and stage management by Liz Nielsen. Featuring Avi Glickstein, Taylor Levine, Aaron Meicht, Tavish Miller, Daniel Allen Nelson, Fulya Peker, Andie Springer, Deborah Wallace, and Owen Weaver.

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Performance: Bushwick Vaudeville, Secret Apartment Show, Trans One-Woman Musical

This week, catch some clowning, site-specific apartment theater, and more vaudeville than you probably knew existed.

THURSDAY

folkcirc

The Folk Circus Presents: A Valley Son

at Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9pm; $7-20 suggested donation. More info here.

Concept album plus circus freaks equals a devilishly good way to spend a Thursday night. The Folk Circus takes an album by a local band and puts their unique twist on it at aptly-named haven for offbeat performance and parties, Bizarre Bushwick. This time they’re taking on music by chill NY-based rockers A Valley Son. Expect aerial routines, fire-breathers, burlesque, clown, dance, music, and anything unexpected.

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