HERE Announces 2019-2020 Season Of Boundary Pushing Performance

HERE has announced its 2019-2020 season, which marks the OBIE-winning institution's 27th year of producing daring new hybrid performances by artists from all disciplines - theatre, opera, music, art, dance, puppetry, and media art.

The season opens with the world premiere of Looking at You (September 6-21) created by composer Kamala Sankaram, librettist Rob Handel, and director Kristin Marting, an immersive techno-noir opera that confronts the issue of privacy and surveillance capitalism in our digitized society. Co-produced with Opera on Tap in association with Experiments in Opera, Looking at You fuses Casablanca and Edward Snowden in a delightfully nerdy romance, driven by a dynamic multi-genre score and cutting-edge technology.

Developed through the nationally-recognized HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), Zoey Martinson's The Black History Museum...According to the United States of America (November 1-24) will transform HERE's entire building - hallways and dressing rooms included - into a theatrical museum. This darkly comedic durational performance installation examines how Black history is presented in schools and in the media, while exploring the economic marginalization of Black communities, the dehumanization of African Americans in the media, and the value placed upon Black bodies in society.

On December 2-3, HERE presents a Winter Puppet Parlor featuring festive new works by Peekaboo Pointe, Admiral Grey, and Ty Defoe. Puppets and performers of varying shapes and sizes take the HERE stage for this annual treat.

The seventh annual PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival returns with more daring new operas and music-theatre works at HERE and venues throughout New York City from January 9-18.

HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, which showcases beautifully produced, new works-in-development by HERE's resident artists - will take place February 24 - March 1.

Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting says, "Inspired by the strength of our artists' visions, HERE's 2019-2020 season features a dynamic mix of HERE-produced works including a techno-noir opera and a disturbing and funny immersive experience, groundbreaking presentations from around the world, and new productions by our trusted friends."

HERE is located at 145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street. Memberships and single tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 212-647-0202 or by visiting In person sales at the box office after 5pm only on performance days and two hours prior to curtain for matinees. For Group Sales, contact Memberships start as low as $100 for four flexible tickets and complimentary wine, with additional benefits offered at other levels. Single tickets can be purchased for as low as $15 for all preview performances. Students and seniors can access free tickets on a rush basis, subject to availability for each performance, and must be redeemed at the box office.

Additional details on the 2019-2020 season can be found below.

HERE's 2019-2020 SEASON

HERE and Opera on Tap in association with Experiments in Opera present
Looking at You (world premiere)

Composed by Kamala Sankaram

Libretto by Rob Handel

Directed by Kristin Marting

September 6-21

Looking at You is an immersive techno-noir opera by Kamala Sankaram, Rob Handel and HERE Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting, confronting the issue of privacy and surveillance capitalism in our digitized society. This highly charged narrative is a story of love and espionage fusing Edward Snowden with Casablanca, driven by a dynamic score for three saxophones, piano, and electronics inspired by dance music, crime jazz, and operatic arias. Set inside a corporate headquarters and responding to the audience in real time, it lays bare urgent questions of our time.

Praised as "strikingly original" (New York Times), and a "new voice from whom we will surely be hearing more" (Los Angeles Times), Kamala Sankaram (composer) has received commissions from Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, the PROTOTYPE Festival, Opera on Tap, and Opera Memphis, among others. She is the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Award from the American Theater Wing, and has received grants from Opera America, the NEA, and the MAP Fund. Thumbprint, her second opera, premiered in the 2014 PROTOTYPE Festival, and was featured on NPR, and in over 25 media outlets around the world. Her collaboration with Rob Handel of Bombay Rickey, premiered at the 2016 PROTOTYPE Festival. Sankaram is working with Opera on Tap and librettist Jerre Dye on The Parksville Murders, the first opera written for virtual reality. Episode 1 is available on SamsungVR. She is a newly appointed co-artistic director of Experiments in Opera.

Rob Handel (librettist) is a librettist and playwright. Past collaborations with Kamala Sankaram include Enchantress (American Lyric Theatre, Opera Ithaca) and Bombay Rickey (Meets the Psychology of Desire) (PROTOTYPE Festival at HERE, Te?te a? Te?te in London). The Artwork of the Future, with composer Eric Moe, was developed at New Dramatists, where Handel was a resident playwright from 2008-2015. His plays include Millicent Scowlworthy, Aphrodisiac, A Maze, and I Want to Destroy You. Handel heads the dramatic writing program at Carnegie Mellon University, served on the board of the MacDowell Colony, and was a founding member of 13P.

