Performance Space New York Unveils Spring-Summer 2024 Programming Featuring Experimental Theater, Works-in-Progress & More

Artists guide audiences through warping, queer, non-linear temporal experiences in visionary interdisciplinary performance.

By: Nov. 20, 2023

Performance Space New York Unveils Spring-Summer 2024 Programming Featuring Experimental Theater, Works-in-Progress & More Performance Space New York (150 1st Ave. 4th floor) has revealed its Spring/Summer 2024 programming, furthering the organization's legacy of risk-taking. Works in Spring/Summer 2024 rise from the fertile acts of deconstruction and regeneration, transporting audiences to new dimensions. Artists guide audiences through warping, queer, non-linear temporal experiences in visionary interdisciplinary performance. The Spring/Summer 2024 season is organized by Performance Space Director Pati Hertling in collaboration with their Keith Haring Curatorial Fellow X Arriaga Cuellar.

 

Hertling says, “There is so much more to our existence than that which is determined by the systems we obey. These performances deconstruct modes of presentation and rigid understandings of discipline and reveal worlds beyond what we know.”

 

This season, familiar forms take vastly new shape. With Hybrid Peasant (January 11 – 13), artist, composer, and choreographer Richard Kennedy reroutes the form of the operetta towards a liberatory proposition, creating a tragicomic narrative of capitalist dystopia and workers' uprising in three acts. This work continues Kennedy's experimental opera practice “that complicates the perspectives of European high art” (I-D), breaking down its rigidity and severing its taut tethering to classicism, classism, and whiteness. (Previous works in this vein include Black Rage, HIR, Fubu Fuku, Touch of Elegance, EVAR, Dread/Rest, and Zeferina.) Young Boy Dancing Group, known for literally prying open perceptions of dance with laser-beaming butts and hypnotizing audiences with their mercurial, limitless, post-human blurring experiences, will come to Performance Space with their latest work (April 11–13).

 

Elliot Reed similarly transcends perceptions of dance and the relationship between the audience and the self. Reed makes a choreographic language through objects, installation, and sound, and in You can hear footsteps (May 30 – 31), explores spectatorship surrounding the performing body. Reed mines the tensions between outward expression and introspection—in search of the satisfaction of the inner, unexpressed world that cannot be consumed. Artist, director, and author Chella Man considers his scars and tattooing—markers that can break the calcified illusions of roles society assigns to bodies—as a form of queer, trans bodily self-determination in Autonomy (May 2).

 

While Elliot Reed and Chella Man's performances harness the power of solo work as a striking illustration of self-existence and autonomy,  Beatriz Cortez and Candice Lin's distinct practices enter into dialogue with one another in a two-person exhibition (April 25 – June 9). Through their work, the artists pose objects as beings with agencies. Their works engage matter loaded with histories of colonialism and migration, and the ability to interact with the world around it and to make connections across time and space.

 

This year, Performance Space participates in the momentous return of Under the Radar, reimagined in 2024 as a new, citywide annual festival of theater and performance emerging from New York and around the world. The organization teams with their downstairs neighbor Mabou Mines to co-present Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey's Open Mic Night (January 5 – 18), the latest from the duo who “investigate our culture's narcissism and manipulative streak, its hazy relationship with truth and facts in a deeply unsettling way” (The New York Times).

 

Throughout the season, programs Performance Space community members have come to know and love continue to use the space's flexibility for various convocations around exhilarating exchanges of ideas and artistic practices. Knowledge of Wounds, the collaborative curatorial practice of S.J Norman (Wiradjuri) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation), brings another iteration of their Indigenous-led, autonomous gathering space to Performance Space (February 15). The John Giorno Octopus Series, for which artists and guest curators bring those within their creative communities in for evening-long engagements, this season will feature an event organized by Performance Space Associate Production Manager Sarai Frazier and will showcase work from the organization's tech crew (February 8). This edition of the series will help fundraise for the Derek Lloyd Production Fellowship, a mentorship initiative helping future technicians reach new heights, inaugurated at Performance Space in 2014. (More events in the John Giorno Octopus Series to be announced.)

 

First Mondays, the Sarah Schulman-organized reading series offering the rare chance for readers to hear vanguard writers' works-in-progress, will include evenings with Radhika Sainath, Saeed Jones, and  Vivian Gornick (February 5); Rasheed Newson, Bill Goldstein, and Bridgett Davis (March 4); and The Greenidge Sisters: Kaitlyn Greenidge, Kerri K. Greenidge, and Kirsten Greenidge (April 1). Open Movement, curated and organized by Monica Mirabile and providing free workshops, time and space for anybody to move however they like, and showcasing artists' works-in-progress, returns Sundays (January 14 – June 9).  The Keith Haring Lecture Series, featuring talks for children of all ages and their families, from luminaries and specialists across cultural and academic fields, will continue with talks curated by Knowledge of Wounds and quori theodor (Dates and speakers for the lecture series to be announced).

