Theater 122one of downtown New York’s innovative bastions of visual art, dance and theater, will return to its East Village home in January after six nomadic years during which the building of the organization has been renovated.
The inauguration of the new space will be the 13th and final edition of the Coil de Performance Space 122 festival – the first under the tenure of Jenny Schlenzka, former curator of the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 who this year became the executive artistic director of the institution.
In an email, Ms Schlenzka said Coil would end because “there isn’t the same need for a festival of performances in January as there was at the start of Coil”. She added that because Performance Space 122 will once again have a permanent home, “we look forward to spreading out our programming throughout the year.”
Among the Coil events, from January 10 to February 4, are three world premieres: “Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons” (January 12-17), a play by composer and writer Dane Terry; “Petra” (January 23-27), by choreographer Dean Moss and inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1972 film “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”; and “he his own mythical beast” (January 31-February 4), David Thomson’s dance work that draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including Alfred Hitchcock, James Baldwin and Roland Barthes.
Performance Space 122, which since its inception in 1980 has nurtured artists like Taylor Mac, Penny Arcade and the daring Elevator Repair Service theater group, temporarily closed its home in 2011 for renovations. But the 1894 building, a former schoolhouse at 150 First Avenue, caused a series of setbacks and delays for the project, which ultimately created column-less installations and two interdisciplinary performance spaces.
The organization said in a statement that Ms. Schlenzka, who as a curator has brought downtown artists like Ann Liv Young and Justin Vivian Bond to MoMA PS1, approached the Performance Space 122 lineup with a eye on the history of East Village.
With that in mind, the “year-round programming” Ms. Schlenzka referred to will begin immediately after Coil. From February to June, Performance Space 122 will present the start of a series of biannual themed performances.
It begins with an exhibition, book-entry and other events inspired by the neighborhood’s punk culture of the 1970s and 1980s and in tribute to postmodern punk writer Kathy Acker, who died in 1997. The space has also commissioned new works to choreographers Sarah Michelson and Yve Laris Cohen, who will create an in situ piece for the organization’s new theatre.
Other performances include a cover of “Them”, which debuted cheekily at Performance Space 122 in 1986 in response to the AIDS crisis, featuring choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones, guitarist Chris Cochrane and writer Dennis Cooper. More details will be announced soon, the organization said.