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Tisch New Theatre Runs Into Drama

After riding the high of their sold-out production of “Hairspray” at Skirball Theatre, the Tisch New Theatre has been prevented from putting on another show until Fall 2017. Many met the news with devastation, as it was a central student-run club that allows for students from any NYU school to participate in shows of high quality — unlike its counterparts that limit actors and crew members to specific schools or programs. CAS senior Emilio Madrid-Kuser, a former Tisch student, said that TNT provided opportunities to both Tisch and non-Tisch students who either could not or did not want to perform in Tisch productions — particularly students who were not thrilled with the quality of Tisch shows. “Out of this drought of high-caliber performance opportunities and the fact that a lot of students could not perform because they were not in a studio at the time … Tisch New Theatre has flourished,” Madrid-Kuser said. Last spring, members of the club committed infractions that resulted in their suspension. According to a letter sent out by Madrid-Kuser to the NYU community, the club used a Gallatin practice room without permission to hold auditions for their production of “Hairspray,” resulting in the club’s probation.

By NATALIE WHALEN Entertainment Editor Too lazy to hike all the way uptown to the Museum of Modern Art for your dose of culture, but still want to check out the latest galleries? Just look around campus to find some unique opportunities to view art by professionals and students alike — no subways required!

Their second infraction involved using a U-Haul truck instead of an NYU-approved transportation service for moving equipment. The club explained their reasoning had been that the U-Haul only cost $40, and the NYU-approved vendor cost $550. Daniel Unitas, TNT President and Tisch junior, said, ”When we are not fully supported like other student groups on campus [in terms of rehearsal space and funding], it has positioned past leadership in situations where they want to save money and cut corners.” The decision to suspend TNT was made by the Tisch Undergraduate Student Council, a body made of six Tisch students, in Fall 2016. None of the members of TUSC were members of TNT. As a result, members of TNT felt they were in the dark during much of the decision-making process. “We didn’t really prepare to be suspended,” Unitas said. “The decision [was] made sort of in secret. It’s not like you talk it out, really. You just sort of present your case, and then they convene. 10 days later we got our result … We were genuinely shocked.” The Tisch administration upheld TUSC’s decision, which John Beckman, NYU spokesperson, defended. “No one is above the rules. So, when Tisch New Theater repeatedly and knowingly violated school rules — in some cases while already on probation for previous infractions — a group of their peers

[the Tisch Undergraduate Student Council] ultimately concluded the right thing to do was to suspend TNT for a year. The University is fully supportive of the students' decision,” Beckman said. Upon hearing the news of the suspension, Madrid-Kuser began a campaign to rally students to take up the issue with various members of the administration, including Robert Cameron, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Tisch and Todd Pettiford, Director of Student Affairs at Tisch. Madrid-Kuser’s campaign was not formed in conjunction with any TNT board members. Madrid-Kuser said that whenever students email Cameron to voice concerns, he sends a copyand-paste response. Unitas said he was surprised when he saw Cameron’s template response because it was different from what he was personally told by Cameron regarding TNT’s suspension. “They [the students] are not writing to him about TUSC’s decision, they’re writing to him about his decision to uphold TUSC. He sort of doesn’t get that,” Unitas said. “He was a lot more supportive and open about it [with me], I guess, rather than putting it on TUSC.” Unitas said that while Cameron said he discussed the issue of TNT’s suspension with Tisch Dean Allyson Green, Green did not recall the conversation when Unitas asked her about it soon after. However, Unitas does

not want TNT itself to spearhead a campaign against the Tisch administration. Several seniors on TNT are upset that they will no longer have a chance to be in a theater production before they graduate. “As a senior, this would've been the last show I would be conducting in Skirball and more sentimentally, at NYU,” Benjamin Weiss, Steinhardt senior, said. Tisch administration responded to TNT’s concerns via an updated statement from Beckman. "While we understand that concerns have been raised, it is important to bear in mind that the decision about TNT's status was made by a student-elected body, the Tisch Undergraduate Student Council, which based its judgment on a thorough review of the club’s actions,” Beckman said. “It’s puzzling to

Indigenous Canadian artist Duane Linklater incorporates the works of both his paternal grandmother Ethel and 12-year-old son Tobias in his current installation at the NYU 80 Washington Square East Galleries. Linklater explores the bonds between himself

and his multi-generational relatives, who identify as a part of Omaskêko Cree from Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, through his use of architectural structures in contrast with his late grandmother’s fur trappings and his son’s Claymation project. In collaboration with Mercer Union Toronto, the exhibit will remain on view through Feb. 18. 80WSE is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free to the public.

“Performing Fashion: New York City”


Duane Linklater’s work is on display at 80WSE, in the gallery’s “From Our Hands” exhibition.

Exploring performative aspects of individual fashion in relation to New York City, the Project Space at 80WSE features niche objects from distinctive subcultures relating to performative dress. “Performing Fashion: New York City” will remain on view through Feb. 2. There will also be a panel discussion on Jan. 30 hosted by the curators with “performers of fashion from the worlds of art, mu-

Additional reporting by Blair Best. Email Natasha Roy at


Skirball will now be quieter with the suspension of the Tisch New Theatre.

View Now: Art Around Campus Duane Linklater “From Our Hands”

suggest that University administrators should now intervene to reverse a decision made by a representative student body in the absence of new, contrary or additional information. However, in an effort to help the club once it’s reinstated, Tisch's drama department chair Ruben Polendo will be serving as TNT's faculty advisor going forward. TNT will also be able to create a production in the fall semester." “It shouldn’t be this hard for students to do theater,” Unitas said. “It was a mistake, and we’re all in school to learn and it’s supposed to be educational. We shouldn’t be crushed for our mistakes.”

sic, burlesque and design” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 80WSE is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free to the public.

“Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City”

NYU Steinhardt faculty member Melissa Rachleff-Burtt’s curated exhibition, in conjunction with NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, features works from the New York City art scene from 1952 through 1965. This period covers transitions from Abstract Expressionism movement to Pop Art and Minimalism from the likes of Mark di Suvero, Jim Dine, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Alex Katz, Yaoi Kusama, Claes Oldenburg and Yoko Ono. The exhibit will remain on view through April 1. The Grey Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free with your NYU ID. There is a suggested donation of $3 for non-affiliated guests.

“CAVE(S)” The Broadway Windows at the corner of Broadway and East 10th Street. are currently home to an exhibition by NYU MFA student Jerry J. Adams, whose work “CAVE(S)” focuses on “the expression of memory, fragility of the human experience and possible future spaces that the human mind may inhabit, ultimately questioning the parameters of freewill.” Adams’ work will remain on view 24/7 through Jan. 29.


The Barney Building’s The Commons gallery is also set to debut a new exhibit on Jan. 25, curated by Desiree Mitton and Lisa Orcutt. It will feature the work of NYU student artists Sarah Allwine, Emma Benschop, Bianca Kann, Cooper Lovano, Clara Lu, Jackie Monoson, Christine Sersea, Beverly Terry, Joshua Toor and Ben Wolf, and will remain on view through Feb. 11. Email Natalie Whalen at

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Washington Square News January 23, 2017  

Washington Square News January 23, 2017  

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