The fall of 2011 saw the maiden voyage of our new play development efforts with a full production of Extant Arts' first homegrown, world-premier play: Andy James Hoover's Corner Pocket, directed by our own Bridget Durkin. During the spring we nurtured the growth another new piece, Christina Quintana's The Next Thing--written specifically for the ensemble of last year's Summer Shakespeare. In the summer of 2012 we venture beyond Shakespeare's canon and into the work of the French playwright Moliere with an outdoor production of School For Wives.
In the fall of 2010, Extant continued to engage with the classics, premiering Nemonie Craven's exciting new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts. Director Sophie Hunter (Broadway's Enron) led a dynamic cast and international, award-winning creative team from the worlds of opera, Broadway, film, and installation art in Extant's most well-received production yet. This winter and spring we shifted our focus to the development of new work, nurturing the progress of Andy James Hoover towards the debut of his new play 'Corner Pocket' in the fall of 2011. Meanwhile our education department and fabulous teaching artists have been bringing Shakespeare to the city's public schools with our innovative 'Shakespeare Sleuths' programming. Our season will conclude with our summer Shakespeare series, and a new production of Much Ado About Nothing.
In this season Extant settled into its signature season structure, producing one classic play and one new work centered around similar themes. The fall saw Rebecca Gilman's Blue Surge return to downtown under the direction of Kat Vecchio, as well as another brilliant collaboration with Nancy Gabor, who directed our performance of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, the centerpiece of the Extant Chekhov Open. Extant's Chekhov festival also featured James Kiberd's one man show, Playing with Chekhov, and a workshop reading of Andy James Hoover's Chain of Deed. This summer we took our Summer Shakespeare Series on tour to four different parks, Fort Tryon Park, Astoria Park, Prospect Park and Central Park, performing Richard III and Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Braced by the financial crisis, Extant focused this season on small-scale readings developing new work, including three new plays: Greg Taubman's Progeny, Pitr Strait's G and Andy James Hoover's Paper Dolls. Extant continued its growth and expanded the Summer Shakespeare Series with the performance of three shows in series: The Tempest, Love's Labour's Lost, and Macbeth.
Extant's second year saw enormous growth for the company. Taking the first steps towards achieving our non-profit status, Extant kicked off our educational outreach program, a vital component of our mission and one that we are thrilled to continue today. Our educational program also inspired us to stage a touring children's production of A Christmas Carol. Our main-stage season began with Ellen McLaughlin's lyrical adaptation of Helen, directed by Greg Taubman, and featured with a large-scale production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters directed by Nancy Gabor, a close colleague of Joseph Chaikin, founder of the Open Theater. This season saw the first of the ongoing outdoor Summer Shakespeare Series with A Midsummer Night's Dream in Central Park.
Extant Arts staged two productions during its founding season under the direction of Artistic Director Greg Taubman: Mixed Doubles, a one-act farce by George Feydeau, and Arthur Schnitzler's scandalous look at coupling, La Ronde, which which was performed, fittingly, in the round.