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Animal Story

  • The Wild Project Theater 195 East 3rd Street New York, NY, 10009 United States (map)

Friday, November 1, 2019 
8:00PM – 10:00PM

Saturday, November 2, 2019
8:00PM – 10:00PM

Staged Reading of Inspiring True Animal Stories


Compassion Arts Festival closes our month-long hosting of events with the launching of a new performing arts program, ANIMAL STORY, a staged reading of presentations aimed at reconnecting audiences to animals through the true stories of animal advocates, caregivers, rescuers, and others devoted to animals and their care.

The ANIMAL STORY debut will feature a performance of selected stories by animal advocates about their experiences with animals who’ve touched their lives. Selections will be read by the people who wrote them or by designated spokesmen and will be woven together with music and multi-media imagery for a inspiring performance overseen by director Emerie Snyder and hosted by composer/musician and multi-media artist Michael Harren.

Catch one of two ANIMAL STORY performances, on Friday, Nov 1 or Saturday, Nov 2. 

About the Stories


ANIMAL STORY focuses on the true stories of people who care deeply about animals, and some who devote their lives to animals. The selected readings give voice to the storytellers’ experiences with animals who have changed their lives in meaningful and transformative ways. This educational, heartfelt, and thought-provoking narrative tapestry takes the audience on a journey of healing and reflection, for new perspectives about other animals, as seen through the eyes of the people who love them. 

The pieces selected for ANIMAL STORY were written during an all-day true storytelling workshop led by TMI Project on October 5 at the Find Your Voice, Live Your Heart: Narrative Healing Arts Retreat sponsored by Compassion Arts and In Defense of Animals, held at Woodstock Sanctuary and Catskill Animal Sanctuary. The TMI Project workshops were facilitated by TMI Project workshop leaders Micah Blumenthal and Seth Davis Branitz. Stories from the workshop belong to the individuals who wrote them but are being shared with Compassion Arts for the purpose of contributing to the ANIMAL STORY staged reading program. We wish to express our gratitude to all the participants for their courage and dedication and for being a voice for cultivating empathy, understanding, and respect for animals.

About the Production Team


Michael Harren
ANIMAL STORY host, emcee, and multimedia artist Michael Harren is a Brooklyn-based composer/ musician and performer, as well as an animal advocate and Compassion Arts Co-Director for NY. Michael is the creator of the original one person play The Animal Show, which was performed as a national tour at venues across the country in 2017 and at Dixon Theater NYC. He is the author of The Animal Book and musical director for Sandra Bernhardt and Cabaret for a Cause as well as a Culture and Animals Foundation grant honoree. Michael has performed at Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, and Judson Memorial Church, among other venues, and has an extensive catalog of music and songs on numerous recordings available through his website.


Emerie Snyder
ANIMAL STORY director Emerie Snyder is a New York City-based theatre director and creator of new performance work. She collaborates closely with playwrights and other artists to create theatre experiences and draws upon her art history background to explore the relationship between visual art and theatre. She also specializes in directing solo performance. Emerie is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied directing at Playwrights Horizons Theater School and acting at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. She is the founder of Ideas Potluck, a monthly community salon for directors and theatremakers; currently serves as Arts Curator for Warren Saint Marks Community Garden; and was the founder of The Intentional Theatre Group. 


Ellie Sarty
ANIMAL STORY producer and program coordinator Ellie Sarty is the founder of Compassion Arts and executive director of Compassion Arts Festival. A longtime animal advocate and a singer-songwriter for over 35 years, as well as an advisory board member of Culture and Animals Foundation, Ellie first realized her vision to use the arts for animal advocacy when she received a CAF grant to create her CD project Top of the Food Chain, many years ago back when dinosaurs walked the earth. 

With a catalog of over 200 songs, Ellie has written and recorded music for plays, CDs, film and documentaries, and numerous solo or partnered projects, and has had her original songs co-published with the late Grammy winning producer Phil Ramone. Ellie was part of a small group of U.S. musicians to perform at the Children of Chernobyl Benefit Concert at Dynama Stadium in Minsk, BSSR in 1991 in the former Soviet Union. For the past three decades, she has performed, coordinated, created, produced, or participated in hundreds of events, projects, and concerts to benefit animals, the environment, programs for women, social justice, humanitarianism, and ahimsa peace. You can hear more from her on the new Compassion Arts podcast coming this fall. 

Tickets and Registration
Tickets cost $20 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door. 

General admission, no reserved seats. Doors open at 7:30pm 

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The Wild Project Theater 
The Wild Project is a non-profit theater, film, music, and visual arts venue that presents diverse, engaging, and inspiring works in New York’s East Village. An innovator among arts venues, the Wild Project provides a unique, intimate, eco-friendly theater and gallery, dedicated to engendering a climate that supports artists who commit to artistic excellence, enrich the community, and promote social equity. With an eco-conscious approach to presenting dynamic works of hundreds of emerging artists each year, the Wild Project is dedicated to creating an environment that supports the artists and to cultivating artists that support the environment.

Earlier Event: October 27
Compassion Speaks – Massachusetts
Later Event: November 2
Compassion Speaks – New York