THEATER - (Parkland/Weathers) in Ars Nova's ANT Fest
May 21, 2017
I started creating the world of Rags Parkland in 2009, and a year later I presented a concert by Rags at Ant Fest at Ars Nova. It was the very first time my work had been on a professional stage. I've continued to expand Rags' world and hone that material. Last year in a Fresh Ground Pepper's Playground Playgroup I wrote (Parkland/Weathers), and seven years after performing Rags in ANT Fest the first time, I'm returning with this new iteration of the project.
by Andrew R. Butler
directed by Jordan Fein
Performed & Arranged by Rick Burkhardt, Andrew R. Butler & Maya Sharpe
June 23rd at 7pm
at Ars Nova
tix available now: $15 in adv $20 at the door
(Parkland/Weathers) is a nesting doll double-bill of sci-fi folk music concerts that unpacks the lives and relationship of singer-songwriters Rags Parkland and Beaux Weathers. In the 2200s, music is their best shot at winning over a world that insists only one of them is human.
THEATER - Workshop at The Public
May 20, 2017
I'm spending this week performing in a workshop reading of The Public Theatre's Public Works show for this summer: As You Like It. Laurie Woolery is directing and co-adapting the play with composer Shaina Taub. It's been a blast so far! The reading is internal for development, and most of the roles played by the fantastic actors in the room will later be given to non-professional performers from communities across New York City. I saw last year's show, and jumped at the chance to contribute to the process of this year's. It's a truly remarkable and inspiring project that serves an emormous swath of our city and uses theatre as the community-building cultural resource it can be!
THEATER - American Cryptids: Ep. 1 New York City
May 8, 2017
The culmination of my year in The Civilian's R&D writers group is coming to a close with the first public presentation of my newest show with Andrew Farmer. A blurb and details are below!
American Cryptids is a live documentary series about people who have encountered cryptozoological creatures and the cryptozoological creatures they have encountered. Creators Andrew Farmer and Andrew R. Butler interview individuals who have seen such elusive American fauna as the legendary Bigfoot, the debunked Montauk Monster and the downright weird Carnivorous Pink Cloud, to create a show that explores loneliness, conviction, American Regionalism, and how it feels when no one believes in you.
THEATER - Memory Retrograde at BAX
April 22, 2017
Next weekend my experimental company harunalee is performing two residency showings of our latest play written by Kristine Lee, Memory Retrograde. Kristine and I have been developing this piece for several years, and for the past two the project has been the focus of Kristine's residency at BAX. We're excited to show what we've been building, and hopefully find a future home for it!
written x directed by Kristine Haruna Lee
April 28 + 29 @ 8pm
BAX 421 5th Ave.
Tickets: $16 general admission / $10 low-income
A couple finds a strange 'remembering' object in the attic, and ponders over the possibility of having lived past lives together. The act of remembering conjures their younger selves, and they all mingle in simultaneity. Their ‘time travels’ take them to their past life in Venice 1515, an Egyptian Burial, the 1970's, Ancient Greece, and a virtual reality forest some time in the far future. As memories epically span generations and landscapes, one couple's trauma is brought to light and replayed over and over again through all these layers of time and space as they figure out how to deal with a single tragedy that haunts their lives.
associate directed by Lauren Swan-Potras
conceived with Andrew R. Butler
sound design by Jen Goma
set design by Greg Laffey
costume design by Karen Boyer
lighting design by Sarah Lurie
video design by Stivo Arnoczy
production manager Teri-Ann Caryl
stage manager Hayley Cartee
production assistsant Lyndsey Bourne
mask by Mettawee River Theater Co.
with: Jess Almasy / Andrew R Butler / Keith McDermott / Madeline McCray / Josh Gelb / Shiree Adkins / Imran Sheikh
CABARET - The Civilians' Let Me Ascertain You Cabaret at Joe's Pub
April 13, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to write a song for The Civilians' cabaret/podcast series Let Me Ascertain You at Joe's Pub, and I happily obliged. The topic of this episode was hate, and I was given an interview with a charming and clever seven year old girl who had some delightful and honest things to say about the topic.
While I was sadly out of town for the cabaret itself, my song (adapted from the interview text) was performed by singer/actor/multi-instrumentalist Pearl Rhein (currently in Natasha & Pierre And The Great Comet of 1812). I wrote this tune for her on the uke!
