First Night 2009 Online Program

At the end of our three previous performances at First Night Boston, there have been hundreds of programs left littering the theater. So, this year as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our enviromental impact and to focus our financial resources on programming, we are posting out program online.

- Inspired by adventures in Iceland, Italy, and England

Presented by Monkeyhouse
at First Night 2009
at John Hancock Hall in the Back Bay Events Center
December 31, 2008

Lighting design by Jason Ries
Costume Design by Karen Krolak

Pochemuchka (premiere)*

Created and performed by Karen Krolak and Jason Ries
Sound design by Karen Krolak

Zizz (premiere)*
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Caitlin Meehan and Nikki Sao Pedro
Performed by Caitlin Meehan and Nikki Sao Pedro
Music: Go! by Uncle Monsterface

Firk II (2005)
Premiered at First Night 2006
Choreographed and performed by Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris
Music: I'm Beginning to See the Light by Ron Surace

Knosp (2001)
Choreographed by Karen Krolak
Performed by Nicole Harris
Music: Mr Pushkin Came to Shove by Combustible Edison

Ingeniculation (premiere)*
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Julia Marx, Caitlin Meehan, Nikki Sao Pedro
Music: Cornelius by Boston Typewriter Orchestra and a sound design by Karen Krolak featuring Marty Allen and audience members from Monkeyhouse's concert, And, What Do YOU Want? in July 2007 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center

* Pieces were developed with partial funding from Monkeyhouse's Bernie Wightman Dance Building Fund

Special Thanks to...
First Night Boston
College Planners LLC
Impulse Dance Center
Arlington Center for the Arts
Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center
Exit Theater
Marquette Associates
Uncle Monsterface
Boston Typewriter Orchestra
Jacob's Pillow Choreographers' Lab

Pat and Rita Krolak
Steve Wightman and Peggy Wacks
Freya Bernstein and Dr. Martin Broff
Joan and Robert Parker
Richard Miner and Corinne Nagy
Tim Losch and Brandi Brooks
Susan and Gib Hammond
Tom and Viz Ries
Nicky Felix
Dot and Tom Christian
Joan and Roger Panek
LuAnn and Jim Pagella
Kathryn Stieber
Dr. and Mrs. Owen Bernstein
Jon Schaffrath
Drs. Carlos Estrada and Bita Tabesh
Paul Feiss and Margaret McKenna
Pat and Lizzie Krolak
Michael and Carly Krolak
Dr. Michael Shannon
Dave Pavkovic and Becca Rossen
Stephen, Meera and Cody Werther
Christina Augello
Pam and Steve Harris
Marjorie Freeman
Gillian Brecker and Seth Mason
Donna and James Rosenberg
Mike and Judy Panaro
Penny Penniston and Jeremy Wechsler
Tom and Dot Christian
Karen and Mark Slutsky
Amelia O'Dowd and Brian Eastman
Beth McGuire and Nathaniel Panek
Gail and Rick Fine
Adele Traub
Marty Allen
Eric Phelps
Margaret Hagemeister
Anne Howarth and Rick Frank
Martha Christensen and Neal Smyth
Michael Wissner
Julia Blatt
Suzanne Jenkins
Joanne Dougan
Mark Zuroff
Zach Galvin
Shelley Neill
John Aceto and Natalie Pino
Mara Blumenfeld
Irene Gaetani
Gaby Mervis
Sarah Friswell
Sarah Feinberg
Ashley Chandler
Janine Harrington
Leah Sakala
Michael Maggio
...and of course,
Lynne Anne Blom
Timothy O’Slynne

Please feel free to email us at MonkeyhouseLovesME@gmail.com with any questions or comments, if you don't want to post them here.


Update - Monkeyhouse on WBZ

Hey, happy holidays everyone. Just a quick update to let you know that Monkeyhouse will be on the 5PM news on Channel 4 WBZ Boston on Friday, December 26th. Karen answered questions about our performances for First Night 2009 in the lobby of the Park Plaza Hotel and we can't wait to see how it came out.

Monkeyhouse's First Night performances will be New Year's Eve, December 31st at the John Hancock Hall. Performance times are 7:30-8 and 8:30-9. Monkeyhouse will be premiering four new pieces. Hope to see you there!

For more information on the WBZ report and Monkeyhouse's First Night performances check out:



Patriot Ledger

The Boston Globe


Monkeyhouse on WBZ and Downtown Jumbotron!

big news...
Thanks to Joyce Linehan, this Thursday, Monkeyhouse Artistic Director, Karen Krolak, will be interviewed by Lisa Hughes from WBZ. They will be chatting about Monkeyhouse's upcoming performances at First Night 2009.

