Today, Mike Bloomberg, Chair of the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) board of directors, joined Executive Director Khady Kamara and Artistic Director Bill Rauch to announce the span of inaugural programs at the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. PAC NYC (251 Fulton Street) is a dynamic new home for the arts, serving audiences and the creative sector through flexible venues enabling the facility to embrace wide-ranging artistic programs. The inaugural year will feature commissions, world premieres, co-productions, and collaborative work across theater, dance, music, opera, film and more. The vision for PAC NYC began when then Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his team worked to ensure the plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site included a performing arts center.
Bloomberg said, “The opening of Perelman Performing Arts Center is going to add light and hope to the World Trade Center site in a manner that respects its role as a place for reflection. PAC NYC’s impact will extend far beyond downtown, as we know the impact of the power of the arts – bringing energy and excitement to bolster neighborhoods, spur investment and build a stronger city. I congratulate Khady Kamara, Bill Rauch, and their entire team for developing such a meaningful, multifaceted artistic program to welcome everyone in this city and beyond. There will be something for everyone at PAC NYC.”
Khady Kamara said, “We believe the arts can inspire and unite us, and we are honored to fulfill this important role as the cultural cornerstone of the World Trade Center site. We will celebrate the diversity and humanity of all five boroughs of New York through ambitious and accessible programming, including free lobby performances on our Clare and Vartan Gregorian Stage, and in everything we do.”
“We have invited some of the most compelling talents in theater, opera, music, and dance to work with us and with each other, to create and present new works that bring PAC NYC to life, here in the world capital of performing arts,” said Bill Rauch. “Our program, which celebrates and brings together an array of artistic disciplines, will anchor a robust and diverse inaugural season that will inspire, entertain, and engage all audiences.”
The inaugural year programming will feature commissions, world premieres, partnerships, festivals and co-productions. The artistic programs will range from World Premieres of Laurence Fishburne’s one-man tour-de-force play Like They Do in The Movies, to a fabulous reimagining of CATS set in the competitions of New York City’s Ballroom culture, to new multi-disciplinary work Watch Night from the acclaimed artistic team of Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones, poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, composer Tamar-kali, and dramaturg Lauren Whitehead.PAC NYC has also partnered with Creative Artist Agency (CAA) to present conversations with renowned celebrities such as Kerry Washington and will host the 2023 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition, the most prestigious competition of its kind.
PAC NYC will open its doors with Refuge: A Concert Series to Welcome the World – a five-evening event featuring a vibrant mix of acclaimed musicians from around the globe curated around the theme of refuge. All concerts will be Pay-What-You-Wish.
· NYC Tapestry: Home as Refuge (Sept. 19) – artists who have come from other parts of the world to make New York their home, including Laurie Anderson, Raven Chacon, Natalie Diaz, and thingNY, Angélique Kidjo, Michael Mwenso, Mwenso and the Shakes, Emel, Wang Guowei, and Forro in the Dark.
· Devotion: Faith as Refuge (Sept. 20) – artists who use music to express their spiritual traditions, including The Klezmatics, Tanya Tagaq, ÌFÉ, Damien Sneed and Chorale Le Chateau, Innov Gnawa, Arun Ramamurthy & Trina Basu ft. Samarth Nagakar, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street.
·Playing it Forward: School as Refuge(Sept. 21) – artists who are educating the next generation, including David Broza, Common, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Mahani Teave.
·Relatively Speaking: Family as Refuge (Sept. 22) – artists for whom making music is a family affair, including Martha Redbone, Amal Murkus and Firas Zreik, the HawtPlates, Fanoos Ensemble, and Villalobos Brothers.
·Childhood Songs: Memory as Refuge (Sept. 23) – artists sharing stories and musical traditions from their childhoods, including Michelle Zauner, Shoshana Bean, Alphabet Rockers, Daniel Gortler, Trinity Youth Chorus, and Abigail Washburn.
Additional details on PAC NYC’s opening programs, including free community open houses, will be announced soon.
Musical Theater and Opera
Watch Night (Nov. 3-18, 2023) – This newly commissioned World Premiere is a genre-defying exploration of justice and forgiveness that fuses melodies rooted in spirituals, percussive breath, and fiery opera with the urgency of slam poetry.
