JACK Unveils Fall 2017 Season of Key Experimenting Artists in Theater, Dance & Music

JACK Unveils Fall 2017 Season of Key Experimenting Artists in Theater, Dance & Music

Recognized by The Village Voice as "Best Scrappy Brooklyn Theater" in their Best of 2016 issue, JACK presents a flurry of some of today's key experimenting artists in theater, dance and music, with new work by playwrights Virginia Grise, Azure Osborne-Lee, nicHi douglas, Karma Mayetand Justin Kuritzkes, by choreographer Nicole Bindler, and by composer Justin Hicks with director Charlotte Brathwaite.

The season also features contributions to JACK's year-long series, Reparations365, including work by Oye Group and RAKIA!, as well as Mamet Talkbacks, a discussion series moderated by Jeremy Barker.

The full season can be viewed at www.jackny.org.


Asshole, by Justin Kuritzkes: Aug. 31 - Sept. 15

Oye Group: OYE! Avant-Garde Night: Sept. 21 - 24

Your Healing is Killing Me: A Performance Manifesto, by Virginia Grise: Oct. 5 - 7

Nicole Bindler: The Case for Invagination: Oct. 13 - 14

Black Girl Magic Show!, by nicHi douglas: Oct. 19 - 28

690 wishes in concert, by Justin Hicks and The HawtPlates with Charlotte Brathwaite: Nov. 1 - 3

Glass, by Azure D. Osborne-Lee: Nov. 9 - 11

Race Card, by Karma Mayet: Dec. 1 - 17


Mamet Talkbacks
Moderated by Jeremy Barker
Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 5

Oye Group: Avant Garde Night | Sept. 21 - 24
Alicia Hall Moran and Ajamu Kojo - Black Wall Street | Sept. 29
RAKIA!: myeyesdontcrynomore | Nov. 4
Plus more to be announced


By Justin Kuritzkes
Directed & designed by Knud Adams
August 31 - September 15, 2017

ASSHOLE is a bracing new play by Justin Kuritzkes about a doctor who works for the government and likes the smell of his own asshole. He has a patient whom he can't seem to get out of his mind. In fact, he finds her continued presence to be a little...disturbing. Directed and designed by Knud Adams, this world premiere features Polly Lee and Ikechukwu Ufomadu.

Thursday, Aug. 31, at 8 pm
Friday, Sept. 1 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 7 at 8 pm
Friday, Sept. 8 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 9 at 8 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 pm
Friday, Sept. 15 at 8 pm

Tickets: $18

Justin Kuritzkes (Playwright) Kuritzkes' play The Sensuality Party was produced by The New Group in the spring of 2016. His short plays If...Then... and War of Attrition were produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 2014 Humana Festival. Justin was a member of Ars Nova's 2014-2015 Play Group, and he has been awarded residencies from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and SPACE on Ryder Farm, where he was a member of the inaugural writers group: The Working Farm. Justin was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York.

Knud Adams (Director & Designer) recently directed Celine Song's Tom & Eliza (JACK), Julia Jarcho's Every Angel is Brutal (Clubbed Thumb), Eliza Bent's On a Clear Day I Can See to Elba (The New Ohio), Max Posner's Snore (Juilliard), Carl Holder's An Intimate Evening with Typhoid Mary (The New Ohio), and, currently, Torrey Townsend's The Workshop (with softFocus, starring Austin Pendleton). Previously, he assistant directed for some of the nation's foremost artists, including André Gregory, Elizabeth LeCompte, Richard Foreman, Sam Gold, Sarah Benson, and Rachel Chavkin. Knud was Drama League Directing Fellow, a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident. www.knudadams.com

Oye Group presents:
OYE! Avant-Garde Night
September 21 - 24, 2017
Part of JACK's year-long series, Reparations365

The multi-disciplinary performance collective Oye Group (formerly Brooklyn Gypsies) returns to JACK with OYE! Avant-Garde Night, their annual festival curated by Modesto Flako Jimenezand devoted to the development of new performances by artists from Bushwick and surrounding areas. Join Oye Group for a night of eclectic theater, dance and film, with performances followed by music, conversation, food and dancing. This year's artists will use the theme of reparations as a jumping-off point (as part of JACK's year-long Reparations365 series) and will feature work by actors Deidrea Hamid and Tony Harris, writer & filmmaker Chelsea Harrison, Jerry Aquinoand dancer/choreographer Beth Graczyk, among others.

Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8 pm
Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 24 at 6 pm

Tickets: $18 advance, $20 door

Oye Group (formerly Brooklyn Gypsies) is an artist collective made up of New Yorkers both native and immigrant to the city. They present annual showcases of new work in theater, dance, poetry and film that spark dialogue on critical issues such as immigration, gentrification, economics, and urban survival, curating a mix of established and emerging artists and giving them a platform to share their art in a stimulating environment. Their work has been presented at JACK, The Bushwick Starr, The Performing Garage and elsewhere. Oye Group is a playground to celebrate what is unique about New York City's eclectic and converging art communities.

Your Healing is Killing Me: A Performance Manifesto
By Virginia Grise
October 5 - 7, 2017

Based on lessons learned in San Antonio free health clinics and New York acupuncture schools and from the treatments and consejos of curanderas, abortion doctors, Marxist artists, and bourgie dermatologists, Your Healing is Killing Me is a reflection by writer/performer Virginia Grise (blu) on living with post-traumatic stress disorder, ansia, and eczema in the new age of trigger warnings, the master cleanse, and kickstarter funded self-care. Because Capitalism is toxic but The Revolution is not in your body butter.

Thursday, Oct. 5 at 8 pm
Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 pm

Tickets: $15

Virginia Grise (Playwright/Performer) is a recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, Princess Grace Award in Theater Directing, and the Yale Drama Series Award. Her published work includes Your Healing is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), The Panza Monologues (University of Texas Press), and blu (Yale University Press). She earned her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and currently lives in the Bronx.

Emily Mendelsohn (Director) is a Brooklyn-based theater director interested in small acts of mysticism. With an ensemble of artists from East Africa and the US, she directed Deborah Asiimwe's Cooking Oil and Erik Ehn's Maria Kizito. She has also collaborated with Pearldamour, Caridad Svich, Virginia Grise, Kristina Wong and Katori Hall. She is a recipient of TCG's Global Connection In the Lab program, a Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs grant, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Uganda. MFA CalArts. Core member Theater Without Borders/ Climate Lens.

Nicole Bindler:
The Case for Invagination
October 13 - 14, 2017

The Case for Invagination is a feminist reimagining of space by dance artist Nicole Bindler, who made her JACK debut in 2015 with The Dance Apocalypse/Solos. Propelling Bindler in the creation of this new piece is an exploration of being "invaginated" by space as opposed to penetrating space. She wonders if, instead of individuals inserting themselves into the world with all of their ambitions and fear, they could allow the world to draw them into it. Bindler's resulting dance is a practice of swelling up, cleaving, and complexifying through infinite folds.

Friday, Oct. 13 at 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8 pm

Tickets: $15

Nicole Bindler (Creator & Performer) is a body-based performing artist whose work has been shown throughout the U.S., Canada, Argentina, and in Berlin, Tokyo, Beirut, Bethlehem, Mexico City, and Quito. Her dances have been supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Leeway Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Ellen Foreman Memorial Award. She has taught Improvisation, Somatics, and Yoga in the Dance departments at Temple University and University of the Arts, and in the theater department at the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing has been published in Critical Correspondence, Contact Quarterly, "Emergency Index" by Ugly Duckling Presse, Jewish Currents, BMC® Currents, Curate This, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, and thINKingDANCE. Bindler is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Artist Council and the Founder & Director of The Institute for Somatics and Social Justice. www.nicolebindler.com, www.somaticsandsocialjustice.org

Black Girl Magic Show!
By nicHi douglas
October 19 - 28, 2017

Black Girl Magic Show! is an absurdist dance theatre lecture on Black female identity. Utilizing African Diasporan histories, Black feminist theory, and a lot of stuff nicHi douglas made up, BGMS attempts to unpack, re-pack, and de-pack the Black female experience in America as witnessed by one Black woman - The Professor. As the audience follows The Professor, they discover what might happen if the one Black girl without "Black Girl Magic" takes matters into her own hands. Before the show ends, the audience experiences a TED-type talk, modern dance, a magic routine, and a concert, often simultaneously. And they probably see at least 20 wigs.