We aren't sure when the segment will be aired but we will alert you as soon as we find out. If you aren't able to catch it on television, don't get upset. Apparently, as we get closer to New Year's Eve, it will be re-broadcast on a Jumbotron in downtown Boston.


Getting to Know Nikki Sao Pedro

We thought you might want to get yourself ready for our First Night performances. So we asked Nicole Harris to get the inside scoop on one of the new dancers who will be joining us on New Year's Eve, Nikki Sao Pedro.

NH: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
NS: I wanted to be a dancer or an Olympic gymnast when I grew up. The dream of being an Olympian faded at age 11 but being a dancer never fizzled out :)

NH: Where did you train? Where have you performed?
NS: I started dancing when I was seven and continued all the way through college. I studied at Point Park University in Pittsburgh PA and preformed for Pillow Project Dance Company. When I moved back to Boston, I started working with Danny Swain Dance Company and Monkeyhouse.

NH: And so, how did you start working with Monkeyhouse?
NS: My first experience working with Monkeyhouse was performing "Attraversiamo," in the show "Avec Nous" at Green Street Studios.

NH: Now that wasn't your first professional performance, was it?
NS: No, my first professional dance performance was with Pillow Project Dance Company. I was a junior in College and was an original member of the company. At the company's first show, we were so nervous about not having an audience but ended up having to do an extra show because it was sold out! ... It was such a memorable experience, I photocopied my first check :)

NH: Who or what has been the greatest influence on your dancing?
NS: The greatest influence on my dancing physically were all of the professors at Point Park, especially Douglas Bentz. The greatest influence on my dancing mentally is Karen Krolak.

NH: When did you realize you wanted to dance professionally?

NS: I realized I wanted to dance professionally my junior year in high school. I knew that I could not and would not want to do anything else other than dance. It is my life.

NH: What are your favorite books on dance?
NS: My favorite books are Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit and, of course, the Technical Manual And Dictionary of Classical Ballet. I am always brushing up on my vocabulary :)

NH: What do you wish someone had told you about the dance world when you were a child?
NS: I wish someone had told me to take as many Ballet classes as I possibly could. I did catch on soon enough!

NH: What has been your favorite Monkeyhouse moment?
NS: So far, my favorite monkey moments have been at rehearsals. So many funny things have been said and done I can't recall just one!


Catching up with Monkeyhouse's Nicole Harris

By Nicole Harris

There have been a lot of changes going on in and around Monkeyhouse since And What Do You Want?. It's hard for me to believe that it has been eighteen months (!!) since all four Monkeys were together on stage. Reading all of Karen's adventures and shenanigans from her sabbatical made me take a look at my own escapades for the last year and a half.

I moved to New York City last summer. There were a lot of things that went into my choice to leave Boston, the largest of which being the chance to study more extensively with Derick Grant. I've also been taking classes with Max Stone, Lynn Schwab, Karen Gayle and a number of other people in the city. In addition to developing some new work involving former Monkeyhouse intern Ashley Chandler and music by Pinataland's David Wechsler, this summer I performed with a tap company at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

I've been trying to see as much dance in the city as possible, including A Quarreling Pair by Bill T. Jones, ShowDown by David Parker and The Bang Group, and next weekend I'll be at the return of Doug Elkins' Fraulein Maria (with an appearance by David Parker! It's really fantastic and everyone in the New York area should check it out!) at Joe's Pub.

Despite all the excitement of living in the Big Apple, I am thrilled to be performing with Monkeyhouse in First Night, and to have Monkeyhouse visiting New York for the Cool New York Festival this winter. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you on New Years!


Aurelia's Oratorio

By Karen Krolak

Last night I was invited to Aurelia's Oratorio at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. It was an exquisite hour and a half indulgence for the imagination that employed optical illusions, mime, ballroom dance, Vaudeville, puppetry, circus arts, and tap. If you are in the Boston area, this holiday season, I highly recommend snagging some tickets to it.

Victoria Thierrée Chaplin, daughter of silent film star, Charlie Chaplin, created and directed this mostly unspoken theatrical. At times the heavy velvet curtains and peculiar characters evoked the whimsical eccentricities of Edward Gorey's books and staged entertainments at the Cotuit Center for the Arts.

The choreography is witty, whimsical, and well paced. Even though some of the choreographic ideas have been used before (One segment was almost identical to one of my favorite pieces by the now defunct Snappy Dance Theater.), performers Aurélia Thierrée and Jaime Martinez lure you into their twisting transformations and madcap adventures with incredible skill. Their seemingly effortless aerial acrobatics on hangers, swinging silks, and over sized cloaks made me long for my summer of circus training with Sylivia Hernandez-DiStasi at the Actor's Gymnasium in Chicago.


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