Kristin Marting (director) is a director of hybrid work based in New York City. Over the last 25 years, she has constructed 28 stage works, including 9 original hybrid works, 5 opera-theatre and music-theatre works, 9 re-imaginings of novels and 5 classic plays. Marting has directed 19 works at HERE (where she is Founding Artistic Director) and also premiered works at BAM, Baruch, National Sawdust, 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Her work has toured to 7 Stages, Berkshire Festival, Brown, New World, UMass, Moscow Art Theatre, London and Oslo. She has directed readings and workshops for FIAF, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, and others. Residencies include Cal Arts, LMCC, MASS MOCA, NACL, Orchard Project, Playwrights Center, and Voice&Vision. Marting was named a Person of the Decade for outstanding contribution, a Woman to Watch by ArtTable and honored with a BAX10 Award. She also a Co-Founding Director of PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now.

HERE and Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative present
The Black History Museum...According to the United States of America (world premiere)
Created by Zoey Martinson

November 1-24

Part installation, part durational performance, and completely mesmerizing, The Black History Museum...According to the United States of America invites audiences to experience brave, inclusive narratives about the creation of America, and its re-telling in our schools, media, and communities. Zoey Martinson, in collaboration with Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative, will be transforming HERE's entire space - dressing rooms, hallways, lounge, sidewalk space outdoors, theatre spaces - into The Black History Museum... for audiences of all backgrounds to experience representations of life as a Black American throughout history. Martinson, along with collaborators Avi Amon, Kareem Lucas, Abdul Latif Rasheed, BMike Odums, Shariffa Ali, Ari Fulton, Arminda Thomas, D'Vaughn Agu and Brittney Bland, creates an immersive theatrical experience that traces the notion of 'Blackness' in America in ways that have not been done before. Starting with the founding of this country and traveling through modern day, this form-defying performance project explores economic marginalization of Black communities, the dehumanization of African Americans in the media, and the value placed upon Black bodies in society, in its world premiere at HERE.

Zoey Martinson has worked at the crossroads of arts and advocacy for over ten years. She founded Bright Future Arts International in Ghana West Africa after working as a teacher and humanitarian aid worker at the Liberian refugee camp in Ghana with children who had been recruited as soldiers in the war. She continued her work in London with children of Tibetan Refugees, in South Africa at the community organization Afrika Tikkun, Theater in the Muz, and NYC with All Stars Project and Boys and Girls high school in Brooklyn. Martinson has directed theatre in Ghana, South Africa, Berlin Germany, New York City, and Los Angeles and is the co-founding artistic director of Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative and the recipient of 2013/14 Artistic Mentor Fellowship at Lincoln Center through the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. As a writer her play OLITYELWE (Formally known as Ndebele Funeral) won the Overall Excellence Award for Best Play in the NYCFringe Festival, then went on to run off broadway 59E59 Theaters, South Africa, and Summerhall's Main Hall at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. Her work has been nominated for Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and she has been featured on BBC World Service.

Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative is a nonprofit production company that creates original works for theater and the web that combine socially relevant themes with an ambitious, multi-disciplinary approach to storytelling. The company's intent is to give voice to unfamiliar and underrepresented stories in the most relatable, entertaining, and idiosyncratic way possible while challenging the audience's assumptions about the world around them. They have produced theater Off-Broadway, festivals, internationally, and media for the web. Their work is created through extensive research and partnerships with their community, artists of all mediums and backgrounds, and other nonprofit advocacy institutions.

Winter Puppet Parlor
December 2-3

An annual celebration of puppets and the people who wield them, in time for the wonders of winter, brought together by HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program (Basil Twist, Artistic Director; Barbara Busackino, Producer). This year's festivities include performances by burlesque performer Peekaboo Pointe, multidisciplinary artist Admiral Grey, and performance artist Ty Defoe.

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now
January 9-18

The eighth season of PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now, BMP and HERE's annual festival full of trailblazing new opera-theatre and music-theatre projects, showcases an exceptional array of multi-disciplinary artists. This season presents projects by 23 composers and librettists and well over 100 collaborators from black-box chamber opera to multi-media rock concerts.

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now is a co-production of HERE and Beth Morrison Projects.


