THE ARCTIC GROUP
was founded with a singular goal of creating theatre that is relentlessly original and adamantly interdisciplinary. Besides its sold out inaugural project, Fridge Fest at IRT, The Arctic Group has produced 8 episodes of Polar Bear Plunge, a variety show that features artists of a diverse background as well as works that defy the boundaries of genres. Other projects include: Daphne (IRT, in collaboration with Theater In Asylum), Pomegrenade (IRT, Theasy Best Bet: Meaningful Modern Myth), Harmony (Dixon Place and Here Arts Center), Echo (The Tank, and Exquisite Corpse Company’s Memory House on Governors Island), Siren (The Tank), and the upcoming In Blue (The Tank). Current company member Jake Beckhard is a Drama League Directing Fellow; Gareth Tidball is a recipient of Tisch Outstanding Achievement Award; Max Henry was in the cast of the Drama Desk Award-winning Queen of the Night. Other company members and associate artists of The Arctic Group have worked and performed in prestigious venues all around the city and globally, including The Flea, The Tank, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, Cherry Lane Theater, Signature Theater, The Public, LaMama Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Fringe NYC, Edinburgh Fringe, and many more.
Ran Xia is a playwright, director, and interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Shanghai, China (aka soup dumpling dreamland). Her plays have been seen on stages around New York City, including Pomegrenade at IRT; Harmony at HERE Arts Center; De Profundis at Jewel Box Theatre & The Cell; Byron In Velvet Dance Shoes at The Wild Project; Tre Ex Machina at the Kraine (also published in Dionysian), [ai] (an adaptation of Ayn Rand's Anthem) at The Brick; North, They Lived In The Attic, Princess Anybody, etc, at Dixon Place. She is currently a Resident Director at the Tank (recipient of the inaugural Artist of the Year award), where she’s presented her audio documentary performance projects Echo & Siren, as well as Tao at Dark Fest 2018; she also recently directed the world premiere of Ben Gassman's Independent Study, and Ailís Ní Ríain's The Tallest Man in the World. Ran is also a frequent collaborator of Exquisite Corpse Co. (Co author of The Enchanted Realm of Rene Magritte, audio/visual installation version of Echo at the Memory House on Governors Island); a current Resident Director at The Flea, and a Resident Artist at Access Theater. Assistant Directing credits include: The Great Leap (by Lauren Yee, Dir. Taibi Magar at the Atlantic Theater), Baby Fat: Act I (a Screeching Weasel punk rock musical, Dir. Michael Scholar Jr, at La Mama with Columbia Stages), Two Mile Hollow (by Leah Nanako Winkler, Dir. Morgan Gould at WP Theatre), Kaspar (by Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney, Dir. Sam Pinkleton at the Flea), and Refrigerated Dreams by Carrie Mae Weems, Nona Hendryx, Francesca Harper, and Niegel Smith at Joe's Pub. A staff critic at Theatre Is Easy and Exeunt. ranxia.info
Florence LeBas is a New Zealand born Brooklyn-based director and costume designer. She has developed new work with The Wild Project, Exquisite Corpse Company, Dixon Place, and Ugly Rhino. She is a founding member of The Arctic Group an interdisciplinary performing arts collective. She has also worked with The Bushwick Starr, En Garde Arts, Irondale Ensemble Project and Northwest Children's Theater and School. Florence is a graduate of Whitman College where she received a BA in Theatre. She currently works as the Program Administrator/ Office Coordinator for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. www.florencelebas.com
Resident Lighting Designer
Elizabeth M. Stewart is a New York City based lighting designer. Her work has appeared throughout the city in venues ranging from art gallery basements to off-Broadway theatres. She has worked with companies such as What Will the Neighbors Say? (Four Sisters, Sources of Light Other Than the Sun), Artilliers (Artaud! Artaud!, A Dream Play, Sea/Sick), Untitled Theatre Collective, (An Evening Conference), and Unmasked Theatre Company (The Haunted Train). As an associate designer, she has worked with Sinking Ship Productions, James & Jerome, and Cradle Theatre Company. Currently, she is a Lighting Supervisor with Ping Chong + Company’s Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity, and an Associate Consultant for Charcoalblue LLC, and an alumna of NYU Tisch elizabethmstewart.myportfolio.com
Company Member (Director)
Jake Beckhard is a freelance theater director and the Director of Performance at Chinatown Soup, a gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side (www.chinatownsoup.nyc). He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, the 2016 Westport Country Playhouse Directing Fellow, and an alum of the 2017 Williamstown Theater Festival directing corps. He has developed work with: the Atlantic Theater Company, the New Group, Ars Nova, the Tank, the Flea, the Brick, the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Recent productions in NYC include: Peter Smith’s Diana. (Ars Nova), Severance (The Tank), Coconut Oil Solves All My Problems (The Flea), Intuitive Men (The Brick). Regionally: Intuitive Men (Odyssey, LA), Ajax (Hangar), Playing Peter Pan (Hangar), Water (Williamstown Theater Festival). Selected assistant director credits include work with Molly Smith at Arena Stage, Trip Cullman at MCC Theatre, Danya Taymor at the Flea, and Scott Elliott at the New Group. jake-beck.com; @jakebecknation.
