There are Broadway shows and Off-Broadway shows, standard music venues and time-honored dance theaters, and then there are places that champion a type of creativity that deviates from the norm and leaves conventions behind.
Brooklyn is a magnet for those emerging artists and risk-taking producers, a hub of cutting-edge artistic expression of all kinds. Below are some of the borough’s most unusual, outlandish, and progressive performing arts spaces.
Then She Fell (Williamsburg)
Then She Fell is an elaborately crafted adventure inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll. The production is an immersive experience located in a centuries-old hospital ward, designed for just 15 audience members who are beckoned to explore hidden corners, unlock concealed secrets, and taste mysterious elixirs. Then She Fell is put on by Third Rail Productions and has won several awards and received acclaim from both The New York Times and Vogue.
Then She Fell photo courtesy of Facebook.
The Gemini & Scorpio Loft via Facebook
The Gemini & Scorpio Loft (Gowanus)
Gemini & Scorpio is an unconventional event production company established by Larisa Fuchs AKA Miss Scorpio and Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh AKA Miss Gemini in 2002. In 2011, they secured a home base in the form of a 3,000-square-foot loft. Gemini and Scorpio is best known for its costume theme parties and now hosts a variety of events at their loft, including theatrical performances, interactive artistic experiences, fashion shows, and music showcases. Gemini and Scorpio has also been known to produce circus performances, burlesque, and late-night dance parties.
Tiny Dance 2014 | The Brick via Facebook
The Brick (Williamsburg)
The Brick is a not-for-profit theater located in a refurbished auto-body shop. It is dedicated to fostering the work of emerging artists. Its ongoing Summer Theme Festival Series has included such playful topics as The Comic Book Theater Festival, The $ellout Festival, The Antidepressant Festival, and more. The Brick also puts on monthly performance series, as well as world premieres.
Yoleros | The Bushwick Star via Facebook
The Bushwick Starr (Bushwick)
The Bushwick Starr is an Obie award–winning not-for-profit that welcomes theater, dance, and puppetry performances. It hosts several annual programs and showcases, including Brooklyn Gypsies, Puppets and Poets, and The Big Green Theater. Brooklyn Gypsies is a socially conscious, Bushwick-based artist collective that, in addition to its own work, puts on several innovative shows every year from heralded performers and writers. Puppets and Poets is a workshop and performance program that, as the name suggests, blends writing and puppetry. The Big Green Theater is a playwriting program for young writers that focuses on environmental issues.
Grace Exhibition Space via Facebook
Grace Exhibition Space (Bushwick)
Grace Exhibition Space is devoted to the medium of performance art and regularly welcomes artists from around the world. Its running series of 2015, The Great American Performing Arts Festival, opened in March. The festival has since welcomed artists far and wide, including such notables as Martha Wilson and Linda Mary Montano. In 2013, Grace Exhibition Space put on a weekly series called CONTINUOUS ACTION that featured four hours of continuous performances from various artists every Saturday. Other notables who have passed through the space include Antoni Karwowski and La Pocha Nostra art troupe.