Van Reipen Collective Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Gertrude Stein's masterpiece with live 5-Hour stage adaptation in 3 parts.
October 2 - 19 at Theater for The New City

Buy tickets HERE.


"Imagine a jazzier, sweeter take on the Wooster Group, add the intellectual earnestness of the TEAM, stir in a dash of sixties girl-group cool and some Wizard of Oz references and you get an idea of the aesthetic of the Van Reipen Collective." -- nytheater.com

Theater For The New City will present the World Premiere of Van Reipen Collective's TENDER BUTTONS: OBJECTS ROOMS FOOD, a stage adaptation of Gertrude Stein's influential 1914 masterpiece. When publisher/poet Donald Evans invited Gertrude Stein to send him a play for publication, Stein did not send a play, but Tender Buttons, a curious tripartate work of unclassifiable genre. For the centennial of the publication of Tender Buttons, the company will present the entire text in a five-hour spectacle presented in three parts: OBJECTS directed by Gary Heidt, ROOMS directed by Cara Scarmack in collaboration with Christopher Weston, and FOOD directed by Niki Tulk. Each part is a separate, self-contained work that can stand on its own. Performances begin October 2 at Theater for The New City.

Van Reipen Collective's TENDER BUTTONS: OBJECTS ROOMS FOOD is comprised of:
• OBJECTS, an Americana operetta for twelve performers, including the seven-piece band Fist of Kindness. In this very dark comic spectacle, an absurd story of love, betrayal, and human sacrifice interrupts a never-changing continuous present. It is set inside a human aquarium populated by incestuous gentlepeople, a well-trained nursing staff, an AWOL soldier and his amphibious fianceé.
• FOOD, an absurdist dining room drama with music by Mark Tulk that explores the ways in which we turn people into objects, words into shapes, and food into dreams. FOOD begins with a woman removing herself from the meat hook she is hanging from.  Throughout the odyssey, a chicken is undressed and only its feathers served, guests sit on bottomless chairs, a man in a chicken suit does a striptease, and a woman consumes herself for lunch.
• ROOMS, an exploration of the psyche presented as series of rooms.  Two women draw strength from humor and pathos; together they construct and deconstruct physical spaces which become the houses of their dreams, memories and moments, they walk through rooms of war, solitude, wonder, desperation, companionship and mysticism set against an ever-shifting landscape.

TENDER BUTTONS: OBJECTS ROOMS FOOD features lighting by Christopher Weston, dramaturgy by Gary Heidt, and technical direction by Brian “Cookie” Cook. OBJECTS stars Sanae Buck, Cassandra Victoria Chopourian, Debra Disbrow, Steven Dworkin, Lauren Farber, Richard Gross, firehouse the dj, and Kyungmi Lee with music by Fist of Kindness and the cast, and yarn costumes and environment by Bayard. ROOMS stars Cassandra Victoria Chopourian and Priscilla Holbrook with music by Chopourian, Holbrook, and Cara Scarmack. FOOD stars Cassandra Victoria Chopourian, Lauren Farber, and Richard Gross with music by Mark Tulk.

TENDER BUTTONS: OBJECTS ROOMS FOOD runs October 2 - 19, Thursday - Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.  OBJECTS will be presented October 2, 3, 4 and 5; ROOMS will be presented October 9, 10, 11 and 12; and FOOD will be presented October 16, 17, 18 and 19. Theater for the New City is located at 55 1st Avenue, between East 9th and East 10th Streets -- accessible from the L train at 14th Sreet or the #6 at Astor Place. Tickets are $15, available at 212-254-1109 or www.theaterforthenewcity.net.



GARY HEIDT (Director, OBJECTS) is dramaturg for Van Reipen Collective and Blue Harmonic Elder of the Perceiver of Sound League. He is a nationally published poet and essayist. He was an original member of the Mammals of Zod, whose 1993 album "Kill the Humans" was deemed "a masterpiece" by The Village Voice, and whose 2000 recording "L'of" was called "deeply moving" by Signal to Noise. He was librettist, dramaturg and co-creator of composer Evan Hause's Defenestration Trilogy of operas, ("Engrossing!", Opera News) and is a main organizer of the 67-year performance project Lovesphere, for which he wrote the book and music for The Golden Spiral, Feng Shui Assassin, and American Eyeball. He also co-directed American Eyeball, and has directed a half-dozen shows by the Dr. Polyfeemerous Company, co-directed Margaret Mead's Islands of Passion for the Conscientious Mythmakers of Marburg, Germany with Cassandra Weston, as well as many short films which you can see at lovesphere.net/gary

CARA SCARMACK (Director, ROOMS) is a theater-maker and musician who collaboratively makes her texts into performances-in-the-flesh. Her plays include: Better Not Touch That; Ohio, Revisited; Before You Get Too Far Afield; Nimbusclud; In the Shadow of a Truck and The Turtle Pond Was a Fail. She's part of the writing/performance collective Wook Taut Majesty and is a participant in Target Margin Theater's inaugural Institute for Collaborative Theater Making. She recently earned her MFA in Playwriting in Mac Wellman’s program at Brooklyn College. www.carascarmack.com

NIKI TULK (Director, FOOD) is an ex-pat Australian theatre-maker, writer, musician, and teacher/scholar. As a musician, Tulk is both cellist and vocalist, and records/designs soundscapes for live performance. As a writer, she published her well-reviewed debut novel Shadows and Wings in April 2013, has published poetry and fiction in Antipodes, The Saranac Review, Red River Review, and Assisi: Online Journal of Arts and Letters.  As a theater-maker, Tulk’s first full-length play Medea in Milledgeville was performed by Rose of Athens Theatre in GA. Tulk directed The Good Person of Szechuan with St Martin’s Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, and worked as assistant director for Australian Nouveau Theatre’s Mother Courage and Her Children. Tulk has directed and written/devised many productions while working for over a decade as a Teaching Artist in secondary schools and colleges.

CHRISTOPHER WESTON (Collaborating Director, ROOMS) was a co-founder and Artistic Director of Resistance Theater, Brooklyn, NY, where he designed and directed his own original works (AntiGone, DreamFire, The Blood of Martyrs) as well as works by others. With the Brooklyn Theatre Company, he designed and directed ...it goes Boom! Other directing credits include original productions of Dracula and When We Dead Awaken. As a Lighting Designer, his work has been seen at Snapple Theatre Center, Signature, 59E59, 3LD, 45th Street Theatre, Cherry Lane, Abingdon, HERE, and many more.  He was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for The Return of Peter Grimm and was awarded Outstanding Lighting Design by Planet Connections for the Greatest Pirate Story (N)Ever Told! He has an MFA in Lighting Design from NYU and a BFA in Performance Studies from the University of Illinois. He is a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. chriswestondesign.com