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Soho Rep Announces 2022-23 Season Featuring Three World Premieres

The 2022-23 season begins with the return of Kate Tarker’s writing to Soho Rep, with Montag (October 12 - November 13, 2022), directed by Dustin Wills.

Soho Rep Announces 2022-23 Season Featuring Three World Premieres

Soho Rep today announced its 2022-23 season, consisting entirely of large-scale works by early-career artists that have been commissioned by the organization.

Soho Rep provides artists with an upfront commitment to production at the time of commissioning, as well as resources to develop their new plays through workshops over several years-leading to some of the company's most vibrant and successful productions, such as Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview and Anne Washburn's 10 out of 12.

The 2022-23 lineup features three projects that expand upon Soho Rep's history of creating monumental theatrical events in its intimate space at 46 Walker Street in downtown Manhattan: a large-cast bilingual family drama from Shayok Misha Chowdhury; a domestic thriller and sleep deprivation comedy by playwright Kate Tarker, with original music composed by Daniel Schlosberg; and a sonic feast and redemptive ceremony from Jillian Walker, featuring a company of eight.

Also this season, Soho Rep's acclaimed production of Hansol Jung's Wolf Play, directed by Dustin Wills, and in collaboration with Ma-Yi Theater Company, will run at MCC starting January 2023. The return engagement is an opportunity for more New York audiences to experience this innovative work after its sold-out, twice-extended premiere at Soho Rep last year, which The New York Times lauded as "thrilling...probing and playful." The New Yorker called Wolf Play "a smart, sweet, sad new play," noting that its "painful suspense hangs on whether [familial] structures-legal and loving-can withstand an external onslaught." Wolf Play tells a story of alienation, belonging, and the meaning of family in the contexts of queer parenting and international adoption. It joins previous Soho Rep premieres including Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's An Octoroon and Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview in transferring to larger off-Broadway theaters before going on to be seen across the country and internationally.

As its 2022-23 productions unfold, Soho Rep will simultaneously be fostering new artist relationships and work through its long-standing Writer Director Lab, a beacon in the city for formally inventive theater, supporting four projects created by collaborative teams and co-chaired by playwrights William Burke and Jackie Sibblies Drury-and through the continuation of Project Number One with two new artists stepping in as salaried employees: Hahnji Jang and Kate McGee.

Soho Rep Director Meropi Peponides says, "One of the great joys of working at Soho Rep is developing ongoing, meaningful relationships with artists over time through all of our programs. It's thrilling to be working with folks like Jenny Koons for the first time, and continuing to work in new ways with people like Misha Chowdhury, whom we first got to know through the Writer Director Lab, and who started writing Public Obscenities in the 2020-21 Project Number One cohort. Just as we work to provide a platform for transformation in the creative lives of the artists we serve, we're similarly changed by our time with these visionaries. I'm excited to see the ways in which these productions and having Kate McGee and Hahnji Jang on staff will change our theater."

Soho Rep Director Sarah Benson says, "When we commit to producing a commission upfront and provide space and time to develop the work, artists pursue their most audacious, personal questions and create plays that thrive in our idiosyncratic and intimate space. We hear over and over again that artists relish this holistic process, because they are able to truly experiment and innovate in both form and content. We're thrilled to be sharing three world premiere commissions this season."

The 2022-23 season begins with the return of Kate Tarker's wildly imaginative writing to Soho Rep, with Montag (October 12 - November 13, 2022), directed by Dustin Wills. Tarker's play centers on two best friends who are hiding in a basement apartment in a small German town outside of an American military base. Montag will also feature original music composed by Daniel Schlosberg, and is the result of a Soho Rep commission that included an upfront commitment to production, awarded immediately following the premiere of Tarker's Thunderbodies, directed by ​​Lileana Blain-Cruz, in 2018.

The season's second work is Shayok Misha Chowdhury's Public Obscenities (February 15 - March 26, 2023), co-commissioned and produced with the NAATCO National Partnership Project and arising from Chowdhury's time as one of eight artists in the inaugural cohort of Soho Rep's Project Number One. Through the program, originally created to address a pivotal moment for the American theater, amid COVID-19 closures and record unemployment in the field, the organization gave eight theater-makers staff positions. They received a full salary of $1,250 per week (on par with its administrative staffers) and benefits, to experiment and collaborate on new work, and to join Soho Rep in imagining a more sustainable, ethically sound, equitable theater. Public Obscenities, written and performed in both Bangla and English, explores the pleasures and pitfalls of living in translation as it follows a queer studies PhD student returning to his family home in Kolkata with his Black American boyfriend. The play will feature a cast of nine actors, eight of whom are Bengali.

