A genre-bending and experimental new work commissioned by The Flea.
This is the first new work since The Flea refocused their mission to support and invest in experimental art by Black, brown and queer artists. The show was partly inspired by the forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s As You Like It and combines poetry, monologues, prayers, music, and more. It was created in collaboration by lead artists Peter Born, Diana Oh, Niegel Smith, and MacArthur Fellows Okwui Okpokwasili and Carrie Mae Weems.
"'Arden' is like a theatrical guided meditation. At several points, the performers even lead the audience in a sound bath, teaching us how to breathe and intone together...The production was commissioned by the Flea and feels more like a ritual for the Flea than a performance for the public. While it makes for a mostly enjoyable audience experience, it does not feel like it is for us – it feels like we are watching a private moment of a group cleansing their own space."
feels in part like a healing or cleansing ritual, an effort to get past trauma: There are chants, communal prayers, songs, poems, poetic movement, childhood anecdotes, exhortations. But most of this is threaded through a loud, bluesy rock concert, the effect of which is wonderfully entertaining