Whos, Whats & Hows -- First Night

First Night Online Program
At the end of many previous performances there have been hundreds of programs left littering the theater. So, as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our environmental impact and to focus our financial resources on programming, we are posting out program online.

To enter the Monkeyhouse at First Night RAFFLE email us at MonkeyhouseLovesMe@gmail.com and put Raffle J in the subject line!

Odds Again
A prelude to Against the Odds: Stories of Adaptation, Translation & Survival  
at Springstep in Medford, MA on March 18th & 25th and April 8th & 15th

Presented by Monkeyhouse
at First Night 2011
at the Hynes Convention Center
December 31, 2010

Lighting Design by Jason Ries
Costume Design by Karen Krolak

Swinkers (premiere)
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Nicole Harris, Nikki Sao Pedro, Caitlin Meehan and Courtney Wagner
Music by Twink
Special Thanks to Sarah Feinberg 

Odds (premiered at Massachusetts Dance Festival, 2010)
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Caitlin Meehan, Nikki Sao Pedro and Nicole Harris
Sound by Rudy Trubitt and Aaron Ximm
Text Written by Karen Krolak
Voice Over by Marty Allen
Special Thanks to Sarah Feinberg, Julia Marx, Rowan Salem and Sarah Friswell

4-Eva: L’appel du vide (premiere)
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Eva Dean
Performed by Eva Dean
Music by David Wechsler
Special Thanks to Eva Dean and the USD Lab Artist in Residence Program

Firk 1.4 (premiere)
Choreographed by Karen Krolak in collaboration with Courtney Wagner, Nicole Harris and Anne Howarth
Music by Anne Howarth

Fidelius (premiered at Art Beat, 2010)
Choreographed by Nicole Harris
Performed by Nikki Sao Pedro and Caitlin Meehan
Music by David Wechsler
Costumes by Nicole Harris
Special Thanks to Ashley Chandler, Shane Rutkowski and David Wechsler (check out his new album here for FREE!)

Dream of the Rhinoceros (premiered at Bent Wit Cabaret, 2010)
Created by Rhino Preserves
Music Composed by Trygve Madsen

Ramfeezled(er) (premiere) (sort of)

Choreographed by Amelia O'Dowd and Karen Krolak
Performed by Nikki Sao Pedro, Courtney Wagner, Caitlin Meehan and Nicole Harris
Music by Ed in the Refrigerators
Voice Over by Karen Krolak
Text adapted from a very real, very frightening book on dating.
Sound Design by James Bernardinelli

Thank Yous

Monkeyhouse truly treasures our funders and we plan to dedicate a page on our website to all of the people who keep this organization thriving.  Since we value relationships so highly, however, we will list people according to the number of years that they have supported us instea of by the size of contributions.  Knowing that so many volunteers give enormous amounts of priceless time, we will also include them on this page.
Please make sure to let us know whether and how you would like to be recognized.
In the meantime, we would like to thank:

First Night
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
David Wechsler
Jacob's Pillow Choreographers' Lab
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Pat and Rita Krolak
Richard Miner and Corinne Nagy
Tim Losch and Brandi Brooks
 Tom and Viz Ries
Danalynne Wheeler
Cathy & Joe Lynn
John Aceto & Natalie Pino
Austin & Sarah de Besche
Gillian Brecker
Robyn Keske & Fay Robinson
Steve Wightman and Peggy Wacks
Freya Bernstein and Dr. Martin Broff
Joan and Robert Parker
Susan and Gib Hammond
Nicky Felix
David Parker
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
Christina Augello
Pam and Steve Harris
Marjorie Freeman
Michael Cotter
Melissa Dollman
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
Lori Taylor
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
Lynn Schwab
Gail & Rick Fine
Niles Welch
Denise & Carlos Sao Pedro
Endicott College
Kristin Bezio
Rachel Strutt
Gregory Jenkins
Brent Sullivan
 Tori Woodhouse
Bari Rosenberg
...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.

Monkeyhouse @ First Night Fun Fact of the Day

by Nicole Harris

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Courtney Wagner versus the gray and black striped pants.

