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Kaneza Schaal

Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based artist working in theater, opera, and film. 

Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based artist working in theater, opera, and film. Most recently, she directed the 2023 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Omar, which showed at Spoleto Festival USA, Los Angeles Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and upcoming at Chicago Lyric Opera. By creating performances that speak many formal, cultural, historical, aesthetic, and experiential languages she seeks expansive audiences. Schaal's work has shown in divergent contexts, from NYC galleries, to courtyards in Vietnam, to East African amphitheaters, to European opera houses, to US public housing, to rural auditoriums in the United Arab Emirates. Domestically her work has shown at The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Shed, Walker Arts Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The New Victory Theater, and New Orleans Center for Contemporary Art. Schaal was named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, and received a 2021 Herb Alpert Award in Theatre, 2019 United States Artists Fellowship, SOROS Art Migration and Public Space Fellowship, 2018 Ford Foundation Art For Justice Bearing Witness Award. Her project GO FORTH, premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Stanford University, CA; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT. 

A photo of an old lockbox.
The Set of Practices We Call Home

The Set of Practices We Call Home

11 April 2024

Kaneza Schaal shares the community practices she witnessed at her aunt’s home in Rwanda, and how theatremakers should embrace these practices when we create work together.