HERE Announces Programming for 2021-2022 Season

The 2021/22 Season will begin with The Story Box written and performed by Suzi Takahaski and directed by Kristin Marting.

By: Jul. 22, 2021
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HERE Announces Programming for 2021-2022 Season

The Obie Award-winning HERE has announced programming for its upcoming 2021/22 Season.


"The pandemic forced us all into our homes like never before;" said Artistic Director Kristin Marting, "but at HERE we used that time to support unexpected artistic discoveries. After a year and half of inventing new ways to bring our community together and re-imagining how we support artists, I am thrilled that we are embarking on this ambitious in-person, online and outdoor 2021-22 Season. Inspired by the strength and uniqueness of our artists' visions, there will be a dynamic mix of HERE-produced works, including a traveling community-based storytelling event, a poetic and eerie puppetry performance, a transcendental new jazz operatic experience, and a time-traveling concert full of jubilation, plus new productions by our trusted friends. Now that we can safely gather again, we are excited to welcome audiences back to be HERE now."

The 2021/22 Season will begin with The Story Box written and performed by Suzi Takahaski and directed by Kristin Marting; followed by 9000 Paper Balloons, created by Maiko Kikuchi and Spencer Lott and directed by Aya Ogawa. The season will continue in 2022 with The Hang, a new ritual celebration rooted in jazz and operatic traditions, featuring book and lyrics by Taylor Mac, music by Matt Ray and direction by Niegel Smith; and Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville, with music composed by Grace Galu, libretto by Baba Israel, dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks, and co-direction by Israel and Wilks.

The 2021/22 Season will also feature HERE's annual SubletSeries in Fall 2021, PROTOTYPE: OPERA | THEATRE | NOW in January 2022, Puppetopia in May 2022 and HERE RAW/Resident Artists Works in July 2022.

HERE presents The Story Box

September 11-October 9, 2021

Written and Performed by Suzi Takahashi

Directed by Kristin Marting

Outdoors in all Five Boroughs

A HERE & Back Production

Written and performed by Suzi Takahashi and directed by Kristin Marting, The Story Box explores the importance of safeguarding our civil rights through the lens of Japanese-American identity, using traditional Japanese storytelling elements (like kamishibai), along with Takahashi's own family history. Representing the relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII, the audience will receive a suitcase and a tag, inside of which is a wireless headset and a family photo album. Each family photo album documents an account of the problematic history of Asian people in the U.S., and more recently, the rise in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic. Inspired by the events of Suzi Takahashi's own life and delivered through her own words, The Story Box asks audience members to reflect together on the stories in each suitcase and are invited to leave a story of their own behind for future audiences. The Story Box will be performed in each of the five Boroughs through partnerships with Asian American Arts Alliance, Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, Flushing Town Hall, Japan Society, New York Economic Development Corporation, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Arts and Target Margin Theater.

The Story Box features music by Michaela Gomez, scenic and costume design by Jian Jung and sound design by Drew Sensue-Weinstein.

The Story Box will run on Saturday September 11th at 4pm and 7pm and all other performance days at 3pm and 6pm, from September 11-October 9, 2021, in outdoor spaces across the five Boroughs. Rain dates are planned for Sunday October 3rd in Queens and Sunday October 10th in Brooklyn. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Wish ranging from $0-50. Performance dates and locations are as follows:

  • September 11 in Manhattan: Open Culture Street at Japan Society - East 47th Street between 1st Avenue & 2nd Avenue; Partnering with Japan Society
  • September 18 in the Bronx: Bronx Academy of Art and Dance (BAAD) - 2474 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10461; Partnering with BAAD
  • September 25 in Staten Island: Light House Plaza - 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, NY 10301; Partnering with Staten Island Arts and Snug Harbour Cultural Center
  • October 2 in Queens: Court Square Park - Court Square & Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101; Partnering with Flushing Town Hall
  • October 9 in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) - 80 58th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220: Partnering with New York City Economic Development Corporation

HERE presents 9000 Paper Balloons

November 2-6, 2021

Created by Maiko Kikuchi and Spencer Lott
Directed by Aya Ogawa and HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre

A HERE Resident Artist & Dream Music Puppetry Production

Inspired by the stranger-than-fiction secret weapons that floated over America during World War II, 9000 Paper Balloons is a poetic and eerie performance that examines distance - the distance between two friends, two enemies, two cultures and two generations. Japanese artist Maiko Kikuchi and American puppeteer Spencer Lott blend puppetry, animation and mask work as they weave their own family histories into a surreal and visually stunning collage that speaks to the past and the future. This production will be designed and created for camera to be simultaneously broadcast live for Japanese and US audiences and performed for a small live "backstage" audience at HERE.

