“War is inevitable — but there are miracles. Every day millions of people die, yet we live as if death will never touch us.” –St. Vyasa, The Mahabharata
These words sit at the heart of one of the greatest epic poems— a meditation on war, death, and loss. Its core question is of a particular resonance: what should we fight for and why?
In an attempt to understand this exact question, Theater Mitu spent two years gathering interviews with a range of communities worldwide: current and past members of military forces; citizens who have been directly affected by war; people diagnosed with terminal illness and their families; nurses, spiritual leaders, scholars, and mental health professionals. As they touch upon, come to the edge of, and often confront death, each interview becomes a portrait of what is left behind — a remnant.
In a time of seismic loss, as it becomes increasingly difficult for communities to gather en masse, Theater Mitu has reimagined the original live theatrical production of REMNANT as an online experience. Part performance, part sound art, part video installation, this work offers an intimate reflection on how loss can scar us, shape us, and at times propel us towards change.
While engaging a range of voices and aesthetics, the material in this piece is intended for mature viewers. Please note that </remnant> contains descriptions of adult situations, challenging language, images of violence, recorded gunshots, loud sounds, and strobing effects. Audience discretion is advised.
Driven by a commitment to innovation, Theater Mitu expands the definition of theater through methodical experimentation with its form. Framing art making as a mode of research and inquiry, Theater Mitu shares knowledge, sparks dialogue, and strengthens our community through cultivating radical ways of reimagining our world. Theater Mitu embodies this by way of our theatrical productions, trans-global research initiatives, artist support opportunities, education programs galvanizing the next generation of artists, and the curated programing of MITU580, our multi-use art space in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Over our 22-year history, Theater Mitu’s permanent ensemble of artists has utilized theater to build bridges across ideas, cultures, and communities. The company’s commitments to artistic rigor, disciplined exploration, and the continuous exchange of knowledge has led to national presentations of our work at venues including BAM, The Public Theater, Z Space, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and Mass MoCA. Internationally, the company’s productions have been presented at The Cairo Opera House (Egypt), The Kontakt Festival (Poland), DuocUC (Chile), The NYUAD Arts Center (UAE), Patravadi Arts Center (Thailand), and the MESS Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Theater Mitu has been awarded support from the NEA, New England Foundation for the Arts, MAP Fund, Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, CEC Artslink, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Mental Insight Foundation, New York Community Trust, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Cultural Development Fund, and The New York State Council on the Arts. Theater Mitu is committed to creating and maintaining a space that embraces the whole person as a vibrant and unique range of embodied experiences, histories, and imaginations. Theater Mitu asserts that identity is not negation but aggregation. These intersectionalities are essential to the vibrancy and growth of our work and our community.
Rubén Polendo is Founding Artistic Director of Theater Mitu. Committed to challenging the parameters of theater research and practice with Mitu for over twenty years, Polendo’s practice and pedagogical work is situated in the tension between acting and performance, theatrical design and installation, multi-media and interactive technology. Theater Mitu has been presented and developed nationally (including NYTW, Public Theater, Skirball, Lincoln Center, NAATCO, Rattlestick Theater, 3LD, Kennedy Center, McCarter, Perseverance, The Alliance, Mark Taper Forum, A.C.T., Sundance, Watermill, NACL, Zspace, Rubin Gallery, MassMOCA, NOLA Contemporary Arts Center, LATC) and internationally (including Patravadi Center/Thailand, CCPN/Mexico, DUOC/Chile, Visthar/India, UB Blkbx/Mongolia, Mansion Blatt/Lebanon, Manarat Al Saadiyat/ UAE, NYUAD Arts Center/UAE, Kontakt Festival/Poland, CIFCET/ Egypt, MESSFestival/ Bosnia & Herzegovina) . Theater Mitu has been company-in-residence at The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, and at The NYUAD Arts Center. Polendo served as Theater Program Director and Associate Dean for the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Polendo is currently Chair of The Department of Drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Kayla Asbell is an actor, musician, writer, and researcher. She has been with Theater Mitu since 2012 and has toured with the company nationally and abroad. Kayla has performed at Joe’s Pub, HERE Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 3-Legged-Dog Art & Technology Center, and has performed in various film and voiceover projects as well. She has played in multiple rock & roll bands and is currently playing with 95 Bulls, Bipolar, and a brand new project, Thee Salivations- and played for many years in The Othermen, who played in Theater Mitu’s Hamlet/UR Hamlet. kaylaasbell.com.
Denis Butkus is an actor, writer, and teacher. As an Associate Artist with Theater Mitu he has co-authored and performed in Remnant, HOUSE, Death of a Salesman, Juárez: A Documentary Mythology, Hamlet/UR-Hamlet, and A Dream Play. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Coast of Utopia and Caine Mutiny Court Martial; Off-Broadway in Othello, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing at Theater for a New Audience; on film in A Quintet, Frank the Bastard, and Gods Behaving Badly. A graduate of Juilliard and NYU he is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at NYU Shanghai.
