New York Theater Workshop Plans a Summer Reopening

One main Off Broadway establishment introduced its return to dwell performances on Tuesday when New York Theater Workshop unveiled its 2021-22 season, which is able to start in August and overwhelmingly characteristic tasks by girls and other people of coloration.

Among the 5 productions introduced is “Sanctuary City,” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Martyna Majok, which was eight preview performances into its run final March earlier than the pandemic introduced dwell theater to a standstill. That play, about two teenage kids of undocumented immigrants, might be directed by Rebecca Frecknall and is deliberate for September.

New York Theater Workshop additionally stated it had slated 4 exhibits up to now for 2022-23, together with a staging of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” that had initially been deliberate for 2020. Directed by Sam Gold and tailored by Clare Barron, its starry solid was set to incorporate Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, Steve Buscemi, Chris Messina, Lola Kirke and extra. The new ensemble hasn’t been introduced, however Jeremy Blocker, the theater’s managing director, stated in an interview that “the goal is to keep that incredible company together.”

Unveiling two seasons without delay — a “superseason,” as James C. Nicola, the theater’s inventive director, coined it in an interview — is a option to each “make a big noise” about coming again to the stage and to honor commitments made to artists earlier than the pandemic, he stated. But maybe most notably, it provides some respiratory room for his successor when Nicola steps down in June 2022 after main the theater for 34 years — a tenure that has included early runs of the acclaimed “Slave Play” and Tony Award-winning musicals like “Rent,” “Hadestown” and “Once.”

“I realized how, having done it for 30-something-odd years now, how personal this is — how personal it is to be in a conversation about work that’s still in the state of being imagined by an artist,” Nicola stated. “It’s going to be a really interesting challenge to not be a part of that for a while once I leave.”

The 2021-22 season is ready to open in August with Whitney White’s “Semblance,” which is being billed as a “filmed theatrical experience” on the notion of Black girls, offered each nearly and as an immersive set up. White, who final yr received an Obie Award for her path of “Our Dear Dead Drug Lord,” can even direct the world premiere of “On Sugarland,” written by the man Obie winner Aleshea Harris, in early 2022.

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This fall, Kristina Wong will construct on her streamed work “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord” for a new present about creating a do-it-yourself face-covering enterprise in the course of the pandemic. It might be directed by Chay Yew. And closing out the season is the musical “Dreaming Zenzile” — a world premiere based mostly on the lifetime of the South African musician and activist Miriam Makeba — written and carried out by the singer Somi Kakoma, and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz.

“What is emerging to me in that season ahead is the nature of community — the necessity, the compulsion, that we have as a species to gather,” Nicola stated. “To be a part of a family.”

Following “Three Sisters” in 2022 is “american (tele)visions,” a multimedia reminiscence play about an undocumented Mexican household, written by Victor I. Cazares and directed by Rubén Polendo. Liliana Padilla’s “How to Defend Yourself,” about a group of faculty college students channeling their feelings by a self-defense class after a fellow pupil is raped, will comply with. Padilla is ready to co-direct with Steph Paul and Rachel Chavkin, whose New York Theater Workshop credit embody the Off Broadway run of “Hadestown.”

That season’s remaining manufacturing, of these introduced up to now, is “The Half-God of Rainfall,” a modern delusion, written by Inua Ellams (“Barber Shop Chronicles”), about a hero who’s half Nigerian mortal and half Greek god.

Coronavirus security protocols may change, however for now the theater is planning to ask viewers members for proof of vaccination or a damaging Covid-19 take a look at, and to require that masks be worn in the home.

Performance schedules haven’t but been introduced, however when dwell exhibits return to New York Theater Workshop’s stage, workers within the trade who misplaced work in the course of the pandemic can have one much less monetary fear: Their tickets might be free.