ODC Theater 2022 Season

For two years ODC Theater has been shifting strategies on curation and community engagement. In 2022 these shifts manifest in new and exciting ways. ODC Theater's 2022 Season fosters new performance by Bay Area artists and serves as a foothold for touring artists from around the globe. Our calendar highlights a roster of artists thoughtfully selected by our 2022 Curatorial Team: amara tabor-smith, Charles Slender-White, Marlene Garcia, Alleluia Panis, Dazaun Soleyn, Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, and Leyya Mona Tawil, that point to new perspectives and artistic impulses.

Tickets on sale in early 2022

A Note from Chloë Zimberg, she/her | Creative Director, ODC Theater

  • ODC Theater 2022 Season

    For two years ODC Theater has been shifting strategies on curation and community engagement. In 2022 these shifts manifest in new and exciting ways. I am humbled by the patience, trust, and enthusiasm expressed by artists, community members, and colleagues near and far. Those moments of affirmation and contribution have made it possible for fresh ideas to emerge. It is our goal to listen, analyze, and craft a path forward, acknowledging that our programmatic propositions in 2022 are one step in what is continual and responsive strategic development. 

    Our calendar highlights a roster of artists with a longstanding connection to ODC Theater, and a dynamic array of projects thoughtfully selected by our 2022 Curatorial Team that point to new perspectives and artistic impulses. I am grateful for our Guest Curators and their willingness to jump in and test new structures with ODC Theater. To amara tabor-smith, Charles Slender-White, Marlene Garcia, Alleluia Panis, Dazaun Soleyn, Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, and Leyya Mona Tawil, my heartfelt thank you. 

    In June, ODC Theater will launch its new festival format, State of Play. We asked Amara Tabor-Smith and Charles Slender-White to build a roster of artists at different stages in their careers featuring works in different stages of production. 

    For the fall, Tabor-Smith and Slender-White identified a stellar lineup of artists to bring to the Bay Area: Ni’Ja Whitson, Marjani Forté-Saunders, and Charles O. Anderson. These are folks that you don’t want to miss, performing repertory works that draw on African Diasporic art, ritual, and spirituality, as well as paternal lineage, love, and warriorship. 

    Through the year, I hope you’ll follow our blog, Dance Stories, and season two of our podcast, Dance Cast. Dance Stories will invite community writers to respond to works in the theater and discussions in the field. Dance Cast will push forward critical conversations with colleagues on dance. 

    I am glad to share that ODC Theater will pay land tax donations as a form of reparations to The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone. We will work with consultants to increase accessibility services for all presented productions, make more consistent the visitor experience via concessions service in our lobby and curation of our gallery, and increase access to discounted theater rentals, discounted tickets to presented performances, and free events at ODC Theater. 

    As we welcome many more artists, staff, curators, writers, and speakers into our programming, I urge you to mark up this calendar and make plans to join us in 2022. I am truly excited for all that is to come and I look forward to seeing you at the theater soon. 

    Chloë Zimberg, she/her
    Creative Director, ODC Theater

Curatorial Statement

  • By amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White

    "An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. (Their) role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. (They) have to tell, because nobody else can tell, what it is like to be alive." - James Baldwin

    What does it mean to curate a season of dance and performance amidst an on-going pandemic, a relentless drought, and a time of social and political volatility? What is the purpose of live performance and what does it have the potential to do?

    When we came together as two dance artists rooted in the Bay Area, Charles in San Francisco and amara in Oakland, we didn’t really know each other well. Through a series of conversations, though, we realized that we both shared a feeling of being overwhelmed by and depressed about our socio-political context, and a vision for how things might be different. We talked for hours about the field of dance, and about how we are still navigating our own challenges of making work. We talked about ODC Theater, about racism and privilege, and about wanting to raise the visibility of queer and BIPOC artists who we felt were making phenomenal art. We talked about performances that blew us away, and we thought about how this could be an opportunity to bring together a group of local and visiting artists whose work excites us, whose work we have long admired, and who we thought would be extraordinary for Bay Area audiences to experience.

    Our 2022 ODC Theater season is a significant shift towards curation through a collaboration rooted in us getting to know each other, listening to what we each felt was important at this moment in time, and ultimately a collective desire to invite artists who we think have important and powerful voices, and whose work values community, people, and engagement.

    The artists presented in this season range in their areas of interest, perspectives, and aesthetics. If there is a unifying theme in our curated season, it is that these artists are creating work that we feel will provide much needed breath, hope, and inspiration to move through this moment in time that we all find ourselves in. It is our hope that you too will experience the work in this way, being reminded as James Baldwin said, “…what it is like to be alive.”

    In the Spirit of NOW,

    amara tabor-smith and Charles Slender-White

Calendar of Events

  • January

    ** Lauren Simpson and Galen Rogers with Emma Strebel: Self Leveling (a work in progress)
    January 28-29, 2022
    This project marks the completion of a Theater Resident Artist from the 2018-2021 cohort whose residency was delayed due to COVID-19.

  • February

    Lobby Night
    February 4, 2022 | 6 PM

    Make it a night out at ODC Theater’s first Lobby Night, with an art opening curated by Emma Rubinowitz featuring photography by Myles Thatcher,  Second Cast: An Exploration in Drag, in which a group of local ballet dancers from San Francisco combined their artistic skills to develop a series of drag photography that blends radical transformation with fine art.