9000 Paper Balloons will feature lighting design by Ayumu "Poe" Saegusa, sound design by Ashur Rayis, and video broadcast and projection design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew. The stage manager is Mariko Takizawa.

Winter Puppet Parlor

December 20, 2021

HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre

HERE's annual celebration of puppets returns, in time for the wonders of winter! Featuring lively acts from some treasured puppetry artists - stay tuned for the line-up.

HERE presents The Hang

Co-presented with PROTOTYPE

January 7-February 20, 2022

Book and Lyrics by Taylor Mac

Music by Matt Ray

Directed by Niegel Smith

HERE Mainstage Theatre

A HERE & Back Production

The Hang is a ritual celebration of queerness, questions and the eternity of a moment. Rooted in the jazz tradition and operatic form, it imagines the final hours of Socrates' life as a centuries-long communal consideration of virtue.

The Hang will feature scenic and costume design by Machine Dazzle, sound design by Jimin Brelsford and choreography by Chanon Judson.

HERE presents Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville

Co-presented with La MaMa and PROTOTYPE

January 8-16, 2022

Music Composed by Grace Galu

Libretto and Co-Direction by Baba Israel

Dramaturgy and Co-Direction by Talvin Wilks

La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre

A HERE Artist Residency Production

Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville is a theatrical concert exploring the history of cannabis using music, dance and spoken word. The team includes Baba Israel as writer, performer and co-director; Grace Galu as composer/performer; and dramaturg/co-director Talvin Wilks in collaboration with Soul Inscribed and an ensemble of dancers. Inspired by Martin A. Lee's book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational, and Scientific, this theatrical concert weaves the histories of icons such as Louis Armstrong and Bob Marley, and grassroots activists such as Dennis Perron and Brownie Mary with personal narrative. Join us for a time-traveling tale of jubilation, injustice and transformation.

Cannabis will feature choreography by Chanon Judson, environmental design and associate direction by Nic Benacerraf, sound design by Asa Wember, media design by David Bengali, costume design by Kate Fry, and light artistry by Tuce Yasak. The Production Stage Manager is Alex B. West.


Various locations

January 7-16, 2022

Celebrating its tenth anniversary season and a return to live performance, HERE's annual PROTOTYPE Festival, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects, will present an array of new opera and music-theatre projects with a hybrid online and in-person festival. In addition to HERE's world premieres of Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville and The Hang, the festival will present an interactive piece by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and Marc Bamuthi Joseph called The All Sing, bringing together more than 1,000 people in Times Square to weave a vibrant tapestry of sound under the public programming initiative, Out of Bounds. Composer Emma O'Halloran, librettist Mark O'Halloran and director Tom Creed will create a psychological chamber opera entitled Trade having its world premiere this January. Composer Huang Ruo and HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program Director Basil Twist will create Book of Mountains and Seas, a new work of vocal-theatre inspired by Chinese myths from the 4th century B.C. The full program, dates, casts and creative teams will be announced at a later date.

PUPPETOPIA a mini puppet festival

May 2022

HERE Mainstage & Dorothy B. Williams Theatres

A Dream Music Puppetry Presentation

Forced to close early due to the pandemic, Théâtre de l'Entrouvert's Anywhere is freely inspired by the novel Oedipus on the Road by Henry Bauchau. The fallen Oedipus appears as an ice puppet that gradually melts into water, then into mist, and disappears.

Anywhere is conceived by Elise Vigneron, based on the novel Œdipe sur la route by Henry Bauchau, and directed by Elise Vigneron and Hélène Barreau.

Premiering in repertory with Anywhere will be fully realized iterations of works developed in DMPP's 2020-21 Mini-Residency Initiative. Tau Bennett, Kate Brehm, Andrew Gaukel, Sara Outing, Lake Simons and Sachiyo Takahashi present new live creations which embrace music and a range of puppetry techniques, as they explore a range of themes around the human condition and our existence at this moment in history.

HERE RAW/Resident Artist Works

July 2022

HERE Mainstage & Dorothy B. Williams Theatres

Each year, we offer a window into the creative process of our nationally recognized HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). HERE RAW/Resident Artist Works is an exploration of new work in development, featuring workshop presentations, at various stages of development, that blur the boundaries between theatre, music, dance, new media and visual art.