 

theodor's Gnaw continues this season in Performance Space's Open Room—the organization's community gathering space reconceived by artists in rotating installations—through June 30. Gnaw turns the organization's reception room into an otherworldly diner—a souring environment that pushes gender toward decay, and offers a grotesque invitation to commune and consider the social order of the kitchen, and the social performances surrounding eating.

 

Spring/Summer 2024 Schedule and Programming Details

 

Peter Mills Weiss + Julia Mounsey

Open Mic Night

Presented by Mabou Mines + Performance Space New York

As Part of the 2024 Under the Radar Festival

 

January 5, 6, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18 | 7:30pm

January 7, 14 | 5pm

January 11, 12, 13 | 7pm

 

As one-time proprietors of Brooklyn's late and much lamented DIY space Life World, Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey have already lived through the artist's pain of building up and then losing a scene. A long goodbye to an imaginary experimental theater that takes the form of experimental theater itself, Open Mic Night's recursions and subversions reveal the easy fellowship that comes from mixing dark rooms, cheap beer, and a small crowd facing the same direction. This pressure cooker of tension, risk, and awkward engagement teases wisdom and community as a reward, but is that the carrot or the stick? In the end, Open Mic Night is less stand up crowd work than it is an elegiac to the black box as Proustian madeleine. Or maybe it's just your chance to finally shout out your BFF to the tune of Taylor Swift's “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together?”

Richard Kennedy

Hybrid Peasant

January 11 - 13 | 8:30pm

 

In this a three-act tragic comedy operetta that delves deep into the enigmatic landscape of the "Nightmerican dream," Richard Kennedy creates a mirror, reflecting the dystopian realities of society under capitalism, experienced through the lives of "the housed citizens of Hirth." This disruptive piece unravels the narrative of a workers' uprising, all the while challenging our very notions of value, progress, and the all-too-common "crabs in a barrel" mentality that permeates the world of public housing and makes light of bottoming for capitalism. In this powerful call to action, Kennedy urges us to ascend collectively by nourishing each other, forging a path towards liberation.

 

 

Knowledge of Wounds

February 15 | 7pm

 

Organized by S.J Norman (Wiradjuri) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation Citizen) Knowledge of Wounds (KoW) is an autonomous gathering space, a ceremony, a fire, a calling to vibrate in good relations across Indigenous time and space.

 

Young Boy Dancing Group

Young Boy Dancing Group 2024

April 11 - 13 | 7pm

 

Young Boy Dancing Group ignites communal catharsis through mercurial movement. Their raw and intimate live performances draw inspiration from post-apocalyptic aesthetics, constructing a ballet of structured improvisation. Here, the body moves with the ethereal embrace of light as it becomes contorted and vulnerable. Their work evokes us to submit to chaos. Since their inception in 2014, YBDG's work has undergone a perpetual evolution – each scene, locale, and performance injects vitality into the work, integrating the city's diverse dance community.

 

 

Beatriz Cortez & Candice Lin

April 25 – June 9

Sun, Tues - Thurs | 12 - 6pm

 

Beatriz Cortez and Candice Lin's two-person exhibition explores histories and experiences of diaspora and migration through sculpture; these works challenge the viewer to see non-human objects through the lens of performance.  

 

Cortez's works create portals that enable connections across time and space, eliciting experiences of simultaneity. Visitors are invited to interact with her work, which evokes a yearning for a distant land, establishing connections across cultural, commercial, and human exchanges along the Americas.

 

Concurrently, Lin's multi-part installation obliquely addresses the history of Asian indentured laborers through examining the circulation and value of goods produced by these people and the relationships between race and  linguistics, in the formation of the human. By tracing the materialist histories of colonial goods and placing them in entropic relation to one another, the work seeks to generate new orientations, stories, and ways of being.

 

 

Chella Man

Autonomy

May 2 | 7pm

 

“All of who I am now lies on a continuum—I no longer operate to fulfill roles that were illusions to begin with.”

 

In this deeply personal and introspective performance, Chella Man shares his narrative of self-determination, grief, healing, and reclamation of one's body through tattooing and explorations of their scars from the medical industrial complex. To Man, piercing his skin is an act of erosion, revealing what lies beneath the surface, both within the body and the broader societal constructs we navigate. The piece compiles revelations of liberation that have become his leading values in life. Shattering the constraints of binary thinking, the performance celebrates queer, disabled, and trans bodies.
 
Transcending visuals, Autonomy lives as an embodied experience, a testament to resilience and adaptability. Chella Man explores the continuum of art, disability, gender, and race by adapting and navigating their body as a mutable canvas for profound self-expression.

