Ghost Lunch | Abrons Arts Center | New York, NY | 2015

Ghost Lunch | Abrons Arts Center | New York, NY | 2015

About the Show

For six months, Whoop Dee Doo acted as artist-in-residence at Manhattan’s High Line Park through the Friends of the High Line Education Department to create 6 totally unique variety shows as part of the “Make It!” Summer series. The “Make It!” events were free and family-friendly, occurring once per month from May through September, each event with its own theme.

Inspired by the monthly themes, Whoop Dee Doo artists, a workshop group of carefully selected P.S. 33 students, and a roster of amazing local performers collaborated on props and performances that ranged in concept from “Sweet” to “Wild”, “Splashy” to “Slow”.

Afterschool workshops at P.S. 33 varied greatly from one week to the next. Some sessions provided the setting for introductory meetings between the students and performers (like when Half Moon Sword wowed the class with the perfect balance of historical facts and swords). Other sessions were used to teach costume- and prop-making methods. A few classes were even used as rehearsals (like when the students prepared for their debut as Butoh dancers from BDCE).

No matter the activity, the workshop brainstorms that followed were always highly productive, providing the basis for much of the shows’ content. Some brainstorm highlights include the New York City Housing Authority Chorus as beautifully harmonizing babies in their NYCHA Nursery cribs; a mysterious, cloaked longsword dance and autumn harvest ritual from Half Moon Sword; Control the Sound playing their music in full fish costumes in a giant aquarium; and three separate collaborations with Aalokam over a period of 5 months! There was a candy-collecting contest involving gigantic shoe that had stepped in an unfathomably large wad of gum! There was a slow dance contest hosted by an even more gigantic singing turtle! There were Audience naptimes, screaming goblins, even a mysterious muffin man!

To see these ambitious concepts to fruition, Whoop Dee Doo artists worked around the clock in a generously provided studio space at the historic Westbeth Artist Community.

As an added treat, the residency was extended one month so as to include Whoop Dee Doo in the Highline’s Halloween festivities. It was an ideal closing event for us – to be able to spend the most fun holiday at the prettiest park in the greatest city on the most hospitable planet. And we did our best to take full advantage of the opportunity with an 18-piece ghost orchestra accompanying the stunning voice of opera singer Megan Nielsen, a giant witch (who may have been the victim of false witchcraft accusations but it’s hard to know for sure), a mostly frozen but still entertaining laborer from one of the Highline’s refrigerated storage buildings from years past…and so so so so so much more.

 

 

 

Curation

Gonzalo Casals, Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line

Katie Henry,  ‎School and Family Programs Manager at Friends of the High Line

Links

The High Line

(http://www.thehighline.org/)

The High Line Family Programs & Make It Series

(http://www.thehighline.org/activities/family_programs)

Families on the High Line: Interactive Performances

(http://www.thehighline.org/blog/2016/05/09/families-on-the-line-interactive-performances)

PS 33 Chelsea

(http://www.ps33chelseaprep.org/)

Westbeth Artists Housing

http://www.westbeth.org/

Aalokam

(http://www.aalokam.com/)

The Brandon Project

https://www.facebook.com/thebrandonproject/?hc_location=ufi

Hudson Guild Community Center

http://hudsonguild.org/

The Academy of Hellenic Paideia

http://www.hellenicpaideia.com/

The NYCHA Youth Chorus

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/residents/youth.page

Bollywood Axion

http://www.bollywoodaxion.com/

Control the Sound

http://www.controlthesound.net/

The Lost Keys

http://www.thelostkeysnyc.com/

Half Moon Sword

http://www.halfmoonsword.org/

Dance Adventure

https://www.facebook.com/danceadventureNYC/

Megan Nielson

http://www.megannielson.com/

EXP

http://www.immakingaboyband.com/

BDCE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvtH_6LZOIE

Lester Kim

https://www.facebook.com/lester.c.kim

Artists

Lydia Austin

Michael Boles

Danny Crump

Elise Dahan

Sarah Dahlinger

Sofia Dixon

Emma Dold

Mya Edwards

Eileen Emond

Rebecca Fayemi

Asia Freeman

Jeila Guermanian

Xiaoyang Jin

Seth Timothy Larson

Michael O’Malley

Hicks Oswald

Justin Oswald

Josh Pavlick

Anna Platt

Ashley Richards

Matt Roche

Erin Sheehy

Jaime Sunwoo

Josh Tonsfeldt

Gerard Tuitt

Monika Uchiyama

Jaimie Warren

Performers

Make it Worg  |  May, 2016

 

Bharathi Penneswaran, Aalokam

EXP

The Brandon Project

 

Make it Slo  |  June, 2016

 

The Academy of Hellenic Paideia

The NYCHA Youth Chorus

The Brandon Project

 

Make it Swet  |  July, 2016

 

        Bollywood Axion

Aalokam

 

Make it Spalshy  |  August, 2016

 

        Control the Sound

The Lost Keys

 

Make it Dilw  |  September, 2016

 

        Half Moon Sword

Aalokam

Dance Adventure

 

Refrigerated Storage Educational Program  |  October, 2016

 

        Megan Nielsen

BDCE Butoh Dance Group and P.S. 33 workshop students

Lester Kim

The Muffin Man

The Witch