[WORLD PREMIERE] Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed

In Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed, co-creators David Neumann and Marcella Murray use live video, dance, and performance to create an intimate staged conversation. Together on the set of a TV talk show, they unpack their several-years-long dialogue about race alongside astronomical questions of scale and time.

Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed is co-commissioned and co-presented by Abrons Arts Center and the Chocolate Factory Theater, produced by Advanced Beginner Group, and associate-produced by Mabou Mines.

Please join us for post-show talkbacks on the following dates: Friday Jan 17, Saturday Jan 18, Friday Jan 24 and Saturday Jan 25.


David Neumann (co-creator & performer) and Advanced Beginner Group (ABG)’s original work has been presented in New York at Performance Space 122; New York Live Arts; The Kitchen; Abrons Arts Center; Central Park Summerstage; Celebrate Brooklyn; Symphony Space; The Chocolate Factory; and The Whitney. ABG has also performed at the Walker Art Center; Alverno College; MASS MoCA; The Fusebox Festival; The Ringling Festival; and the American Dance Institute, among others. Nominated for a 2019 Tony Award for Outstanding Choreography of Hadestown, Neumann worked as a performer for many years alongside, Mikhail Baryshnikov; Big Dance Theater; Doug Elkins; Doug Varone; and Sally Silvers, among many others. Recent projects include: Choreographer:Hadestown (NYTW, National Theater, Broadway), The Total Bent (Public Theater), War (Lincoln Center III), Futurity (Ars Nova and Soho Rep), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/Theater for a New Audience); and Hagoromo at BAM Harvey with Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. He is currently Professor of Theater at Sarah Lawrence College. Most recently, Neumann’s work, I Understand Everything Better received two 2016 NY Dance and Performance Bessie Awards, one for Outstanding Production and one for Outstanding Sound Design/Music Composition. He was named a 2016 Artist in Residence at the SETI Institute and was awarded a Robert Rauschenberg Residency. Over the years, Neumann has received three Bessie Awards, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (Noh immersive), residencies at MASS MoCA, ADI, and MANCC, and support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, NYFA, and National Dance Projects, among others. Most recently, he received a 2019 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography of a Broadway Musical for Hadestown.

Marcella Murray (co-creator & performer) is a recent Theatre MFA graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.  She is a playwright, performer, and puppeteer who is currently most focused on devised work. Having grown up in Georgia, her work is heavily inspired by the observed ways in which people tend to self-segregate and reconnect. Her work tends to focus on themes of identity within a community and (hopefully) forward momentum in the face of trauma.


Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed is co-commissioned and co-presented by Abrons Arts Center and the Chocolate Factory Theater, produced by Advanced Beginner Group, and associate-produced by Mabou Mines. The creation of Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed is being made possible, in part, with support from the Marta Heflin Foundation, Axe-Houghton Foundation, the David and Leni Moore Foundation, and Mabou Mines, and by developmental residencies at Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), PS21 Chatham, MASS MoCA, multiple residencies at Abrons Arts Center, Mabou Mines, and MANCC / Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University and the individual donors of Advanced Beginner Group, who may be found at www.advancedbeginnergroup.org.

The 2019-2020 Season at Abrons Arts Center is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jerome Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, and other generous Henry Street Settlement funders. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Chris Cameron