Troy Anthony, The Revival: It Is Our Duty, 2021, performed as part of Open Call, The Shed, New York, June 19, 2021. Commissioned by The Shed. Photo: Ahad Subzwari.

The collaboration fosters community-building and intersectional artistic practice through a choir community in residence at The Shed

The Shed and composer and artistic director Troy Anthony and his choir community, The Fire Ensemble, have formed a three-year creative partnership to foster community-building, intersectional artistic practice, and resource sharing. During the inaugural year, The Shed will co-produce free public performances of the choir on June 18 in celebration of Juneteenth and December 10 as a culmination of two 10-week open rehearsal sessions in the spring and fall. The open choir rehearsals began on April 25 and continue most Monday evenings at The Shed; all levels of singers are welcome to participate for free and attend single rehearsals, or participate for the entire season. More information is available here and free tickets to performances will be available (date to be announced).

“It is a gift that The Fire Ensemble will be able to call The Shed ‘home’ for the next three years,” said Troy Anthony. This partnership provides the fertile soil needed for us to build capacity, create equitable community practices rooted in collective liberation, and develop sustainable partnerships so that we can grow into a cultural institution and choir community worthy of New York. I am grateful to work alongside Alex Poots and the Civic Programs team led by Tamara McCaw, and the entire Shed staff to bring The Fire Ensemble to life.”

Following The Fire Ensemble’s residency and launch at The Chelsea Factory in March 2022, Anthony welcomes choir members to rehearse, workshop, and perform in transformative, large-scale music theater works and rituals rooted in predominantly Black musical styles including gospel, R&B, and musical theater. The emphasis of The Fire Ensemble’s sessions is on the process of rehearsing, community-building through the weekly gatherings, and the end-of-session performances as public celebrations. As part of this collaboration, The Shed will provide the intergenerational choir community with rehearsal space, production support, resources, and strategic consultation to develop projects and support its members.

“A co-creation-based community practice has been a guiding framework for The Shed’s Civic Programs, including FlexNYC and DIS OBEY, since before our physical doors opened to the public,” said Tamara McCaw, Chief Civic Program Officer. “Incubating The Fire Ensemble at The Shed over the next three years presents new opportunities for community engagement and collaboration between artists, residents, and institutions. As a new cultural space, it’s been revelatory to grow alongside and in partnership with the local emerging artists centered in our programming. We’re thrilled to continue our journey of becoming with Troy Anthony as he deepens his practice of revolutionary work rooted in ritual, healing, collective care, and Black liberation through the gathering of voices.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Troy Anthony in a three-year-long collaboration,” said Alex Poots, Artistic Director and CEO of The Shed. “It’s been a joy to watch his groundbreaking work continue to develop since he was selected as one of our inaugural Open Call artists in 2018, and it’s a privilege for The Shed to incubate his new choir community project. We look forward to celebrating his work in residence at The Shed.”

Anthony first joined The Shed’s family of artists as part of the inaugural cohort of Open Call artists selected in 2018, The Shed’s large-scale commissioning program for early-career NYC-based artists. When the pandemic delayed the presentation of his work, he collaborated with JJJJJerome Ellis on a digital performance as part of the Up Close series in a ritual work, Passing Notes. In summer 2021, Anthony presented his Open Call project, The Revival: It Is Our Duty, in celebration of Juneteenth.

June 18: The Revival: It Is Our Duty
Following a sold-out Open Call performance in celebration of Juneteenth in 2021, The Revival: It Is Our Duty returns to The Shed for a one-night-only engagement. This is not a performance; it is a service. The Fire Ensemble brings together the choir community with a live band, to offer this musical event featuring grounding, original songs written and curated by Anthony and performed through ritual to activate individual and collective liberation in celebration of Juneteenth. This event is free to the public.

December 10: The Workshop
A part of The Fire Ensemble’s mission is to expand the canon of choral works and productions that use ritual and music to promote collective liberation. The Workshop provides the opportunity for some of the best an interdisciplinary artists to collaborate with Anthony and The Fire Ensemble for 10 weeks to workshop a new project. The Workshop will culminate in a free public performance. The Workshop’s 2022 resident artist will be announced at a later date.

Call project, The Revival: It Is Our Duty, in celebration of Juneteenth.

About Troy Anthony:
Troy Anthony is a Kentucky-born composer/lyricist, director, and theater-maker based in NYC practicing Black queer joy. He has received commissions from The 5th Avenue Theater, The Civilians, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and The Shed. He’s enjoyed residencies with Musical Theater Factory (MTF), The O’Neill Theater Center, and Village Theater. Additionally, he’s presented work at Joe’s Pub, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, JACK, Prospect Theater Company, the National Alliance of Musical Theater Conference, and 54 Below. Anthony recently received the Vivace Award from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation and is currently an artistin-residence at The Chelsea Factory.

As an actor, Anthony has been seen in the Public Theater’s Hercules, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It, as well as Prospect Theater Company’s Tamar of the River. Anthony’s work lives at the intersection of art, social justice, and community practice. In this spirit, he recently founded The Fire Ensemble as a home to develop his work and to share the joy of singing in community.

Major support for The Fire Ensemble is provided by M&T Bank, Founding Bank of The Shed.

The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners. Major support for live productions at The Shed is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund.

About The Shed
The Shed is a new cultural institution of and for the 21st century. We produce and welcome innovative art and ideas, across all forms of creativity, to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society. In our highly adaptable building on Manhattan’s west side, The Shed brings together established and emerging artists to create new work in fields ranging from pop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance. We seek opportunities to collaborate with cultural peers and community organizations, work with like-minded partners, and provide unique spaces for private events. As an independent nonprofit that values invention, equity, and generosity, we are committed to advancing art forms, addressing the urgent issues of our time, and making our work impactful, sustainable, and relevant to the local community, the cultural sector, New York City, and beyond.