The evening will be released as a podcast sometime in the near future and I can't wait to hear it. I'll be sure to post a link when it's availabile.
MUSIC/THEATER - HAIL OBLIVION: A Pirate Fantasia
April 9, 2017
I loved pirates as a child. I know that's super common. But I probably dressed up as a pirate for approximately half of the Halloweens for which I donned a costume. It just so happens that in my adult life I had the chance to be a part of the most incredible and awesome pirate project ever to sail the seven seas. Or, uh, stages. Although the current iteration is sailing the soundwaves as a brilliantly produced and sound designed live concert recording of the show. It features Broadway's Bryce Pinkham! And Rick Burkhardt! And Ato Blankson-Wood! And Amber Gray! And many many others, including me!
The show is HAIL OBLIVION: A Pirate Fantasia, by Stephanie Ryan Johnstone and Joshua William Gelb and it is totally incredible and intricate and bold and thrilling. Go to this link and listen to this and buy a copy!
THEATER - FRED opens at Dixon Place
March 22, 2017
FRED opened this past weekend at Dixon Place and while I wasn't able to be at the performances (due to The Skin Of Our Teeth) I'm hearing great things! A few online reviewers from around town have said some nice things about the show as well.
Ran Xia at theasy.com called FRED, "seventy-five minutes of non-stop exuberant day dreams that turns out to be quite moving."
And Culture Catch even gave me a shout out: "music director Andrew R. Butler manages to get a lot of laughs despite appearing only as the disembodied voice of the ship." As well as calling the show a "Buoyant new comedy!" "Godot-esque!" "original-star-trek-series-worthy!" "unexpectedly moving" and "campy fun!"
That all sounds right on the money to me. You can get tickets and read more here.
Here's a promo shot of The Kunzigs, Outer Space's Premier Carptenter's Tribute Band! I arranged and recorded synth backing tracks of a number of Carpenters songs, (and Bacharach tunes that The Carpenter's covered!) and served as music director, shaping the sound and performance of the fictional future lounge act. I'm super proud of my work and these performers.
February 20, 2017
Here's my 2016 reel!
Andrew R. Butler
On Camera Performance Reel 2016
Dir. Anna Kerrigan
"Straight Outta Tompkins"
Dir. Zephyr Benson
Dir. Sam Cooke
"But Not For Me"
Dir. Ryan Carmichael
Dir. Andrew Rhymer
Dir. Andrew Neisler
THEATER - The Skin Of Our Teeth in Previews
February 15, 2017
We had our first preview performance of The Skin Of Our Teeth tonight at Theatre For A New Audience. I'm completely floored by the company and creative team of this show and the incredible work that they're doing. Get your tickets now before they sell out.
Check out this neat slideshow of rehearsal photos from TFANA's Flickr:
THEATER - harunalee In Ars Nova Makers Lab
January 15, 2017
My experimental theater company harunalee has just been announced as an artist in residence at Ars Nova in 2017 as part of the theater's new Makers Lab! We're overjoyed to be receiving the support of one our favorite theaters in NYC, and to have the chance to grow as a company while we continue to make wild new experiences for our audiences.
Here's what Ars says about the lab:
"Makers Lab provides a dynamic group of generative theater artists with individually tailored residencies designed to holistically support their careers and develop their new works. Working in a range of category-defying forms and disciplines, these artists, collaborators and companies use Ars Nova as a home base for twelve-month creative residencies. Through a wide range of development tools, institutional resources and hands-on artistic support, Makers Lab residents are encouraged to think big, take risks and push their creative potential as they make work under our roof."
More to come about what we'll but up to under their roof, and when our newest creations will be ready to share!
THEATER: FRED at Dixon Place
January 10, 2017
I'm reuniting with one of my absolute favorite theatre companies, On The Rocks, for their next show FRED, premiering at Dixon Place in March. Here's a little description:
After two hundred years of keeping his inventor’s comatose widow alive, Fred the robot decides they both could use a change. Taking a leap of faith, he packs up their home in Phoenix and the odd couple relocate to The Clam—a once luxurious retirement space station orbiting Pluto. There, The Clam’s in-house alien band The Kunzigs awaken something special in Fred’s ancient companion.
I recommend checking out the video OTR made about FRED for their kickstarter campaign.
