It has been nearly two years since Soho Rep has staged a show in its 65-seat theater at 46 Walker Street. And Sarah Benson, the theater’s artistic director since 2007, is in disbelief.
'It’s wild that it’s been that long,' said Benson, who leads the theater with the artistic development and producing director Meropi Peponides and the executive director Cynthia Flowers.
But when performances return to the Lower Manhattan space for the company’s 46th season in September, it will be alongside the second year of a new initiative: Soho Rep Project Number One, a job creation program developed in response to the pandemic that brings artists into the organization as salaried staff members with benefits.
The inaugural 2020-21 class included eight artists, who each received a weekly salary of $1,250, a year of health insurance coverage and a $10,000 budget to create a new work in any format, to be presented to an audience at the theater during the upcoming season. The next phase of the project thus far includes two artists for the 2021-22 season: The director and writer Abigail Jean-Baptiste and the scenic designer Kimie Nishikawa.