The Flea Theater, led by Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Board Co-Chair Nona Hendryx, supports and invests in experimental art by Black, brown and queer artists. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include Drama Desk-nominated She Kills Monsters, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.
Arden: But, Not Without You is a genre-bending new work, commissioned by The Flea and led by Peter Born, Diana Oh, Okwui Okpokwasili, Niegel Smith, Carrie Mae Weems and Nia Witherspoon.
Diana Oh describes Arden as “Four Generations of Deeply Intimately Bound All-Kinds-of-Doing-Shit Artists sharing of themselves in a Tender-Ass Room full of Queer Femme Shamanic Energy who Genuinely and Gently Welcome You: Social Anxieties, Yummy Freakiness, and All.”
Okwui adds: “We assume nothing. We know nothing, other than a shared desire to reach out and learn about how little we have known and how much we assume. We bring each other offerings and practices and we ask people to come and join us in these offerings. Can we come together in this spirit? There will be music, there will be dance, there might be a party. You bring what you can, we will hold a space for it.”
And Diana brings it all back, “When the world be moving so fast, and I be so gentle, this is the room I wanna be in.”
Come as you are.