Sarah Benson, artistic director of the theater, said she hopes this season's productions respond to a time of transformation in the theater.
It's been almost two years since Soho Rep put on a show in their 65-seat theaters at 46 Walker Street. And Sarah Benson, artistic director of the theater since 2007, is in disbelief.
"It's been crazy that it's been so long," said Benson, who directs the theater with artistic development and production director Meropi Peponides and executive director Cynthia Flowers.
But when the performances return to the Lower Manhattan space For the company's 46th season in September, it will run alongside the second year of a new initiative: Soho Rep Project Number One, a job creation program developed in response to the pandemic that incorporates artists into the 'organization as salaried staff members with benefits.
The inaugural class 2020-21 included eight artists, who each received a weekly salary of 1 $ 250, a year of health insurance coverage and a budget of $ 10,000 in.ur create a new work in any format, to present to an audience at the theater during the next season. The next phase of the project now includes two artists for the 2021-22 season: director and screenwriter Abigail Jean-Baptiste and set designer Kimie Nishikawa.
" It is an exciting time as we continue to evolve, ”Benson mentioned. "And we hope to expand it in the future.
Soho Rep, a daring house for new parts, launched the career of Writers including Branden Jacobs -Jenkins ("Gloria", "An Octoroon"), Lucas Hnath ("A Doll 's House Part 2", "Dana H.") and Young Jean Lee ("Straight White Men", "We 're Gonna Die"), while also providing a home for innovative designers and directors, many of whom have participated in the theater's writers / directors lab.
It is therefore quite aIt's appropriate, Benson said, that the 2021-22 season begins with four weekends of free presentations of work in progress developed in this same lab, led by playwrights William Burke and Jackie Sibblies Drury. The productions, which will run from September 24 to October 17, include “Blush” (Keenan Hurley and Kedian Keohan), “A Map to Nowhere (things are)” (Nia Farrell and Talia Paulette Oliveras), “Speak American” (Kate Moore Heaney and Divya Mangwani), and "Bust " (Jeesun Choi and Bryn Herdrich).
They will be followed in November by the world premiere of " while you party ", a comedy by Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey starring actor and comedian Brian Fiddyment exploring toxic masculinity (November 3-28).
" I can't remember the last time I was really terrified in a theater before this "said Benson. "I got scared in a wayvery strange and disturbing, but rather joyful. "
Next up is the New York premiere of South Korean playwright Hansol Jung's“ Wolf Play ”, which explores alienation and the meaning of family through the lens of queer parenting and adoption (February 2 to March 6, 2022). The play, which takes its name from an Internet adopted Korean boy who just wants to find his "wolf pack " and was originally scheduled to open in Marc h 2020, is directed by Dustin Wills and presented in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company.
La World premiere of Puerto Rican playwright Omar has closed. "Notes on the Elimination of Seven Members of the Supervisory, Management and Economic Stability Board" by Velez Melendez (May 17-June 19, 2022). Directed by David Mendizabal, l one of eight artists in the inaugural Project Number One cohort, and produced in partnership with The Sol Project, the work is presented as a spectacularthe dragster that explores decolonization.
"I fell off my chair when I first read this article " said Benson, "And he kept evolving as they worked on it together.
Soho Rep and the National Asian American Theater Company also commissioned another inaugural artist from Project Number One, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, to complete his bilingual play "Public Obscenities ", in Bengali and English.
Benson said she hopes Soho Rep's productions this season will respond to a transformative moment in the theater.
" I J 'hope it ' s not just like going back to a hot tub, "she said." I hope people will be excited to see unsettling and challenging work, and to recognize the euphoria that comes with it. "