Off-Broadway/Dance/Opera: THE FINAL VEIL (the cell theatre)

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by Nia Liat on July 9, 2022

in Theater-New York

AT THE CELL, JULY 14 – 31, 2022

Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre will present the premiere of THE FINAL VEIL, a unique blend of theater, opera and dance. It tells the true story of Franceska Mann, a Polish-Jewish dancer who demonstrated resistance and strength amid the horrors of the Holocaust. When Mann was brought to Auschwitz, she and the other arrivals were sent to the gas chambers and told to remove their clothing. According to eyewitnesses, Franceska performed a distracting striptease, after which she managed to grab a gun, shoot, and fatally wound one SS Guard and injure a second, before her own subsequent death. Her actions in Auschwitz tell the story of a woman desperate to spare her life and others, using the tools she gathered as a ballerina in occupied Poland.

THE FINAL VEIL is created by Cassandra Rosebeetle and JL Marlor and directed by Cassandra Rosebeetle. It features a score and libretto by JL Marlor using a live string quartet and four women singers to draw upon a rich history of Polish folk song and German cabaret music sewn together with contemporary classical music, underground jazz and 1930’s era Yiddish folksongs. It also features choreography by Katherine Crockett and Cassandra Rosebeetle and text written by Kate Mulley. Rounding out the production team are Micah Gleason (Music Director / Conductor), Brian Reager (Assistant Director), Ayumu “Poe” Saegusa (Lighting), Dan Daly (Scenic Design), Matthew Yohn (Sound Design) and Carly Dorman (Assistant Dance Director).

The cast stars Cassandra Rosebeetle as Franceska Mann with an ensemble of 3 dancers (Hallie Chametzky, Lauren Pagano and Lauren Barette), 4 singers (Heather Michele, Katie Lipow, Abagael Cheng and Katherine Lerner Lee), and 4 live musicians (Connie Li on violin, Yoon Jung Hwang on violin, Katya Barmotina on viola and Camille Dietrich on cello.)

the cell theatre,338 W. 23rd Street
runs July 14-17, 21-24, 28-31, 2002; Thurs-Sat at 8; Sun at 5running time is 60 minutes.for tickets ($45-$75), visit the cell
for more info, visit The Final Veil Opera

Cassandra Rosebeetle began performing at the age of 5, studying both ballet and competitive ice dancing. A World Arts and Cultures dance major at UCLA, she has been a principal member of Desert Sin Dance Company since 2001 and has toured extensively with them throughout the US and Europe. Since moving to New York in 2007 from Los Angeles, Ms. Rosebeetle has also established herself as a producer of cutting-edge theatre and dance shows and has produced off-Broadway productions including Musée des Femmes at The Zipper Factory Theater, Twitchers at The House of Yes, Sex and Taboo which was featured at Galapagos Art Space and (le) poisson rouge, and We Want it Darker at The Slipper Room.

JL Marlor is a composer, performer, and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Called “refreshingly bold” by Opera Wire, JL is a composer of avant-garde chamber music, opera, musical theater, and contemporary classical music. Known for her narrative-driven vocal works, JL has received commissions from PubliQuartet, Wet Ink Ensemble, OperaRox, LoftOpera, New Music Gathering, The Knights, and Vanderbilt Percussion Group and has had her works performed at the Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, The Juilliard School, BANFF Center, Smith College, and BRIC Arts Media.

Katherine Crockett is a performance artist and choreographer based in NYC. She was a Principal Dancer with The Martha Graham Dance Company for 21 years and was a Guest Artist with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Company The White Oak Dance Project. She recently starred as the Queen in the Off-Broadway Immersive show Queen of the Night.

Kate Mulley is a playwright, librettist/lyricist, producer, and dramaturg whose work explores gender, power, and sexuality through a feminist and historical lens. Her work has been developed and performed on four continents at theaters including the Hayes Theatre Company, Luna Stage, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, Dixon Place, the Flea, Theatre503 and the Soho Theatre.

Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a not-for-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new work across all artistic disciplines that mine the mind, pierce and awaken the soul. Founded in 2006, the cell has provided a developmental home in the heart of Chelsea for works in progress by artists ranging from early career to established staples of the New York community. Originally established as a theatre space, the cell has gradually restructured into a cultural hub for food artists, cyborg theatre artists, musicians, installation artists, choreographers and more.

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