Courtney began performing with Monkeyhouse at Boomtown this summer at CMAC.  After being yelled at by some inmates while wearing a teacup on her head without even blinking she was immediately welcomed into the companay as though she was meant to be here.  Since that show she has performed with us at Dance at the Fells, Movement at the Mills and now First Night.  Whether she was wearing a silver space helmet and delivering post-it notes or collecting glass with a pair of tweezers there has always been one thing in common for every one of Courtney's performances.  The gray and black striped pants.  Courtney has yet to do a performance with Monkeyhouse without them.  Don't you worry, she's looking adorable in them for First Night too!

Maybe some day we'll give her something else to wear on the bottom half of her body....

Green Street Emerging Artists Program

by Nicole Harris

 Last night was the first showing for the Green Street Studios Emerging Artists Program in which a small number of choreographers are selected to work with two mentors to create new works and produce a concert.  I am very excited to announce that this winter I will be one of four choreographers participating in the program along with Jennifer Hardy, Angie Hartley and Jillian Grunnah.  We will be working with mentors Rozann Kraus from the Dance Complex and Monkeyhouse's own Karen Krolak over the next two months while get ready for our concert on February 11th & 12th!  I really enjoyed watching everyone's work and think this is going to be a concert filled with personality and beautiful dancing!  I am thrilled to be a part of it! 

Jillian Grunnah
Nicole Harris

Angie Hartley
Jennifer Hardy

Come visit us at http://gssemergingartists.blogspot.com/ (Don't worry, we'll update you here at the Monkeyhouse blog too!) for updates on the show, information on the process of building pieces and more exciting tidbits!


Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Hot dog! Eva Dean is a freaking dream dancer. For starters, look at those articulate toes. Her company is celebrating its Silver Anniversary and yet she has been incredibly willing to carve out time to develop 4-Eva: L'appel du vide, her solo for First Night.

Having never tried to set work on a more experienced choreographer before, I confess that I was a bit intimidated as I started this piece in November. She kept reminding me though, that she is "not precious about anything." Our rehearsals have resounded with laughter and the piece evolved much more rapidly that either of us had expected. Can't wait to hear what people think about it when it premieres tomorrow night.

Have you gotten your First Night button yet?


Monkeyhouse @ First Night Fun Fact of the Day

by Nicole Harris

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

To those of you who have never been to a Monkeyhouse rehearsal it might come as a surprise to know that we sometimes lose focus.  (To anyone who has ever spent any time with any one of us this comes as no surprise at all...)

This stool, which made its debut at Art Beat and is just one of many chairs gracing the Monkeyhouse stage in the next few months, provides hours of upended entertainment during quiet moments of rehearsal.

At the start of rehearsal today Karen was standing in for Courtney.  In an obvious next step, Karen's socks were standing in for Karen.  They were working very hard.  Hard enough that a camera was brought out to document the occasion.

Anne and her french horn did their best to keep us in check, both when we got a little off track and during the new Firk we were rehearsing.  I am so glad she (and her horn) are making it a habit of appearing in Monkeyhouse shows these days!

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Psst...did you know that you can check out one of Monkeyhouse's pieces for First Night 2011 on Facebook? Our friend, David Wechsler, of the Tyranny of Dave (who also makes a mean chocolate chip cookie), posted it for us. We will be using another song, Call of the Waters, for Eva Dean's solo.We would chat more but we must skedaddle off to rehearsal.


Monkeyhouse’s Major Events & Milestones from 2010 (part 1)

Monkeyhouse was truly honored to be included in Karen Campbell's Boston Globe article about milestones in the Boston Dance Community. While emailing her for the story, we realized how amazing 2010 has been for this organization and we could not have accomplished this without YOU. Thanks for reading, encouraging, and fueling our growth. We hope you enjoy waltzing down memory lane and savoring the last 52 weeks with us.

Anti-ossification at Cool New York
Monkeyhouse’s Major Events & Milestones from 2010

  * Monkeyhouse finishes Anti-ossification, a duet choreographed by Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris, to premiere at the Cool New York Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Both shows were performed to full houses.