Alex Hawthorn is a sound designer, composer, and technologist for theater, film, and digital media. His work has taken him to six continents and he’s currently figuring out how to get to the seventh. Mitu: House, REMNANT, Juárez, Death of a Salesman, Medea, DR.C, HAIR. NYC: Playwrights: A Strange Loop, Fly By Night; Keen Company: Ordinary Days; Prospect Theater: The Mad Ones; Civilians; TRE; NAATCO. Regional: Baltimore Centerstage, Geffen Playhouse, KC Rep, Ordway, People’s Light and Theater, Portland Center Stage, Wallis Annenberg Center. Podcasts: Naked Radio for Naked Angels. Film: Go Tell Your Fathers, Snowflakes. AlexHawthorn.com IG: AFHawthorn.
Michael Littig is a theater-maker, actor, and teacher. As an Associate Artist with Mitu, he has co-authored and performed in Remnant, Hamlet/UR Hamlet, Juárez: A Documentary Mythology, Heartpiece, and A Dreamplay. Other credits include The Public Theater, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Rattlestick, Portland Stage Company, Hippodrome, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, among others. Co-Producer: The Inheritance, FLS, and Hadestown (tour). He is a proud co-founder of the Zuckerberg Institute and the Patrick Page Acting Studio. Education: BFA University of Cincinnati (CCM) and a Fulbright Scholar in Drama (Mongolia).
Justin Nestor is a performer, researcher, and technologist. His work focuses on narrative archeology, corporeal archives, and technology as performer. Working across disciplines, he creates installations and works for the stage that explore the tension and overlap between performance, visual art and technology. Justin is the Co-Artistic Director of Theater Mitu and has created original work with the company for over 15 years. His recent artistic work has traveled him to countries including India, Nepal, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, and others.
Xiao Quan is a classically trained violinist and a judo practitioner. He has been curiously finding the intricate connections between composition, programming, performance, and storytelling in various mediums, such as theater, sound-design, videography, and games. He graduated from NYU’s Tisch with a BFA in acting and a minor in psychology. He is currently freelancing while pursuing a Master of Music Degree at the Music Technology Program at NYU Steinhardt. xquan.ninja
Alex Reeves & Moonpool’s slogan “Design for the Digital Village” reflects our goal of making websites that invite return visits and inspire interaction. Founded by Alex Reeves in 2012 and based in Burlington, VT, Moonpool serves creative industry and non-profit clients around the world with superlative web and video design, development, branding, and support services. moonpool.co
Attilio Rigotti is a Chilean theatre-maker, performer, technology artist, and video game designer. He has performed, taught, and created work around the world, including, Cuba, Japan, Poland, India, Egypt, and the US. Attilio has led, supported and designed collaborations with Broadway’s Best Shows, Kaki King, The Juilliard School, ACT, and Rutgers University, and is currently directing a multimedia adaptation of The Threepenny Opera with City Lyric Opera. He was an Associate Artist with Theater Mitu, and served as Associate Producer for theatreC. Recently, he was awarded the O-1 visa for extraordinary abilities in the arts for a second time.
Scott Spahr is a founding member of Theater Mitu and served as Associate Artistic Director for 10 years. He has been a part of over 20 Mitu productions as a designer, choreographer, associate director, and/or actor. Most recently: Associate Director/Actor/Co-Author: House (Mitu580). Other Scenic Design: Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Godspell, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, The Raven Odyssey, Sleepwalkers, and The Hologram Theory. Performer: Chicago; On the Town, Jerome Robbins Broadway (Broadway). Cats, La Cage Aux Folles, Sophisticated Ladies (National/International Tour). Fosse (Reconstruction Team). Spahr has also taught Mitu’s Training Method (Whole Theater) at NYU, Juilliard, Bard College, CCM and Patravadi Theater.
Corey Sullivan is an Original Member and Associate Artist of Theater Mitu. Collaborations with Mitu include Remnant (MITU580); Death of a Salesman (BAM); Juárez (World Tour); A Dream Play, The Odyssey, Waiting, The Ramayana, and Chaos (Abu Dhabi); The Myth Cycle: Ahraihsak (Under the Radar), The Apostle Project (NYTW), and Happy Accident #1 (Ulster Ballet). BA Bard College; MFA Moscow Art Theater and Harvard University. Corey has taught courses at Harvard University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Drama and Grad Film programs, and is currently Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Shanghai. For the Bobbies.
Isabella Uzcátegui is an actor, writer, director, and producer. Her latest original works include, Even the Sun (Mixily Presents), Personal Questions (Here We Go), and VEINTICINCO (The Tank). She has worked with Theater Mitu in Death of a Salesman (BAM), Remnant (MESS Festival), and HOUSE (or how to lose an orchard in 90 minutes or less) (MITU580). She holds a BFA in Drama and Psychology from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. isabellauzcategui.com
Ada Westfall is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, music director, performer, and proud transgender woman whose mission is to disrupt, interrogate, and diversify the fields of music, theater and their intersection. Career highlights include: In the Green (Lincoln Center – LCT3), Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (The Public), Death of a Salesman (BAM), Another Rose (Virgin Voyages), Songbird (59E59), Rimbaud in NewYork (BAM), Remnant (MITU580), The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe), and Big Apple Circus (Lincoln Center – Damrosch Park). Drama Desk nomination, Outstanding Music in a Play: A Play On War (Connelly Theater). adawestfall.com + IG: @adawestfall