Mia Katigbak, Co-Founder of NAATCO, says, "We began talking to Soho Rep about a partnership while the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP) was still in gestation, in 2016. We knew we wanted to work together on a co-commission, and Sarah explained that they liked to come together on a project organically, allowing all parties to land on something that naturally aligned with all of our sensibilities and excitements. That exact thing happened when, in 2020, Misha Chowdhury got in touch saying he'd been meaning to contact me after he read our announcement about the NNPP. His work embodies, in so many ways, the things I admire about Soho Rep's productions: the excavation and examination of potentially prickly matters in quite often unique theatrical ways that are always entertaining. Misha was already working with Soho Rep at the time and so everything aligned beautifully."

The season concludes with "imaginary historian" Jillian Walker's The Whitney Album (May 24 - July 2, 2023), a meditation on the artist's relationship to Whitney Houston's work and personal life, and perceptions of both in the American imagination. Walker was also one of the eight artists in the inaugural Project Number One cohort.

Soho Rep's 2022-23 Productions and Artists

Soho Rep presents

Montag


World Premiere Commission

By Kate Tarker

Directed by Dustin Wills

With Original Music by Daniel Schlosberg

October 12 - November 13, 2022

Don't. Panic. Stay. Calm. Everything in this room is a weapon or a shield.

Faith and Novella are best friends living in a small German town near an American military base. In Novella's basement apartment, they're practicing some unusual combat drills-armed with wine, potato chips, and the very best speakers they can afford.

Montag is a domestic thriller, a sleep deprivation comedy, and a rebellion celebration under threat of annihilation.

Kate Tarker is an American playwright who grew up in Germany. Her plays include Thunderbodies (Soho Rep), Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man (The Wilma, FoolsFURY), and Laura and the Sea (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, and Theater Masters' Visionary Playwright Award, and she has been featured twice on the Kilroys List. Kate has been in residence at Tofte Lake Center and SPACE at Ryder Farm, and twice at the MacDowell Colony. She is an alum of Ars Nova Play Group, New Georges Jam, and The Playwrights' Center Core Writer Program. Kate currently holds commissions from Soho Rep and Playwrights Horizons' Soundstage, and she recently published work in the McSweeney's anthology I Know What's Best For You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom, as well as in The Paris Review. MFA: Yale.

Dustin Wills directs theater and opera. Upcoming: John J. Caswell's Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons), Jeremy O Harris' A Boy's Company Presents: Tell Me If I'm Hurting You. Recent: Hansol Jung's Wolf Play (Soho Rep & Ma-Yi), Keith Reddin's Black Snow (Juilliard), Phillip Howze's Frontières Sans Frontières (Bushwick Starr-named a Top Ten Theatrical Production of 2017 by New York Magazine), Will Arbery's Plano (Paper Chairs, Austin TX), Casey Llewellyn's O, Earth (Foundry Theatre-Off-Broadway Alliance Best Play 2016), and a 2018 Baryshnikov Arts Center Residency. Wills has devised new work with Teatro L'Arciliuto in Rome, Italy, created large-scale puppetry pageants with Creative Action, trained with Augusto Boal in Theatre of the Oppressed legislative performance, and for a couple of years gave rogue tours of the Vatican. He is a Princess Grace Award recipient, as well as a Drama League and Boris Sagal directing fellow. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Daniel Schlosberg is a Brooklyn-based composer-pianist whose music has been performed by the Dover Quartet, Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Lorelei Ensemble, and at venues including Carnegie Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and David Lynch's Festival of Disruption. Daniel received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards. He has performed as a soloist in Anthony Roth Costanzo and Justin Vivian Bond's Only an Octave Apart with the New York Philharmonic, was the pianist for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, and has collaborated with Angel Blue, David Shifrin, and the Imani Winds. Daniel is Music Director of NYC's Heartbeat Opera, for which his radical arrangements of classic operas have garnered national acclaim. Current projects include The Extinctionist, a new opera for Heartbeat Opera, and composition and music direction for Jeremy O. Harris's A Boy's Company Presents. www.danschlosberg.com

Montag was commissioned with support from James Gleick & Cynthia Crossen. Montag is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The play was further developed with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Playwrights' Center.

Soho Rep and the NAATCO National Partnership Project present

Public Obscenities


World Premiere Commission

Written and Directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury

February 15 - March 26, 2023

When someone dies, we say they "become a picture." Chhobi hoye giyechhe.

Say it again?

Chhobi hoye giyechhe.

