Automatic Arts is thrilled to announce the launch of its Artist-in-Residence program, with its 2017 inaugural Resident Artist, theater artist and actor Sarah Knittel. By tying the residency to the company’s Nice and Fresh series, audiences will be able to watch the Resident Artist face new creative challenges throughout 2017. Automatic Arts will select one Resident Artist each year to be a part of the company.
Sarah Knittel in a Joni and the Doorman promo photo. Photo by Said Johnson.
The Artist-in-Residence program is closely tied to the company’s Nice and Fresh performing arts series. For each month from January to June, the Resident Artist will be challenged to creatively participate in Nice and Fresh: from acting in plays to hosting shows to writing and directing work and other creative challenges. The residency will culminate in the fall of 2017 with a Nice and Fresh that is produced and curated entirely by the Resident Artist under the Automatic Arts banner.
“Sarah Knittel is the perfect choice to kick off this new facet of our endeavors,” says artistic director of Automatic Arts, Josh McIlvain. “In addition to putting different kinds of performance—and types of artists—side by side, the Nice and Fresh series, for Automatic Arts, is about the challenge of creating and/or performing in new work continuously. I can’t force that on the other artists and companies that perform at Nice and Fresh, but this program allows us to do so with a willing participant; Sarah is an artist who shared our ideals and curiosity, willing to expand the idea of the space itself and the type of performance it can support. It’s also important for our future to have artists besides myself to be officially part of Automatic Arts, and expanding our output.”
“I’ve always loved performing in Nice and Fresh,” explains Sarah Knittel, “and admire the work that Automatic Arts does—it explores and encourages new, often daring work and always champions the creative process. I’m excited for the challenge and the months ahead!”
Sarah Knittel’s education began at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where her studies took her to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Stonestreet Studios for Film and Television, and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. This past spring she fulfilled her graduate studies at the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training in Physical and Devised Theater. In Philadelphia, she performed for Automatic Arts, Hella Fresh, Pig Iron, Hedgerow, Philadelphia Shakespeare, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Luna, Manayunk Theater Co., and Phenomenal Animals among others. Also a teaching artist, Sarah has taught for White Pines, Odd Act Theater Co., Story UP! and currently Dancing with the Students.
Presented by Automatic Arts, Nice and Fresh is a performing arts series that features new works from Philadelphia and beyond-based theater, dance, and circus arts companies and artists. Curated by playwright-director Josh McIlvain of SmokeyScout Productions, each show features four to five artists/companies performing new and original works in the 10–15 minute range in a variety of artistic disciplines. Using only venues in Northwest Philadelphia (Mount Airy, Germantown, Chestnut Hill), Nice and Fresh provides an easy-going, affordable-for-everyone option to stroll around the corner and experience new theater and dance. Expect funny, imaginative, compelling pieces from artists in an accessible format and for only $7! Next show is February 24 and 25 at Moving Arts of Mount Airy, Carpenter Lane and Greene Street in Mount Airy, Philadelphia.