By Addy Baird
September 9, 2015
Last May, they raised nearly $50,000 and sold out the 900-seat Skirball Center with their three-night production of “Catch Me if You Can.” Last week, they filled 204 audition slots for their next production, “Company,” in a single day. Today, there is little doubt that NYU theater club Tisch New Theatre is a force to be reckoned with.
“Tisch New Theatre started out because there was a pressing need for non-drama majors to be able to work on theater,” Jason Arnold explained. Arnold, a junior in the production and design studio at Tisch, serves as the club’s co-president. Though the club is several years old, it was inactive during the 2013-2014 school year, and the club’s production of “Catch Me if You Can” served as a resurrection and reinvention for the club. “A lot of what we did last semester was proving that we could do something,” said co-president Marc Ferre, a senior studying film and TV. “And now that we’ve proven it, the whole experience is a lot more positive and we’re trusted a lot more.” Arnold agrees — “It’s been legitimized.”
With more money in the club’s account (thanks to great ticket sales from “Catch Me”), Arnold and Ferre head up the creative team for “Company,” which will premiere this November. Arnold is the show’s producer and Ferre its choreographer. They’re joined by junior acting major Alice Kors, who is directing the production. Auditions are currently underway, with open auditions having begun on Tuesday and callbacks running through Friday.
But “Company” won’t be “Catch Me” all over again. “Given the fact that we’re trying to do two shows a year, it wouldn’t make sense to do a huge show in the fall and another huge show in the spring.” Ferre said, “With this one we’re just trying to play with the same quality of production, just in a more intimate setting.” Intimate is a word they use a lot to describe their vision for “Company” and intimate it will be: The production will go on at The Great Hall which holds only 180-200 people. “So it’s very intimate,” Arnold said. “We’re going for a very intimate cabaret feel.”
“Company,” written by Broadway deities Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, is the story of one single man, Bobby, five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends. The characters are older and more mature than a significant portion of NYU students, but director Alice Kors believes the show transcends age. “[It’s] ultimately about connection and finding out what that means to other people and what that means for yourself,” she said. “In this 21st century world, we’re so caught up in connecting virtually and creating a perfect life on Instagram, but how do you keep a connection when things get rough? We need to learn to tough things out a little bit more and truly connect a little bit more.” Amen, girl.
“Company” will premiere November 7 and run through the 9 at NYU’s Grand Hall in the Kimmel Center. Tickets will go on sale in early October, $15 for students, $20 for faculty and alumni, and $25 general admission. To learn more about the production you can visit their website and Facebook page.