A Simple Art

A Simple Art
A full-length true crime documentary play created & directed by Alex Vlahov
Written and performed by Alex Vlahov, Nessa Norich, Kyra Sims
General Manager: Emily Hirschtick | Stage Manager: Ashley Deluke

Based on Raymond Chandler’s 1944 essay The Simple Art of Murder, first published in The Atlantic MonthlyA Simple Art is a live true-crime documentary looking at the 2014 New Year’s Eve murder of Vlahov’s high-school priest, Father Eric Freed. By syncing up interviews taken from Humboldt County with storytelling, dance, onstage analog devices, and repetitive tasks, the 3 Neo-Futurist cast members scrutinize the human need for narrative through the lens of noir. This new play “investigates” the region’s history, the marijuana industry, the Catholic Church, police procedure, and the crime itself, all in an attempt to explore why (and how) we construct stories from the chaos of reality. Do we embrace the mystery of life or try to solve it?


“Neos’ mastery of theatrical experimentation shines.” – Huff Post

“Devised theater at its best.” – Theatre is Easy



“A Resounding Success.” – Opplaud


“A Wonderful Play. Go see this, it’s great!” – Reviews Off Broadway


“They really bring the whole story to life. You can see it before your eyes as they’re describing it.” – HI! Drama


(PREVIEW) Thursday, June 1 – 7PM
Friday, June 2 – 7PM
Saturday, June 3 – 2PM
Sunday, June 4 – 2PM & 7PM
Tuesday, June 6 – 7PM
Wednesday, June 7 – 7PM
Thursday, June 8 – 7PM
Friday, June 9 – 7PM
Saturday, June 10 – 2PM
Sunday, June 11 – 2PM

$20 General Admission
$16 Students w/ valid ID
Advanced tickets get you priority access and a guaranteed seat.

WHERE: 777 Theater: 777 8th Ave (btw 47th and 48th)



Alex Vlahov (Creator, Director, Writer, Performer) is a writer, director and actor from northern California. He is a co-artistic director & ensemble member with The New York Neo-Futurists (2015), and a theater curator for The Tank (2013). With The New York Neo-Futurists, Alex directed, co-wrote, and performed in A Simple Art Off-Broadway at 777 Theatre (2017), wrote and performed in both of their weekly shows Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and eventually The Infinite Wrench (including the debut weekend), took part in the world-premiere reading of Charles Mee’s Our Times: On The Street Where I Live at The Williamsburg Library (2016), and has performed with The San Francisco Neo-Futurists in a cross-company exchange. He has performed standup at The Greenwich Village Comedy Club, as a standup opener for rap cabaret artist Boyfriend at Baby’s All Right, plus his written material at The Experiment Comedy Gallery; he has had improv training at UCB (NY) and The Improv Space (LA). Recent projects include stage managing a reading of Do the Blind Dream? by Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart, Lost Highway screenwriter) for Black Lodge Theater at The Players Theatre, interning for The Wooster Group, working as an opera/ballet sales rep in the world of cinema distribution, producing album-cover concerts (including at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick & The King’s Head pub in London), and running his own theater company Cliff House Arts. Additional work includes: A Simple Art solo show (The Tank, NYC 2014), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey tour, 2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey tour, 2014), Furniture Porn (The Tank, NYC 2013), But Back To The Uncle solo show (The Tank, NYC 2013), The Beckett Cycle (The Brick, NYC 2013), Richard II (The Secret Theater, NYC 2013), Little Triggers (The Old Peanut Factory, London 2012), “Alligator Parade” (Best Original Poem, LAMDA Poetry competition 2010), and Hanted (UCLA Theaterfest, 2008). Alex received a BA from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, 2009-2012) with additional undergraduate training at UCLA TFT (School of Theater, Film & Television, 2007-2009). However he is most proud of his work as an extra in the 2001 Charlize Theron/Keanu Reeves romantic film, Sweet November.