While my body won't be onstage for FRED (it will be busy performing in The Skin Of Our Teeth at TFANA!) I will be providing some pre-recorded vocal performance as the voice of The Clam. I have also stepped into the role of music producer, director and arranger for the production. I'm currently in the process of recording 70s-esque synth arrangements of songs by The Carpenters that The Kunzigs perform to, as well as arranging the vocals and music directing their performance.
FRED only happens for six nights, so be sure to pick one and get tix!
Fridays and Saturdays:
March 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and April 1 at 7:30PM
at Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street
THEATER: The Skin Of Our Teeth at TFANA
December 18, 2016
I'm thrilled to be cast in Theatre For A New Audience's upcoming production of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning play The Skin Of Our Teeth. It hasn't been produced in New York in almost 20 years and this production, featuring a cast of 35, looks to be truly incredible. I'll be portraying Homer and one of the Broadcast Announcers over the course of the three act tragi-comedy.
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Arin Arbus
February 14, 2017 - March 19, 2017
The Company of 35 includes: Austin Reed Alleman, Andrew R. Butler*, Fred Epstein*, Eric Farber*, Arthur French*, Max Gordon, Kecia Lewis*, Robert Langdon Lloyd*, Kimber Monroe*, Sam Morales, Reynaldo Piniella*, David Rasche*, Mary Lou Rosato*, Jessie Shelton*, Storm Thomas*, Mary Wiseman*, William Youmans*, John Amir, Michael Bartkiewicz, Eleonore Condo, Charlie Harrington, Charlotte Harvey, Sarah Keyes, David H. Littleton, Marilyn Lucchi, Alexandra Moro, Sophie Sagan-Gutherz, Brian Joel Sanchez, Jorge I. Sanchez, Isreal McKinney Scott, Maryn Shaw, Eileen Sugameli, Denise Turkan, Pablo A. Vazquez, and Matthew Velez.
Composer: César Alvarez; Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh; Set Designer: Riccardo Hernandez; Costume and Puppet Designer: Cait O’Connor; Lighting Designer: Marcus Doshi; Sound Designer: Stowe Nelson; Projection Designer: Peter Nigrini; Percussion Designer: Eric Farber; Properties Supervisor: Jon Knust; Fight Director: J. Allen Suddeth; Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer: Dave Bova; Hair/Wig & Makeup Co-Designer: J. Jared Janas; Music Director: Madeline Smith; Casting Director: Deborah Brown;
Assistant Stage Manager: Paul Vella*
Production Stage Manager: Renee Lutz*.
THEATER - Workshop With David Adjmi & Daniel Aukin
December 16, 2016
I got to spend this week working on a new play by the incredible David Adjmi, directed by Daniel Aukin. Center Theatre Group held the workshop in NYC. The play-in-progress is titled Stereophonic, and this is the second chance I've had to be a aprt of its development. The show is hilarious and heartbreaking and one of the most unique and ambitious plays I've have the pleasure to read. I can only hope there's more to come for this project!
COMEDY - Political Subversities Presents Election Night Live
November 7, 2016
I'm going to be performing with Politcal Subversities at Election Night Live at Littlefield tomorrow night. We'll be doing a set each hour, along-side a killer line up of comedians, musical comedy groups and even our favorite mind-reader, Vinny Deponto! The doors open at 7pm and the performances start at 7:30. We'll be there all night, drinking and holding space together as the results come in.LIVE ELECTION RESULTS and comedians to make you feel better about it. Political Subversities presents: Election Night Live - a live comedy show that will actually give you the results of the election as it is announced. Don't hide under your blanket alone refreshing Facebook, come out Littlefield in Brooklyn. Hosted by a rotating roster of PoliSub members and featuring sets by the full cast each hour, come out and turn a harrowing night into a harrowing night with friends.
PRESS - Doomocracy
November 6, 2016
We had a massive amount of media coverage at Doomocracy over the past month. Here are some favorites:
The New Yorker made an incredible video about the show
"the level of visual invention is high, and the cast of more than 30 actors (among them, a Chihuahua named Dreidel) is impressive. Paul Hufker’s script, with contributions by Nato Thompson, Creative Time’s artistic director, sounded, on a one-time hearing, sharp, up-to-date and wide-ranging in its talking points"
HyperAllergic had one of the neatest reviews, for which Katie Fricas drew a cartoon of the show tracing her reflections on it! Here's a panel that includes me!
