HERE Reveals 2023 Recipients of HARP Multi-Year Residencies with Awards of $50K-$125K

HARP provides each hybrid artist with a commission, development support, career planning, and an opportunity for a full production.

By: Apr. 05, 2023
HERE Reveals 2023 Recipients of HARP Multi-Year Residencies with Awards of $50K-$125K
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HERE has announced four new members of the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), one of the most robust residency programs in the country and serving as a national model. Family singing group The HawtPlates and performance collective Same As Sister will be in residence to develop new in-person performances, while artist and researcher Janani Balasubramanian and director and creative technologist Joshua William Gelb will create new work to be experienced via URHERE, a rigorously curated virtual platform for outdoor, site-specific or digital native performances.

HARP provides each hybrid artist with a commission, development support, career planning, and an opportunity for a full production, all within a collaborative environment of peers working across disparate art forms - including theatre, dance, music, puppetry, visual art, and new media. Each HARP artist receives significant long-term support of $125,000, which includes $50,000 in cash and more than $75,000 in equipment, space and services over 2-3 years to tailor each residency to each artist's individual needs. URHERE HARP residents Balasubramanian and Gelb will receive $50,000 ($25,000 in cash and $25,000 in equipment, space and services) over 1-2 years. Through significant investment of time and resources, dynamic work within a strong community is created.

Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting says: "We are thrilled to welcome these four extraordinary artists into HERE's community of innovators. We are particularly excited to expand the HARP residency outside the walls of our theatres to continue pioneering new hybrid forms with artists creating work for our brand new URHERE platform."

Dream Feed is an electro-acoustic song cycle that drops family singing group The HawtPlates and the audience into a dream sequence - in the humor, terror, beauty, and allure of the active mind within a slumbering body. The HawtPlates utilize a vocabulary of gestures, lyrics, vocables, and exchanges to bring some of our most common shared dreams into collective view while playfully engaging the concept album as an interdisciplinary performance form.

Interdisciplinary performance Upstairs, In Our Bedroom places performance collective Same As Sister's experiences as female identical twins of color next to the real-life story of outsider authors June & Jennifer Gibbons (a.k.a. The Silent Twins). Utilizing dance, text, mobile VR technology, and puppetry they will reveal the dual struggles to be recognized as individuals within a pairing and within a racist and patriarchal society. The project is a collaboration with performer Peggy Piacenza, dramaturge Susan Mar Landau, VR specialist Lora Appel, and VR advisor Rachel da Silveira Gorman.

Based on the research of the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History, Rogue Objects from Janani Balasubramanian is an operatic, immersive experience for planetaria that explores the emerging science of brown dwarfs: a lesser-known class of in-between celestial bodies, neither planets nor stars. Brown dwarfs are primarily bright in the infrared -- a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum just outside the wavelengths of human sight -- and to observe them we, humanity, had to make the creative leap that darkness was worth looking at. Through animation of original and archival images, data from the new JWST and Gaia space telescope, and an operatic score built from sonified light curves of nearby brown dwarfs, Rogue Objects invites audiences into the wonderful life of these objects that abound and sing in the dark.

From the beginning of the pandemic Joshua William Gelb embraced limitations, live-streaming dozens of Theater in Quarantine productions from a closet measuring only 8 square feet to explore how digital encounters can feel tactile, immediate, and intimate. With theaters reopened, Theater in Quarantine is in a period of reinvention, exploring new, dynamic ways of using technology to reach hybrid audiences and this new project, created in collaboration with composer Orion Johnstone, will be the company's most palpable expression of intimacy yet. Imposing our strictest limitations to date, this study of microscopic self-exposure will be performed from a version of the original closet scaled down to a mere 32 inches wide by 18 inches tall.

Through HARP, HERE has developed such highly acclaimed works as Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, and James Scruggs' Disposable Men, among others. Since HARP's founding, HERE has supported the work and career development of 165 lead artists and hundreds of their collaborators.

HARP nurtures the development of seven to nine artists, through a cross-disciplinary exchange, monthly meetings, peer-driven workshops, and panel discussions. Created in 1999 to address a compelling need in the field-the void of artistic, administrative, and financial support for artists with certain professional accomplishments, but without breakthrough recognition-HARP assists artists who are developing distinct voices and experimenting with new approaches that expand the parameters of performance. HARP is unique by offering a meeting ground where artists from varied disciplines can share diverse perspectives and by developing work with a hybrid performance aesthetic. Please visit for more information.

