The SLC Performance Lab is produced by ContemporaryPerformance.com and the Sarah Lawrence College MFA Theatre Program. During the course, visiting artists to the MFA Theatre Program’s Grad Lab are interviewed after leading a workshop with the students. Grad Lab is one of the core components of the program where graduate students work with guest artists and develop group-generated performance experiments.
Kaneza Schaal is a New York City-based artist working in theater, opera, and film. Schaal was named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, and received a 2019 United States Artists Fellowship, SOROS Art Migration and Public Space Fellowship, Joyce Award, 2018 Ford Foundation Art For Justice Bearing Witness Award, 2017 MAP Fund Award, 2016 Creative Capital Award, and was an Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. Her project GO FORTH, premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT. Her work JACK & showed in BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and with its co-commissioners Walker Arts Center, REDCAT, On The Boards, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Schaal’s piece CARTOGRAPHY premiered at The Kennedy Center and toured to The New Victory Theater, Abu Dhabi Arts Center, and Playhouse Square, OH. Her dance work, MAZE, created with FLEXN NYC, premiered at The Shed. Most recently, she directed Triptych composed by Bryce Dessner with libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle, which premiered at LA Philharmonic, The Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI, BAM Opera House, and Holland Festival. Her newest original work KLII, was co-commissioned as part of the Eureka Commissions program by the Onassis Foundation and is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Walker Art Center in partnership with Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and REDCAT. Schaal will develop and direct a number of upcoming works including SPLIT TOOTH with Tanya Tagaq (Luminato Festival, Canada), HUSH ARBOR (The Opera) with Imani Uzuri (The Momentary, AZ) and BLUE at Michigan Opera Theater.
Schaal’s work has also been supported by New England Foundation for The Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, FACE Foundation Contemporary Theater grant, Theater Communications Group, and a Princess Grace George C. Wolfe Award. Her work with The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, Jim Findlay, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, The Whitney Museum, and MoMA.