BAM's 2019 Next Wave Includes Barber Shop Chronicles, Selina Thompson’s Race Cards, and More

Off-Broadway News   BAM's 2019 Next Wave Includes Barber Shop Chronicles, Selina Thompson’s Race Cards, and More
The upcoming season features 16 productions across theatre, dance, music, and film, from around the world.
Cast of <i>Barber Shop Chronicles</i>
Cast of Barber Shop Chronicles Tim Trumble

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has unveiled the lineup for its 2019 Next Wave festival, the first under the leadership of new Artistic Director David Binder. The annual showcase—spanning theatre, dance, music, and film—will launch in October and present 16 shows through December across BAM’s venues as well as off-site.

In October, Brazilian writer and film and stage director Christiane Jatahy takes on Chekhov’s Three Sisters in a theatre and film mash-up that will simultaneously take place in BAM's Fisher performance space and BAM's Rose Cinemas. Titled What if They Went to Moscow?, the multi-disciplinary show transplants the play to contemporary Rio. At each performance the play is enacted twice, while the audience (divided into two alternating groups) sees it in two different forms: once as a theatre piece, the other as a movie edited in real time by Jatahy. Performances will run October 23–26.

Selina Thompson
Selina Thompson

Beginning October 30, the BAM Fisher will welcome Irish theatre group Dead Centre with its production of Hamnet, a new play examining the historical connection between Shakespeare's Hamlet and a real-life 11-year-old boy named Hamnet who died in the U.K. in 1596. Eleven-year-old actor actor Aran Murphy embodies both Hamnet and Hamlet, but also a contemporary tween addicted to his hoodies and iPhone. The run, presented with the Irish Arts Center, continues through November 2.

Also in October, U.K. artist Selina Thompson (whose play Salt is currently at London's Royal Court) takes over the Natman Room in BAM's Peter Jay Sharp Building with her installation, Race Cards, comprising 1000 questions about race transcribed onto note cards. An evolving archive and research project, Race Cards asks visitors to face their own beliefs, hopes, and prejudices—all in an atmosphere of calm and contemplation. The show will run October 29–November 10.

In November, BAM goes off-site and site-specific with User Not Found, a new production from London's Dante or Die theatre group. Written by Chris Goode, the immersive play explores what happens to our digital identities after we die. The show supplies audience members with a smartphone and headphones, allowing each participant access to the protagonist’s own private phone experience. Performances will run November 6–16.

In December, London's National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse team up with Fuel to present the Off-Broadway premiere of the critically acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles. Inspired by Nigerian-born playwright Inua Ellams’ own experiences as an immigrant, the play follows the conversations and concerns of a group of African men as they interact in six different barber shops in London, Lagos, Johannesburg, Accra, Kampala, and Harare. Performances will run December 3–7 in the BAM Harvey Theater.

The complete BAM Next Wave 2019 lineup will be online shortly. Season subscriptions will go on sale June 13 (June 6 for members and patrons), with single tickets available to the general public August 1.

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