Artists: Bill T. Jones, co-conceiver, director and choreographer
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, co-conceiver, and librettist
Lauren Whitehead, dramaturg
Number Our Days (April 12-14, 2024) – A multi-media oratorio based on Jamie Livingston’s “Photo of the Day” series, which explores our era’s strange alchemy of technology, memory, and community.
Artists: Luna Pearl Woolf, composer
David Van Taylor, conceiver and librettist
Kamna Gupta, conductor
Ty Defoe, director
An American Soldier (May 12-19, 2024) – A new opera based on the powerful true story of U.S. Private Danny Chen will receive its New York Premiere.
Artists: Huang Ruo, composer
David Henry Hwang, librettist
Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Chay Yew, director
Cats (June - July 2024) – The season ends with a fabulous reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, re-envisioned within the dance-rich setting of Ballroom culture, that roared out of New York City over 50 years ago and still rages on runways around the world.
Artists: Zhailon Levingston and Bill Rauch, directors
Arturo Lyons and Omari Wiles, choreographers
Josephine Kearns, dramaturg and gender consultant
Theater and Comedy
The Following Evening (Feb. 1-18, 2024) – An intimate portrait of a couple creating what may be their final performance together after a lifetime at the heart of the experimental theater scene. A unique collaboration between two theater-making couples a generation apart.
Artists: Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet of Talking Band
Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone of 600 Highwaymen
Between Two Knees (Feb. 3-24, 2024) – The Indigenous sketch comedy group The 1491s (Reservation Dogs) presents the outrageously funny play which spans 90 years in the life of a fictional Native American family.
Artists: The 1491s, writers
Eric Ting, director
Good Medicine (Feb. 9, 2024) – An all-Native stand-up evening event featuring Indigenous comedians from across the country, curated & hosted by Jackie Keliiaa.
Like They Do in The Movies (Mar. 10-31, 2024) – A World Premiere of the one-man tour-de-force written and performed by the Tony & Emmy Award winning artist Laurence Fishburne.
Artists: Laurence Fishburne, writer and performer
Leonard Foglia, director
Is It Thursday Yet? (Dec. 8-23, 2023) – A commissioned solo dance work tracing Jenn Freeman’s neurodivergent journey through a stunning tapestry of dance, live music and home video footage.
Artists: Jenn Freeman, co-creator, co-choreographer and performer
Sonya Tayeh, co-creator, co-choreographer and director
Holland Andrews, composer and performer
March by Big Dance Theater (Dec. 10-16, 2023) – An evening of contemporary dance in three parts, that explores our compulsion to move together in time.
Artists: Tendayi Kuumba, Annie-B Parson and Donna Uchizono, choreographers
Motion/Matter: Street Dance Festival (Jan. 5-14, 2024) – A celebration of the multitude of street dance movements emerging from New York City and from around the world including legendary DJs, epic battles and concert dance premieres.
In addition to the Refuge concert series, music programming will include a recital by Easter Island’s pioneering pianist Mahani Teave (Sept. 28) and an intimate “Evening with Brian Stokes Mitchell” (Oct. 5).
2023 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition (Oct. 14 & 15, 2023) – The most prestigious competition of its kind is moving from Washington, D.C., to New York City, presented in association with PAC NYC.
Circle Songs: A Holiday Concert Series (Dec. 20-23, 2023) – A four-evening concert series lighting up the shortest days of the year with an opportunity to see world-class artists in a uniquely intimate in-the-round setting.
Anthony Roth Costanzo & Friends (Dec. 20)
Toshi Reagon (Dec. 21),
Time For Three (Dec. 22)
Orfeh and Andy Karl (Dec. 23)
PAC NYC and Tribeca Festival will partner to present a number of film screenings, panel discussions, performances and special events at PAC NYC in conjunction with the 2024 Tribeca Festival.
In partnership with leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), PAC NYC will present Conversations at PAC NYC, a series of engaging conversations with award-winning authors, bestselling storytellers, and cultural changemakers from the worlds of arts, entertainment, media, and politics. Featured speakers include the following with more to be announced.
Award-winning actor, producer and activist Kerry Washington (Sept. 26).
