Hudson Warehouse

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Nicholas Martin-Smith, Founder and Artistic Director of the Hudson Warehouse.
Hudsonlogo.jpg
George K. Wells as Romeo and Amanda Ochoa as Juliet, 2010 Season.

The Hudson Warehouse is a theatre company in New York City that presents classical plays in modern settings.[1] Known as "The Other Shakespeare in the Park,"[2] the company was founded in 2004 by Nicholas Martin-Smith, who serves as its artistic director.[3]

Summer performances take place on the North Patio of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Riverside Park, at West 89th and Riverside Drive in New York City, along the Hudson River. The theater company's winter home is Goddard Riverside's Bernie Wohl Center and the winter season consists of two productions.

The theater's full year season includes five productions of the classics, including Shakespeare, Euripides and Chekhov.[4]

Alex Viola and Amanda Renee Baker in The Seagull, 2011 Season.

History[edit]

Tommy Demenkoff as Macbeth, 2007 Season.

Hudson Warehouse's first season in 2004 consisted of a single modest production of The Tempest, performed over two weeks that July. The season has since extended to the whole summer, with three productions that each have a month-long run. Past productions include Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, Merry Wives of Windsor, Cyrano and Trojan Women, adapted from the tragedy by Euripides. Hudson Warehouse productions in 2012 were The Comedy of Errors, The Rover, and Richard III. The company also holds readings and workshops throughout the year, including its 'Shakespeare in the Bar' series and the 'Writers-a-Go-Go' (WAGG) contemporary play reading series.[5][6] In addition to the summer season and other Shakespeare readings throughout the year, the company also teaches workshops on the classics to high school students, brings its productions into schools, run the 'Hudson Warehouse Shakespeare Workout' and teach play writing to 4th and 5th graders as part of the 'Afterschool Program' at Goddard Riverside.

Joe Hamel, Cyrano, 2010 Season.

2013-2014 Season[edit]

Chris Behan as Willmore and Elizabeth Alice Murray as Angellica, The Rover, 2012 Season.

In the Autumn of 2013 the Hudson Warehouse became the Resident Theater Company at Goddard Riverside's Bernie Wohl Arts Center at Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Their 11th season in November 2013 began with a remounting of their June 2013 production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, at the Bernie Wohl Center Directed by Susane Lee. The cast included Ian Harkins, Rafe Terrizzi and Nicholas Martin-Smith. This was followed by a production of Julius Caesar in March 2014. Their Summer Season at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Riverside Park includes King John directed by Jerrod Bogard, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Nicholas Martin-Smith and The Winter's Tale directed by Joseph Hamel.

Ruth Nightengale as Hecuba and Lindsay Kitt Wiebe as Andromache, Trojan Women, 2010 Season.

Production history[edit]

Myles Rowland as James Tyrrel and R. Scott Williams as George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III, 2012 Season.
Susane Lee and Dan Fiorella, 'Writers-a-Go-Go' (WAGG) reading of Hitler's Script, February 2012.
Julie Baber and Jerrod Bates in King John, 2014

Critical reception[edit]

  • “NewYorkCentric has attended several Hudson Warehouse productions over the years and feels strongly that it is one of the greatest free cultural institutions in the city."[7]
  • HappentoLikeNewYork.org called the Hudson Warehouse 2010 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, set in the turmoil of the modern Middle East: "a 'savage' version of the classic tale set in the sands on Afghanistan."[8]Calling it a "high-intensity cage match," it declared, "the cast of Romeo and Juliet at Hudson Warehouse made me a believer."[9]
  • Of the company's choice to do Cyrano[disambiguation needed], Newsday said: "Somebody dares to greet the elements with words by someone other than Shakespeare. Nicholas Martin-Smith directs this revival of Edmond Rostand's irresistible late-Romantic swashbuckling tragedy about the heroism and beauty lost behind a nose."[10]
  • Richard Grayson of 'Dumbo Books of Brooklyn' wrote “The cast always works as a unit, working together – yes, taking their star turns and getting their individual laughs – but ultimately in service of presenting a believable world and moving the story along.”[11]
  • Of the 2011 production of Merry Wives of Windsor, Steven McElroy of the New York Times said, "Clouds loomed over Riverside Park in Manhattan ... but the stars (were) aligned for the cast of this month's Hudson Warehouse production of The Merry Wives of Windsor."[12]
Roger Stude and Sydney Stanton in The Taming of the Shrew, 2011 Season.
  • The company's production of Hamlet was noted for using multiple actors to play the role of Hamlet. "Most of us are aware that no one Hamlet can express all the manifold variations of the character ... so how about three Hamlets, deployed artfully? These three Hamlets invited multiplicity simply through the actorly presence of each," noted Bernice Kliman in her Shakespeare Newsletter article.[13]
  • The 'L' Magazine voted Hudson Warehouse the “Best Out Door Theatre” in New York City,[14] saying "a combination of the excellent hardworking cast and the sunsets over the Hudson that serve as their backdrop makes these outdoor productions a must."[15]

Shakespeare in the Bar and Writers-a-Go-Go Reading Series[edit]

Since 2010 Hudson Warehouse has also brought its work into the barroom in its 'Shakespeare in the Bar' series, where the acting troupe sit among the bar patrons as if customers themselves as they perform the readings. Regarding the series, John Marshall of the Huffington Post has written, "A natural outgrowth of the Warehouse's critically acclaimed summer productions at the Sailors and Soldiers' Monument, 'Shakespeare in the Bar' seeks to create the same intimate, accessible atmosphere, not just for Shakespeare, but for other classics as well."[16] The 2012/2013 'Shakespeare in the Bar' season included Richard II, Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Othello, The Winter's Tale and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. Earlier seasons included productions of The Taming of the Shrew, The Seagull by Anton Chekhov to mark Chekhov's 151st birthday, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard II, Macbeth, and Tartuffe by Molière.

The company's Writers A Go-Go (WAGG) Reading Series and Workshop features readings of plays by new and emerging writers. These staged readings also take place in an informal barroom setting. The series is run by Hudson Warehouse Assistant Artistic Director Susane Lee.

Current company[edit]

Along with Martin-Smith, and the Assistant Artistic Director Susane Lee, the Artists in Residence include David Palmer Brown, Tommy Demenkoff, Nick DeVita, Jared Kirby, Roxann Kraemer, Ian Harkins, Michael Menger, Jonathan William Minton, Ruth Nightengale, Emily Rose Parman, Vince Phillip, Roger Dale Stude, and George K. Wells.[17]

Vince Phillip, Poster for Richard III, 2012 Season.

References[edit]

External links[edit]