Choton relishes being the translator, toggling nimbly between Bangla and English, Grindr banter and academese. But when he returns to Kolkata with his boyfriend Raheem-to the house his grandfather disappeared from decades ago-an unexpected discovery leaves Choton at the limit of what language can touch.

Public Obscenities is a bilingual play from writer-director Shayok Misha Chowdhury about the things we see, the things we miss, and the things that turn us on.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a many-tentacled writer and director based in Brooklyn. Misha began writing Public Obscenities as an inaugural member of Soho Rep's Project Number One. Upcoming: Speech (Philly Fringe) with Lightning Rod Special. In process: Rheology (HERE Arts Center) with Bulbul Chakraborty. Recent: Brother, Brother (New York Theatre Workshop) with Aleshea Harris; Mukhagni (Under the Radar at The Public) with Kameron Neal; How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia (Joe's Pub) with Laura Grill Jaye. Misha and Laura were awarded a 2021 Jonathan Larson Grant for their body of work writing musicals together. Misha is also the creator of Vichitra, a series of sound-driven, cinematic experiments, including Englandbashi (Ann Arbor Film Festival), The Other Other (Ars Nova), In Order to Become (Bushwick Starr), and An Anthology of Queer Dreams (Third Coast Audio Unbound award finalist; Sound Scene @ the Hirshhorn). He was a collaborator on the Grammy-winning album Calling All Dawns and has received residencies and fellowships from Sundance, New York Stage and Film, NYSCA/NYFA, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Hermitage Artist Retreat, The Drama League, the Jerome Foundation, Mercury Store, BRIC, Fulbright, and Kundiman. Misha's poems have been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden's Ferry Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He is an alumnus of New York Theatre Workshop's 2050 Fellowship, The Public's Devised Theater Working Group, Ars Nova's Makers Lab, and Soho Rep's Writer Director Lab. MFA: Columbia.

Soho Rep presents

The Whitney Album

World Premiere Commission

By Jillian Walker

Directed byJenny Koons

May 24 - July 2, 2023

01 Sweat is the physical residue of labor.

02 Sweat is also guilt? Shame?

03 Unworthiness in the form of beads?

04 Sweat is hunger-deliberate and able to cool you down a bit, while you try to forget this world not made for you quite.

05 But the suffering ends

06 When dying isn't the end of the story

07 I think - I

08 think there is a story beyond.

09 And maybe Nippy knows that, too.

-THE WHITNEY ALBUM

Jillian Walker is a multidimensional artist, performer, trailblazer, and teacher making uncharted paths in the field of performance/theater/dramatic storytelling and in the realm of ancestral healing practice as a devoted shamanic student of the afro-indigenous tradition of Ubungoma. Her work breathes with, as, and through a dynamic process of bridging the gap between the ancestral and spiritual, the archival, the dramaturgical, and the artistic practice of Life as a divination. Guided by the teachings of her Ancestors, Jillian's extensive resume includes many "firsts" and inaugurals, breaking ceilings with her pen, and reflecting her joys and challenges as a servant of the ancient-future. Her work includes the award-winning play, Sarah's Salt., the uncategorizable award-winning Songs of Speculation, and her critically-acclaimed work(ing) and epic tribute to her Ancestors, SKiNFOLK: An American Show, forthcoming from 53rd State Press.

She has performed in basements, bars, open fields, numerous sanctuaries, and infamous venues such as Joe's Pub, Park Avenue Armory, Lenox Lounge, the middle of Times Square; and has had the honor of partnering with spaces such as Ars Nova (Maker's Lab), MTF (Makers), the Bushwick Starr and National Black Theater (SKiNFoLK) for the extensive development and producing of her work.

Jillian has shared her unique teachings and perspectives with students at Harvard University, The New School, The University of Michigan, Columbia University, The University of Washington, Brooklyn College, Wheaton College, Sarah Lawrence College, Fordham University, American University, and York College.

She is elated to flood newly-commissioned work onto the Soho Rep stage in the 2023 season.