NESSA NORICH (Performer, Writer) is a Brooklyn-based event producer and theater artist devoted to the creation of innovative and challenging new forms of performance. Her work spans styles and mediums, including site-specific Shakespeare, political satire, documentary theater, immersive events and live concerts. Whichever form she chooses to explore, her primary interest is in the transcendental and ritualistic function of collective catharsis. 

Nessa has collaborated on original works of theater internationally, at such notable venues as, the British Film Institute, the Battersea Arts Center & the Southbank Center in London, The Louvre in Paris and New York Live Arts, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, 59E59 and Dixon Place in New York City. She has been teaching and coaching acting and movement since graduating Lecoq 5 years ago.

She is also co-founder of Pantheon Presents – an event production company that designs inclusive and healing spaces to dance. Their latest project, Shine On in Schools, brings these spaces to public elementary schools in the Bronx. She is thrilled to be a New York Neo-Futurist!!

KYRA SIMS (Performer, Writer) is a collaborative musician, composer, writer, and actress residing in New York City. She is an extremely versatile artist with her talents on French horn ranging from a virtuosic classical soloist to cutting-edge improviser. She is an excellent vocalist with the flexibility to lend her warm and sultry voice to many genres and styles of music. Her innovative blend of vocal and horn performance give her appearances a soulful depth that touches a range of emotions.

A recent graduate of Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Michelle Baker, Kyra is quickly making her mark in NYC. She has performed in NYC venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge in the Village, and Jazz Standard. She happily brings her horn and voice into any genre that will have her- she enjoys and regularly performs not only classical, but also rock, pop, folk, and jazz styles. She has performed all across the country, and all over the world in countries such as China, Italy, and Greece. She has backed notable artists such as Frank Ocean at the 2014 Met Opera gala, Zola Jesus, bassist Reggie Workman, and trumpeter Wallace Roney. As an orchestral musician, she has played under Kurt Masur at Manhattan School of Music, and Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival. She has collaborated with and performed in two NYC premieres this year: Bum Phillips All-American Opera at La Mama, and the experimental jazz piece American Dialogues at the Museum of Modern Art.

Kyra made her composing debut this year as the Composer/Sound Designer for the New York Neo-Futurists’ 2015 Mainstage production, The Human Symphony, for which she received a New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination for Outstanding Sound Design. She joined the Neo-Futurists as an ensemble member two months later.

As an actress, Kyra has performed on the Upright Citizens Brigade stage as an advanced student, and in indie improv teams around the city. She has also participated in NYC experimental and collaborative theatre, including Argument Sessions at Ars Nova, Jeremy Goren’s Wistaria, Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, and the enigmatic classic, Why Else do you have an English Horn?  


Emily Hirschtick (General Manager) is a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist, writer, and student. She is currently a second-year student at The New School, earning a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons, as well as a BA in visual and cultural studies from Eugene Lang College. Emily’s artwork focuses on themes of rituals, functions, and politics of the body, linking her visual work to theater and performance. With a background in a range of theatrical genres, Emily has performed mainly in improvisational theater, and continues to learn from classes at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater. She has spent summers performing with the Martha’s Vineyard-based troupe “WIMP”, as well as teaching classes with the company’s summer camp. Emily is passionate about the use of creative spaces and practices for social engagement, activism, and education. She aspires to be a progressive arts educator and is excited to once again have the chance to work with the New York Neo-Futurists. 

Ashley Deluke (Stage Manager) is a recent graduate of Florida State University where she received a B.A. in both Theatre and English.  Now, she’s a Brooklyn-based stage manager, performance artist, and poet.  Ashley’s work in both her performance and poetry focuses on deconstructing social constructs, feminism, and self-love.  Although new to the NYC performing scene, she’s excited to begin this journey by working with the New York Neo-Futurists again!


Did you enjoy A Simple Art?

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Funding for NYNF is also provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.