American Realness

Tina Satter / Half Straddle

Ghost Rings

Sunday, January 8, 10:00pm
Monday, January 9, 2:30pm & 8:30pm
Tuesday, January 10, 2:30pm

Run Time: 60 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse
466 Grand Street / Tickets $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

In Ghost Rings a narrative of friendship and family-making unfurls through a pop song cycle that burrows and soars with a mix of deadpan magical realism and a thoroughly feminist worldview. Playwright and performer Tina Satter, songwriters and performers Chris Giarmo and Erin Markey and performer Kristen Sieh form a family band of yesteryear as they offer a tender and harrowingly funny, visual and sonic experience that traverses unexpected layers of romance.

“This is the sky for you.”

Ghost Rings was commissioned by New York Live Arts for its 50 & Change Commission series with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support provided by the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Ghost Rings was created through residencies at the Performing Garage, the Orchard Project, and Pataphysics Playwriting Workshop.
Photo by Maria Baranova

Written and Directed – Tina Satter
Performed – Chris Giarmo, Erin Markey, Tina Satter, Kristen Sieh
Music Composed – Chris Giarmo and Erin Markey
Arrangements, Music Direction and Sound Design – Chris Giarmo
Set Design – Parker Lutz
Light Design – Chris Kuhl
Costume Design – Enver Chakartash
Costume Assistants – Michaela Murphy, Carter Kidd
Make-Up Design – Naomi Raddatz
Production and Stage Management – Randi Rivera
Producer – Nina Segal

Tina Satter is an American writer, director, and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn-based, Obie-winning theater company Half Straddle. She is a recipient of a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award; a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award, and was named an Off-Off Broadway Innovator to Watch by Time Out New York. She has written and directed 9 full-length shows and a number of smaller performance and video pieces with Half Straddle that have premiered in New York City. Tina’s work has been presented at theaters and festivals in Europe, Asia, Australia, and other U.S. cities.

Tina has had residencies at Yaddo, Headlands Center for the Arts, LMCC, The Performing Garage, Kitchen L.A.B., MASS MoCA, and New Museum for Contemporary Art. She’s been a visiting artist at Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, Reed College, and Fordham University—and a visiting playwriting professor at the University of Michigan. Drawing on her recent teaching work, Tina has been developing and leading generative writing and directing workshops to participants from a range of backgrounds and experience. Tina attended Mac Wellman’s graduate playwriting program at Brooklyn College and received an M.A. from Reed College and a B.A. from Bowdoin College. Her first collection of plays, Seagull (Thinking of you), was published by 53rd State Press in 2014.

Half Straddle is an Obie-winning, Brooklyn-based ensemble of performers and designers that makes plays, performances, videos, and music led by Artistic Director Tina Satter. This critically acclaimed company began in 2008, and has toured shows and work throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. In New York City, the company’s work has been presented at The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, New Museum, Danspace, PS122, Bushwick Starr, Dixon Place, and PRELUDE Festival.

Chris Giarmo is an artist, performer and designer living in New Orleans. He’s composed music for/sound designed all of Half Straddle’s shows since 2008 including Ancient Lives, House of Dance and Seagull (Thinking of you). He has also sound designed works by Young Jean Lee, Faye Driscoll, Jackie Sibblies Drury and other NY-based performance-makers. Recently, he sang backup for Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music and was the Associate Producer of David Byrne’s Contemporary Color. He’s performed with Big Dance Theater since 2005 and is the creator of YouTube creator, beauty guru and drag queen, Kimberly Clark.

Kristen Sieh is a founding member of The TEAM, with whom she co-wrote and performed RoosevElvis (The Royal Court, Walker Arts Center, The A.R.T., The Vineyard, etc.) and 4 other plays. Other credits include: Atlantic Theater Company (The Band’s Visit), The Public Theater (Fortress of Solitude, February House), Classic Stage Company (Iphigenia in Anne Washburn’s Iphigenia in Aulis), Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb (Men on Boats), The Foundry (O, Earth), Pig Iron (Viola in Twelfth Night), Ripe Time (The World is Round at BAM), Elevator Repair Service (Gatz, The Sound and the Fury, etc.), Banana, Bag & Bodice (Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage), The Builders Association, The New Group, The O’Neill Center, The 52nd St. Project, and others. Regional credits include Syracuse Stage, Denver Center Theater, Long Wharf, and Baltimore CenterStage. TV: “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” “The Blacklist,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Law & Order.”

“Ms. Satter is a genre-and-gender-bending, visually exacting stage artist who has developed an ardent following among downtown aesthetes with a taste for acidic eye candy and erotic enigmas.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“Satter’s Half Straddle company is launching a particularly coordinated goal-line drive to a new feminist form.” – Helen Shaw, Time Out New York

“In a way, those two worlds—that of women’s sports and Henry James’s universe— inform Satter’s visually ascetic, physical, and feminist work.” – Hilton Als, The New Yorker