Kaneza Schaal & Cornell Alston

May 10 - 13, 2018

$23 | $30 WEEK OF • BUY TICKETS Merrill Wright Mainstage

Thu, May 10–Sat, May 12 at 8 pm
Sun, May 13 at 5 pm


JACK & is a comedy of errors structured on social codes and the training within prison reentry programs to debutante balls. The performance considers the metric-less damages of being in prison; not the time one has served but the measure of one’s dreaming that is given to the state. Aspirational class stories like those of the 1950’s sitcoms The Honeymooners and Amos and Andy, intersect with real and imagined ceremonies for entering society. Directed by Kaneza Schaal and starring Cornell Alston, the performance explores markers of transition and transformation, and the liminal ritual spaces that bridge worlds.


During the run of JACK & the artists will offer Dreaming Labs, workshops that facilitate creative exchange. The Labs are open to people of all ages, with a focus towards those navigating transitions out of prison and their families, and youth involved in the juvenile detention system. The work aims to galvanize, share, and tend to internal life and resources. (Check this page for schedule and further information.)


Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based theater artist. Her recent work GO FORTH premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda. This Fall GO FORTH will be presented at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans and in Cairo, Egypt at the International Contemporary Theater Festival. Schaal received a 2017 MAP Fund award, 2016 Creative Capital Award, and is the current Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. Schaal’s work has been supported by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Performance Space 122, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 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, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, The Whitney Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. 

Cornell Alston is a longtime member of Rehabilitation Through the Arts, a not-for-profit that uses the arts as a springboard to teach life skills to individuals both inside and outside of state correctional facilities. He initiated the Youth Empowerment Through the Arts initiative that launched in Queens NY, and he continues to work as an arts-in-education advocate. Alston performed and collaborated with Kaneza Schaal on PLEASE, BURY ME at Baryshnikov Arts Center and GO FORTH during a Performance Space 122, RAMP residency. Other performance highlights include: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 12 Angry Men, and the title role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.


JACK & is presented with funding from WESTAF’s TourWest program, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.