The Shed's second season to feature new commissions and familiar faces

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The Shed's second season to feature new commissions and familiar faces
Portrait of Howardena Pindell Photography © Nathan Keay, 2018 Courtesy the artist, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

by Gabe Cohn

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- As it settles into New York’s cultural fabric, the Shed — the $475 million arts center in Hudson Yards that opened this year — has a question to answer: After a flashy first season that has included a “kung fu musical,” Björk and a concert series conceived by director Steve McQueen, how do you keep people interested?

The venue’s sophomore season, announced Friday, is a response to that question.

“One thing we wanted to do was to have a wide enough range of commissions in that first season to demonstrate that there was something for most people in our program,” Alex Poots, the Shed’s artistic director and chief executive, said in an interview.

“There’s less pressure on this season to do everything,” he added.

It’s still an eclectic mix.

The 2020 season will include the world premiere of “Help,” a theatrical work by author and poet Claudia Rankine that explores white male privilege — a subject that Rankine also addressed in an article in The New York Times Magazine this year. “Help” will be directed by Taibi Magar, with movement choreography by dancer Shamel Pitts. It will debut in March.

The U.S. premiere of “Misty,” a play by British playwright and actor Arinze Kene, will come in September. “Misty” had a buzzy debut in London at the Bush Theater last year before transferring to the West End. The Shed has commissioned an altered version.

In May, the Shed’s flagship space, the McCourt Theater, will host a large-scale interactive artwork from visual artist Tomás Saraceno, part of an exhibition, “Particular Matter(s),” that deals with climate change.

The season will also feature work by artists Ian Cheng and Howardena Pindell, plus commissions from the Shed’s “Open Call” program, which develops work by New York artists.

Alongside newcomers, the 2020 slate will feature artists behind two of the first season’s big shows.

Choreographer William Forsythe, who brought “A Quiet Evening of Dance” to the Shed this year, will return to the venue in October to debut a new work jointly commissioned by the Shed and Boston Ballet.

And after leading an interpretation of Verdi’s “Requiem” at the Shed last month, conductor Teodor Currentzis, along with the MusicAeterna chorus and orchestra, is set to perform another program in November, the details of which will be announced next year.

© 2019 The New York Times Company

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