  *Karen Krolak is nominated for an IRNE for her choreography on Actors' Shakespeare Project’s Coriolanus.

  * Monkeyhouse’s blog Connect 2 Choreography named one of the 50 Best Blogs for Dance Students.

  * Monkeyhouse is awarded Best Dance Company in Boston 2010 by the Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll.

  * Monkeyhouse launches C2C: Connect to Choreography a new monthly television show produced with SCATV in Somerville.

  * Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris return to the Groton School for another week long residency working with theater students.

   *Monkeyhouse initiates a series of Sporks, focus groups that tackle organizational topics, to generate new ideas from long time supporters.


  * Karen Krolak is invited to be USD Lab Artist at Union Street Dance in Brooklyn, NY. As part of this program, Karen led a series of Musings, workshops that Monkeyhouse uses to sketch out choreographic ideas. This is the first time Musings are opened to the general public.

  * Jon Schaffrath and Nicole Harris join the Monkeyhouse Board of Directors.


Movers & Shakers, Anne Howarth and Kristin Bezio, on Moving Day.
  * Nicole Harris galvanizes Monkeyhouse’s Movers and Shakers to prepare the organization for our move from the Arlington Center for the Arts.

  * Karen Krolak begins meeting with Karen Comeau, a teacher at the Healy School in Somerville and a fellow "Diplomatic Delegate" on the 2009 Somerville Sister City trip to Tiznit, Morocco. They develop a program that will use choreographic exercises to help students understand elements of grammar and improve reading comprehension.  They plan to partner with a school in Morocco in the future.

to be continued...


Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Ramfeezled has been one of Monkeyhouse's most popular pieces ever since Amelia O' Dowd premiered it in 2002. When Amelia moved to Dayton, OH, we knew it would be a challenge to find someone to fill her fishnets. 

Thank goodness for Nikki Sao Pedro. She is Monkeyhouse's reigning queen of repertory resurrection. You may remember that we set Ululation/Mourning After, aka the Nail Shirt piece, on her for Cambridge Connections: Urban Dance at Endicott. For First Night 2011, she is adding a little whiff of Revere to Ramfeezled (Redux) and the results are a rip-snorting good time. 

Seriously, folks get your buttons because you do not want to miss this.


Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Anne Howarth is a wonderful example of why we love chatting with audience members after our shows. Our Production Manager, Jason Ries, first met her at a reception after Monkeyhouse's production, Ahem, Aha! Hmmm... in 2004 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center. Anne has guided us to local classical music hot spots and has been an incredible Mover & Shaker. This year, for example, she helped us move the office, checked people in at Your Just Desserts, and offered advice at Sporks. Everyone needs a French Horn player like this in their life.

Monkeyhouse Returns to Cool New York Dance Festival

Hooray! Monkeyhouse will head back to the Cool New York Dance Festival in Brooklyn in January 2011. Mark your calendars as we will be a part of three different programs at the festival. We will be performing in:

A Day for the Family (Sat. 1/29 2pm) with Amanda Hinchey & Dancers, Theodora Boguszewski, Satu Hummasti Dance, WHITE WAVE Kid’s Can Dance, York Dance Works

Program B (Thurs. 1/27 9pm & Sun. 1/30 4pm) with Tipsy Point Project, Lindy Schmedt Dance Collaborative, Angelo Dance Project, Liz Piccoli, I-Fen Lin, Cori Marquis, Next Reflex Dance Collective

& Program D    (Fri. 1/28 9pm & Sun. 1/30 6pm) with Jennifer Phillips, ALENKA CIZMESIJA/ART DECONSTRUCTED, Jessica DiMauro/DiMauro Dance, Barbara Mahler Makes Dances, Jessica Danser/dansfolk, Spark Movement Collective

Look out for more details about these shows soon!


Monkeyhouse @ First Night Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Hoot, hoot! Anne Howarth will add a French Horn twist to the newest incarnation of Firk, Firk 1.4, for our performances at First Night. While Anne regularly plays with Radius Ensemble and Vento Chiaro, we have lured her into a more improvisational piece. Oh, and she will also bring back The Dream of the Rhinoceros for those of you who missed it at ArtBeat.


Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Kwaq7aj', Monkeyhouse's canine choreographer, often feels the need to assist Caitlin Meehan with her stretches. This artistic bond prompted Kwaq7aj' to develop some of the movement vocabulary for Caitlin in Firk 1.2, which premiered at Endicott College in October.


Creative Movement with Karen Krolak @ Springstep

by karen Krolak

My, my, my, we are just bursting with exciting new projects as we transition into 2011. For example, I will be teaching a Creative Dance class at Springstep on Saturday mornings from 10 - 10:45AM. It is open to kids between the ages of 4 -7 and will start on January 22nd. We are going to have a blast building movements from stories, playing games, and bouncing around to a fabulous assortment of music for kids.

Psst...and for all you adult dancers who are debating trying a class at Springstep, jump to it. Bloomspot  is offering a huge discount for first time Springstep participants - $50 for a 6 or 8 week class! (That's up to a $110 value.) You must snap up this offer by Wednesday, December 22nd.

Ok, my break at Impulse Dance Center is almost over and I need to grab some dinner before my Advanced Jazz class.

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day

Monkeyhouse @ First Night 2011 Fun Fact of the Day:

Although she will not be performing with us on December 31st, Monkeyhouse's canine choreographer, Kwaq7aj', has been rehearsing with us. We captured this photo of her during our warm up on Saturday.


Double Falsehood

by Nicole Harris

After a very eventful afternoon of trying to get myself ready for Christmas (I just bought six rolls of wrapping paper.  I've never owned this much wrapping paper in my life.) I am sitting down to a quick dinner before heading over to Harvard Square to see a staged reading of Double Falsehood that Jason Ries directed. 

It has come up in conversation a few times recently how similar choreography and directing can be and it made me realize that a number of us here at Monkeyhouse have taken an interest in directing recently.  (You might remember that Karen was the Assistant Director of Othello at Actors' Shakespeare Project in March.)  I am excited to see what Jason has put together!

Whether you're interested in Shakespeare (Double Falsehood has recently been added to the Shakespeare canon), a fan of Jason's, or just looking for somewhere to stay warm come join me at Fire & Ice in Harvard Square!

6:00 - 7:00pm Hors d'oeuvres & cash bar
7:00 - 8:15pm Reading of Double Falsehood
8:30 - 9:30pm Q&A with cast & mingling!


Monkeyhouse @ First Night for the 5th time!

by karen Krolak
Mercy me, this weekend is going to be jam packed with creative endeavours. Tomorrow, Monkeyhouse will be at Springstep re-setting Ramfeezled, one of our funniest and best loved pieces, for our fifth appearance at First Night Boston. Then Jason, kwaq7aj', and I will skedaddle down to New York to wish Ralph Farris (genius viola player and the composer for one section of our performance for Dance in the Fells) a fabulous 40th birthday. Sunday afternoon, I will scoot over to Union Street Dance in Brooklyn to start a piece featuring Eva Dean...also for First Night. Then Jason and I will get a sneak preview of Three Pianos, an OBIE winning music-theater event written, arranged and performed by Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy. According to our invite, we should be prepared for "compositional mayhem, shifting rivalries, and some unfortunate butchery of the German language."

Oh yes, so here are the details about Monkeyhouse's First Night performances. Please note that we will be in the Hynes Convention Center this year. To celebrate their 10th Anniversary season, Monkeyhouse is mixing and mashing the old with the new and tossing in a guest artist or two. Humor flows through their slightly surreal dance theater world as they tackle topics from flirting, rhinoceros fantasies, and re-gaining the rhythm of a relationship. Be on the lookout for Anne Howarth on French Horn and New York City's Eva Dean in a sassy smorgasbord of pieces by Karen Krolak, Nicole Harris, and Amelia O'Dowd.

 Friday, Dec 31, 2010 at  8:15PM and 10:00 PM
First night button $18, children under 4 are free

Psst...and I just heard now that Twink has given us permission to use one of their songs for one of our premieres! Thank you Twink.


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