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New York Theatre Workshop Announces First Seven Artistic Instigator Projects for 2020/21 Season

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An encore pre-recorded showing of each live performance will be screened on the Sunday following each episode at 7pm EDT.

New York Theatre Workshop Announces First Seven Artistic Instigator Projects for 2020/21 Season

New York Theatre Workshop has announced today the initial group of projects from the 2020/21 Artistic Instigators.

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.

The group of Artistic Instigators includes Ayad Akhtar, Hilton Als, Clare Barron & Sam Gold, Lileana Blain-Cruz, David Cale & Dael Orlandersmith, Victor I. Cazares, Rachel Chavkin, Dominican Artists Collective, Rebecca Frecknall & Martyna Majok, Aleshea Harris, Jeremy O. Harris, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Denis O'Hare & Lisa Peterson, Liliana Padilla, Rubén Polendo & Theater Mitu, Martha Redbone & Aaron Whitby, Tina Satter, Geoff Sobelle, Celine Song, 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.

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.

Alongside its artistic and community engagement programming, NYTW is engaged in the essential, sustained commitment of becoming an anti-racist organization in support and affirmation of Black people, Indigenous people and people of color in our community. In June, NYTW published its Core Values statement and initial action and accountability steps. In a series of collective ongoing conversations with the full staff, departmental work sessions and meetings of the Board of Trustees, and with the resource of the We See You, White American Theater demands, the organization is mapping out its future as a community of individuals who can be their whole selves. NYTW is embracing this moment to better align its mission and practices and is developing a plan to implement immediate steps and define long-term goals for impactful and meaningful change. Further action steps will be shared widely this fall.

The first seven Artistic Instigator projects include:


Written and Performed by Denis O'Hare & Lisa Peterson

Performed in Four Parts:

Episode 1 - Rome & America: Joined at Birth, Tuesday September 22 at 7PM EDT

Episode 2 - Citizenship, Tuesday October 6 at 7PM EDT

Episode 3 - How Republics Fall Apart, Tuesday October 20 at 7PM EDT

Episode 4 - The Election, Monday November 2 at 7PM EDT


In this tumultuous moment for American democracy, playwrights Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson find it increasingly urgent to focus on what America can learn from the republic that inspired ours: the Roman Republic. This political entity lasted for nearly 500 years before it slid into an autocratic empire. As they dive deep into this history, O'Hare and Peterson expose their own process, demonstrating the difficulties around collaboration. They ask: is it possible to reach consensus? How can two points of view converge in a united vision? Can a democratic system sustain itself in a just way? Is there any way our republic can survive?

$10 tickets are available at or 212-460-5475. An encore pre-recorded showing of each live performance will be screened on the Sunday following each episode at 7pm EDT.

Working Title: The Talking Circles

Written and Performed by Martha Redbone & Aaron Whitby

Saturday October 3 - Work-in-Progress Sharing

Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby's vision is to create a song cycle that is set during the pandemic summers of 1920 and 2020 in New York City. In both time periods it's a day of protest. The worlds collapse into each other in songs and scenes from a variety of perspectives in reaction to the experiences of pandemics, systemic racism and battles for political self-determination. In the traditional culture of the Woodland American Indian nations, talking circles generate a continuum of hope where people are committed to helping each another and to each other's healing.

The Seagull On The Sims 4

Written by Anton Chekhov

Adapted and Performed by Celine Song

Tuesday October 27 and Wednesday October 28

"PLAY WITH LIFE: The Sims 4 is the life simulation game that gives you the power to create and control people. Experience the creativity, humor, escape, and the freedom to play with life in The Sims 4. " -Product Description from EA Games

"Twitch is the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers and the things we love. Watch and chat now with millions of other fans from around the world."

"The Seagull (Russian: ?????, romanized: Chayka) is a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. The Seagull is generally considered to be the first of his four major plays."

When it first premiered, The Seagull was a famous failure, the audience unfamiliar with ideas of subtext and subtlety that Chekhov was experimenting with and preferring the more conventional melodrama of the 19th century. It has gone on to become one of the most recognizable titles in Western drama. Artist Celine Song (playwright of Endlings) attempts to reenact the classic text on 21st century videogame Sims 4 via Twitch. Join us for a durational installation art piece that explores the newly emerging popular form of live-and interactive-performance.

Pinching Pennies With Penny Marshall: Death Rituals For Penny Marshall

Written by Victor I. Cazares

Directed by Borna Barzin

Featuring Jesús I. Valles

Late October 2020

America's unfolding trilogy of tragedy has a stopgap and its name is Penny Marshall. She doesn't want you to survive this pandemic. She wants you to thrive this pandemic.

