New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections presents a reading of 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET, a new play by the critically acclaimed playwright Alvin Eng featuring Martha Wilson as iconic downtown painter Alice Neel and Bob Holman as urban legend/proto-Beat Poet, Joe Gould
New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections presents a reading of 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET, a new play by the critically acclaimed playwright Alvin Eng featuring Martha Wilson (Franklin Furnace founder) as iconic downtown painter Alice Neel and Bob Holman (Bowery Poetry Club founder) as urban legend/proto-Beat Poet, Joe Gould, and Paul Zimet (Talking Band artistic director) as renowned New Yorker journalist, Joseph Mitchell. The reading takes place on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 7pm in Bobst Library, Third Floor, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.].
To reserve a seat for the performance, the public must RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and title/date of the event. For more information the public may call Elizabeth Wiest, 212 992 9744 or email email@example.com. Reception to follow.
“Fales is a natural setting for this reading because many of the Joe Gould notebooks are are here in our manuscript collection,” said Marvin J. Taylor, Fales Library director. “Also, Martha Wilson’s personal papers are in our Downtown Collection, as are Bob Holman’s videos of poetry readings, slams, and ‘poetry spots,’ and the archives of Talking Band. This play shows the link between the earlier Greenwich Village art scenes and the Downtown Collection, which documents the avant-garde New York art scene from the mid-1970s forward.”
Alternating between 1930s-40s bohemian Greenwich Village and a 1970s Women's Studies conference, the play dramatizes how Alice Neel’s powerful, controversial 1933 portrait of Joe Gould in which he has three penises (did he?) forever bonded the legacies of Gould and Joseph Mitchell, celebrated journalist for The New Yorker. Mitchell immortalized Gould in a 1942 New Yorker profile, “Professor Seagull,” for writing “the longest book ever-written and the first oral history” — or did he? Some twenty years later, Mitchell published a second New Yorker profile, “Joe Gould’s Secret,” in which he famously claimed Gould’s opus to be a hoax . . . or was it? A 2015 New Yorker profile, “Joe Gould’s Teeth,” as well as a 2015 biography, "Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker," suggest evidence in support of the existence of at least some of Gould’s opus.
“As the NYU Fales Library’s remarkable Downtown Collection houses Joe Gould's notebooks, I am honored to have a public reading of 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET in this venerable venue and archive,” said Eng.
The play was previously read at City Lore Gallery with Kathleen Chalfant as Alice Neel and Holman as Gould. The theater cast will also include Kelly McCrann as Younger Alice Neel & Professor Preston, Paul Gigante as Younger Alice's beau and Carlo Fiorletta as the bartender in the old Minetta Tavern.
This is the second work of Eng’s “Portrait Plays” cycle of historical dramas about artists and portraiture. The first, THREE TREES, about the unique relationship between Alberto Giacometti and Isaku Yanaihara, had a well-received 2013 Off-Broadway production with Pan Asian Repertory Theatre at the West End Theatre. Eng is an alumnus of the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department of Goucher College.
About Fales Library and Special Collections:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 358,000 volumes and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, and the general special collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection, founded in 1994, documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video. The goal of the Downtown Collection is to comprehensively collect the full range of artistic practices and output of the Downtown scene, regardless of format. This research collection, built on a documentary strategy, supports the research of students and scholars interested in the intersection of the contemporary arts and other forms of cultural and artistic expression.
The NYU Division of Libraries holds over 4 million volumes and comprises five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually. Around the world the Libraries offers access to more than 1.2 million electronic journals, books, and databases. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit http://library.nyu.edu