 

  • ASL, Real Time Captioning (CART), and Audio Description will be provided for this performance.

 

 

Elliot Reed

You can hear footsteps  

May 30 - 31, June 1 | 7pm

 

Elliot Reed Laboratories presents a dance where linguistic expression, and introspection converge. In this solo performance, Reed assumes the role of a storyteller, navigating a world of inner and outer dialogues in search of freedom of monotony and self-existence. Reed considers the dynamics of consumption, spectatorship, and the sublimation of self through this offering, engaging in a thought-provoking exploration of both the self and the audience.

 

 

First Mondays: Readings of New Works in Progress

Organized by Sarah Schulman

February 5, March 4, April 1 | 7pm

Free

 

Founded in 2018 and now a beloved Performance Space tradition, reading series First Mondays offers a rare occasion to hear what writers are thinking about long before their ideas hit the shelves. Organized by novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and AIDS historian Sarah Schulman, the free series returns this season with three new events: Illuminators, with Radhika Sainath, Saeed Jones, and Vivian Gornick (February 5); Highly Anticipated New Books!, with Rasheed Newson, Bill Goldstein, and Bridgett Davis (March 4); and Celebrating the First Family of American Letters: The Greenidge Sisters, with Kaitlyn Greenidge, Kerri K. Greenidge, and Kirsten Greenidge (April 1).

 

First Mondays brings communities of readers and writers together in celebration of germinating work in myriad genres and forms, alongside resonant excerpts from previous writing. Over free drinks, readers can gather to hear the future of literature.

 

John Giorno Octopus Series

 

Artist Guest-Curated Programs

 

Using the octopus's decentralized nervous system as an inspiration for Performance Space New York's curatorial practice, the John Giorno Octopus Series—renamed in 2022 after the groundbreaking poet and Downtown legend—invites artists and guest curators to organize an evening-length program with several artists working in any number of disciplines. The series continues Performance Space's legacy of artist-centric programming and creating space for risk taking.

 

In keeping with the organization's ever-expanding visions of support for its community, one of the Spring/Summer 2024 Octopus showcases will present work from Performance Space's own tech crew, in events organized by Performance Space Associate Production Manager Sarai Frazier, (February 8 at 7pm), and fundraising for the organization's Derek Lloyd Production Fellowship.

 

Open Movement

Curated and Organized by Monica Mirabile

 

Keith Haring Theatre

Sundays |12 - 6pm (with workshops at 4pm)

RSVP encouraged but not required

 

Schedule:

 

Angel Zinovieff | Carrying is knowledge | January 14

Malcolm-x Betts | (BLACK) childhood experiments | January 21

Phoebe Berglund | Free Time | January 28

Kia Labeija | February 4

quori theodor | February 11

Sigrid Lauren | Ignorant Gravity | February 18

Alvin Tran and Juwon Jun | From the other World | February 25

Camilo Restrepo | Illogical Movement | March 3

Maxi Canion | Rejection as a redirection - I fell on my ass, now what? So here we are | March 10

Alexsa Durrans | Movement Carrying Systems (MCS) | March 24

River L. Ramirez | Essence Play | March 31

Kinlaw | Kin Class: Anchors Edition | April 7

 Megha Barnabas-Gillespie | BHUMI PRANAM (Earth Blessing) | April 14

Valentina Bache | Rage keys the body worn | April 21

Tara-Jo Tashna | Flashed a Whole World | April 28

Linda Robbins|The Body in the Body: Exploring the Life Force Within Us That Is The Subtle Body|May 5

Daya & Viva Soudan | BIRTH BODY | May 12

Renata Pereira Lima | D as in Dance? Dance. | May 19

Juri Onuki | "Kagura" | June 2

Coco Villa | DIDIDADA | June 9

 

Check performancespacenewyork.org for descriptions of each workshop; website will be updated in the case of any scheduling changes

 

Open Movement continues its open format of carving out space for free shared studio time and artist-led movement workshops every Sunday in Performance Space New York's theaters. Open Movement exists in three parts:

 

First, participants are invited to come move their bodies however they like at Open Movement Studio. Music and lights will contribute to the atmosphere, and participants can come and go as they please. This is a shared studio where people stretch, draw, write, lay on the floor, noodle, dance, and rehearse with others and by themselves. People are encouraged to bring friends and family, make friends and family. This is an opportunity to be grounded in one's body and just feel. Many participants refer to this as “church.”

 

The second part of Sunday, at 4pm, is devoted to movement concept Workshops led by artists and practitioners. These workshops have something different to offer every week as each artist or practitioner shares a two hour participatory practice, exploration or sequence of actions. Some lend themselves to performance ethos of shared practices as others ground in wellness ontologies while others are experiments in the human condition. All are of the body and all happen in community.




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