“As we considered our return to live performance, we realized that in addition to the interrupted commitments we’d made, the artists in our community had not stopped creating—there was even more work that demanded our attention,” said Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director Jeremy Blocker.
“Theatre as an art form is in defiance of the virus’s attempt to silence us—the darkness and stillness has only made our voice stronger and more urgent. After being kept from our spaces for so long, to adhere to our usual practice of announcing one season of work felt insufficient in honoring the artistic community we’re so grateful to be a part of. We want to return with confidence, with joyfulness—to be bold with our artmaking but still cautious with our approach to public health.
“Additionally, since we’ll be welcoming a new Artistic Director in Summer 2022, we wanted to give them—not to mention the whole organization—some breathing room. Setting out plans for our next two seasons will give the gift of time to just be present, without the pressure to compose a season. Time to listen, to observe, and formulate a plan for change and growth.”
“To that end, we’re elated to be announcing two seasons of work that bring us a unique perspective and pique the theatrical imagination, work with some of our most cherished longtime collaborators and some new faces that we’re eager to welcome into the NYTW family, and work that makes space for both the catharsis and the joy we’re so desperately craving.”
The 2021/22 season begins this summer with Semblance by Obie Award winner, NYTW Usual Suspect & former 2050 Fellow Whitney White (What to Send Up When It Goes Down; Our Dear Dead Drug Lord)—bringing Whitney’s work as a 2020/21 Artistic Instigator to the stage in a filmed theatrical experience; followed by the highly-anticipated return of Sanctuary City by Pulitzer Prize winner, NYTW Usual Suspect and former 2050 Fellow Martyna Majok (Cost of Living, queens), directed by Rebecca Frecknall (Summer and Smoke), returning to the stage after performances were halted in March 2020.
Following Sanctuary City is a new project from NYTW Usual Suspect Kristina Wong (Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord), directed by Obie Award winner and NYTW Usual Suspect Chay Yew (Oedipus El Rey). The project will build on Kristina’s 2020/21 Artistic Instigator project Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord. The season continues in 2022 with the World Premiere of On Sugarland by Obie Award winner Aleshea Harris (What to Send Up When It Goes Down, Is God Is), directed by Whitney White.
The 2021/22 Season will conclude with Dreaming Zenzile, based on the life of Miriam Makeba, by Grammy Award nominee Somi Kakoma (Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper with Frankfurt Radio Big Band), directed by Obie Award winner, NYTW Usual Suspect & former 2050 Fellow Lileana Blain-Cruz (The House That Will Not Stand, Red Speedo). Dreaming Zenzile will bring together seven producers including Octopus Theatricals, National Black Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, McCarter Theatre Center, Arts Emerson, Apollo Theater and New York Theatre Workshop.
We eagerly anticipate returning to the previously announced production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, in a new adaptation by Pulitzer Prize finalist Clare Barron (Dance Nation, You Got Older), directed by Tony Award winner and NYTW Usual Suspect Sam Gold (Othello, Fun Home). To accommodate company schedules, the production will be mounted as part of the 2022/23 season.
The 2022/23 season will also include american (tele)visions by Tow Playwright-in-Residence Victor I. Cazares (Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall), directed by NYTW Usual Suspect Rubén Polendo (</remnant>); 2019 winner of the Yale Drama Prize, How to Defend Yourself by Liliana Padilla (Born 1000 Times), co-directed by Tony Award winner and NYTW Usual Suspect Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Padilla and Helen Hayes Award winner Steph Paul (The Last Match); The Half-God of Rainfall by Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles); and an additional production to be announced at a later date.
We’re pleased to announce a new ticketing initiative for the 2021/22 season which will offer free tickets at all performances to members of our theatre community who lost work during the pandemic and may find cost a barrier to entry to attending shows and participating fully in the return to in-person performances. A simple submission form will enable participants to select a free ticket from available locations via the NYTW ticketing system, just as they would if they were purchasing. There will be a limited number of tickets available and while we won’t be able to accommodate every single person who would benefit from the opportunity, we hope in some small way to be of service to our community as it continues to rebuild.
In preparing for a return to in-person gathering, we’re committed to keeping the health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff a top priority. Everyone’s experience and comfort level with the pandemic will look different and we’re committed to a whole person approach in safety-first customer service. Changes include updates to ventilation and air filtration systems, creation of a COVID Compliance Team, flexible exchange and past-date policies and, at this time, requirement of proof of vaccination or negative COVID test and mandatory masks for all attendees. For updated information about our evolving COVID policies, please visit nytw.org/covid.
Alongside our artistic and community engagement activities, we’re engaged in the essential, sustained commitment of becoming an anti-racist organization in support and affirmation of Black people, Indigenous people and People of Color in its community. In June of 2020, we published our Core Values statement and initial action and accountability steps. In an effort to provide greater transparency, we share progress updates, further commitments and next steps at nytw.org/accountability.
Performance schedules, casting and full creative teams will be announced at a later date.
A variety of 2021/22 Season membership packages are now on sale! Join online or call 212-460-5475.
ANNOUNCING NEW WORK FOR THE 2021/22 & 2022/23 SEASONS
The complete 2021/22 season will include:
By WHITNEY WHITE
The return of
By MARTYNA MAJOK
Directed by REBECCA FRECKNALL
A NEW PROJECT FROM KRISTINA WONG
By KRISTINA WONG
Directed by CHAY YEW
The World Premiere of
By ALESHEA HARRIS
Directed by WHITNEY WHITE
Based on the life of Miriam Makeba
By SOMI KAKOMA
Directed by LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ
in partnership with OCTOPUS THEATRICALS, NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE,
REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS, McCARTER THEATRE CENTER,
ARTS EMERSON, APOLLO THEATER & NYTW
The 2022/23 Season will include:
By ANTON CHEKHOV
Adapted by CLARE BARRON
Directed by SAM GOLD
By Tow Playwright-in-Residence VICTOR I. CAZARES
Directed by RUBÉN POLENDO
HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF
By LILIANA PADILLA
Co-Directed by RACHEL CHAVKIN, LILIANA PADILLA & STEPH PAUL
THE HALF-GOD OF RAINFALL
By INUA ELLAMS
Categories: 2021-22 Season and 2022-23 Season. Tags: Aleshea Harris, Chay Yew, Clare Barron, Inua Ellams, Kristina Wong, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Liliana Padilla, Martyna Majok, Rachel Chavkin, Rebecca Frecknall, Rubén Polendo, Sam Gold, Somi Kakoma, Steph Paul, Victor I Cazares, and Whitney White.