GO FORTH photo Christopher Myers

World Premiere

Theater, Installation

January 7-12

Kaneza Schaal (USA)

Drawing inspiration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, GO FORTH is a performance and photo installation that considers how we create space in our lives for the presence of the absent. Burial is proposed not as erasure but as offering restitution and performing rites.

The 3,000-year-old funerary text is approached as an ancient performance score: excavating the spells and incantations to create a series of burial vignettes, fragments of translation, memory and imagination. Photographic funerary murals usher the audience into a mythological underground landscape. Galvanized by the intimate relationship between black people and death around the world, GO FORTH paves way for its audience to reflect on their individual and collective mourning processes.

Director: Kaneza Schaal
Designer: Christopher Myers
Sound Artist and Performer: Justin Hicks
Lighting Designer: Ashley Vellano
Producer: Liz Sargent
Stage Manager: Bonnie McHeffey
Dramaturge: Joshua Lubin-Levy
Performers: William Nadylam, David Thomson
Film Performer: April Matthis
Voice Recording: Nate Alston

60 minutes running time

After the Saturday, January 9 performance of GO FORTH, Saisha Grayson will lead a conversation with Kaneza Schaal and collaborators about the history of performance and performance of history rooted in bodies, archeology and collaborative process.

“As you watch the corpses of your brothers and your sisters pile up around you… when you try to stand up and look the world in the face like you have a right to be here… you have attacked the entire power structure of the Western world.”
— James Baldwin

Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based artist. She came up in the downtown experimental theater community, first working with The Wooster Group, then with other companies and artists including Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, Jay Scheib, Jim Findlay, New York City Opera and National Public Radio. This work brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, REDCAT, The Whitney Museum, BAM, The Kitchen, St. Ann’s Warehouse and MoMA. Schaal’s new work, GO FORTH was commissioned by Performance Space 122 with support from the Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grant. Schaal was an Artist in Residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and received a 2014 Princess Grace Award grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space residency, Bogliasco Fellowship and Princess Grace George C. Wolfe Award. She was a member of Kara Walker’s 6-8 Months Space and her video work appeared in Visionaire. Schaal has been invited to speak at New York University, Yale University, the River-to-River Festival and her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT.

Westbeth Artists Housing is a nonprofit housing and commercial complex dedicated to providing affordable living and working space for artists and arts organizations in New York City.

Westbeth Artists Community is located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan and is accessible by the A/C/E subway lines at 14th Street. This famous region on the west side of Manhattan is home to Washington Square Park, New York University, Cooper Union, St. Marks Place and a host of independent film houses and Off-Broadway theaters. Westbeth Artists Community is close to Hudson Street, where audiences can pick from a plethora of restaurants scattered throughout.


Aside from untold numbers of shopping and dining options, there are plenty of neighborly activities…for recreation-seekers without memberships to the area’s multiple gyms, the Hudson River and its well-traveled waterside trails are a short walk away. – The New York Times


Featured image by Christopher Myers

GO FORTH is commissioned by Performance Space 122 with support from the Jerome Foundation and co-presented by Performance Space 122 and Westbeth Artists Community. GO FORTH was supported by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and was developed as part of PS122’s RAMP residency series, Baryshnikov Arts Center residency with support from the Princess Grace Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space Residency, and a Bogliasco Fellowship. Additional support provided by the Axe-Houghton Foundation.


Beer generously donated by Harlem Brewing Company.

Harlem Brewing Company

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