For the first time, and in honor of its 30thanniversary season, Harlem Stage will host a Fund for New Work showcase featuring the work of the program’s 2011-2012 recipients on June 27 and 28 at its historic Gatehouse. Harlem Stage’s Fund for New Work provides grants for emerging artists of color to create new works in all performance disciplines. Many previous recipients have gone on to become acclaimed and award-winning artists, such as composer Diedre Murray, choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Kyle Abraham, vocalists Queen Esther and Tamar-Kali, and playwright Katori Hall.
Dance, theater and music will be represented at the Fund for New Work showcase. The Harlem Stage showcase will offer a platform for performance and feedback for the up-and-coming performers’ new work: Audiences will vote at the end of each night on which performer will be awarded a donation of the night’s ticket sales.
The Fund for New Work is emblematic of how Harlem Stage has approached commissioning new works over its three decades: The organization has been dedicated to supporting and nurturing the work of artists of color from many different disciplines. The commissions seek to support new performances relevant to contemporary audiences who want to be challenged, engaged and inspired. Performers and performances in this showcase are under consideration for future Harlem Stage seasons.
Fund for New Work recipients will perform 15-20 minutes each of their commissioned work. Each night’s show will be followed by a 20-minute Q&A with the performers.
Here is a list, by date and then by discipline, of the performers and what they will present:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
Project: Coming Home – A Diasporic Love Story explores the notions of self-love and the love of others within the context of music, employing the traditional sounds of the African continent and the more contemporary styles born through its Diaspora.
Harrison David Rivers
Project: The Bandaged Place, a play about the places we go when we’re hurt and the people who help us get back home.
Project: Pieces Of Me: An Inside Look At A Dance Artist’s Journey
Project: The Above Ground Project, a performance art piece that seamlessly meshes the signature style of “playing tap” as a live instrument, with different genres and generations of music and poetry.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28
Project: Ghosts of Manhattan , a live installation, traces New York City ’s cultural evolution over 500 years, from native land in 1512 to global metropolis in 2012. This walk-through theater experience animates an interactive history through music, dance, design and storytelling.
Project: The one-woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls., a satirical comedy that captures the voices and concerns of black women through 10 diverse characters. The play explores how we have looked at black women in the past, in the present, and in the funny yet frightening future.
Project: Asking for More, a solo performance piece that exposes the complex issue of health and diet in urban communities.
While four of the recipients are new to Harlem Stage this year, several have become a part of the Harlem Stage family in recent years. Maurice Chestnut is a former E-Moves choreographer, Amma Whatt was a featured vocalist and songwriter on the Uptown Nights presentation “Soul: Remixed, Revisited, Reconstructed,” and Maija Garcia was a dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company during the Harlem Stage-commissioned piece Chapel/Chapter. Chestnut and artist Marjuan Canady also have presented excerpts of their work as part of Harlem Stage’s 11-12 Education Program.
The Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Program receives leadership support from The Jerome Foundation.
All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St). Tickets are $15.