David Levine | Performance Space New York


David Levine

The Real World meets No Exit: audiences circulate around the exterior of a fully functional house, watching the ever-changing action through the windows, and coming and going as they please.

Habit is a durational installation created by provocateur David Levine (previously at PS122: Anger at the Movies, Venice Saved), with a commissioned text by playwright Jason Grote (Smash, Mad Men) and environment by Marsha Ginsberg (Telephone, Map of Virtue). All day long, within the four walls, actors re-complete the drama, on an endless loop, making up staging to suit their needs. When they’re hungry, they eat; when they’re dirty, they wash.

“Enraging, engaging.. Levine a savvy rascal who makes theater pieces that bleed into Conceptual art” – Time Out

Co-presented by Performance Space 122 & FIAF’s Crossing the Line

Sept 21 – 30 / 1 – 9pm daily
at Essex Street Market, Building B; 130-144 Essex Street (btw. Rivington & Stanton Streets)

Free and open to the public. No reservations required.

@alldayhabit #CTL12





“After the fourth iteration of the day – I’d been running around the house, chasing the meaning I was helping to create, for seven hours, constantly afraid I’d miss something, exhilarated by the prospect of being surprised by the next turn…”


-Read Gideon Lewis-Kraus’ essay ‘Over and Over’ (The Threepenny Review, 2012) on his experience with Habit at the Luminato Festival in Toronto

David Levine has successfully bridged the worlds of contemporary theater and visual art with a body of work that examines the conditions of spectacle and spectatorship across a range of media. His work has been performed and/or exhibited internationally at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Documenta XII, the Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), HAU 2 (Berlin), Matadero Madrid, and Blum & Poe (Los Angeles). He has directed theatrical premieres at the Vineyard Theatre, Primary Stages, and the Atlantic Theater, alongside workshops at The Public Theater and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab.


Read an interview excerpt with Levine in The Believer

Habit takes place in a disused building, once a bustling part of The Essex Street Market. This magnificently decayed warehouse has been closed to the public since 1994. The market complex turned 70 this year; it was created by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and has a rich history on the Lower East Side. Learn more about Essex Street Market’s History

PS122 has partnered with Crossing the Line since the festival’s inception in 2007.


Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s annual fall festival presenting interdisciplinary works and performances created by artists from around the world in New York. The festival provides opportunities for New Yorkers to explore the dialogue between artist and participant, examine how artists help re-imagine the world, and engage in the vital role artists play as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions and takes place this year from September 14 – October 14, 2012.

Conversation with David Levine
David Levine (Habit creator/director), Eliza Baldi and Brian Bickerstaff (Habit performers) in conversation with Gideon Lester, co-curator of Crossing the Line.
Saturday, September 29 12pm immediately preceding Habit

Essex Street Market, Building B; 130-144 Essex Street, btw. Rivington & Stanton Streets
Free – Reservations suggested

Created & directed David Levine
Environment & clothes Marsha Ginsberg
Text Jason Grote
Produced Maria Luisa Gambale
Production Manager Chris Batstone
Assistant Directors David Conison & Kristin Meyer

Dedicated to Tom Murrin, friend
Co-commissioned by Luminato Festival in Toronto, and Mass MoCA, with support from The Watermill Center.

A Visit to Habit in Rehearsal

On Wednesday, our intern from Copenhagen, Mette, dropped by Habit in rehearsal. Here are some of her impressions:

Today I had the fortunate opportunity to able to watch some of the rehearsals for David Levine’s installation/performance/play Habit, which makes its New York premiere on Friday.

Three actors, a woman and two men are playing a text by Jason Grote in a continuous loop in a new set design. It’s a full functioning house with a toilet, TV and kitchen made by Marsha Ginsberg. The set is built inside a raw and empty space in the Essex Street Market, Lower East Side – close to where I live, at the moment.
Continue reading “A Visit to Habit in Rehearsal”

Anger at the Movies

David Levine (NY, Berlin)
ANGER AT THE MOVIES (World Premiere)

“Enraging, engaging.. Levine a savvy rascal who makes theater pieces that bleed into Conceptual art”
– Time Out

A follow up to Levine’s acclaimed Venice Saved: A Seminar, this seminar masquerading as theatre masquerading as film screening asks the audience, “Why is it so frustrating to see your profession represented on film?” You provide a YouTube clip, we provide the spectacle.

