The Shed, HERE, and Musical Theatre Factory will present Chronicle X by playwright, director, and performer Nia Witherspoon as part of Open Call at The Shed. Chronicle X is the first work in The Dark Girl Chronicles, a ritual-play cycle designed to crystallize in the collective memory the stories of Black women warriors against state violence. The performance will take place in The McCourt at The Shed’s Bloomberg Building, 545 West 30th Street, on June 3 and 4 at 8pm. Advanced registration is required and admission is free.
Creator Nia Witherspoon says, “Black women have always been at the forefront of human evolution; in Chronicle X, I invoke ancient texts to honor this sacred labor, and invite you into healing our collective trauma.”
Chronicle X is Black feminist church. Made of Yoruba sacred story, documentary-manifesto, and in the form of a unique, immersive installation performance, Chronicle X is a powerful communal ritual set to the cosmic spectrum of Black sound. The audience, through headsets and using their phones, will first encounter an augmented reality world, opening up into a creation story embodied by live virtuosic dancers, and exploding into a memorial service turned concert-twerk-ritual with a live band and glorious harmonies.
The three most powerful bits of stardust in the universe-Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding, are imagined into a hilarious retelling of their birth and rebirth. We follow their journey as they seek their way out of the womb and into the other dimensions of existence. Through acts of curiosity and courage, each one is pulled into a portal where they encounter our world through the transcripts of Diamond Reynolds, who went “live” on Facebook when her fiancé Philando Castile was shot by a police officer.
HERE’s Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting says, “Nia, Mei Ann and the creative team are making bold and ground-breaking work that challenges, inspires, and creates empathy.” Solana Chehtman, Director of Civic Programs at The Shed says, “Chronicle X is everything we can dream of supporting as part of Open Call: it’s inventive, intentional, genuinely moving, and offers a deeply transformative experience. Nia O. Witherspoon brings to this exploration of racial injustice such a powerful and poetic vision, a uniquely personal take.”
Created, written, and co-directed by Nia Witherspoon (Messiah, Priestess of Twerk), Chronicle X is co-directed by Mei Ann Teo (MTF, SKiNFoLK: An American Show), composed by Troy Anthony (The Fire Ensemble, The Revival), choreographed by Chanon Judson (Urban Bush Women), music directed by Nehemiah Luckett (Primer for a Failed Super Power, Jazz Singer), produced by Leah Abrams (Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night) and associate producer Jeannely Lopez. The production and design team includes Production (Scenic & Lighting) Designer Tuce Yasak, Scenic Co-Designer You-Shin Chen, Associate Lighting Designer Itohan Edoloyi (SkiNFolK: An American Show) Projections Designer Hao Bai (Waterboy and the Mighty World), Sound Designer/ Beatmaker Epic B (FlexN, Maze), Costume Designer/Hair & Make-up Dominique Fawn Hill (125th and Harlem), Sound Engineer Gabby Henderson, and Props Fabrication Jess Adams, XR Producer Brandon Powers (Queer Skins), XR Designer Sadah Espii Proctor, XR Artist Juliana Loh, AR Consulting is by Blinxel & Tuck Siver, Stage Manager Caren Celine Morris (SKiNFoLK: An American Show, MINE), Assistant Stage Manager Lisette Medina, Technical Director Miguel Angel Valderrama, Scenic Painting Skye Morse-Hodgson, AR Developer Sammy Sords, Titlbrush Artist Juliana Loh.
Chronicle X features Nia Witherspoon as Priestess, vocal performers Grace Galu (Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville), Synead Nichols, and Tieisha Thomas (Hercules), and movement performers Ziiomi Law (MBDance), Ghrai DeVore-Stokes (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), and Makeda Roney (Nia Love Dance). Performers also include Tyme (FlexN, Maze), Shelley Nicole (Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe), Danyel Fulton (Broadbend Arkansas), and Aminata Balde (Urban Bush Women).
Chronicle X will open on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 at 8pm. Current New York State health and safety guidelines are followed for these performances with details and requirements available at theshed.org/visit. Please visit The Shed’s Open Call website here for reservations and more information.
Originally posted on Broadway World by Chloe Rabinowitz May. 24, 2021