Off-Broadway company The Flea has announced its 2023 season, including two world premieres, five Juneteenth commissions, and their third annual house party.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Zora Howard will make her directorial debut in the spring with the world premiere of her play Hang Time. The play explores the expectations put upon Black men in America, and the ways in which their humanity can triumph over the brutality that has been brought against them. Hang Time will be produced in partnership with WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center. The 2023 world premiere at The Flea will be followed by a 2024 west coast premiere in Los Angeles.
The second world premiere of the season will be Nkenna Akunna's cheeky little brown, a coming of age story featuring original songs by playwright and star Akunna. The work examines the complexities of friendship break-ups and personal journeys toward self acceptance. Premiering in the fall, it will mark Akunna's New York City debut.
In addition to these two world premieres, The Flea will commission five artists to devise and stage Juneteenth celebration performances in simultaneous stagings across New York City and Fire Island. 2022’s commissioned artists included Ebony Noelle Golden, James Scruggs, Paris L’Hommie, Chanon Judson, and Nia O. Witherspoon.
The season will be capped off by The Flea's third annual house party, where immersive performances from the disciplines of drag, theatre, music, dance, and visual arts descend on the three-story performing arts complex to celebrate The Flea's mission.
2023 will also feature the return of The Flea's Resident Companies program, including the second year of The Fled Collective serving at the Key Resident Company. The collective operates as an autonomous company, receiving unrestricted cash support, space rental credits, and production and marketing support and resources for development.
They will be joined by modern dance troupe EMERGE125 in a multi-year residency that supports the Black woman-led organization through The Flea's in-house creative, technical, and producing support system.
The theatre company, which underwent a radical transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, is presnting its second season under its new mission of centering experimental art created by Black, Brown, and queer artists in its new Tribeca home.
“This season showcases the bold, wide ranging works of Black, brown and queer artists who are taking impressive leaps in their disciplines. They uniquely capture the joy, concerns and an expansive vision of intersectional identities." said Niegel Smith, the artistic director of The Flea. "Their artistry is why The Flea exists, why the community and staff show up every day, and I am thrilled to invite everyone to experience these works at our theater and throughout our great city."
For more information, visit TheFlea.org.