NEW YORK: The Performing Garage has announced Kaneza Schaal: Towards a New Collectivity, a partnership with the theatremaker in which Schaal will invite a group of artists to develop work at the Performing Garage with the long-term goal of creating a new creative ecosystem. The group of five artists who will work with the Performing Garage in July and August are Ian Askew, Kenita Miller, Clarissa Marie Ligon, Kamal Nassif, and Cheyanne Williams.
“One thing more true of theatre than any other art form is we cannot do it alone. We create from collectivity and give unto collectivity,” said Schaal in a statement. “This venture with the Performing Garage is an investment in the ecosystems of thought, generosity, and care, through which I make art.”
The partnership is designed to support a new generation of independent artists to explore their practices and create community outside an institutional paradigm. The artists will receive a stipend and have full use of the Performing Garage. The partnership has two years of lead support from the Jerome Foundation.
Schaal is a New York-based artist working in theatre, opera, and film, and is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and Herb Alpert Award winner. Her newest original work, KLII, was co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center in partnership with the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and REDCAT. Her work has been produced throughout the U.S., Rwanda, Egypt, and the U.K. Schaal’s upcoming projects include BLUE at the Michigan Opera Theatre.
Ian Askew is an artist working in performance, theatre, and music whose research concerns historical absurdities, manufactured scarcities, and contrary negritudes. Askew will continue to explore Black punk in their project SLAMDANCE at the Performing Garage after it began in residency at Arts @ 29 Garden at Harvard University. A video component, SLAMDANCE TV, will premiere with the Kitchen online this year. Askew’s essays and poetry have been published by Aperture online, the PhotoBook Review, and in the anthology To Make Their Own Way in the World.
Clarissa Marie Ligon is a stage manager, performer, and director whose recent production work includes Dana H. at the Vineyard Theatre; JACK & at BAM Fisher; Longing Lasts Longer at St. Ann’s Warehouse; and Cruel Intentions The Musical at le Poisson Rouge, among others.
Kenita Miller is a Drama Desk Award-winning actor and vocalist who has performed on Broadway in The Color Purple, Xanadu, Once on This Island, and Come From Away. She is a member of the band the Hawtplates, and her regional work includes an AUDELCO Award-winning portrayal of author Zora Neale Hurston in Langston in Harlem at Urban Stages Theater.
Kamal Nassif is a first generation Lebanese American queer artist whose practice examines identity and shame as a reciprocating system. Her work has been exhibited at We Buy Gold in Brooklyn and her design work has appeared in productions at BAM, New York Live Arts, the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, and in music videos. Nassif has managed and facilitated International art fabrication for artists in Vietnam, Egypt, Slovenia, Turkey, and Abu Dhabi.
Cheyanne Williams is a New York-based theatre artist who has worked as an actor, technical director, and designer. They most recently toured nationally and internationally as the technical director of Cartography, including at the Kennedy Center. Their upcoming work includes scenic design for Quake, commissioned by the French Cultural Council.
The Performing Garage is a black box performance space in Soho, Manhattan that has operated as a theatre since 1968 as part of the Grand Street Artists Co-Op, a project of the Fluxus art movement.
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