an opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs
MUSIC BY JUDD GREENSTEIN
LIBRETTO BY TRACY K SMITH
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
CHOREOGRAPHY BY WILL RAWLS
ANIMATION AND DIRECTION BY JOSHUA FRANKEL
Creator of Plan Of The City


Plan Of The City is the seed that is growing into this opera.

It is an animated film, conceived and directed by Joshua Frankel, that creates exhilarating fantasy by inverting what we know about New York City: skyscrapers rooted in bedrock liftoff into the stratosphere and immigration becomes exodus. Through joyful fantasy the City's ultimate fears are explored: it is destroyed, re-created, and finally revealed to be less unique than we thought.

The film's visuals are an animated collage combining live action footage, animated elements, illustrations and treated photographs, including photos taken by the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity made available to the public domain by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The audio of the film consists solely of Greenstein's Change, performed by NOW Ensemble; Change and Plan Of The City were created in parallel, each expressing its own artistic intention while simultaneously serving its "sibling".

The film has been presented with the music performed live at venues such as the Library Of Congress's On LOCation performing arts series in Washington, DC, at BAM as part of the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival and at Islington Mill in Salford, UK. Recent screenings with recorded music include the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the UN World Urban Forum.

Plan Of The City has been called "One of the best matches of visuals to music I have seen by Anne Midgette of the Washington Post and "Gorgeous" by Alex Ross of The New Yorker. The architecture website Architzer called it "a new, contemporary City-Symphony" and placed the film in conversation with Manhatta, Koyaanisqatsi, and Sufjan Steven's BQE Symphony - works that we admire greatly.

A series of silkscreen prints based on imagery from Plan of the City can be viewed here.