Hi and welcome to Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall, an EXTREMELY limited series of financial advice Zoom webinars for OnlyFans content creators, InstaCart executives, and the cleaning staff of a clandestine TikTok Hype House McMansion.

Over the course of three episodes you will learn how to balance a pandemic budget, whether or not you qualify for Penny's sliding scale, and who to talk to if you need to escape the country.

Interwoven/intertwerked into these Master Classes is a cohesive overarching and affecting narrative about this person who is not and will never be Penny Marshall.

Episode 1: A Zoom Webinar Offering Financial Advice for OnlyFans Content Creators
Episode 2: Sliding Scales

Episode 3: Ambiguous Loss/Forgotten Passwords: How to Retrieve...

Trump Is Just The Name Of His Story

Written and Performed by Pulitzer Prize Winner Ayad Akhtar

TBD this Fall

Trump Is Just the Name of His Story is a new solo work from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced. As a playwright, Ayad Akhtar is the author of The Invisible Hand (NYTW; Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Olivier and Evening Standard nominations); The Who & The What (LCT3); Disgraced (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony nomination, Nestroy Award); and Junk (Lincoln Center, Broadway; 2018 Kennedy Prize for American Drama, Tony nomination). As a novelist, he is the author of American Dervish (Little, Brown & Co.) and the acclaimed Homeland Elegies, available now from Little, Brown & Co. Ayad is the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2017 Steinberg Playwriting Award, 2019 Erwin Piscator Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, The Sundance Institute, and Yaddo, where he serves as board director. He is the incoming president of PEN America and a trustee at New York Theatre Workshop.

The Cooking Project

Created by members of the Dominican Artists Collective*

Directed by Melissa Crespo

*Massiel Armengot, Sean Carvajal, Guadalís Del Carmen, Yohanna Florentino, Gineiris Garcia, Katherine George, Dilson Hernandez, Maribel Martinez, Andres Pina, Paola Alexandra Soto, Merlixse Ventura and Little Veras

Late November 2020

In the Fall of 2019, a small group of Dominican artists gathered in Washington Heights to envision a world where their stories would be honored and celebrated in mainstream media. With this goal in mind, the founders of the Dominican Artists Collective (DAC) have dedicated themselves to build a home for multidisciplinary Dominican artists which include actors, directors, writers, producers, visual artists, musicians, theater and film makers. The members of the group create original work that showcases the multidimensional facets of Dominican identity and culture both here in the states and in the Dominican Republic.

DAC members include Angie Abreu, Carlos Andrickson, Massiel Armengot, Sean Carvajal, Julissa Contreras, Zahaira Curiel, Guadalís Del Carmen, Cindy De La Cruz, Daniella De Jesús, Yohanna Florentino, Xavier Galva, Gineiris Garcia, Katherine George, Kelvin Grullon, Dilson Hernandez, Glenís Hunter, Maribel Martinez, Andres Pina, Mitchie Ramirez, Saso, Paola Alexandra Soto, Ed Ventura, Merlixse Ventura and Little Veras.

Conceived and Created by Theater Mitu

Directed by Rubén Polendo

November 2020

"War is inevitable - but there are miracles. Every day millions of people die, yet we live as if death will never touch us." -St. Vyasa, The Mahabharata

These words sit at the heart of one of the greatest epic poems-a meditation on war, death, and loss. Its core question is of a particular resonance: what should we fight for and why?

In an attempt to understand this exact question, Theater Mitu gathered hours of interviews with a range of communities worldwide: current and past members of military forces; citizens who have been directly affected by war; people diagnosed with terminal illness and their families; doctors, nurses, spiritual leaders, scholars, teachers, mental health professionals and artists. As they touch upon, come to the edge of, and often confront death, each interview becomes a portrait of what is left behind-a remnant.

In a time of seismic loss, where communities are prohibited from gathering en masse, Theater Mitu has reimagined the original live theatrical production of Remnant into an interactive digital experience titled . Engaging Theater Mitu's anti-disciplinary practice, where company members create and shape every aspect of the work, this piece will interject the interviews with found text, video/film, interactive web design and new media to create a unique online theatrical experience offering audiences an opportunity to gather virtually as a community. It will affirm how loss can scar us, shape us, and at times propel us towards change-towards understanding what we should fight for and why.

For tickets and more information about these projects and the Artistic Instigators, please visit

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