Thursday, Oct. 19 at 8 pm
Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8 pm
Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3 pm
Thursday, Oct. 26 at 8 pm
Friday, Oct. 27 at 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 28 at 8 pm

Tickets: $18

nicHi douglas (Playwright, Choreographer, Director) has performed all over New York and the country as an actor/dancer in the freelance capacity, in addition to performing nationally with The Dance Cartel and literacy-focused children's theatre company The Story Pirates. She currently teaches Movement and Choreography in the NYU: Tisch Drama Department - Playwright's Horizon Theatre School studio. Recent stage credits include PharmaBro: An American Douchical (The Players Theatre, Choreographer), Runaways (NY City Center, Associate Choreographer), Blue Plate Special (Ars Nova ANT Fest, Choreographer) and The Dance Cartel: ONTHEFLOOR (A.R.T./Oberon, Principal Dancer). B.F.A. NYU; M.F.A. The New School.

690 wishes in concert
By Justin Hicks and The HawtPlates with Charlotte Brathwaite
November 1 - 3, 2017

"690 wishes in concert" is an evening of song rooted in a developing project by the musical trio The Hawtplates (Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller Hicks, Jade Hicks) with co-creator and director Charlotte Brathwaite. The project features a cycle of vocal meditations on ownership and the American dream set in a single house under numerous households, inspired by Toni Morrison's novel Home, and the experimental writing of French author Georges Perec. The music speaks with voices from a myriad of lifetimes in an urban dwelling - a fragmented libretto of ancient songs, shifting murmurs, calls, shouts, stomps and whispers. Studies of characters from children's stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and an episode of The Twilight Zone unpack the subtle radicalized under-breath utterances of a community in flux - the inherited language and layered vocabularies of gentrification and conversations on progress.

Created and composed by The Hawtplates (Justin Hicks, Jade Hicks, Kenita Miller)
Co-created with and directed by Charlotte Brathwaite
Performed by The Hawtplates (Justin Hicks, Jade Hicks, Kenita Miller)

Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 8 pm
Thursday, Nov. 2 at 8 pm
Friday, Nov. 3 at 8 pm

Tickets: $15

Composer/performer Justin Hicks and director Charlotte Brathwaite met in 2011 while collaborating on an original dance/installation work. Since that time, their many collaborative efforts have lead them to create original music performance works for institutions such as JACK, 651 Arts, La MaMa, PS122, Harlem Stage, The Contemporary (Baltimore), Joe's Pub, Labyrinth Theater, Under the Radar Festival, Wow Festival (San Diego), Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati), Labyrinth Theater, BRIC Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney. Their list of core collaborators include musical legend Meshell Ndegeocello (The Gospel of James Baldwin), visual artist Abigail DeVille (Prophetika: an oratorio), choreographer Jennifer Harrison Newman (The Geneva Project), writer/performer Ayesha Jordan (Shasta Geaux Pop), as well as lighting designers Kent Barrett and Tuce Yasak among others. Critics have described these works as "a fierce tide of feeling - rage and despair, love and hope and exaltation... an almost indefinable work of music theater ..." (Can I get a Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin, New York Times Critics' Pick) and "...conceptual yet viscerally powerful..." (Obie Award-winning Prophetika: an Oratorio, The Wall Street Journal). For more information look to www.charlottebrathwaite.com.

Developed in part through a Performance Space 122 Ramp 2017 residency with commissioning support from the Jerome Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and The New York State Legislature, and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 pm
Part of JACK's year-long series, Reparation365
A Sarah Donnelly Production

In myeyesdontcrynomore, the performance collective RAKIA!, led by choreographer and dancer Rakia Seaborn, inverts playground routines into the language with which a trio of dancers communicates with the black women who died too soon. This highly-stylized immortality ritual hearkens back to a care-free time of middle school talent shows, Blue Magic hair grease & "CrazySexyCool." Part of JACK's year-long Reparations365 series, myeyesdontcrynomorepositions reparations as freedom from a never-ending fear of another black death. What if there was something else? Endless life, endless joy.

Tickets: $15

Rakia Seaborn (Choreographer) A native of Detroit, Seaborn is a choreographer and performer whose work has appeared at Dixon Place, La MaMa, The Tank, AUNTS, The Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre, JACK and Brooklyn Studios for Dance. She makes dances about women through a literary lens, to rewrite history, redefine the present and offer images of a more just future. Seaborn has worked with Dianne McIntyre, Rashaun Mitchell, Jodi Melnick, Michael Cross Burke, Tyler Ashley, and PMMDC. She is currently a Guest-Artist-In-Residence at Trinity/La MaMa. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2007, earning a Bachelors of Art in Dance with a concentration in Choreography, and in 2014, she gained an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College.