    ODC Health Programming
    February 14, 2022 | 6 PM

    ODC's Health Initiatives Program Director Rachel Abair discusses the social and emotional impact of dancing together with Jennifer Bury, expert Movement Therapist and Certified Trainer/Supervisor in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™. Learn the importance of how we create and strengthen community by moving together, and how we can take that forward together in our lives. RSVP link coming soon!

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    February 21, 2022 | 6 PM

    The Art & Ideas series offers monthly, free programming that joins artist communities and audiences together for panels on driving equitable practices in the dance field, discussions on topics impacting the arts sector, embodying our theory into physical practice, and consulting experts in the field. February 21st's panel discussion will feature Weigdong Yang of Kinetech Arts moderating a conversation between local Asian American and Pacific Islander artists on the intersection of art making and AAPI identity and representation. Come to learn, share, ask, and be curious!

  • March

    Lobby Night
    March 4, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    March 14, 2022

    Joe Landini & Co: City of Ghosts
    March 18-19, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    March 21, 2022

  • April

    Lobby Night
    April 1, 2022

    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Drama and Poetry
    April 2-3, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    April 4, 2022

    ZiRu Dance: Sight-Specific 
    April 8-10, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    April 18, 2022

    Amit Patel & Ishika Seth: Unearthed
    April 22-24, 2022

    ** Larry Arrington & Alexa Burrell: wow mom
    April 29-30, 2022
    This project marks the completion of a Theater Resident Artist from the 2018-2021 cohort whose residency was delayed due to COVID-19.

  • May

    Small Art Music Projects: The Crushing Spiral Ensemble
    May 1, 2022

    Lobby Night
    May 6, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    May 9, 2022

    ODC/School: Step Onstage
    May 14-15, 2021

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    May 16, 2022

    Emily Hansel: New work
    May 27-28, 2022

  • June - State of Play Festival

    Lobby Night
    June 3, 2022

    State of Play Festival
    June 2-11, 2022

    ODC Theater’s new festival format State of Play will feature studio works in progress, 30 minutes max showcases, and full evening length works. The festival will present premieres and repertory from across the Bay Area and the country paired with curated engagement activities. Artists include:

    little house dance: Hour Wolf

    MKArts: Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home

    SAMMAY: ritual for thrivation no. 2

    Kim Ip/KRIMM’S DANCE PARTY: you don’t deserve us

    Rosanna Tavarez/ LA DANSA DANSA: Piece X Piece

    Dragons Dance: Paper Trails

    Megan Lowe Dances: Piece of Peace

    Bianca Cabrera/Blind Tiger Society: Fever Dreams

    Nicole Peisl: handle

    DANCE MONKS (SF Bay/Mexico) Mirah Kellc Esteva and Rodrigo Esteva: Fire in the Mountain

    Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble: Momentum (working title)

    Nina Haft & Company: The Spaces Between (working title)

    Detour: Quake

    OYSTERKNIFE: m | ou | f

    Liv Schaffer & the Dance Generators: Big Red House of Rest

    James Graham Dance Theatre: Social Males

    ODC Health Programming
    June 13, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    June 20, 2022

  • July

    Lobby Night
    July 1, 2022

    Kiandanda Dance Theater: Religion Kitendi - Dress Code
    July 1-3, 2021

    SFDanceworks: Season 5
    July 8-10, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    July 11, 2022

    Jaroslaw Kapuscinski & Jung Young-doo: One To One
    July 16-17, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    July 18, 2022

    ODC/Dance: Summer Sampler
    July 29-31, 2022

  • August

    Lobby Night
    August 5, 2022

    August 5-7, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    August 8, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    August 15, 2022

    The Million Underscores: The Observatory, Chapters 5, 23, 28, 43, 56 & 19
    August 19-20, 2022

  • September

    Lobby Night
    September 2, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    September 12, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    September 19, 2022

    Lenora Lee Dance: In The Movement
    September 1-4 & 8-11, 2022

    Maurya Kerr and Eric Garcia: beloved comet falling up
    September 29-October 1, 2022

  • October - *ODC Theater Fall Season

    Garrett + Moulton Productions: 20th Anniversary Celebration
    October 6-9, 2021

    Lobby Night
    October 7, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    October 10, 2022

    Chitresh Das Institute: Invoking the River
    October 14-16, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    October 17, 2022

    Ars Minerva: Astianattea Forgotten Opera by Leonardo Vinci
    October 21-23, 2022

    Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project: A Meditation on Tongues
    October 28-30, 2022
    *The ODC Theater Fall Season will present repertory works by touring artists.

  • November - *ODC Theater Fall Season

    Lobby Night
    November 4, 2022

    Marjani Forté-Saunders | 7NMS: Memoirs of a... Unicorn
    November 4-6, 2022
    *The ODC Theater Fall Season will present repertory works by touring artists.

    Charles O. Anderson/dance theatre X: Croatoa Chronicles: (Re)current Unrest (Dance Film) and World Premiere of Aftermath.
    November 11-13, 2022
    *The ODC Theater Fall Season will present repertory works by touring artists.

    ODC Health Programming
    November 14, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    November 21, 2022

  • December

    LA Contemporary Dance Company: DANCING IN SNOW
    December 1-4, 2022

    Lobby Night
    December 2, 2022

    Nava Dance Theatre: Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies
    December 9-10, 2022

    ODC Health Programming
    December 12, 2022

    ODC Theater Art & Ideas
    December 19, 2022

Image by Scott Shaw of Ni'Ja Whitson