The Abrons Arts Center’s lineup for the fall season pays homage to pioneers and innovators in the arts, public housing, and new technology.
“When we came out of isolation, we wanted to focus on work that was still going on during the pandemic and developing in different ways,” said Craig Peterson, the center’s executive artistic director, in an interview. “Because it deserves an audience.”
Several of the productions planned for the coming season at the 300-seater playhouse were booked before the pandemic and were therefore postponed, said Peterson, who started the season in collaboration with Ali Rosa-Salas, the center’s recently appointed artistic director, curated.
“Many of them were evicted when we stopped performing,” he said. “But we never stopped supporting artists and we always wanted to present them.”
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the center has scheduled a concert on September 11th entitled “Holy Ground: Land of Two Towers” by the jazz ensemble Onyx Collective.
“It felt like it was an appropriate way to ponder the long-term implications of historical moments as we are experiencing them now,” said Rosa-Salas.
A week later, the center opened a free outdoor photo exhibition, Community Matriarchs of NYCHA, celebrating five women who redesigned their neighborhood on the Lower East Side, where they organized the food distribution. especially during the pandemic on other social housing residents. The exhibition, which will be presented as part of the Photoville Festival 2021 in collaboration with the digital storytelling platform My Projects Runway, will include portraits of Courtney Garvin and video interviews by Christopher Currence and will be on view until December 1st.
“I am very happy to support activists in our community and to reflect on the role of public housing in our neighborhood and city,” said Rosa-Salas.
From there it goes on to Frankenstein, Bigfoot and Sasquatch, while Abrons will present a streaming video adaptation of Sibyl Kempsons “The Securely Confered, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S.” from October 29th. The production, presented by Eve Thtr’s 7 daughters, will be premiered as an experimental, four-part radio play in January. & Perf. Co., is described as a visual journey through the complex universe of Mary Shelley, the author of “Frankenstein”. The new virtual video work will include hand-cut collages, digital and analog animations and illustrations, and collaborations with more than a dozen artists. A personal screening is also planned for Halloween in the new Chocolate Factory Theater.
At the end of the season from December 10th to 12th, a live motion capture piece “Antidote” was created in collaboration with Pioneer Works. Directed by Jamaica-born choreographer Marguerite Hemmings and new media artist LaJuné McMillian, it explores the relationship between physical movement and motion capture technology and how it can be used as a tool of personal power and liberation. The project is a collaboration with six young artists from high schools on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.
“It’s a cross-generational experiment and a great way to end the season,” said Rosa-Salas.
The complete season schedule is available at abronsartscenter.org.