Brokelyn's write-up went particularly deep into the experience, and also focused a lot on my scene in the show:
'those who vote to save employee jobs are sent marching up the stairs, where they meet a chocolatier/catering manager, played by Andrew Butler, a frantic redhead with a manbun who nails the self-important “don’t fuck up my culinary art” you find in pockets of the artisanal food world (Reyes specifically requested a “redheaded hipster,” Finn said). He’s particularly mean and condescending, speaking to the guests/wait staff in slow, loud Spanish, with a clear resignation that they’ll still fuck things up. He places two chocolates on each tray and informs you the first words out of your mouth should be “these are gluten-free."'
Apparently more than 60 media outlets attending the show, and we haven't gotten the press package yet, so I may update this when I've seen what else was made about us!
THEATER - The Civilians R&D Group
October 12, 2016
I'm very excited that my writing partner Andrew Farmer and I have been accepted into The Civilian's R&D Group for the 2016/2017 season. We will be working on a brand new project about cryptids and the people who believe in them all across the United States of America. Cryptids in case you don't know (we're finding most folks aren't familiar with this moniker) are animals like the Lochness Monster, Bigfoot, or the Chupacabra, of which there is no scientific evidence, but which are believed to exist by individuals who have seen or encountered them. We will be focusing on highly regional American cryptids, like the New Jersey devil and Florida's Swamp Ape, and we'll be exploring them through a combination of research and interviews with folks who have seen and believe in the existance of these unique, but scientifically unrecognized creatures.
Over the course of regular meetings between now and the spring we will share our progress and our strategies with several other brilliant writers and teams who are pursusing their own, very different projects. The Civilians in an amazing company, and we're big fans of their work and their ethos. We're looking forward to sharing what we create this season at our Findings Series sharing date in the spring!
Here's a photo from our first meeting (Farmer and I accidentally wore matching shirts...)
COMEDY - Political Subversities: Vote Or Whatever!
October 10, 2016
I'm not able to perform in this run of PoliSub (because I'm performing in Doomocracy at Brooklyn Army Terminal!) but I wrote for it, and did a lot of production work for the run. Go check it out at The PIT! You'll have a great time I promise, and our new cast members are incredible (including my friend and frequent writing partner Andrew Farmer!).
THEATER - Doomocracy
October 9, 2016
I'm thrilled to be a part of the next project from Creative Time, the people who produced Kara Walker's A Subtlety at the old Domino Sugar Factor, and Fly By Night (the pigeons with LEDs!) this summer. Doomocracy is a political haunted house and the brainchild of artist-activist Pedro Reyes.
They hired director Meghan Finn to lead the team and create the performances with THIRTY-FOUR actors. I'm delighted to be among them. I play a hipster chocolatier at an insufferable 1%er cocktail party. The show is a true feat of endurnace, running about 4 hours as we send 480 audience members through the house in 40 groups of 12.
The event is running Fri-Sat every weekend in October, plus the first weekend in November. You can get more info on Creative Time's website.
THEATER - "Beardo" Workshop
August 17, 2016
I got to workshop a wild and brilliant show for Pipeline Theater Company this week. Beardo is a retelling of the Rasputin story in the form of a play with songs. The lyrical and ridiculous liberetto is by Jason Craig (Banana Bag & Bodice) and the music is by Dave Malloy (Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet). I'm a big fan of Dave's work, and now I'm also enamored with Jason's writing. It was a lot of fun reading for Beardo and performing some of the music. Be on the lookout for that production early next year!
THEATER - Mettawee River Theater Company
July 2, 2016
I'm out of town for the next three weeks working in pastoral Salem, NY with some of my favorite people: the Mettawee River Theater Company. The show this year is an adaptation of a Korean folktale titled Before The Sun and Moon. The puppet/mask adaptation has been co-written by director/designer Ralph Lee and my long-time collaborator Krisitne Lee. I've worked with Ralph and Casey, who run the company and collectively design all the shows, for about six years now. I'm thrilled to be up here in dairy country making new theater for small-town upstate audiences. I'll be doing a lot of swimming and ice-cream-eating in my down time. You can find out more about Mettawee and our performance schedule here.