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AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS, MITU NOW HAS A HOME!
Our second decade of building bridges across ideas, communities, and cultures has led us to establish Brooklyn’s newest multi-use art space, MITU580. After twenty years of pursuing our mission of expanding the definition of theater, our commitment to innovation has led us to build a permanent home for artists invested in pushing boundaries. MITU580 is our brick and mortar laboratory for inquiry through arts practice. The space is designed to help us share knowledge, spark dialogue, and strengthen our community through cultivating radical ways of reimagining our world. We are thrilled to begin this new chapter of our company’s life— but in order to succeed, we need your help! 2019 is our first full calendar year in operation at MITU580 and already it has become:
Theater Mitu will continue to develop new and exciting company-created works investigating and interrogating potent ideologies and narratives. These research-based projects are built from found text, archival materials, generated language, and company-conducted interviews. In addition to this, Theater Mitu has established Expansion Works, a program that holds space for artists to intentionally work across disciplines and incubate alternative modes of artistic inquiry. These exploratory works are conceived to cultivate and diversify artistic leadership and expand artistic practice.
The establishment of MITU580 has allowed Theater Mitu to give shape to a number of new annual programs aimed at galvanizing the next generation of artists while supporting ongoing innovation in established companies. These programs include: our Hybrid Arts Lab, a fellowship program where trans, non-binary, and female identifying artists of color develop new work intersecting performance and technology; Artists-at-Home, our subsidized rental program for Brooklyn based artists innovating in the field of performance; and our Company Residencies aimed at sustaining continued collaboration for mid-career companies, collectives, and ensembles.
Art spaces are key for dialogue and the continuous exchange of knowledge. They are central gathering points for a community to share their diverse range of embodied experiences, histories, and imaginations. For us, this means year-round programming of free and affordable performances, exhibitions, and events. In the last year alone MITU580 has been a home for over 100 artists working in theater, film, dance, sculpture, performance art, creative technology, civic engagement, and community outreach. Our venue is more than a performance space—It’s a place where hundreds of artists and community members share work, materials and techniques; where there is a consistent exchange of ideas and belief; where we eat meals together; where we discuss and debate art, politics, and this incredibly critical moment in history.
With your generous support, 2020 promises continued growth for these and other programs at our new home. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to this year’s annual fundraiser. Your contribution will directly support the programming that makes Theater Mitu such a unique company and MITU580 such a remarkable venue. Contributions from our community cover 80% of the costs for our programming, keep our tickets accessible and affordable, and provide resources to galvanize the next generation of performance-based artists.
Founded in 1997, Theater Mitu has earned a wide reputation as an adventuresome and dynamic ensemble of artists. Under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Rubén Polendo, the Company is committed to challenging the parameters of theater research and practice. Its considerable body of work has taken on a variety of forms: developmental and production work with some of the world’s leading theatrical innovators, research and pedagogical work with renowned universities and conservatories, engagement with non-theatrical communities, and international trainings and research initiatives with leaders in the field.
Theater Mitu’s work has been presented and developed nationally at New York Theater Workshop, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, The Skirball Center, Alliance Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, McCarter Theater, South Coast Rep, Sundance, Watermill Center and Z Space among others as well as internationally including The Academy of Performing Arts (Bosnia & Herzegovina), The Cairo Opera House (Egypt), Centro Cultural Paso Del Norte (Mexico), Duoc UC (Chile), Kontakt Festival (Poland), Mansion Blatt (Lebanon), Blackbox (Mongolia), The NYUAD Arts Center (UAE), Patravadi Arts Center (Thailand) and Visthar (India). Recent recognitions include funding from CEC Artslink, MAP Fund, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, NY Cultural Development Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, The Howard Gilman Foundation, NEFA’s National Theater Project, New York University, NYSCA, Trust for Mutual Understanding and US Department of State.
Mitu maintains a dynamic education program in which company members teach Mitu’s training methodology called WHOLE THEATER at institutions including New York University where Founding Artistic Director Rubén Polendo serves as Chair of Tisch Undergraduate Drama, Bard College, Brigham Young University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, CUNY Graduate Program, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Julliard, Southern Methodist University, American University (Egypt), Duoc UC (Chile), Lebanese American University (Lebanon), Nanyang University (Singapore) and National University of Mexico. The Company also runs annual summer intensives in India, Japan, New York City and Thailand.
Theater Mitu has diligently continued various global research and training initiatives towards the development and articulation of the Company’s training methodology known as WHOLE THEATER. Most recent research and training initiatives have traveled the Company to Bali, Chile, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Sudan, UAE and Yemen. This has led to intensive training sessions and collaborations with some of these countries’ most important artists, teachers and masters.
MITU580 is the newest chapter in Theater Mitu’s history and we look forward to the continued growth and development that it will offer our company, our artists, and our community!
Want to know more about our Theater Mitu’s work and programming? Visit us at www.theatermitu.org
Small artist-run performance venues are quickly becoming a thing of the past in lieu of increasingly larger presenting and producing organizations. Amidst this trend, Theater Mitu has established, and will sustain, a smaller artist-run venue for the incubation of innovative performance work. Expanding the definition of theater requires a certain level of risk. A necessary risk to seed the future of performance-based artists, their audiences, and our field as a whole. The greatest challenge we face is maintaining a vibrant artistic practice as a company while operating and maintaining this multi-use art space. We’ve chosen to take this challenge head-on as we believe that fulfilling our mission of expanding the definition of theater requires us to share our resources with other artists wrestling with shared questions and in so doing build a robust and resilient community.