Company Member (Actor)
Finn Kilgore is a New York born actor based in Brooklyn. He holds a Master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and has studied at the LIR academy in Dublin. He has been seen in theaters all around the city of New York.
Asya Gorovitz is a New York based photographer and videographer with a background in art and film criticism. She is inspired by talented people working in film and theater industry, photographing them and their beautiful work is her favorite subject. Asya is a passionate theatergoer and writes about shows she sees in her blog, New Show New York.
Company Stage Manager
Gabrielle Giacomo is an NYC based stage manager and props designer. A graduate of NYU-TISCH in Spring 2019. Select Credits | Stage Management: The Lion in Winter (Staged Reading; Shakespeare in the Square). Props Master: Fun Home (White Plains Performing Arts Center), A View From the Bridge (Brave New World Repertory Theatre), Tuck Everlasting (NYU New Studio on Broadway), A New Brain (The Gallery Players), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (WPPAC). Props Assistant: Book of Will (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night (HVSF), Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice (HVSF).
Company Member (Actor)
Sharlee J. Taylor is originally from Atlanta, GA. After studying Theater and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, she received her MFA from the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theater School Institute at Harvard University - there, she understudied as Flo in Mark Rylance's Nice Fish, as well as performing in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment, and Dying For It. After graduation, Sharlee moved to New York to pursue acting. She has developed a diverse resume, including Host work with Skillsoft (Industrial), starring in the Russian television series "How I Became Russian", and modeling with well known brands, such as Maybeline, LongHorns, and Zero Waste Daniel. Sharlee is also terminally addicted to the cult of cats.
Company Member (Actor)
Gareth Tidball is an actress and theatre maker originally from Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received training from the Meisner Studio and the Classical Studio. In 2015, she was chosen by the Classical Studio to be the recipient of the Tisch Outstanding Achievement Award. Since completion of her training at Tisch, Gareth has been seen in readings, workshops and productions within the NYC Metro area. Some of her favorite acting credits include Othello with the Manhattan Shakespeare Project, One If By Land with the renowned drama outreach program Stages on the Sound, and America is Hard to See with the award-winning Life Jacket Theatre Company.
Company Member (Actor)
Andrea Negrete is a chicanx actor, facilitator, writer, and collaborative creator from South Texas. Recent credits include: Independent Study (The Tank), Three Girls Never Learned the Way Home (Cherry Lane), The Opportunities of Extinction (Cherry Lane), Tell Me A Story (CBS), Saints Go Marching (Signature Theatre), and Let's Get Ready Together (The Tank). She’s part of the Creative Arts Team at CUNY where she is dedicated to developing the social/emotional literacy and critical thinking skills of young people. She’s a graduate of Vassar College where she double majored in Drama and English and is represented by FSE.
Credits affiliated with The Arctic Group include: Pomegrenade
Company Member (Actor)
Max Henry is a New York City-based actor and writer. Yep. He’s one of those.
Originally from Minnesota, by way of New Hampshire, Max graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami. He did so while earning a dual degree in Motion Pictures and English, so please, hold your applause.
Max began his time in New York at Late Show with David Letterman, recently worked on the Drama Desk Award-winning Queen of the Night, and once had a three-way slow dance with Emma Stone and Alan Cumming. You may now applaud.
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, pizza.
THE ARCTIC PACT
We create a space for the harmonious, explorative destruction.
We resist comfort and convenience.
Failure is our common language. Disclaimers are our enemy.
With an appetite for the irregular and an itch for the bizarre, we collide, connect, collaborate, and create.
Pick a snowflake out of an avalanche.
Take the polar bear plunge.
THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
is expanding. Our collaborators are based in NYC and around the globe including origami artist Icarus.Mid.Air (Cristian Marianciuc) in Moldova. The following is but a portion of our Polar Bear Plunge alumni.