After previously announcing the conclusion of its 2019-2020 season due to COVID-19, New York Theatre Workshop has revealed some 2020-2021 developments. In terms of previous productions, Martyna Majok’s Sanctuary City, directed by Rebecca Frecknall, had just begun performances at the time of the shutdown. Clare Barron’s adaptation of Three Sisters, directed by Sam Gold, had not yet begun rehearsals; Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac had been set to star in the show. NYTW has announced that it remains committed to both of these productions and intends to bring them to the stage when it is safe to do so.
Though stages still remain shut down due to the coronavirus crisis, NYTW has recruited its community of artists to create and develop new work and to share that work with audiences in both existing formats and in new ways. This group will include Ayad Akhtar, Clare Barron, Lileana Blain-Cruz, David Cale, Sean Carvajal, Victor I. Cazares, Rebecca Frecknall, Sam Gold, Aleshea Harris, Jeremy O. Harris, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Martyna Majok, Denis O’Hare, Lisa Peterson, Dael Orlandersmith, Rubén Polendo, Martha Redbone, Tina Satter, Geoff Sobelle, Celine Song, Theater Mitu, Aaron Whitby, Whitney White, Kristina Wong and Doug Wright. These artists will be supported with $2,500 grants, with additional funds designated to bring their projects to life.
“We eagerly look forward to discovering and supporting new forms of theatrical exploration that these artists are imagining,” said NYTW Artistic Director James C. Nicola in a statement. “From virtual experiences to outdoor performances to art installations, the possibilities are limitless.”
With the nation engaged in challenging conversations about racism, the off-Broadway theater will publish the NYTW Core Values alongside ongoing action steps to question histories and practices, disrupt patterns that reinforce institutionalized oppressions and inequities, examine inherent missteps and hold the organization to a standard that does not accept that this work is ever done.
In addition, NYTW has announced a new class of 2050 Artistic Fellows, continuing a 25-year tradition of supporting early-career artists. The 2020-21 Directing Fellows are Josiah Davis, Adil Mansoor and Tyler Thomas. The 2020-21 Playwriting Fellows are Nissy Aya, Ruth Tang and David Zheng.
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