New York Theatre Workshop Announces Artistic and Operational Plans for 2020/21 Season

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New York Theatre Workshop Announces Artistic and Operational Plans for 2020/21 Season

New York Theatre Workshop has announced its artistic and operational plans for the 2020/21 season.

These plans have been developed in accordance with NYTW's Core Values, with a particular emphasis on making NYTW an actively anti-racist organization and community, and a continuing commitment to empowering their artistic community to imagine and create work in the broadest possible sense.

NYTW supports and stands with the vibrant and courageous community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists, staff, supporters, audiences, and students. In an ongoing commitment toward being a fully anti-racist organization, NYTW is publishing the NYTW Core Values alongside ongoing action steps to question histories and practices, disrupt patterns that reinforce institutionalized oppressions and inequities, examine inherent missteps, and hold the organization to a standard that does not accept that this work is ever done. NYTW has not always lived up to these values and must contend with the harm that those shortcomings have caused. Only when all members of the community are truly safe-when their lives and humanity are valued above their artistic contributions-will we experience the community we aspire to be.

NYTW Artistic Update:

While the timeline for resuming in-person performances in New York City remains uncertain, NYTW has re-committed to its extraordinary community of artists to create and develop new work and to share that work with audiences in both existing formats and in ways yet to be imagined.

This group of Artistic Instigators will include Ayad Akhtar, Clare Barron, Lileana Blain-Cruz, David Cale, Sean Carvajal, Victor I. Cazares, Rebecca Frecknall, Sam Gold, Aleshea Harris, Jeremy O. Harris, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Martyna Majok, Denis O'Hare, Lisa Peterson, Dael Orlandersmith, Rubén Polendo, Martha Redbone, Tina Satter, Geoff Sobelle, Celine Song, Theater Mitu, Aaron Whitby, Whitney White, Kristina Wong, and Doug Wright. These artists have been engaged to imagine work in our present moment that creates community within the given circumstances of social distancing, celebrates the liveness that is inherent in a theatrical experience, and examines the relationship between theatre, distance, and technology. Artists are supported with $2,500 grants, with additional funds designated to bring their projects to life.

While the Artistic Instigators are supported in their exploration of form and content, audiences will be invited to experience the evolution of the work through work-in-process sharings and behind-the-scenes conversations with artists. NYTW is asking audiences to take a leap. What it promises in return is a front-row seat to the unfolding of this experiment-and that the definition of a "front-row seat" will shift throughout the year. Some events will be exclusively virtual experiences while others may take place in person-when it is possible to do so with appropriate safety measures.

"While we're unsure of exactly what the coming months will mean for public gatherings, we know that art and artists will continue to be an integral part of our lives. We're so fortunate to be surrounded by an unparalleled community of artists whose visionary work inspires us and helps us understand our world," said Artistic Director James C. Nicola. "It seemed essential in this paradigm shift within the theatre and our society to extend a new commitment by engaging a cohort of artists to guide, inspire, and provoke us to bear witness and participate in the evolution of our world. We eagerly look forward to discovering and supporting new forms of theatrical exploration that these artists are imagining. From virtual experiences to outdoor performance to art installations, the possibilities are limitless."

Due to the unexpected cancellation of the end of the 2019/20 season, there are two productions NYTW was unable to open: Martyna Majok's Sanctuary City directed by Rebecca Frecknall had just begun performances and Clare Barron's adaptation of Three Sisters directed by Sam Gold had not yet begun rehearsals. NYTW remains committed to these artists and intends to bring these projects to the stage as soon as it is feasible and safe to do so. The Next Door at NYTW series has been paused and will stay on hiatus until public health guidelines permit a full return to onsite programming.

In addition, NYTW has announced a new class of 2050 Artistic Fellows, continuing a 25-year tradition of supporting early-career artists who, with their unique voices, challenge us all to contend with this changing world. With the 2050 Fellowship, NYTW reaffirms its responsibility to nurture artists who reflect a multiplicity of perspectives, challenge the dominant paradigm, and give voice to those whose experiences are not heard often enough. The 2020/21 Directing Fellows are Josiah Davis, Adil Mansoor, and Tyler Thomas. The 2020/21 Playwriting Fellows are Nissy Aya, Ruth Tang, and David Zheng.

NYTW Memberships have been reconceived for the coming year in response to the physical limitations and financial challenges that continue to impact our community. 2020/21 season memberships will be available at levels from $10-$50 per month to offer a range of options for members, from those who are unsure when and how often they will feel ready to return, to those who hunger for the lost sense of community and the joy of a new artistic adventure. The Society of Repeat Defenders-the loyal group of donors who make New York Theatre Workshop's mission possible-will receive the highest level of behind-the-scenes insights for the experimental season in exchange for their unwavering support.

Further details about NYTW Core Values, the 2050 Artistic Fellows, the growing list of Artistic Instigators, and membership and support opportunities are available at NYTW.org.


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