Actress and creator of the “Red Table Talk” series Jada Pinkett Smith (Oct. 16).
Co-host of NBC’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Jenna Bush Hager with Barbara Pierce Bush (Nov. 13).
In spring 2024, PAC NYC will also present Conversations at PAC NYC: American Prophet, a evening of conversation and musical performances with director and writer Charles Randolph-Wright and Grammy Award-winning composer, lyricist, writer Marcus Hummon from the extraordinary new musical American Prophet: Frederick Douglass In His Own Words. They will be joined in Conversation with the direct descendants of abolitionist Frederick Douglass: great-great-great grandson Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. and his mother, Nettie Washington Douglass.
Family & Lobby Programming
Additional programming, including family performances, programming collaborations and free performances in the lobby on the Vartan and ClareGregorian Stage, will be announced in the coming months.
The inaugural season showcases the unparalleled flexibility of three performing arts venues inside PAC NYC: the John E. Zuccotti Theater (seating up to 450 people), the Mike Nichols Theater (seating up to 250) and the Doris Duke Foundation Theater (seating up to 99). The venues can be used individually or combined (total capacity up to 950 seats) with configurations that include theater-in-the-round, end stage, thrust and traverse, to accommodate artistic innovation that can engage and delight audiences in new ways at every visit.
Named for businessman, philanthropist and benefactor Ronald O. Perelman, the Perelman Performing Arts Center is a 138-foot-tall, cube-shaped building with radically flexible capabilities designed by the architecture firm REX, led by founding principal Joshua Ramus. REX’s design, created in collaboration with executive architect Davis Brody Bond, theater consultant Charcoalblue and acoustician Threshold Acoustics, is conceived for an artistic program that will have vast and varied needs to serve New York’s extraordinarily diverse arts community. The building is wrapped in nearly 5,000 half-inch thick marble tiles which have been book matched to create a symmetrical pattern, which is identical on all four sides of the building. The marble façade allows light to radiate in during the day and glow out during the evening. David Rockwell and his architecture and design firm Rockwell Group designed the interior of the lobby and restaurant with a dynamic, glowing ceiling visible from the street to create an inviting entry experience. The lobby's restaurant by chef Marcus Samuelsson, along with the bar and outdoor terrace, offers a new gathering space for the Lower Manhattan community.
Tickets & PAC NYC Individual Memberships
PAC NYC Memberships starting at $10 for the inaugural season are available as of June 14. Members are provided early access to purchase tickets and other perks. For more information or to learn how to support PAC NYC, visit PACNYC.org.
Beginning Tuesday, June 20 PAC NYC members and Citi cardmembers can purchase tickets through an exclusive presale.
Tickets to the following events go on sale to the public beginning Friday, June 23 at 10:00 a.m.
·Refuge: A Concert Series to Welcome the World
· Kerry Washington:CAA Conversations at PAC NYC
·Mahani Teave, piano
·Brian Stokes Mitchell
·2023 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition
· Jada Pinkett Smith: CAA Conversations at PAC NYC
· Jenna Bush Hager with Barbara Pierce Bush: CAA Conversations at PAC NYC
·Is It Thursday Yet?
· Circle Songs: A Holiday Concert Series
· The Following Evening
·Between Two Knees
Tickets start at $39 and are available online at PACNYC.org or by calling 212.266.3000.All performances are at 251 Fulton Street.
“Citi has a deep and meaningful connection to the World Trade Center, where many of our colleagues were working on 9/11,” said Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Citi. “We were proud to help finance its reconstruction and have been a founding supporter of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Now, we are honored to help bring art, creativity, and passion to Lower Manhattan through our sponsorship of the Perelman Performing Arts Center, as the World Trade Center enters its next stage of renewal.”
The public can sign up for important updates from PAC NYC at PACNYC.org/sign-up.
Citi is the official card and a proud sponsor of PAC NYC.
PAC NYC is grateful for the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies
PAC NYC is committed to providing an enjoyable and inclusive experience for all patrons and ensuring that all audiences have access to our programs and performances. PAC NYC meets or exceeds the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Entrance at PAC NYC is sponsored by Citi. For more information on accessibility, please visit PACNYC.org/accessibility.
Information provided is accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change.