Jenny Koons (she/her) is a director and organizer. Projects: Head Over Heels (Pasadena Playhouse), Hurricane Diane (Huntington Theatre), Now Becomes Then (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Men on Boats (Baltimore Center Stage), Speechless (New Blue Man Group North American Tour), The Tempest (The Juilliard School), Between Us: The Deck of Cards (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public Theater Mobile Unit), Burn All Night (American Repertory Theatre), Theatre for One: In This Moment (Pershing Square Signature Center), Gimme Shelter (Why Not Theatre, Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games commission), Theatre for One: I'm Not the Stranger You Think I Am (Arts Brookfield), A Sucker Emcee (National Black Theatre, LAByrinth Theater Company, SPKRBOX Festival, Norway), Queen of the Night (Diamond Horseshoe Nightclub, Drama Desk Award), and The Odyssey Project 2012 (site-specific NYC). Jenny was a 2021 Vision Resident at Ars Nova and has developed new work at Steppenwolf, Roundabout, and New Black Fest, among others. She was the 2017 curator of New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center Lobby Project, co-curator of the 2016 Toronto ThisGen Conference, and co-founder of Artists 4 Change NYC (National Black Theatre). She has been a facilitator and educator in creating anti-racist spaces and engaging in conversations around race and equity for over a decade, in both non-profit and artistic spaces. Jenny is a Lilly Award recipient and proud member of the SDC.

The Whitney Album was commissioned and developed with support from Jody Falco & Jeffrey Steinman and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. This production is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and The NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre by the City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in association with The New York Foundation for the Arts. Jillian Walker was the 2020-2021 Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Soho Rep.

2021-22 PROJECT NUMBER ONE ARTISTS

Hahnji Jang (they/them/형) is an activist-stylist and designer. Working primarily in theatrical costume design and personal styling, Hahnji utilizes their passion for fiber art techniques to upcycle garments, create protest clothing, and offer affordable styling outside the limiting gender and size binaries imposed by capitalism. They are on a continual journey to decolonize the closets of the individuals and institutions around them. They were recently featured in Refashion Week NYC 2022 and continue to collaborate with the Broadway Green Alliance to bring sustainable resources to theaters, including the recent production of Blush at Soho Rep. Their work can be viewed at hahnji.com.

Kate McGee (Lighting Designer) is a trans* theater designer, maker, baker, dramaturg, and human on planet earth. Her New York design work includes: Notes on Killing Seven Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Board Members (Soho Rep), My Lingerie Play (Rattlestick Playwright's Theater), The Hang (Here Arts). Infinite Love Party (Bushwick Starr), while you were partying (Soho Rep), A Hunger Artist (The Tank), Fame Notions (Performance Space New York), 50/50 old school animation (Under the Radar, The Public, Volks Theater, Munich), Early Plays (New York City Players/Wooster Group, Henry Hewes Award Nomination, with Aaron Deyo), Masculinity Max (The Public Theater), Sound House (New Georges), Kidnap Road (La MaMa). International Concert Tours: Emily's D+ Evolution World Tour for Esperanza Spalding. Regional Work: Life of Galileo (Playmaker's Rep), An Iliad (Long Wharf), Esai's Table (JAG Productions), A Tale of Two Cities (Trinity Rep), These Seven Sicknesses, An Acorn, and Neva (Brown, Trinity). She is a long term collaborator of Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey, as well as an associate artist of Sinking Ship Productions.

Leadership support for Project Number One is provided by the Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by Howard Gilman Foundation and Anonymous.

About Soho Rep

Soho Rep provides radical theater makers with productions of the highest caliber and tailor-made development at key junctures in their artistic practice. The organization elevates artists as thought leaders and citizens who change the field and society. Artistic autonomy is paramount at Soho Rep; the organization encourages an unmediated connection between artists and audiences to create a springboard for transformation and rich civic life beyond the walls of its theater.

Critics continue to herald Soho Rep as a go-to theatre destination for new and original works. New York Magazine says, "this indispensable theater offers more excitement per chair than any space in town," Time Out New York says, "Soho Rep is the best theater in NYC," and The New York Times describes Soho Rep as "form-twisting, boundary-breaking, and acclaimed" and says, "The downtown powerhouse... regularly outclasses the work done on many of the city's larger stages." The Village Voice named Soho Rep the "Best Off-Broadway Theater Company," and the company was listed in Travel Magazine's "10 Essential Off-Broadway Theaters."

Soho Rep has also been honored with a Drama Desk Award for Sustained Achievement. Over the last decade, Soho Rep productions have garnered 21 OBIE Awards; the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical; 13 Drama Desk nominations; two Kesselring Awards; The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award for Dan LeFranc's Sixty Miles To Silverlake; and a special citation in The New York Drama Critics' Circle's 2012-13 awards. Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview, commissioned by Soho Rep and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In recent years, Soho Rep has presented plays by established and emerging theater artists such as David Adjmi, Annie Baker, Alice Birch, Debbie Tucker Green, Aleshea Harris, Lucas Hnath, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Daniel Alexander Jones, Richard Maxwell, Sarah Kane, Young Jean Lee, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and Anne Washburn.

Soho Rep is led by Directors Sarah Benson, Cynthia Flowers, and Meropi Peponides.



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