Eight theatre makers have been hired for the 2020-2021 season as part of Soho Rep.’s Project Number One to create jobs in support of artists during the COVID-era. The cohort is made up of Becca Blackwell, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Stacey Derosier, David Mendizábal, Ife Olujobi, David Ryan Smith, Carmelita Tropicana, and Jillian Walker.
Each artist will create a work in any format, including socially distant theatre, digital recording, or written piece, that will be presented for an audience throughout the season. As part of Project Number One, theatre makers get a $10,000 creation budget, in addition to a weekly salary of $1,250 and health insurance through June 30, 2021.
“We felt it was important to cultivate a community of artists, each of whom will bring a unique perspective to grappling with how we emerge from this moment,” said Meropi Peponides, director of artistic development and producing. “These artists have expressed an interest in interrogating the relationship between artist and institution, they integrate their values deeply into their artistic practice, and show a generosity of spirit toward the work of other artists.”
As works are developed, the cohort will meet in a bi-weekly three-hour discussion with Soho Rep. staff, board members, and lab artists. In addition to Project Number One, the company has given two $15,000 commissions to Garrett Allen and Raja Feather Kelly as part of its 2019-2021 Writer/Director Lab and STUDIO programs.
In the 2021-22 season (or earlier, if possible) SoHo Rep. will stage the following works: Hansol Jung’s Wolf Play, directed by Dustin Wills, produced in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company, and postponed from spring 2020 due to the pandemic; while you were partying, by Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey with Brian Fiddyment, postponed from summer 2020; Omar Vélez Meléndez’s Notes on Killing Seven Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board Members, directed by David Mendizábal; Kate Tarker’s Montag, directed by Dustin Wills; and Jillian Walker’s Untitled Work(ing) for Whitney, directed by Jenny Koons. In order to alleviate the financial challenges presented by the prolonged shutdowns of theatres, the company will pay lead artist advances for these projects.
SoHo Rep. has also added Amber Tamblyn to its board.
“Amber is an incredible artist and activist who has been coming to see work at Soho Rep. for over a decade,” says Cynthia Flowers, executive director. “She is exactly the kind of community builder and thinker that we're eager to invite into the company in a leadership role.”