Off-Off Broadway innovators to watch



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    Heather Christian

  • Photograph: Nick Mann


    Rick Burkhardt (right) in Storm Still

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    31 Down

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    Kristen Sieh

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    Tina Satter



Heather Christian

Heather Christian
This tiny singer-songwriter has the ability to meld with a collective, which perhaps explains why she's worked with downtown hotshots ranging from Big Dance Theater to the TEAM. Currently, Christian appears in Witness Relocation and La MaMa's co-production of a new Charles L. Mee play, the postapocalyptic "comedy" Heaven on Earth. La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E 4th St between Bowery and Second Ave (212-475-7710, Thu 24--Sat 26 at 7:30pm, Sun 27 at 2:30pm; $25.

Rick Burkhardt and the Nonsense Company
Some audiences may know composer-performer Burkhardt as one third of the sweet Three Pianos gang, recently at New York Theatre Workshop. Now the company behind that found-object opera is presenting a discombobulating scramble of King Lear and psychotherapeutic language: Storm Still. P.S. 122, 150 First Ave at 9th St (212-352-3101, Wed--Sat 8pm, Sun 6pm. Through Sun 6; $20.

31 Down
This company—headed by Ryan Holsopple and Shannon Sindelar—has already staged pieces of extraordinary visual and auditory richness (like last year's Red Over Red), but its texts have sometimes felt thin. Luckily, the crew is teaming with another artist on the rise, playwright Eric Bland, for Here at Home, a meditation on war. The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr St between Irving and Wyckoff Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn (800-838-3006, Previews May 8, 9 8pm; May 12--28 Thu--Sat 8pm; $15.

Kristen Sieh
Every time we see this heartbreakingly raw performer, we love her more. She has animated the TEAM's most interesting moments, combining agitation and elegance in innumerable ways. Next, she joins Elevator Repair Service—the top-of-the-heap troupe behind Gatz—for an installation-performance at the New York Public Library, in which actors recite computer-generated mash-ups of classic American novels. New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Ave at 42nd St (917-275-6975, May 21, 22; free.

Tina Satter and Half Straddle
Keep your eyes peeled for this zany directorial talent, the auteur behind such avant-pulp as Nurses in New England and FAMILY. Satter's latest work, In the Pony Palace/Football, is at the Bushwick Starr now—and yes, we're cheating a little by including her company since so many up-and-coming actors (Emily Davis, Eliza Bent) and even a composer to be alert for (Chris Giarmo) sneak in under her cracked umbrella. The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr St between Irving and Wyckoff Aves (1-800-838-3006, Thu 24--Sat 26 at 8pm; $15.

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