For Immediate Release October 7, 2020
SITI Company Announces Legacy Plan and Prepares for Final Season
Anticipated 2020-2022 Season Will Celebrate 30 Years of Theatrical Innovation
The award-winning SITI Company, a leading New York-based theater ensemble celebrated locally and internationally, announces the SITI Legacy Plan, which includes a finale 30th anniversary season and the creation of a robust physical and digital archive. At the conclusion of the finale season, anticipated to be the Fall of 2022, SITI Company will cease to operate in its current iteration as a touring, teaching, performing ensemble with an administrative staff and a studio. Some SITI Company members, including renowned director Anne Bogart, will continue to work on theatrical projects together and separately, in addition to teaching and licensing SITI Company works.
Following a two-year planning process that began in 2017, SITI Company determined that its mission was rooted in the passions of like-minded individual artists—its ensemble members—and not a larger self-sustaining institution. In early 2019, SITI Company members, board, and staff decided that shedding the constraints of an organization, such as an administrative staff and a physical office and studio, in favor of moving towards a more flexible configuration was the organic next step. This would allow all stakeholders to move onto new projects in a healthy way.
“The question that we asked was, are we an institution that continues on indefinitely, or are we a group of artists who circled around one another thirty years ago and then stayed together based upon a shared vision about collaborative creation,” said Anne Bogart, Co-Artistic Director of SITI Company. “After much consideration, it became clear that we are a specific group of likeminded artists moving through time and space together. And now, here we are, taking our next step, but united in our intention to help others to carry the tradition forwards, each in their own fashion.”
Planning for the final 30th anniversary season has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, once theaters have reopened, a national tour will be announced that will highlight the breadth and depth of SITI Company’s artistry. Current committed touring partners include La MaMa in New York, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.
“SITI Company was rehearsing and conducting Suzuki workshops in our space in the 90’s on the floor that our founder, Ellen Stewart, installed for Tadashi Suzuki,” said Mia Yoo, Artistic Director, La MaMa. “Our histories are intertwined, and in this landmark moment for the Company we are honored to connect and partner again. SITI has deeply influenced and informed my own work, and on a global scale the Company has transformed contemporary theater practice. SITI’s legacy will be felt in generations of theater makers to come.”
“SITI Company is a beloved and prolific standard-bearer in the world of ensemble theater,” said Kristy Edmunds, Executive and Artistic Director, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. “Their impact over 30 years has ignited theater makers and audiences with plays that are indelibly marked through their uniqueness. Having been blessed to present a number of their productions over decades and across continents, I am honored to be a part of this next chapter.”
“Krannert Center thanks SITI Company for sharing three decades of extraordinary, provocative, and original theater making,” said Mike Ross, Director, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “SITI Company will forever resonate through our hallways and rehearsal spaces, and on our stages. The lives the company has touched and the impact of their keen observations and critical thinking will continue to influence our approach to education and community building.”
In the meantime, under the stewardship of Sharon Lehner, Director of Archives at BAM, and following a lead gift from the Howard Gilman Foundation for the Legacy Campaign and a special project grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SITI Company has begun the meticulous process of creating a comprehensive living archive. The goal of the archive is to create a multi-faceted resource for scholars, theater makers, and international audiences, one that can be easily accessed online and in person.
For its 2020/21 Season, SITI has moved forward with virtual programming including online Training, SITI Socials and Thought Center events, and a to-be-announced series of SITI artist talks. SITI & STREB’s 2019 production FALLING & LOVING, based on the works of Charles Mee, will open PEAK HD, a partnership between PEAK Performances and WNET’s ALL ARTS that will broadcast performances produced at PEAK Performances’ state-of-the-art home, The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, to audiences across the country. Breathtakingly captured with 12 cameras of varying sizes and purposes, FALLING & LOVING will air on October 11, 2020, at 8pm on all of the ALL ARTS digital channels and on PEAK HD.
About SITI Company
SITI Company was founded in 1992 by Tadashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart, and a group of like-minded artists interested in revitalizing and redefining contemporary theater in the United States through international cultural exchange, creation of new work, and the training of theater artists. Originally envisioned as the Saratoga International Theater Institute (SITI) in Saratoga Springs, NY, SITI quickly established itself in New York City and expanded to encompass a year-round season inclusive of creating new work, touring, and training programs to cultivate the next generation of independent theater artists. The Company is known nationally and internationally as a top-level artistic ensemble that generates groundbreaking theater. SITI Company is Akiko Aizawa, J.Ed Araiza, Anne Bogart, Will Bond, Gian-Murray Gianino, Leon Ingulsrud, Ellen Lauren, Ellen M. Lavaia, Kelly Maurer, Charles L. Mee, Barney O’Hanlon, Neil Patel, James Schuette, Brian H Scott, Samuel Stricklen, Stephen Duff Webber, and Darron L West. Former company members include Susan Hightower, Jefferson Mays, Elizabeth Moreau, Tom Nelis, KJ Sanchez, and Megan Wanlass.
SITI Company was built on the bedrock of ensemble. They believe that through the practice of collaboration, a group of artists committed to working together over time can have a significant impact on both contemporary theater and the world at large. Through performances, educational programs, and collaborations with other artists and thinkers, SITI continues to challenge the status quo, to train, and to achieve artistic excellence in every aspect of their work, and to offer new ways of seeing and of being as both artists and as global citizens.
SITI is deeply committed to the training and development of young and emerging artists as well as a continuing dialogue with established artists. SITI has redefined contemporary theater in the US through innovative approaches to actor training, collaboration and cultural exchange. Mary Overlie’s Viewpoint work deeply influenced Anne Bogart and the Company continues to teach an evolving form of Viewpoints, inspired, informed and rooted in Overlie’s work. The world renowned director Tadashi Suzuki was instrumental in the founding of SITI Company and continues to support SITI’s work and teaching. The direct lineage of SITI’s training with these pioneers has made Company members uniquely qualified to introduce artists to both of these essential and innovative techniques for nearly thirty years.
SITI has traveled to 27 countries on 5 continents and created more than 47 productions, which have been presented at venues across the world. Widely known for highly innovative, physical productions that have ranged from new plays to original devised pieces to reinventions of classics, SITI has expanded the meaning of collaboration by creating work with Rachels, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ann Hamilton, Julia Wolfe and the Bang on A Can All Stars, and STREB Extreme Action. SITI has a forthcoming collaboration with Nine Years Theatre in Singapore in 2021.
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