By Azure D. Osborne-Lee
November 9 - 11, 2017

Glass is an evening-length fantasia by playwright Azure Osborne-Lee that conjures a creation myth in which the gods of Life and Death wrestle for control of their world, trampling anyone who gets in their way. During their reign of terror, a woman refuses to bend to their will, and is forced to kill her own children. She retreats from the world to recover from her trauma, but she can't stay hidden forever. Will she find the courage to stand up to her gods? In inventing this world, Osborne-Lee offers new imaginings of Anansi the Spider, Brer Rabbit, and other iconic black characters.
Featuring: Suzanne Darrell, Kevin R. Free, Lori E. Parquet, Alicia Raquel, T Thompson, Jak Watson, and others. Design by Miki Foster.
Thursday, Nov. 9 at 8 pm
Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 pm
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8 pm

Tickets: $18
Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Playwright) is a black queer theatre maker from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as a Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting (2015 & 2016) and a Lambda Literary Writer-in-Residence (2017). This past spring, Azure's full-length play "Crooked Parts" was presented at Cherry Lane Theatre as part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. www.azureosbornelee.com.

Race Card
By Karma Mayet
December 1 - 17
Playwright/performer Karma Mayet shares stories of America's tortured relationship to race - both personal and historical - set within the frame of a game of Bid Whist with the audience. With a winning card guiding the choice of story, on any given night she may summon her own experiences moving from Chicago to an all-white town in Illinois, widening to passed-down tales of the Great Migration and the Pullman Porters, smack up against her own current experiences navigating New York microagressions. In this participatory piece, Mayet creates a wonderland of playful intellect, inhabited by humor that bites and characters that speak in twisted tongues. Race Card unpacks the musty traveling papers stuffed into the 21st century's history bags, and rifles through the audience's very own drawers as well, calling on them to join the fray of stage play with both cued and improvised live-ness at every turn.
Thursday, Dec. 1 at 8 pm
Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 pm
Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8 pm
Thursday, Dec. 8 at 8 pm
Friday, Dec. 9 at 8 pm
Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 pm
Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8 pm
Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 pm
Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 pm

TICKETS: $18 advanced, $20 door

Karma Mayet is an actor, vocalist and composer who has performed across the U.S. and internationally. In the New York Theater, she's appeared extensively Off Broadway, on stages including The Public Theater, New Dramatists and The Joyce. Karma is composer/librettist of Indigo, a Blues opera. She's taught improvisation as a transformative tool in community advocacy for 20 years, and has worked with artists including Meshell Ndegeocello, Bill T. Jones and The Roots.

Mamet Talkbacks
Moderated by Jeremy M. Barker

Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7 pm
Sunday, Oct. 15 at 7 pm
Sunday, Nov. 5 at 7 pm

Rarely has the lowly and much-maligned post-show talkback received as much attention as it has since it was revealed that David Mamet was prohibiting them during productions of his plays. Inspired by Mr. Mamet's decision while honoring his prohibition, in this series of public discussions critic and journalist Jeremy M. Barker will bring together diverse practitioners to explore issues raised by Mr. Mamet's long career through their own experiences. While specific topics and participants will be announced in advance of the event, each will explore artists' powers, limitations, and challenges in defining the experience of their works. Please note that these events are not associated with any productions of Mr. Mamet's work, current or otherwise, and are open and accessible to all without regard to their knowledge or experience of his, or any participating artist's, work.

Reparations365: From Memory To Movement

Reparations365 is JACK's year-long series of performances, workshops and discussions around the topic of distributive justice for Black Americans. Launched in February 2017, the series consists of over 20 public offerings featuring a convergence of scholars, artists and activists. Our fall offerings in the series include:
Oye Group: Avant Garde Night | Sept. 21 - 24
Alicia Hall Moran and Ajamu Kojo - Black Wall Street | Sept. 29
RAKIA!: myeyesdontcrynomore | Nov. 4
Plus more to be announced

JACK's season is made possible by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, by The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and The New York State Legislature, M & T Charitable Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, the Mental Insight Foundation and The Lida Foundation.

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