A sign at the New Stage Theatre.

By Margo Lemberger

After 15 years as a movable feast, New Stage Theatre Company, the award-winning brainchild of Budapesti transplant and Actors Studio alumnus Ildiko Nemeth, has its first permanent home.

The New Stage Performance Space, donated by Jazz on the Park Hostel near the southeast corner of 106th and Central Park West, is a fluid black box that can be configured to hold an audience of up to 74, but beyond that, there are no limits.

The outside of the New Stage Theatre.

“Somebody told me that you always put your own stamp on everything,” Nemeth says, “so I usually tend to use plays that are not traditional, not realistic.”

In that vein, the inaugural production is an updated reimaging of Charles L. Mee’s 1996 political commentary, The Constitutional Convention: A Sequel.

The multi-media piece, presented by eleven actors cast across gender and racial lines, explores the intricacies and inequities of rules and Law in a series of seemingly-unconnected vignettes that weave regulation with revolution and, ultimately, redemption. Almost more choreographed than blocked, the piece pulls the audience from vignette to vignette; it is disjointed by design, and meticulously chaotic.

Rules is the type of challenging experimental theatre people used to flock to NYC to create and to see, and it feels like a bit of the Village has been brought uptown.

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Actress Gloria Miguel at the new theater.

Now that the Company has set up house, Nemeth is planning to expand from one full-scale production a year to at least two, and children’s programming is already set to begin next month in the form of workshops and performances in conjunction with Loco 7, a company combines puppetry and dance. Nemeth also intends for New Stage to foster new works, whether it’s hands-on producing or as a presenter, depending on the requirements of the project, and to ultimately add a lecture series.

Rules runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 5:00 PM through April 30th. Runtime is 70 minutes with no intermission. Contains partial nudity.

Exterior photo via New Stage. Other photos by Margo Lemberger.

ART, NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Elizabeth Kellner says:

      This probably is why Jazz on the Park intends to apply for a liquor license which all the neighbors will be vehemently opposed to. There are already issues with trash, drinking, smoking and noise from hostel guests who loiter on the sidewalk. The block is 100% residential. Nothing against the theatre, but neighbors intend to vigorously object to any liquor license application

    2. Che says:

      For a community said to have more accompolished artists than anywhere in USA, the UWS is more of a desert than oasis of off-Broadway theater & cinema venues. Bring it on!!

      • GG says:

        Yeah, they live here…not work here. It’s simple. That is a residential neighborhood.

        Take it to midtown, thanks. “Off Broadway” doesn’t mean the UWS. I think someone is confused or maybe has just been shut out of the legitimate theater and/or acting world.

        • B.W. says:

          Where in the article does it even mention “off-Broadway?” You need to lighten the hell up.

      • Christina says:

        That’s right! Bring it on! The Upper West Side USED to be a haven for artists of all kinds, now it will be a welcome change to the staid, homogenized Upper West Side!

    3. Julia says:

      Rules or Constitutional Convention–which?

    4. Paul RL says:

      I like the idea of “downtown vibe” breathing life into our sleepy neighborhood. More please!