Recommended Viewing: Bastardy + stories of the “Stolen Generation”

Note from the Editor: Before the staged, musical version of Jack Charles V The Crown by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, there was the documentary film Bastardy. Weaving together a personal story of fame, addiction and loss, Bastardy gives an unfiltered lens into the life and past of Uncle Jack Charles. Below is the official theatrical trailer of Bastardy as well as an interview with Uncle Jack on his experience of being among Australia’s “Stolen Generation” We recommend viewing the below to provide a little context in who Jack Charles is. His story is an important one for both Australians and Americans to hear and we hope you’ll join us March 22-25 at New York Lives Arts to do so.

Note from Uncle Jack: Shortly after the screening of a 56-minute version of my documentary, Bastardy, on the ABC, I started to receive, almost immediately, feedback from a number of sources… testament that my story had hit that ‘sweet spot’ in the minds and hearts of ordinary viewers, in Melbourne and nationwide. It had impressed so many people, from all walks of life, that many were urged to contact me by phone or postcard, others content to wait for a chance meet, face to face. On the streets, on a tram, bus, or train… each one practically falling arse over tit to engage, talk and thank me for the experience. I thoroughly enjoy the rapport and support offered by complete strangers, and understand and honour their reaching out to me.

It came as no surprise when Rachael Maza, the Artistic Director for ILBIJERRI, rang to talk about taking my story to its rightful place – the stage, the theatre. The mob at ILBIJERRI were always aware of the rise in my profile and standing in the performing arts arena, so it wasn’t long before I got the call to arms from Rachael and ILBIJERRI – Bold Black ‘n’ Brilliant! Rachael had roped in my old friend from the Pram Factory days, John Romeril, to be my dramaturg. T’was easy to re-connect to the man who’d written the original play, Bastardy… I expect we’ll do even better this time round. This is one very important piece of theatre that I am so anxious and ready to do. I reckon that people from the arts and performing industries have come to the realisation that I share the writing with Romeril, writing a couple of the monologues myself, and performing clean, without any giggle-juice or drugs to enhance my presence on stage. Jack Charles v The Crown is the culmination of years of frustration and rejection from bureaucracy, both black and white.

Ramp 2017 Artists Announced!

Ramp 2017 Artists Include Justin Hicks and Tess Dworman

Performance Space 122’s Ramp residency program is designed to foster the creation of ambitious, new work from New York City-based emerging artists working across genres, perspectives and cultures. With this residency, PS122 not only provides the space needed to work but also technical assistance, commissioning fees, marketing support as well as the confidence to make bold moves in new directions.

PS122’s Ramp 2017 will feature composer and performer Justin Hicks and choreographer Tess Dworman.

For over 35 years, PS122 has invited audiences to engage in live experiences that can have profound and unpredictable effects in order to foster the spirit of inquiry and openness necessary in a generative society. We produce these experiences by providing contemporary artists who represent diverse genres, cultures, and perspectives with the resources and platforms to develop and present new works.

Each residency will culminate with a free, public showing. Additional information, including artist statements and bios, can be found at

Announcing PS122’s New Leadership: Jenny Schlenzka

We’re very excited to announce the appointment of Performance Space 122’s new Executive Artistic Director, Jenny Schlenzka! Below is a letter from Enrico Ciotti, PS122 Board President, with the good news:

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Performance Space 122 has appointed Jenny Schlenzka, a respected curator of performance at MoMA PS1, as our next Executive Artistic Director.

headshot_eblastAt Performance Space 122, we celebrate courage – to challenge preconceived notions, to break barriers, both in substance and form, to take visible actions towards a freer, more expressive, diverse and equitable society. Jenny is a bold risk-taker whose programmatic choices combine a thorough curatorial approach with such great instincts on what it is that makes the heart of our extended community pulse. I am confident she will be a great leader at a very exciting time of growth for the organization. 

Jenny will become PS122’s first female artistic leader and will build upon the legacy of both Vallejo Gantner (2005–2016) and Mark Russell (1985–2005). She brings over a decade of curatorial experience, primarily in live performance and media art, to PS122 as we prepare to return to our beloved East Village home. You can read more about Jenny Schlenzka and PS122 in the announcement recently published in The New York Times.

Many of you have stood by us through this transitional period of our history and, for this, we cannot thank you enough. Your dedication to the organization and the audiences and artists we support has sustained us mentally and fiscally. We look forward to the work that lies ahead. 

I hope to see you all in January at the Coil Festival. 

Enrico Ciotti
President, Performance Space 122 Board of Directors

For more information about PS122’s Coil Festival or to contribute a year-end donation, please visit:

Long Table Series: Shared Readings

The Long Table Series has been a platform for shared learning. In the past, we’ve walked away with new perspectives, found renewed directions for our work, and connected to others in a way that fostered our collective growth around topics. Each discussion has been incredibly different and gave the collective differing outcomes.

As we dive deeper into the idea of shared learning, we’re sharing some of the readings that have been informing us and encourage you to do the same in the comments section. We will continuously update the post with the comprehensive list.

Long Table Shared Readings

Art + Technology Long Table on Nov. 29, 2016, co-hosted with TED and Kickstarter:
The End of Art by Seth Godin
Technology and the Democratization of the Media

Cultural Equity Long Table on Nov. 7, 2016, co-hosted with FABnyc and Loisaida, Inc.
CreateNYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers
Making Sense of Cultural Equity
by Clara Inés Schuhmacher, Katie Ingersoll, Fari Nzinga and Ian David Moss
Americans for the Arts’ Statement on Cultural Equity
Diversity is a Problem
by Melissa Hillman via Bitter Gertrude
Why I’m Done Talking About Diversity
by Marlon James via Literary Hub

Yehuda Duenyas wins an Emmy Award!

Photo Courtesy of the ArtistLongtime PS122 artist Yehuda Duenyas and his company, Mindride LLC, have proved that once again #lovewins as they win “Outstanding Commercial” at the Creative Arts Emmys alongside the Ad Council and R/GA. Love Has No Labels, the public service announcement promoting diversity and inclusion, has been viewed over 160 million times online. According to the Ad Council, it is the second most viewed social and community activism video of all time. Congrats Yehuda and team!

For the next 3 years, Yehuda will be working with Performance Space 122 to develop PS122 Virtual, a program designed to consider what it means to be live in an online realm. Keep an eye out in 2017 and beyond…