NYU Steinhardt Educational Theatre professor Regina Ress hosts the post-pandemic return of the long-running storytelling series on Oct. 29 with Otherworldly, a program of performances by Laura Simms, Therese Folkes Plair, and Bharatanatyam dancer Sonali Skandan. The two-hour, free performance begins at 3 p.m. in the historic Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal St. in Greenwich Village. It is suitable for ages 12 and older.
Laura Simms is an artist and teacher based in New York City who helped to start the Steinhardt storytelling series in 2000. Simms is recognized for performances that blend the wisdom of myth and folklore with ideas that spring from everyday life. For this performance, Simms will weave an ancient Egyptian tale, found on the back of a papyrus, with her personal story of the aftermath of her mother's death.
Therese Folkes Plair is an award-winning artist and classically trained singer. Since 1979, she has focused her performance, research and teaching on the music and oral traditions of people of African descent. She will perform ghostly stories from her Gullah Geechee heritage.
The final story is from Sonali Skandan, founder and artistic director of Jiva Performing Arts. Born in India, Skandan has lived in New York City for decades. She will present a story with dance about the powerful Indian goddess, Durga, and her efforts to destroy the evil demon, Mahisasura.
“Storytelling connects us to each other and to the deepest parts of ourselves. It’s how we make sense out of life,” Ress said. “It is a communal experience, even more so than theater because there’s no fourth wall. We often involve the audience. It’s a dialogue between listeners and performers.”
The Halloween-themed performance marks the return of the series, which was last presented at the playhouse on Feb. 9, 2020, Ress explained.
“Otherworldly, like the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, will be both darkly intriguing and great fun,” Ress said.
Free general admission tickets will be available at the theater one hour before the performance.
About NYU Steinhardt
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.