On View: February 23-March 3
The Kitchen at Westbeth (163B Bank Street, 4th Floor Loft)
February 22–24, February 29–March 2, 7:30pm. Tickets forthcoming
In a new performance, Sacha Yanow offers a ritual portrait of intergenerational loneliness and longing that draws from Jewish and queer performance traditions.
Uncle! is an experimental reimagining of the cultural tradition of the Purimspiel—the comic dramatization of the Book of Esther, performed in celebration of the Jewish holiday Purim. Through language, light, sound, and movement, Yanow shapeshifts in and out of a diasporic werewolf ancestor figure Uncle Morchechai, weaving together aspects of Purim, personal history, and the experiences of their actual uncle working as a pulmonologist during the initial decade of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In a ritual portrait of intergenerational loneliness and longing that draws from Jewish incantation, Yiddish theater, and drag performance, Uncle! toggles the thin line between humor and grief, reframing the narrative of Purim and prompting us to consider its significance today in relation to anti-Zionist and queer lineages of care and resilience.
Uncle! is Yanow’s last work in a trio of solo performances based on familial archetypes, including the father (Dad Band, 2015) and the grandmother (Cherie Dre, 2018). These embodied renderings mine the artist’s family history as an entry point for engagements with broader social issues and as a means of reconnecting to estranged individual and cultural histories.
Sacha Yanow: Uncle! is organized by Alison Burstein, Curator.
Sacha Yanow (they/them) is a Lenapehoking/NYC based performance artist and actor. Their solo practice is rooted in theater, queer performance, and radical Jewish tradition, using humor and physicality to explore themes of gender, aging, loss, and diaspora. Yanow’s work has been presented by venues including MoMA PS1, Danspace Project, Joe's Pub, and the New Museum in NYC; PICA’s TBA Festival/Cooley Gallery at Reed College in Portland; and Festival Theaterformen in Hanover, Germany. They have received residency support from Baryshnikov Arts Center, Denniston Hill, LIFT Festival UK, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MASS MoCA, and Yaddo among others. Yanow served as Director of Art Matters Foundation for twelve years, and previously worked at The Kitchen as Director of Operations. They received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and are a graduate of the William Esper Studio Actor Training Program.
FUNDING SUPPORT & CREDITS
The Kitchen’s programs are made possible in part with support from The Kitchen’s Board of Directors, The Kitchen Leadership Fund, and the Director’s Council, as well as through generous support from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Inc., Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Marta Heflin Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Open Society Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, Ruth Foundation For The Arts, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Simons Foundation, and Teiger Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.