The Broad Stage proudly announces its new role as a commissioner and producer of original works, centered on dynamic partnerships with the groundbreaking artists of our time! Our first artistic cohort is creating five new works which will receive their World, California and Los Angeles Premieres over the next three seasons. Taking a work from inception to fully-staged realization is a very special process for all involved – one that we invite you, our audiences, to be a part of.
 

Commissions Works & Artistic Partners

  • Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside) — A musical feast for the soul exploring intimacy between white and Black people amid lasting anti-Black racism by the TEAM, co-directed by Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown) and Zhailon Levingston (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical)
  • Iphigenia — Greek myth and opera itself are re-imagined to raise up social justice for a modern time, by Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding with sets designed by architect Frank Gehry
  • Yemandja — The African Goddess of the Sea inspires this theatricalization about love, injustice and free will, from Beninoise superstar Angélique Kidjo with visuals by artist Kerry James Marshall
  • Universal Child Care — Part concert, part play this multinational cast explores family and cultural norms of childcare, by Quote Unquote Collective’s co-artistic directors Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava
  • Being Future Being — First Nation creation myths inspire a new path toward community stewardship of our lands, from award-winning choreographer and Catalyst Dance artistic director Emily Johnson
Production dates to be determined. 

Support the development and presentation of new works like these by becoming a Member of The Broad Stage! 


Go behind-the-scenes with REVEAL!

Join us for REVEAL, a unique series of digital residencies with our artistic partners as they develop their new work. Go behind the curtain and into the hearts and minds of the creators, and witness their ideas and transformational practices in action through exclusive footage, demonstrations, discussions, performances and much more. Learn more about this engaging series and RSVP for upcoming episodes.



Stay connected to news about our commissions, artistic partners and more.
 

The Commissions

Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside)

California Premiere

Created by Brenda Abbandandolo, Denée Benton, Jhanaë Bonnick, Vinie Burrows, Rachel Chavkin, Eisa Davis, André De Shields, JJJJJerome Ellis, Katherine Freer, Jill Frutkin, Amber Gray, Jeremy O. Harris, Matt Hubbs, Modesto "Flako" Jimenez, Marika Kent, Libby King, Ian Lassiter, Zhailon Levingston, Jake Margolin, James Harrison Monaco, Kristen Sieh, Nicholas Vaughan, and Jillian Walker. Reconstruction's Process Chaplain is Milta Vega-Cardona. Co-directed by Rachel Chavkin and Zhailon Levingston 

“Theatrical excavators of American culture, American dreams, and the American psyche.”  - The Guardian  

In this theatrical and musical world premiere, the Brooklyn-based TEAM puts present-day America under the microscope and asks what it takes to reconstruct ourselves personally and nationally in the face of centuries-old race and representation challenges. This athletic and emotional work pulls American history and mythology into a modern story that stretches across time to touch the raw nerves of the current moment. 

Co-directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown) and Zhailon Levingston (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Reconstruction examines if intimacy can and/or should exist between white-identifying and Black-identifying individuals in an anti-Black America.  

The Broad Stage's commissioning of Reconstruction was made possible in part by Susan Stockel.  

 

Iphigenia

Los Angeles Premiere

Music by Wayne Shorter
Libretto and Performed by esperanza spalding
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Conducted by Clark Rundell
Set designed by Frank Gehry 

“Our Iphigenia has at its core a sense of autonomy – in this adventure of life, you have freedom of choice. All cards are on the table and Iphigenia gets to choose, free of everything. Through her example, we can learn how to take a creative approach to everything, using the power of spontaneous engagement. The overarching sentiment is one of humanistic love, of wanting to re-awaken the dreams of youth free of the pressures of adulthood.” - esperanza spalding 

Through a classical and jazz-infused score and a deeply poetic libretto, the modern operatic re-imagining of Iphigenia stares down the history of opera and makes some demands on its future. Two of the most visionary and daring musical voices of our time, Wayne Shorter, “generally acknowledged to be jazz’s greatest living composer” (The New York Times) and esperanza spalding, “well over a decade into one of the most fruitful and strikingly original careers” (Rolling Stone) have transported a classic tale into a contemporary world where race, gender and relationships are challenged in the name of change.  

With direction from Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz, conducted by Clark Rundell and on a set designed by Frank Gehry, Iphigenia turns its gaze outward beyond the stage, asking what will we make at this precise moment in our collective present when we are so desperately in need of new visions for the world. 

Audiences will never experience the same show twice! 

 

Yemandja

Los Angeles Premiere

Conceived by Angelique Kidjo, Jean Hebrail & Naïma Hebrail Kidjo
Book & Lyrics by Naïma Hebrail Kidjo
Music by Angelique Kidjo & Jean Hebrail
Developed with and Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Production Designer Kerry James Marshall
Music Director Darryl Archibald
Lighting Designer Kathy A. Perkins
Projections Designer Rasean Davonte Johnson
Costume Designer Mary Jane Marcasiano
Dramaturg Iyvon Edebiri
Starring Angelique Kidjo

“What I’ve been trying to do as an artist is create a bridge in between cultures. The culture I come from is so oral and so vivid, it comes with images that you cannot really express. I try to let people understand that there is Yemandja in every culture.” - Angélique Kidjo  
 
Angélique Kidjo’s music “has always been about legacies of women, of Africa, of tradition, of changing tradition when tradition needed changing and the sharing of stories” (NPR).  

Experience a cohesive and expansive work of original theater both uniquely African with deep connections to the roots of African American culture. Inspired by her ancestors, her family and Africa’s resilience, Beninoise superstar and three-time GRAMMY winner Angélique Kidjo has conjured a mesmerizing tale that will shake us awake. This hybrid of family drama and historical thriller, redolent of Greek tragedy and infused with themes of love, betrayal, honor, free will and the horror and injustice of slavery is a work of magical realism that illuminates through song what happens when people are robbed of their culture.  

 

Universal Child Care

U.S. Premiere

By Quote Unquote Collective
Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava, co-artistic directors

Witness the sheer power and force of the unaccompanied human voice in the newest work from Canadian multi-disciplinary performance company Quote Unquote Collective. Part concert, part theatre play (and self-consciously neither of these things), the ensemble screams about the lack of affordable child care and growing inequalities, while comparing different approaches to child care around the globe. This urgent social and political message ventures outside the boundaries of tradition and expectation, and features a nine-person choir, highly-stylized movement and songs delivered in multiple languages. 

Universal Child Care is commissioned by The Broad Stage at Santa Monica College and is Co-Produced by Quote Unquote Collective and Why Not Theatre (Toronto, CA)

 

Being Future Being

World Premiere

by Emily Johnson
featuring a score by Raven Chacon

“I view our bodies as everything: our bodies are culture, history, present and future, all at once. Out of respect for, and trust in, our bodies and collective memories, I give equal weight to story and image, to movement and stillness, to what I imagine and what I do not know.”  - Emily Johnson 

Behold a visual, aural and ancestral landscape of Indigenous power! Award-winning choreographer Emily Johnson has created an evening-length performance gathering which examines future creation stories and present joy, and serves as an integral part of our connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present and future. This new partnership seeks to (re)build visions of the forces that brought this world into being while ushering into focus new futures with the potential to reshape the way we relate to ourselves, and to the human and more-than-human cohabitants of our worlds.