February 24 - March 1

CULTUREMART is the annual festival for the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), where process becomes the focus. Beautifully produced, yet still in development, CULTUREMART provides a platform for our current Resident Artists to blur the boundaries between dance, theatre, puppetry, music, new media, and visual art, melding these forms to support their adventurous visions.


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.

In addition to the 2019-2020 season world premiere by resident artists Zoey Martinson, projects currently in development in HARP include:

Composer/singer 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. 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.

Writer/director Gisela Cardenas' Hybrid Suite No. 2: The Carmen Variations, a devised theater opera inspired by Bizet's Carmen. Mixing opera, text, and movement, this project seeks to cross time and geographical borders to understand the potentially different faces Carmen might possess.

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.

Choreographer Raja Feather Kelly's The McCarthy Era (Working Title), a dance-theatre production that addresses the status of the artist in the McCarthy era, showing the ways in which, through a brutally effective mechanism, artists were directed to disengage from issues facing the real world.

Puppetry artists Spencer Lott and Maiko Kikuchi's 9000 Paper Balloons, a new work of puppet theater about the mother and five children, who were killed by a bomb carried by a giant paper balloon launched from the Japanese coast in 1945, the only enemy inflicted casualty on the U.S. mainland during WWII.

Writer/director/hip-hop artist Baba Israel's Cannabis! (Working Title), a live multimedia performance telling the history of cannabis and tracing its impact on humanity by creating an "up on your feet" musical concert with spoken word, video, and immersive theatre.

In Minor Theater's Marie It's Time, the company wants to plunge headfirst into the misogyny at the heart of modern drama. Using a wild retranslation of Georg Büchner's Woyzeck as a point of entry, Minor Theater's Julia Jarcho and Ben Williams will collaborate on original music and sound composition to underscore this classic story of lust and murder-and to interrupt it.

Composer/singer Imani Uzuri's Songs of Sanctuary for the Black Madonna, a 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.

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.

Taylor Mac has been HERE's resident playwright since 2016 and is currently working on The Apology, an adaptation of The Apology of Socrates and Satie's Socrate. This new play is part of Mac's continued quest in navigating the evil forces of the world with beauty and contemplation.

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, is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines-theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art.

Standout productions include Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, 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, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge, Kamala Sankaram's Miranda and Robin Frohardt's The Pigeoning, and original works by Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting, among many others. In 2008, following an extensive renovation, HERE re-opened the doors to its long-time downtown home for the arts, where it continues as a vibrant, welcoming haven for artists and audiences alike.|

The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's signature development and producing program since 1999. HARP commissions, develops and premieres new hybrid performances. Productions developed at HERE challenge existing boundaries between disciplines -- theater, dance, music, opera, puppetry, media, visual arts, installation, spoken word and more. Through HARP, the Resident Artists are given the unique opportunity to develop their projects for up to three years through free works-in-progress showings, workshop presentations in HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, culminating in full-scale productions.

Each season, HERE premieres several of these Resident Artist productions as mainstage works. These innovative projects are grown in a diverse artistic community where artists receive career development resources and hands-on training. HARP has been widely recognized as a unique model for artistic development for the field to emulate. In honoring HERE with the 2009 Ross Wetzsteon Award, the OBIE Committee noted, "it's become increasingly hard for artists to find a place to take risks, a safe haven where they can develop daring new work. One theater has regularly bucked the trend, making its mission to ensure that artists have a home for their research and development, and that theatregoers can sample the exciting results."

HERE proudly hosts adventurous artists, companies and productions, whether emerging or acclaimed, through its SubletSeries. It also presents work from New York, across the country, and around the globe through the Dream Music Puppetry Program (co-curated with Basil Twist), and the widely acclaimed PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival of opera-theater and music-theater, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects.

HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program, under the artistic direction of Basil Twist, with producing direction from HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, is one of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary adult puppet works, particularly works that feature live music as a collaborative element. Dream Music seeks to secure the future of puppetry by providing increased development and performance opportunities to puppet artists, and by collaborating with artists from other disciplines to develop new puppetry techniques. This program was inaugurated with the premiere of Basil Twist's OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998 and the opening of the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, an intimate space created specifically for intimate puppetry. HERE's Dream Music is also proud to house the Griff Williams Puppetry Collection. The 6 antique marionettes of Harry James, Griff Williams, Cab Calloway, Arturo Toscannini, Ted Lewis and Paul Whiteman were all performed with The Griff Williams Orchestra in the 1930s & 40s throughout America's big band era. They have a permanent home outside the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre at HERE.

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