Current Resident Artists Projects include:

Composer and performer Gelsey Bell's m?"?n?? (pronounced as "mourning" and "morning") is an opera that inhabits a world, beginning today, in which all humans have disappeared from Earth. Distanced creatures witness the changes that take place on Earth as forests grow back, rivers overtake dams, and human-made buildings and objects gradually erode away. Inspired by Alan Weisman's The World Without Us, the piece is whimsical, fantastical and playful while being rooted in scientific ideas and the dire political and ethical contradictions that structure current human relations with nature and other animals.

In Shayok Misha Chowdhury's RHEOLOGY, an artist-son studies his physicist-mother. She studies the strange behavior of sand. Together, they attempt to understand the science-the story-of how things flow.

Using sound, object performance and live projection, gamin and Sachiyo Takahashi's The Emotions explores the transience of things, the deep sentiment of longing and parting.

Choreographer Ximena Garnica and Video Artist Shige Moriya's A Meal, is a choreographic ritual of preparing, serving and eating together experienced as part performance, part installation, part concert and part dinner.

Normandy Sherwood's Psychic Self Defense is an object-focused theater piece that invites you to contemplate endlessness, endings and the nature of attention through that most basic of theater machineries - the curtain reveal.

Composer/singer Imani Uzuri's Songs of Sanctuary for the Black Madonna isa large choral and chamber orchestra work inspired by the iconic figure of the Black Madonna, a rare holy Marian figure visually depicted with Dark Skin and currently worshipped within the Catholic and Orthodox Marian pantheon, but who can be traced back to pre-Christian pagan images.

Minor Theater's Marie It's Time plunges headfirst into the misogyny at the heart of modern drama. Using a wild retranslation of Georg Büchner's Woyzeck as a point of entry, our adaptation starts from the perspective of Marie, Woyzeck's enigmatic, highly sexualized victim, building new narratives around the fragments Büchner left behind. The point isn't to simply reverse or correct the misogyny of the story, but to explore the ways women can appropriate the violence directed against them and redirect it into their own projects. Seizing on the way song permeates the original text, Julia Jarcho and Ben Williams will collaborate on an original music and sound composition to underscore this classic story of lust and murder-and to interrupt it.

Nia Witherspoon's new work, Priestess of Twerk - inspired equally by the "bad bitches" of hip-hop, the reproductive justice movement, and the sacred sex workers that graced Egyptian temples - presents women and trans folks of color with opportunities to re-encounter their sexualities through the lens of the sacred, in the hopes of increasing bodily autonomy and dispelling toxic masculinity.

Fall 2021 SubletSeries Season

One of HERE's most vital services, the SubletSeries@HERE supports 150 guest independent artists and groups-such as Colt Coeur, Ma-Yi and New Georges- each season. As Ben Brantley of The New York Times stated, "HERE's Sublet Series allows artists to develop and perform work, at a discount."

This creative curated rental program has allowed many upstart companies and emerging artists to realize their full artistic vision on a small budget. The program provides subsidized performance and rehearsal space, a technical liaison, and administrative support, including a fully staffed box office. SubletSeries@HERE artists can also access equipment that is not typically available in venues our size such as video projectors, wireless microphones, LEDs-all for free or at subsidized rates. We accept applications from artists all over the world for the opportunity to show work.

Televiolet (a New Georges Supported Production) presents ISLANDER

August 19 - September 4

HERE Mainstage Theatre

ISLANDER repurposes verbatim commentary from the humiliating 2017-2018 New York Islanders season to explore the slow de-standardization of white masculinity.

Colt Coeur presents Polylogues

September 17 - October 9

HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre

Written and performed by Xandra Nur Clark, Polylogues is an intimate, interview-based dive into real people's experiences with non-monogamy - and love in all its forms.

Bedaggered Productions presents Between the Bars

September 22 - October 30

HERE Mainstage Theatre

Between The Bars, a new play by Lynn Clay Byrne, follows five inmates and their loved ones within the confines of the Visit Room and exposes the reality of our American jail system.

Identity Crisis Theater / Pace University present Mia

November 8 - 14

HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre

Losing a part of her body invites Mia, the protagonist, on an honest journey to discover the deep meaning of being a woman. An illness leaves a mark and, in doing so, it opens the body to being seen as made out of vulnerable parts.

The Bushwick Starr, in association with HERE, presents Preparedness

November 11 - December 11

HERE Mainstage Theatre

Horrifying and hilarious, a moribund university arts department must undergo self-defense training. As the afternoon unravels into chaos, these educators confront the crumbling realities of their vocation.



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