The project was born in a conversation between the composer Julia Wolfe, one of the three composers of Bang on a Can, and Anne Bogart. Julia had written an oratorio entitled Steel Hammerand we began to discuss collaboration between SITI Company and the Bang on a Can All Stars towards a music theater piece that would transform Julia’s oratorio into a dramatic music-theater piece.
The work premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2014, with recorded music. Then, in the fall of 2015, SITI and the musicians of the Bang on a Can All-Stars collaborated to create the fullest version yet of this music-theater piece. This complete realization of Steel Hammer had its first performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, before touring around the country throughout the fall and culminating in the New York premiere at BAM in December.
For many years Anne Bogart and SITI have wanted to create a project celebrating the great American composer, writer, artist, and philosopher John Cage. Chess Match No. 5 is a play based upon texts from the many public conversations that John Cage conducted with others over his lifetime and is the first step towards the realization of a large-scale cross-disciplinary project entitled Theater Piece #1. Chess Match No.
the theater is a blank page is a collaboration between SITI Company and the visual artist Ann Hamilton, winner of the National Medal of Arts. This immersive and interdisciplinary performance installation uses the entirety of the theater, leading the audience from the balconies to the production shops to the wings and onto the stage itself.