Cheek by Jowl, Joan Didion, Heidi Rodewald, Philip Glass, and More Tapped for 2018 Next Wave Festival | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Cheek by Jowl, Joan Didion, Heidi Rodewald, Philip Glass, and More Tapped for 2018 Next Wave Festival Brooklyn Academy of Music's annual, multi-disciplinary festival reveals its lineup of theatre, opera, music, dance, film, and more.
Peter Rykov, Elmira Mirel, and Andrei Kuzichev in Cheek by Jowl's Measure for Measure Johan Persson

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has unveiled the lineup for its 2018 Next Wave Festival, which will feature 27 works across music, opera, theatre, dance, film, music, and performance art from around the world. The festival will run October 3–December 23 in a number of BAM venues, included the Howard Gilman Opera House, the Harvey Theater, and BAM Fisher.

Circa's production of Humans PedroGreig

Among the theatre works: The White Album, a multifaceted, semi-immersive performance based on Joan Didion’s well-known essay (and book) of the same name. Obie-winning actor Mia Barron will deliver the essay in its entirety while two performance works simultaneously unfold onstage. The piece, which will invoke a 1960s house party, is created and directed by Las Jan and Early Morning Opera. Performances will run November 28–December 1 in the Harvey Theater.

The theatre lineup also includes New York-based SITI Company’s production of Euripides’ The Bacchae, directed by Anne Bogart (October 3–7 in the Harvey Theater); acclaimed European company Cheek by Jowl and Moscow-based Pushkin Theatre’s contemporary Measure for Measure (October 16–21 in the Harvey Theater); a live show weaving video mapping, innovative lighting, and 3D sound spatialization from Obie winner Andrew Schneider (December 12–15 in Fishman Space); and a new “pop requiem” from Heidi Rodewald, known for her collaborations with Stew on Passing Strange and The Total Bent. Titled The Good Swimmer, the show tells the story of a group of lifeguards, who represent a cohort of young soldiers who were sent to Vietnam. The production will feature a song cycle performed by a nine-piece band and a libretto by Donna DiNovelli (November 28–December 1 in Fishman Space).

Highlights also include the U.S. premiere of Humans, the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe critics hit from acclaimed circus troupe Circa (October 3–7 in the Howard Gilman Opera House); a world-premiere new musical piece featuring a mix of classical, R&B, jazz, rock, experimental, and improvisation from Ted Hearne and Saul Williams with direction by Patricia McGregor (October 11–13 in the Harvey Theater); the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass' re-worked opera about Mahatma Gandhi’s time in South Africa, Satyagraha (October 31–November 4 in the Harvey Theater); the U.S. premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera Greek, adapted by Steven Berkoff from his play and a return of Mark Morris Dance Group's The Hard Nut (December 14–22 in the Howard Gilman Opera House).

2018 Next Wave will be the final festival curated by Joseph V. Melillo, who will step down at the end of the year after 35 years of leadership at BAM.

“It is with immense pride and gratitude that I share the programming for my final BAM Next Wave Festival,” commented Melillo in a statement. “The original Next Wave concept, envisioned by Harvey Lichtenstein, remains vital and dynamic. This year’s festival features works by local and global artists across artistic genres, with new work by artists including Ted Hearne, Sasha Waltz, and Michelle Dorrance; landmark revivals—including a new production of Satyagraha; the return of companies including Cheek by Jowl, Circa, SITI Company, and Wordless Music; as well as a number of BAM debuts. The season comprises a broad array of wondrous personal expression and unique artistic perspectives.”

For the complete lineup of works, visit

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