The Morris Museum, located in historic Morristown, will introduce a bold new performance series, Live Arts at the Morris Museum (LAMM), this September at its Bickford Theatre. The series will bring innovative artists from around the world to unveil some of the most interesting work in music, dance and theater. And Brett Wellman Messenger, the new Curatorial Director of Live Arts at the Morris Museum couldn’t be more excited about it.
“I see this series as an impetus for an exciting, new conversation with our audiences. They are savvy, sophisticated and ready for new cultural adventures right in their own backyard,” Messenger said. Messenger, a Bloomfield resident who has dubbed his neighborhood “Montadj” (Montclair adjacent), has been with the Museum for just under a year and is eager to begin the new season he’s curated. He noticed the programming of the theater wasn’t the same as the exciting and innovative exhibits the museum proper was showing. It was time for something new.
The Bickford Theatre is not just an auditorium like most museums have. Rather, it’s a fully equipped tech theater that can host full productions. Messenger says the Museum was at a pivotal point. He said, “Rather than shrink, we’ll grow. Rather than be conservative, we’ll push the envelope.” To do this, he thought about some of the most impressive artists working in New York City and wondered why they weren’t performing here in New Jersey. He felt a responsibility to the community to show them the work that’s available to them, and to do it close to home. He went on to say, “New Jersey needs this. We need to make New Jersey a destination to fight the stereotype that we don’t have this art and culture here.”
Messenger is no stranger to the theater. A native of Syracuse, NY, he’s worked with the Santa Fe Opera and MoMA PS1 before joining Peak Performances at Montclair State University.
Theatergoers can expect an exciting season, which will kick off on September 20th with Mexican choreographer Javier Dzul’s The Last Mayan King. Also planned is Hai-Ting Chinn’s Science Fair: An Opera With Experiments, which features opera alongside science experiments in a performance the entire family can enjoy. Other highlights include Sylvia Milo’s The Other Mozart, the award-winning play about Nanneri Mozart, Amadeus’ forgotten sister, with a score by Phillis Chen (Lighting the Dark, Automatoys), as well as Yevgeny Kutik’s Music from a Suitcase, Thaddeus Phillips’ inventive new work, Inflatable Space, and Jersey’s own all-male dance company 10 Hairy Legs will perform the World Premiere of Doug Elkin’s Trouble Will Find Me: Remixed in the Museum’s Main Gallery as a site-specific dance installation, part of the upcoming fall exhibition Aerosol: Graffiti l Street Art l New Jersey l Now showcasing New Jersey street and graffiti artists.
The Museum will host a Launch Event on Thursday, June 6th at 7:30 PM at The Bickford Theatre featuring a performance by Kyle Marshall Choreography, the dynamic young dance company who will preview their new work, Horizon. Admission to the Launch Party is free. Advance registration is encouraged but not required. To register or for more information about the LAMM series, visit the Museum’s website.
Live Arts at the Morris Museum Launch Party
WHEN: Thursday, June 6, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown