Archive Residency Artists

2020 - 2021
Kareem M. Lucas

2019 - 2020
Byzantine Choral Project
Radical Evolution

2018 - 2019
One-Eighth Theater
The Drunkard's Wife

2017 - 2018
Built for Collapse

2016 - 2017
Our Voices

2015 - 2016
The Assembly
Blessed Unrest

2014 - 2015
The Vampire Cowboys

2013 - 2014
The Mad Ones

Selected Press
for Archive Residency

REVIEW: soot and spit, by Our Voices Theatre
-New York Times

WATCH: Meet The Assembly, a Short Video
-TDF Stages

REVIEW: The Upper Room, by Rady&Bloom
-New York Times

Is This a Secret to Off-Off
Broadway Survival?
-TDF Stages

REVIEW: The Essential Straight & Narrow by The Mad Ones
-New York Times

IRT Theater/New Ohio Theatre Launches Residency Program

Upcoming Presentation

ICONS/IDOLS: The Purple Room
By Byzantine Choral Project
Written by Helen Banner, composed by Grace Oberhofer, and designed by Afsoon Pajoufar.
An Archive Residency World Premiere
May 2021

ICONS/IDOLS: The Purple Room is an audio drama, an immersive installation, and a listening environment that chronicles the rise of Irene from Athenian child bride to Empress Regent in Constantinople. ICONS/IDOLS is the full cycle of choral plays about the eighth century Byzantine Empresses and the introduction of female imperial rule, created by Byzantine Choral Project, and developed in part through our Archive Residency program. The Purple Room is a spin-off piece, derived from play one, Irene (Ice Factory 2016), and reconceived to be experienced in the theatre, under COVID-safe conditions.
Our newest residency artists

New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater are excited to welcome Kareem M. Lucas and the team of Zhailon Levingston, Alex Hare, and Nehemiah Luckett as our newest Archive Residency artists.
Kareem M. Lucas
Kareem M. Lucas is a Brooklyn born and Harlem based Actor/Writer/Producer/Director. His solo pieces include "The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO)", "From Brooklyn With Love”, "RATED BLACK: An American Requiem", "A Boy & His Bow”, and "Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain't Always Pretty". He has performed his solo work at The Greene Space, Aaron Davis Hall at City College, The Town Hall, Fire This Time Festival, IRT Theater, The Slipper Room, Teatro Circulo, Judson Arts Wednesdays, Hi-ARTS, AFO Theater, JACK, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, among others. He is currently co-collaborating on the immersive theatrical piece "The Black History Museum…According to the United States of America", as a writer/performer with the Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative as a part of their Residency at HERE Arts Center, it will premiere at HERE in November 2019. He most recently was a part of The 2019 Mentor Project at The Cherry Lane Theatre, where his solo show The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO)" was mounted. He s also an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and a NYTW 2050 Playwriting Fellow. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program.
Zhailon Levingston (Co-Director, Co-Book Writer) is a writer/director. He recently directed Neptune at Dixon Place and the Brooklyn Museum and The Years That Went Wrong by David Zheng at The Lark and MCC. He is the Associate Director of Primer for a Failed Super Power, Annie Salem and Reconstruction with Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. He is also the US Associate Director of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on Broadway.

Alex Hare (Co-Director, Co-Book Writer) is a director of new musicals (mostly) and the Associate Artistic Director of Corkscrew Theater Festival, which seeks to provide early-career artists with a high level of production support while reducing barriers to entry. In the works: Walt Whitman BodyJolt (developed at Barn Arts Collective and Corkscrew Downstairs) and You Can’t Kiss a Movie (workshop production at HERE). Frequently an assistant to film director Bill Condon, Alex studied American Studies at Columbia University.

Nehemiah Luckett (Composer): Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Nehemiah Luckett has been performing, composing and conducting for over 30 years. He has been a featured soloist at the National Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and has performed all over the US and Europe. Currently, Nehemiah has three musicals in development, including (((Jazz Singer))) with Joshua William Gelb, premiering at Abrons Arts Center in September 2019. Nehemiah is the Music Director and Composer for Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, a group of anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth loving urban activists who have worked with communities on four continents defending community, life, and imagination and resisting Consumerism and Militarism.
The Project
Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain't Always Pretty
Created and Performed by Kareem M. Lucas
In this solo show, Kareem M. Lucas reanimates the memory of a never-ending NYC night — a wild roller coaster ride through alcohol, drugs, sex, joy, loss, and self-discovery. He weaves together his past and present to interrogate our desperate need for significance, in life and after death, and mythologizes the everyday experience of a common Black man in America. Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain't Always Pretty is an epic poem about fulfilling one’s purpose—if there is any—before time runs out. The clock is ticking.
The Project
A Burning Church (a new musical)
Book and Direction by Alex Hare and Zhailon Levingston
Music by Nehemiah Luckett
Lyrics by Zhailon Levingston
Cleo and Pastor Jen are standing in the rubble that used to be Calvary Baptist Church. Two years ago they lost the lease, five years ago little Ciara was killed, ten years ago half the congregation left in protest, twenty years ago it was the second biggest megachurch in Alabama, thirty-four years ago they found the pastor in the basement — and last night Richard broke in, to await God’s imminent return.

A kaleidoscopic new musical tracing the lives of church leaders and congregants amid political movements, tragedies, and spiritual rebirth, A Burning Church is about an American institution fighting to survive a crisis of faith.
Photo of the artist by Stan Demidoff Photography.
Production photo of Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty, Under The Radar's INCOMING! Festival, The Public Theater. Photo by Stan Demidoff Photography.
Photo of the artists courtesy of the artists.
Production Photo of Nathan Hinton and Gary Vincent, A Burning Church, Producers Club 2019, New Ohio Theatre. Photo by Erik McGregor, Lighting by Katie Whittemore.
What is the Archive Residency?

The Archive Residency offers artists a two-year commitment of space, artistic support, and institutional continuity for the development and presentation of a new work. In partnership with IRT Theatre, our neighbors in the Archive Building, we provide independent theatre companies with that most elusive and invaluable resource: an artistic home.

In the first year, resident companies are provided one month of development at IRT and a workshop presentation as part of the New Ohio's Ice Factory. The second year includes another month of development at IRT and a world premiere presentation in our mainstage season.

The partnership between New Ohio and IRT that forms the Archive Residency helps further establish the West Village's Archive Building as one of the premier destinations for the development and presentation of NYC's best and brightest theatre makers.
Who we are

New Ohio Theatre develops and presents bold new work from New York's independent theatre community. We believe that the best of this community, the small artist-driven companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the theatrical boundaries of the American theatre. We use our development and presenting programs to nurture, strengthen, and promote this community for Manhattan's most adventurous theater audiences.

IRT is a grassroots laboratory for independent theater and performance in New York City, providing space and support to a new generation of artists. IRT’s mission is to build a community of emerging and established artists by creating a home for the development and presentation of new work.

Our current residency companies

2020 World Premieres:
Gallery of Past Archive Residency World Premieres
The Archive Residency is generously supported, in part, by grants from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Howard Gilman Foundation; and Mental Insight Foundation.
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