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Philippe Quesne’s "The Moles" at NYU Skirball

Philippe Quesne’s "The Moles" at NYU Skirball


NYU Skirball


NYU Skirball
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square
New York City, NY 10012


Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 2:00pm
Friday, September 13, 2019 - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 3:00pm, 7:30pm



NYU Skirball

NYU Skirball will present the U.S.  premiere of French theater director and visual artist Philippe Quesne’s The Moles, three unique theatrical events running Thursday, September 12 – Saturday, September 14 , 2019 at NYU Skirball.

Philippe Quesne has created a rollicking, riotous parallel universe inhabited by giant punk-rock playing creatures who live deep underground, free of words and of humans. In this mysterious underground world, larger-than-life moles are not solitary creatures, but the architects of something between a utopian community and a punk rock band. New Yorkers of different ages will have the chance to meet the Moles in three distinct events: A free afternoon parade will be followed by a family-friendly matinee and two for-adults-only evening performances.

“When we dig, we discover caves, vestiges of the past,” said Quesne. “The cave is a place of dreaming, open to the fantastical, but also ideal for reflecting on the darker and more mysterious aspects of the human. It’s a world which evokes the idea of refuge, a burrow, a hiding place or a nuclear bunker, or even a theatre, since theatre is a form of cave art.”

The Schedule:

Parade of the Moles: Thursday, September 12 at 2 pm

The Moles will venture forth from NYU Skirball to explore the great outdoors and Greenwich Village landmarks. The public is invited to join in this  free, informal parade as the creatures explore the NYU neighborhood. For all ages

Night of the Moles: Friday, September 13 & Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 pm 

A burrow. Seven giant moles emerge from cardboard tunnels. They dig, cook, draw, fight giant earthworms, copulate and even form a punk-rock band. A disconcerting microcosm that could only have come from Philippe Quesne’s imagination. Wordless theater of the ecological and philosophical underground, this is an improbable journey to the center of the earth.  Appropriate for adults only.

Afternoon of the Moles: Saturday, September 14 at 3 pm

In this family-friendly performance, the Moles remain chaste, but still dig, cook, draw, fight giant earthworms, and form a punk band that rocks their underground world. There will be a pre-show activity for children and their families. For ages 5 and up.


Philippe Quesne

Philippe Quesne studied fine arts, visual design, and stage design in Paris. In 2003, he founded Vivarium Studio. His many works, which have been presented to great acclaim internationally, combine scenography with visual art and performance. Since 2014, he has been artistic director of France’s Nanterre-Amandiers theatre. In his work, Quesne creates spaces that function like ecosystems, where the performers explore the dynamics within a community. In addition to his work for the theater, he creates performances and interventions in public spaces or natural sites and displays his installations in the context of exhibitions. In 2019, he was named artistic director for the Prague Quadriennal. nanterre-amandiers.com

Welcome to Moleland is presented in cooperation with France’s Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.


NYU Skirball

NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 800-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and  film.

NYU Skirball’s unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists. www.nyuskirball.org.


Tickets and Schedule

Parade of the Moles is a free event for all ages, on Thursday, September 12 at 2:00 pm. Afternoon of the Moles is appropriate for children ages 5 and up and will play Saturday, September 14 at 3 pm. Night of the Moles, appropriate for adults, will play Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 pm. 

Tickets begin at $20 and can be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org, by phone at 212.998.4941, or in person at the Box Office, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M. NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012. www.nyuskirball.org

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