2020 Major Events
2020 by the Numbers
Crowdsourcing from our community, our favorite Cold Readings
Crowd-sourced from our community, our 2020 favorite...
Crowd-sourced from our community, the last in-person theater we saw
Crowd-sourced from our community, what are we looking forward to in 2021?
Our Plans for 2021
* We are planning our two productions and one cabaret to have multiple presentation options. Outdoors? Online? We are keeping safety top-of-mind, with multiple contingency plans and flexibility as the health situation in NYC changes.
Thank you so much for all your support in 2020. The year was wild and difficult but there were still plays and people and memories that we are so grateful for. May all of us have a healthy and happy new year!
Katie here, with an attempt to gather up some favorite moments from 2020, following up on our lists of favorite books and music from the year.
I can think so clearly back to 365 days ago, when I was looking forward to all the things I thought 2020 was going to be, blissfully ignorant of all the things it would become. I had great plans: a few terrific trips, a 100+ person family reunion, school spring musicals I was ushering into existence.
It took many months, but I have let go of that alternative universe, and now live fully in the present. It has been a year of much smaller moments for me: a deep appreciation for the way the sunlight changes in my apartment; an extended visit with my sister in the summer; humbly expanding my participation in the march towards racial justice; a phone conversation on Election Day helping a woman in Michigan get to the polls; the sadness, memory, and catharsis that comes at a funeral; weekly gatherings to read and discuss plays and their themes.
This world is a mess. I take a bit of comfort in the knowledge that this world has always been a mess, and this year continued to expose more and more of that mess. But I truly believe 2020 can help us put the world back together again. Through the heartbreak and the chaos, we all have a few moments worth remembering: some big and profound, some small and delicate. Some fiery, some upsetting, some passionate, some subtle. Memories that become core to our sense of self, and memories that emerge without warning.
Take a look at some favorite 2020 memories crowd-sourced from the TIA community. I am so grateful to have gone through this year with all of you. I would have been lost without Theater in Asylum to keep me focused, committed, and processing. Thank you all for giving me—and each other—moments from 2020 that we’ll want to hold on to.
All my love,
Some of the TIA Community’s favorite moments from 2020
2020 was a year full of difficulty and loss, but also urgently-needed work and reflection. As a nation we impeached a president, witnessed and worked for an Uprising for Black Lives, elected a new president, hunkered down in unprecedented isolation, and lost far too many to a horrible virus. 2020 was so much.
As we eagerly approach 2021, we are thrilled and honored to announce Theater in Asylum’s plans for 2021. We reach to next year with hope, and as live theater becomes safe again, we plan to:
If you are in a position to donate, we humbly ask for your support of Theater in Asylum’s 2021 Season. We are so grateful for all that’s been made possible these past 10 years, and we look ahead to 2021 with eagerness and hope.
More Cold Readings, with more partnerships and special events
Since 2015, Theater in Asylum has gathered friends to read and discuss great plays once a month. As the pandemic sent us into our homes, we moved these gatherings online and began holding them weekly. Wednesday nights have become a cherished place not only for play reading but for processing these wild times. We plan to continue weekly readings online until it’s safe to gather in person again, and invite more guest facilitators to bring new plays and new ideas to the group.
The Debates 2021
The Debates 2021 will be our fourth iteration of The Debates. This year we turn to New York City’s Democratic primaries and the conversation over what we want our city to be. New Yorkers will soon elect a new mayor, comptroller, and many city council members.
We believe everyone should understand their electoral power, and we know theater is a potent tool to elucidate that power. As in past years, we’ll host a slew of events including watch parties, political analysis meetings, and finally, an original play about the election. We want not only to get out the vote, but also to empower the voter to engage in the electoral process with understanding and confidence. With our unique blend of mimicry, abstraction, and earnest curiosity, we seek to illuminate the candidates, the issues, and ourselves.
Nearly ten years ago, activists gathered in lower Manhattan to peacefully occupy Zuccotti Park and to declare opposition to an economic system clearly inadequate for the majority of Americans, the 99%. Occupy Wall Street galvanized people around the world and inspired hundreds of activist occupations, big and small, united in a call to radically rethink the economic order.
Playwright Andy Boyd hones in on Prescott, Arizona to follow five Occupiers in their efforts to change their town and the world. They broadly agree that the one percent is too powerful, but agreement breaks down as they search for specifics. Reaching consensus on what a better world looks like—and how to get there—is frequently frustrating and rarely glamorous. Never easy, but urgently necessary. On the 10th anniversary of the rallying cry heard round the world, we are thrilled to produce the prescient and hopeful play: Occupy Prescott.
We’re planning to host another cabaret, sharing our platform with artists in our community to workshop their new work. We will also continue to revise our mission statement and our company’s inner workings, as well as participating in anti-racism trainings through the League of Independent Theater.
We have big plans for 2021. If you are able, we would so appreciate your help in funding our next season. Thank you for your time, your support, and your love. We wish you and yours safety, good health, and a bright new year.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Paul, Katie, Kathryn, and Hilarie
Theater in Asylum
Kathryn here. Pre-Covid, I would listen to music every day on my way to work, in the office, and on my way home or to dinner with friends at a restaurant (remember when that was a thing?!). I would hear it in the halls at work (San Francisco Opera), go see concerts, or catch some live jazz. In March when everything shut down in San Francisco, I started working from home and my commute became non-existent. Concerts were cancelled. I wasn’t surrounded by music in the halls of the opera house. Instead, I went from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting with no time in between and by the time I stopped working, all I wanted to do was eat and go to bed. So music left my daily routine for a while.
It came back to me when I decided one night in July to watch a recording from NY Phil of YoYo Ma performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in 1995. The music swelled up inside of me, and, however corny this sounds, I recognized that I was missing the healing power of music in my life.
Since that evening music, especially pop music, has come back into my daily life, and I’ve been catching up on some of the incredible albums that have come out this year from Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher and Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Boltcutters to Taylor Swift’s folklore and Sarah Dooley’s Is This Heartbreak? I’m still digging into new albums from Sufjan Stevens, Perfume Genius, Lianne La Havas, HAIM, Jyoti, and Moses Sumney, along with all of the other albums the larger TIA community has been listening to.
What music have you been listening to this year? What has brought you joy or to tears? Or made you want to dance? Let me know, I’m ready to dance.
And looking towards 2021, I hope to experience some live music!
The TIA Community's Favorite Songs of 2020
The TIA Community's Favorite Albums of 2020
Musical Cast Albums
“All their albums, I can’t decide!” Artists
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues a rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community.