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New Plays by Martyna Majok and Aleshea Harris to Run at New York Theatre Workshop

In addition to 2021-22, the off-Broadway company has also announced plans for its 2022-23 season.

Martyna Majok is the playwright of Sanctuary City, which will makes its off-Broadway debut at New York Theatre Workshop.
(© Allison Stock)

New York Theatre Workshop, the company behind the original off-Broadway runs of Rent and Slave Play has announced plans for its forthcoming 2021-2022 season, which will kick off in August with Whitney White's Semblance, a virtual experience and immersive theatrical installation about how we interact with Black women.

Semblance will immediately be followed by the long-awaited off-Broadway debut of Martyna Majok's Sanctuary City, about two life-long friends fighting like hell to establish a place for themselves and each other in America. Originally slated for 2019, Sanctuary City was delayed to 2020, playing just two weeks of previews before the pandemic shuttered theaters across the globe.

In October, Chay Yew (Oedipus El Rey) will direct a new project from Kristina Wong about a mask sewing circle she started during the height of the pandemic. "It was a feminist care utopia forming in the midst of crisis," a press statement reads, "Or was it a mutual aid doomsday cult?"

Whitney White will return in winter 2022 to direct the world premiere of On Sugarland by Aleshea Harris (Is God Is). The play takes place on a southern cul-de-sac lined with mobile homes and is described as "a spectacular pageant and spirited meditation on remarkable people transcending difficult circumstances."

The season will conclude in the spring of 2022 with the world premiere of Somi Kakoma's Dreaming Zenzile, a new musical based of the life of Miriam Makeba (popularly known as "Mama Africa"). Kakoma performs as Makeba giving her final performance. Lileana Blain-Cruz directs.

Whitney White will feature twice in the 2021-2022 NYTW season, first as the writer of Semblance, and then as the director of On Sugarland.
(© Tricia Baron)

The 2021-2022 season will be the final one with longtime artistic director James C. Nicola at the helm. However, the company has already announced titles for the 2022-2023 season.

"Since we'll be welcoming a new artistic director in Summer 2022, we wanted to give them — not to mention the whole organization — some breathing room," said Nicola and Managing Director Jeremy Blocker. "Setting out plans for our next two seasons will give the gift of time to just be present, without the pressure to compose a season."

The 2022-2023 season will begin with a new production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, adapted by Clare Barron (Dance Nation) and directed by Sam Gold, who helmed NYTW's hit production of Othello.

The season will also feature Victor I. Cazares's american (tele)visions (directed by Rubén Polendo), Liliana Padilla's How to Defend Yourself (co-directed by Rachel Chavkin, Liliana Padilla, Steph Paul), and Inua Ellams's The Half-God of Rainfall.

The next artistic director of New York Theatre Workshop has not yet been announced.