IMMENSE JOY by Anna Kohler to be Presented at The Tank in September

Kohler weaves a multifaceted narrative fabric out of images, sounds, text, and expressive movement, commenting on the human condition.

By: Aug. 04, 2022
IMMENSE JOY by Anna Kohler to be Presented at The Tank in September

The Tank will present Immense Joy, a new work devised and directed by downtown luminary Anna Kohler in collaboration with performers Natalia de Campos, Justin Gordon, John Hagan, Fabio Tavares, and associate director Caleb Hammond. The piece was inspired by the writings of the Brazilian author Clarise Lispector. In Kohler's interpretation, the literary material intertwines with personal remembrances and manifestos, the physical reality encounters its own recorded image, and the titular "immense joy" clashes with deep sadness and irony as the performers guide the audiences through a series of multimedia vignettes as poetic and chaotic as life itself.

The performances run from September 8 through 18, 2022 at The Tank (312 W 36th Street, 1st Floor, New York NY 10018). Tickets (starting at $15, with pay-what-you-can ticket tiers) can be purchased at

Immense Joy Marks the return to New York City stage for Anna Kohler, whose remarkable theatrical career included longstanding creative partnerships with such legendary ensembles as The Wooster Group and Richard Maxwell's New York City Players. Collaborating with Caleb Hammond (who directed her most recent NYC production, Mytho? Lure of Wildness, at Abrons Center in 2016) and the cast of international performers, Kohler weaves a multifaceted narrative fabric out of images, sounds, text, and expressive movement, commenting on the nature of creativity, interpersonal relationships, and the human condition in the world obsessed by materialistic values.

The work of Ukrainian-born, Brazilian author and femme fatale Clarise Lispector is an important focal point for this production. "Lispector's masterful writing style is challenging to stage but provides the company with limitless colors with which to "paint," explains Kohler. "Her honesty, passion, and deep, ahead-of-her-time insight truly resonate with the current state of the world. They bring out an important and timely question: aren't we all victims of our social position in life, regardless of geographic circumstances? Isn't the American dream that you can get rich if you just work hard enough, by now an illusion? We are a group of International Artists, collaborating to bring the work of this extremely important South American writer to the North American audience who has been fundamentally unaware of her importance, her uniqueness, and her ability to portray regular people, poor people, and their problems. Regarding poverty, feminism, and humanism, her writing offers a global perspective that we as Americans are not paying enough attention to," she adds.


Anna Kohler (Concept/Writer/Director/Performer) has been a part of the experimental and groundbreaking theater scene in New York since the early 1980s. For twelve years, she was a member of the Wooster Group and worked with John Jesurun, Fiona Templeton, Richard Maxwell, and many others on an ongoing basis. As a director, she has conceived and directed plays performed in Austria, Germany, Brazil, and the United States. Her film work includes Hal Hartley's The Book of Life and Bruno de Almeida's On the Run, Peter Sellar's The cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, among others. An accomplished teacher, she is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she teaches acting and directing.

Caleb Hammond (Associate­­ Director) is a creator of theater and visual art whose directing work has been presented in the USA and internationally. Selected acting credits include Hal Hartley's films Ned Rifle and Meanwhile, John Jesurun's web series Shadowland and Bara Jichova's film Talking About Adultery. Hammond was a regular featured performer in director Jay Scheib's work, including the Obie Award-winning Untitled Mars, at PS122 in NYC and the National Theater of Hungary; Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, at The Kitchen, NYC and Maison des Arts, Paris; and This Place is a Desert at Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater NYC and Boston ICA. His installation artwork has been shown worldwide including at the Nishida Museum of Art in Japan and The Chrysler Museum in Virginia. He currently teaches acting at MIT.

Natalia de Campos (Performer) is a multidisciplinary artist from São Paulo based in New York since 1998 and works in performance, theatre, sound, writing, interactive media, social practice, and street interactions. A theater actor, director, and producer of solo or collaborative works under Syncretic Pleasures, ART&COM, and United Artists & Activists Union presenting in venues around downtown NYC. Performed and toured with The Living Theatre, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak at BAM, and others. A member of the Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab; MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts (CUNY), Natalia lectured at NYU, studioELL, among others. Currently teaches at The People's Forum, co-founded/co-directs performance & political activist group Defend Democracy in Brazil since 2016, and resident artist at The Clemente since 2001.

Justin Alexander Gordon (Performer) is an actor and educator from Detroit, Michigan.

Gordon is an active member of the Lin Manuel Miranda Family Fellowship, and the published author of a book of hip hop poetry titled Six Mile Negus on the Honor Roll at Michigan. He is a Harvard School of Education Master's Graduate, as well as a University of Michigan graduate. Gordon Completed training at The National Theatre Institute and has played numerous Shakespeare title characters on stage. The only three places he really enjoys being are the set, the studio, and the stage.

John Hagan (Performer) is an acclaimed downtown theater artist who has acted in the work of Richard Foreman, Robert Ashley, Stuart Sherman, John Jesurun, and many others. Hagan has also written extensively on film and theater, his work has been published in Les Cahiers du Cinéma, Artforum, Millennium Film Journal, and numerous other publications.

Fabio Tavares (Performer) is a Brazilian artist working in NYC. He has collaborated and performed with Yvonne Meyer, Fisherspooner, Noemie Lafrance, Luis Lara Malvacías, Circus Amok, Laurie Anderson, The Dazzle Dancers, The Daisy Spurs, Stanley Love, and Anne Bogart / Siti Company to name a few. Fabio has also danced with Elizabeth Streb and her extreme-action company for 14 years, serving as the Associate Artistic Director for a decade. He currently teaches at Movement Research and at Yale University.

Founded in 2003, The Tank is an Obie Award-winning, multi-disciplinary non-profit arts presenter and producer, which provides a home to emerging artists working across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, puppetry, and storytelling. Led by Artistic Director Meghan Finn, Managing Producer Molly FitzMaurice and Director of Artistic Development Johnny G. Lloyd, The Tank champions emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression. In doing so the company removes the economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form. From the company's home with two theaters on 36th Street, The Tank serves over 2,500 artists every year, presents over 1,000 performances, and welcomes 36,000 audience members annually. The company fully produces a curated season of 13-18 theatrical World or New York premieres each season. During the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, The Tank has launched CyberTank, a virtual gathering space and programming platform for artists to share work. With weekly themed variety shows, ongoing series, and evening-length shows made for the virtual frame, CyberTank has already presented the work of over 4,093 artists in over 468 performances to over 20,000 audience members across the country and the world.

Recent Tank-produced work includes The New York Times Critics' Picks Taxilandia by Flako Jimenez (2021); OPEN by Crystal Skillman, directed by Jessi D. Hill (2019); Red Emma & The Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan, directed by Katie Lindsay (2018); and The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn (2016), as well as Drama Desk Award-nominated productions The Hunger Artist (2018), The Paper Hat Game (2017), the ephemera trilogy (2017), Ada/Ava (2016) and youarenowhere (2016).