URHERE is a one-of-a-kind, rigorously curated virtual platform for outdoor, digital premieres, and archival works which launched in November 2022 and builds on HERE's extensive outdoor and digital work during the pandemic. URHERE aims to occupy an important part of the art ecosystem which nurtures experimentation, sparks dialogue, and creates engagement with the local community. Supporting independent artists and ensembles, URHERE expands on HERE's mission to support multidisciplinary work made by artists at every stage of their careers. While projects may take many different forms, the platform will focus on artists whose work captures a rich cross-section of risk-taking, new perspectives, and artistic disciplines. The platform is located at

About the 2023 HARP Resident Artists

The HawtPlates

are a family singing group that was formed in a one-bedroom apartment in The Bronx. They create live vocal works by breaking down vernacular musical forms and reconstituting them into other modes of performance, producing sound tonics and "one pots', harkening to the spirit of the family heirloom recipe. Their work honors their lineage and personal histories while outwardly reporting an ultimately human experience. The HawtPlates have worked with numerous organizations and artists across disciplines including Meshell Ndegeocello, Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Hilton Als, Helga Davis, Steffani Jemison, Reggie "Regg Roc" Gray and The D.R.E.A.M. Ring, National Black Theater, The Public Theater, Performance Space New York, and The Park Avenue Armory among many others. The HawtPlates is comprised of drama desk-nominated composer/performer Justin Hicks, his sister, singer/songwriter Jade Hicks, and his wife Tony-nominated actor/singer Kenita Miller-Hicks.

Same As Sister (S.A.S.)

is a NYC and Toronto-based performance collective led by twin choreographers Briana Brown-Tipley + Hilary Brown-Istrefi. Initiated in 2013 to make experimental narrative performance accessible to a diverse audience through collaborative and interdisciplinary practices, their commissions have been presented at The Citadel (Toronto); Base (Seattle); Archaeological Museum of Messenia (Greece); Danspace Project (NYC); CAMAC (France); BRIC Arts Media (NYC); and NYLA (NYC), among other venues. S.A.S.'s recent commission, This is NOT a Remount, was nominated for a 2022 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production (Dance). They were an Alternate and Finalist for the Jerome Foundation's 2021-22 and 2019-20 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (Dance), and are the recipients of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts' 2022 and 2017 Emergency Grant (Dance); Queens Council on the Arts' 2020 Queens Arts Fund New Work Grant (Multi-Discipline); and a New York Foundation for the Arts' 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship (Choreography).


Janani Balasubramanian

is an artist and researcher creating accessible, inviting, and beautiful portals to natural and computational worlds. They work in emerging media, installation, immersive performance, poetry, prose, conceptual art, and public art. Balasubramanian has received residency and commissioning support for their work from the Tow Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Institute, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, NYFA, New York Community Trust, Jerome Foundation, CAST at MIT, MAP Fund, Public Theater, Pioneer Works, Mount Tremper Arts, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts, UCross Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and more. Their work has been presented at dozens of venues internationally, including the New York High Line, SF Exploratorium, Red Bull Arts, Academy of Natural Sciences, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Balasubramanian is a member of the Guild of Future Architects, and has been the artist-in-residence in the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History since 2017.

Joshua William Gelb

is the director, performer, and creative technologist behind Theater in Quarantine, the Obie and Drama League Award-winning digital performance laboratory operating out of an East Village closet measuring only 8 sq feet. Working with over one hundred collaborators and livestreaming dozens of productions to its YouTube Channel, TiQ has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Japan's NHK Television, and has been profiled in The New Yorker and The New York Times. Gelb holds a masters in directing from Marianne Weems' Future Stages Program at Carnegie Mellon, has participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and prior to the pandemic created both Jazz Singer and The Black Crook in residence at Abrons Arts Center while his Drama Desk nominated adaptation of A Hunger Artist, created in collaboration with Sinking Ship Productions, continues to tour. TiQ's full archive can be found and streamed anytime at


Through HARP, HERE commissions and develops new hybrid works over multiple years. Throughout the year, resident artists show works-in-progress, develop workshop productions, and mount full-scale premieres. Projects currently continuing development in HARP include:

Shayok Misha Chowdhury's RHEOLOGY is a performance memoir. A translation across boundaries of language, gender, discipline, and generation. An artist son studies his physicist mother. She studies the strange behavior of sand. Together, they try to understand the science-the story-of how things flow.

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

Psychic Self Defense by Normandy Sherwood is an object focused theater piece where we, audience and performers, train to defend ourselves against the force of the corporations that seek to leech our psychic energy. Psychic Self Defense will create an empty space where visions can happen by way of that most basic of theater machineries- curtains opening (endlessly).

Nia Witherspoon's 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.

About HERE

The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director) was named a Top Ten Off-Off Broadway Theatre by Time Out New York and is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performances viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines-theatre, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art.

HERE's standout productions include Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, James Scruggs' Disposable Men, Corey Dargel's Removable Parts, Robin Frohardt's The Pigeoning, and Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and, this season Looking at You by Rob Handel, Kristin Marting and Kamala Sankaram and Zoey Martinson
's The Black History Museum According to the United States of America.

Since its founding in 1993, HERE and the artists it has supported have received 18 Obies, 2 Bessies, 5 Drama Desk Nominations, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Doris Duke Awards, 7 Tony Nominations, and 2 MacArthur Fellowships.


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