The Shed, the newly opened arts venue in Manhattan's Hudson Yards, has unveiled its 2020 season. A highlight of the season is the world premiere of Help, a new theatrical work by acclaimed author and poet Claudia Rankine starring Fairview's Roslyn Ruff with direction by Obie winner Taibi Magar (Is God Is).
Help, a commission from The Shed, is derived from Rankine's ongoing investigation into white male privilege (part of which was shared in her 2019 essay “I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked”). The world premiere, set to run March 10–April 5, 2020, will feature movement choreography by Shamel Pitts, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by John Torres, sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman, and original music composition by Jerome Ellis. Casey Llewellyn is the dramaturg.
The Shed's theatre lineup also includes Misty, Arinzé Kene's acclaimed new play first developed and seen at The Bush Theater in London and then in the West End. Part poem, part concert, part confession, Misty stars Kene and is directed by Omar Elerian. Performances will run September 24–October 24.
Both shows will play in The Shed's Griffin Theater. From May through August, The Griffin will also welcome a host of works from Open Call, The Shed’s commissioning program for NYC-based emerging artists across all disciplines. Featured works include: composer, director, and actor Troy Anthony’s choral work Antioch Mass; performer and performance-maker Fana Fraser’s Hotline; performance and video artist Madeline Hollander’s Preview, based on ready-made choreographies; multidisciplinary performance artist Ayesha Jordan’s bayou-inspired project Shasta Geaux Pop: Walk on Water in collaboration with Creative Capital and 2019 United States Artist fellow Charlotte Brathwaite; Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Kyle Marshall’s Reign; composer and multimedia artist Rachika S’s audiovisual installation Drawn Around Us; Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Alice Sheppard and her collective of disability arts leaders, Kinetic Light, with their new dance piece Wired; Bessie Award-winning dance artist Mariana Valencia’s solo piece Ileana; and theatre-maker, vocalist, composer, and cultural worker Nia O. Witherspoon’s Chronicle X: Windows, the first in her series of Dark Girl Chronicles.
“At the start of this new decade, in such a significant year for this country, we are producing and premiering a number of pioneering artists’ works that confront the urgent matters of our time—artists whose practices speak to justice, empathy, and the environment, and look to the future,” said Alex Poots, The Shed's artistic director and CEO. “Built on city-owned land, our nonprofit institution has been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to contribute to New York’s vibrant cultural scene, with a mission to commission new work across all genres and create a culturally democratic space for communities and audiences from across the city and beyond.”
In addition to works across dance, visual art, and other mediums, The Shed will host its first open house, Meet at The Shed, January 11, featuring special pop-up events and free admission to its current exhibitions.