Previews begin May 6, Opens May 8, Runs through May 27
New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater proudly present the Archive Residency world premiere of TÉA Artistry’s BEING CHAKA, running May 6 – 27, 2023 in a limited engagement at New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher St.) in New York City. Previews begin May 6 for a May 8 opening.
BEING CHAKA is developed by Chuk Obasi, Vieve Radha Price, Tara Amber, Nalini Sharma and Talya Mar, written by Tara Amber, Chuk Obasi and Nalini Sharma, and directed by Vieve Radha Price and Chuk Obasi.
BEING CHAKA is a coming-of-age story in which souls from two worlds struggle for self and group transcendence as they take the painful and possible redemptive journey through relationships and systems steeped in racism.
TÉA Artistry states, “Being Chaka is the culmination of TÉA Artistry’s multi-year exploration into how Americans apprehend the construct of race in our lives and how this affects the way we treat each other and the decisions we make. The play brings real-life inspired characters to the stage and invites audience members to experience the inner conscious dramas of these characters as they struggle to make friends, become their authentic selves, and transcend the racial constraints of their past histories and present lives.”
The cast includes Tara Amber, Joey Brenneman, Colin DePaula, Annie Hartkemeyer, LaWanda Hopkins, Jae Jackson, Joy Kelly, Amanda Marikar, Chuck Montgomery, Kahiem Rivera and Miriam Tabb.
The production team includes Myra G. Reavis (Scenic Design), and Leslie Huynh and Ricky Brown (Production Stage Managers).
Tickets are $25 and $20 for students and seniors. Running time is approximately 2 hours with an intermission. Schedule varies – for exact days and times, and to purchase tickets, visit https://newohiotheatre.org.
TÉA Artistry is an experimental theatre initiative that creates and performs at the nexus of social justice, aesthetic discovery, and self-transcendence. By “experimental” they mean that TÉA artists are as dedicated to discovering how theatrical performance pieces can help improve the world as they are to achieving excellence in the theatrical pieces they create.
Over the past twelve years, TÉA Artists have devised eight original performance pieces treating some of the major pressure points in American culture: Muslim – non-Muslim relations post 9/11, community-police encounters in the context of retaliatory gun violence, veteran-civilian dynamics in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the personal and social dilemmas of polarized consciousness, and most recently, the inner conscious dynamics of race in America.
In creating this body of work, TÉA has developed a distinctive approach to theatrical creation that they call Insight Artistry. This method guides and directs TÉA artists to deepen their insight into the inner conscious connection between what and how they value and the decisions they make. TÉA has discovered that a theatrical exploration of this connection is not only aesthetically compelling, but as a practical matter, it is only when we foster genuine curiosity about this connection can the genuine possibility for change come about. For info visit https://www.tea-artistry.org.
New Ohio Theatre is a two-time Obie Award-winning theatre under the leadership of Robert Lyons (Artistic Director) and Jaclyn Biskup (Creative Producer). The New Ohio serves New York’s most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting bold work from today’s vast independent theatre community. They believe that the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies that operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding what theatre is, how it’s made, and who makes it. From their home in the West Village’s historic Archive Building, the New Ohio provides a high-profile platform for downtown’s most mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish and profound theatrical endeavors.
As previously announced, New Ohio Theatre will conclude operations after 30 years as an indispensable pillar of the downtown independent theatre community at the end of the current season on August 31, 2023. For info visit https://newohiotheatre.org, Like them on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/NewOhioTheatre, and follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/NewOhioTheatre) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/newohiotheatre) at @NewOhioTheatre.
IRT Theater is a grassroots laboratory for independent theater and performance in New York City, providing space and support to a new generation of artists. Tucked away in the old Archive Building in Greenwich Village, IRT’s mission is to build a community of emerging and established artists by creating a home for the development and presentation of new work. Producing Artistic Director is Kori Rushton. More info at http://irttheater.org.
The Archive Residency is a vital incubator for New York City’s most electrifying independent theater artists. The two-year residency provides artists with an artistic home for the development and presentation of a new work. The residency includes multiple workshops in IRT’s 3B Development Series and culminates with a final presentation in the New Ohio’s main season. Archive Residency alumni artists include Kareem M. Lucas, Zhailon Levingston, Alex Hare & Nehemiah Luckett, Beto O’Byrne, Rebecca Martinez, Meropi Peponides & Taylor Reynolds, Lila Neugebauer, Qui Nguyen, Daniel Irizarry & Laura Butler Rivera, Normandy Sherwood, Sanaz Ghajar & Jessica Almasy, Kim Weild & Charles Mee, Jr., Tara Ahmadinejad, Jess Chayes and Lee Sunday Evans.
Audience members are required to provide proof of vaccination and must wear a N95 or KN95 mask to be admitted into the theatre. Masks will be available to audience members if they arrive without one. Masks are required at all times for all audience members. Performers will not be masked.
Chuk Obasi is an actor, writer, director and choreographer. He was a founding member of TÉA Artistry and currently serves as Co-Director. Obasi is also a company member with the People’s Theatre Project and The Private Theatre, and faculty member with the Michael Chekhov association (MICHA). Recent TÉA productions include The Weaver (Pt. II): Paradigm (Co-Director) and The Weaver (Director).
Vieve Radha Price (she/her) is the founder and co-director of TÉA Artistry. She launched TÉA in 2009 with the purpose of enhancing the scope, collaborative reach, and methodological rigor of Insight Artistry – the approach to artistic creation and performance she has been developing for over a decade. In 2017, she established the Insight Artists Collective whose discoveries are collected in the Insight Artistry Handbook. Vieve is a managing member of the Private Theatre and a founding member of Insight Collaborations International.
Tara Amber is a half-Tibetan actor, writer, and life-long New Yorker. She is a graduate of LaGuardia HS, Smith College, and the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Recent acting credits include “Law & Order” and an upcoming HULU miniseries. A script that she co-wrote was a Sundance New Voices finalist and was later selected for the Orchard Project’s Episodic Lab.
Talya Mar has collaborated with TÉA as an actor, writer, and on the development of Insight Artistry since 2017. She has performed Off-Broadway and regionally, as well as for film and TV. A series she co-wrote was selected for the 2021 Orchard Project Episodic Lab and was a finalist in the Sundance New Voices Lab.
Nalini Sharma spent her childhood on several naval bases in India and grew up in several small towns in the US. She is currently a professional clown-comedienne in Los Angeles. As a writer, she was hand selected by Steve Martin for his Masterclass. She wrote “Birdie & Blanche,” a series that was a Finalist for 2016 Sundance New Voices Lab. She was selected to be a performer/writer for the CBS comedy showcase in 2018. Her short film Garbage was an official selection at HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival 2019. Her TV pilot, “Crooked,” was a semifinalist at the 2019 Screencraft Writing Fellowship Award. Most recently, she was selected for the 2021 Blacklist + WIF episodic lab program and is touring her absurdist theater/clown solo show, Until Death.
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