Collaborators for ANGER AT THE MOVIES:

Rob Cohen, Lawyer (Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP)

Cate Schappert, Photographer

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Writer

Jo Walker, Architectural Designer

Kyoung H. Park, Playwright
Christianna Nelson, Actor

Created in part at the Arts Collaboration Lab, a partnership between Columbia University School of the Arts and Performance Space 122 in July 2011.

Presented as part of the
7th Annual COIL Festival
Mabou Mines

January 10 – 12, 2012

For this show, please provide a clip to the creative team for the
night of the performance.

You can either:
1) bring a physical DVD with chapter/timecode noted to the night of
the performance
2) find a clip online and copy/paste the url into an email, sent to
angeratthemovies@ps122.org by 12pm the day of performance. If you
can’t find a clip, we suggest looking on youtube, movieclips.com, or

3) Upload a digital version of a clip to your favorite cloud storage
site (i.e. dropbox or yousendit). Copy and paste the url and send to

4) Bring a clip with you on a flash drive.

If you can’t find a clip that (mis)represents your profession, you’re
welcome to bring clips depicting, inaccurately, a hobby, location,
activity or state of mind you’re familiar with.

If you can only find clips that depict your profession extraordinarily
well, feel free to bring that.

Venice Saved



A performance piece that takes theater as its topic. Truly interactive theater (ugh). Performance as education. A performance about the nature of performance (ugh). Potential topics include: theater,performance art, torture, outsourcing, anorexia, Israel, Palestine, Blackwater, the TCG, Charismatic Leadership, the Shock Doctrine, theater vs. performance, the exhibition as school, theanyspacewhatever, learning vs. “learning,” talking vs. “talking”, performing vs. acting, democracy vs. Authenticity. Totally Bitchen. Simone Weil (100 years). Seminar format. Participatory. On the 100th anniversary of Simone Weil’s birth, CiNE takes the philosopher’s unfinished play and asks American Theater, “What were you thinking?”

Adaptor: Gordon Dahlquist. Performers: Jeff Biehl, James Hannaham, Jon Krupp, Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Christianna Nelson, Colleen Werthmann, and David Levine.

David Levine’s work fuses performance, theater, and visual art. His performance work has appeared in Europe and the USA at Documenta XII, Galerie Magnus Muller (Berlin), Gavin Brown@Passerby (New York), HAU2 (Berlin), and Galerie Feinkost Berlin), Prelude ’07, as well as appearing in Cabinet Magazine, the New York Times, Art Review, BOMB Theater, and Theater der Zeit. He is the recipient of a Kulturstiftung Des Bundes grant for BAUERNTHEATER, and a NYFA award for Cross- Disciplinary/Performative work. He lives in New York and Berlin, where he is the Director of
Performing Arts at the European College of Liberal Arts.

CiNE is an interdisciplinary collective dedicated to examining the conditions of spectacle and spectatorship across a range of media. Previous initiatives include BABYLON IS EVERYWHERE; RE-PUBLIC (design portfolio, Theater 34:2); ACTORS AT WORK (Cabinet Magazine), and Messalina (SPF Festival)

Image courtesy of Annerose Schulze

Made possible with the support of Etant Donnés,the French-American Fund for the Performing Arts

Sat, Mar 21 – Sun, Apr 5, 2009
Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm
Sunday 6pm
Tickets from $20
$15 (students/seniors)
$10 (P.S. 122 members)

You can follow live blogging for the show at www.venicesaved.wordpress.com. Every night is different – see what people are talking about the nights you can’t be there. For you Twitterers out there, you can post about the show using the group name #venicesaved and read any postings about the show by searching venicesaved at twitter.com.

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