Premiere New York Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description Ted Hearne—whose critically acclaimed works such as Katrina Ballads and The Source (2014 NWF) are inspired by events with national consequences—returns to BAM with a world premiere that draws on a very personal experience: his childhood in inner-city Chicago and the time he lived in Fort Greene between 2009 and 2014. He and another Brooklynite, poet Saul Williams, struck up a friendship. Their ongoing, wide-ranging conversations with co-creator Patricia McGregor became the text basis of Place, a modern-day oratorio that explores “place” in all its physical and metaphorical mutations: childhood memories, space, urban politics, gentrification, ownership, migration, and the American experience. An eclectic score with nods to classical, R&B, jazz, rock, experimental, and improvisation is performed by 18 instrumentals and six singers. It reflects the complicated issues raised by these probing artists and is theatricalized by McGregor.