Signature Theatre at Pershing Square Signature Center in NYC welcomes back audiences with a new piece by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon. Entitled The Watering Hole, performances begin June 22 and have been extended two weeks through August 8.
The immersive theatrical project moves audiences through the Off-Broadway institution via a series of 10 installations inspired, in part, from water itself as they flow from all directions into a larger whole. The pieces explore how the Off-Broadway institution can serve artists and communities after the pandemic’s shuttering of theatres and a year of uprisings for racial justice.
Joining Nottage and Haymon to re-activate the Center’s many spaces—its elevator, stairs, stages, lobby, backstage, green rooms, and more—are playwright Christina Anderson; playwright Matt Barbot; costume designer Montana Levi Blanco; theatre director and projections designer Stefania Bulbarella; lighting designer Amith Chandrashaker; performer, choreographer, director, playwright, and educator nicHi douglas; creative producer and dramaturg Iyvon E.; composer, sound design artist, and musician Justin Ellington; scenic and production designer Emmie Finckel; actor, playwright, sculptor, painter, performer, poet, and activist Vanessa German; autobiographical performer Ryan J. Haddad; playwright Phillip Howze; scenic designer Riccardo Hernández; playwright Haruna Lee; Campbell Silverstein, who serves as associate director on the project; playwright Charly Evon Simpson; and Navajo playwright, filmmaker, director, performer, and producer Rhiana Yazzie.
Also participating in the project are Michael Braun, Francis Jue, Denise Manning, Kenita Miller, Lisa Ramirez, Samy Younes, and Lisa Zayas.
“Everyone has ways they have not been known to the industry, and they are working on this piece in that way,” said Haymon in an earlier statement. “We really wanted to highlight that aspirational space—not just for how we want to collaborate within the theatre landscape, but also how we bring our full selves to the watering hole, and what that means as artists of color and people generating new work.“
“The inspiration and organizing principle of The Watering Hole came about when we, as a collective, began talking about what Signature means to us, and in particular that lobby—how important that communal space has been to us over the years,” added Nottage. “What does it mean to have lost that nexus point that gives us the opportunity to gather and see disparate people coming together?”
The Watering Hole, part of SigSpace, culminates Nottage’s residency at the Signature, following runs of her plays Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark in earlier seasons.
The installation is open to the public with staggered entry in physically distanced groups of four with start times between 11:30 AM–8 PM on weekends and 7–8 PM on weekdays, with additional 3:15–4:15 PM times weekdays during the second week. The experience takes approximately 80 minutes to walk through. A digital presentation of the installations is planned for the final weeks of the run.
Signature Theatre will require physical distancing and masks to keep audiences and staff safe, with reduced capacity limited to 100 guests in the building at any given time. Plans are subject to change.
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