JANUARY 30TH, 2023 AT 7PM @ The New School
FEBRUARY 28TH, 2023 AT 7PM @ Live Arts
MARCH 21ST, 2023 AT 6:30PM @ The New School
APRIL 17TH, 2023 AT 7PM @ Live Arts  

New York, January 19, 2023—New York Live Arts presents the next installment of Bill Chats in the 2022-2023 season features the Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater, Kamilah Forbes and Artistic Director of The Flea Theater, Niegel Smith in conversation with Live Arts Artistic Director Bill T. Jones. This season, the popular series includes a partnership with The New School, where Jones has been named a 2022-2023 Presidential Visiting Scholar. The conversation will take place at The New School and also be available via livestream on January 30th, at 7pm. General public tickets are $15 for in-person and $5 for livestream, and can be purchased at or 212-691-6500, on sale now. Free tickets for New School students, faculty and staff, can be reserved here

The New School’s Presidential Visiting Scholar program brings major thinkers of the highest standing to the university to teach unique courses, collaborate on creative or research initiatives, deliver lectures, and participate in public programming and other special projects. As part of Bill T. Jones’ prestigious appointment, Live Arts and The New School will collaborate on a series of events including public dialogues, performances, and classes, that explore urgent and intersectional questions in these unsettling times, including identity, artist/citizen, community, climate justice. 

Forbes is an esteemed award-winning director and producer for theater and television. In her diverse body of work, she is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for, and about the Hip-Hop generation. Smith is an award winning theater director and performance artist, and was Associate Director to Bill T. Jones for the Tony Award-winning musical FELA!. Later this spring, Jones will also be in conversation with world renowned poet and prison reform advocate, Reginald Dwayne Betts (February 28 at Live Arts), author and MacArthur Genius Fellow Jacqueline Woodson (March 21 at The New School), and professor and author Howard W. French (April 17 at Live Arts). 

WHO:    Bill T. Jones, Kamilah Forbes, Niegel Smith

WHAT:   Bill Chats, in partnership with The New School

WHEN:  Monday, January 30th at 7pm

WHERE: The New School, The Auditorium (A106) Kaplan/Johnson Hall, 66 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011
Tickets $15. Livestream $5
Free for The New School Community 212 924 0077

BILL T. JONES (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; Artistic Director: New York Live Arts) is the recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award; the 2013 National Medal of Arts; the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography of the critically acclaimed FELA!; a 2007 Tony Award, 2007 Obie Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening; the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship; the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography for The Seven; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award; the 2003 Dorothy and lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur Fellows Award. In 2010, Mr. Jones was recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and in 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure.” Mr. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in 1982. He has created more than 140 works for his company. Mr. Jones is Artistic Director of New York Live Arts, an incubator for movement based artists at every level of their career.

KAMILAH FORBES is an esteemed award-winning director and producer for theater and television. She currently serves as the Executive Producer at the World-Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. In her diverse body of work, Kamilah is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for, and about the Hip-Hop generation. This Howard University alum has won awards for both directing and producing, including the 2019 NBTF Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award and an NAACP Image Award. Kamilah’s directing credits include “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” written by Lynn Nottage “Blood Quilt” written by Katori Hall, and “Sunset Baby” written by Dominique Morrisseau. She has also worked closely with Kenny Leon on “The Wiz Live,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Mountaintop,” and “Stick Fly” on Broadway. She has produced several works for television, most notably the seventh season of the Tony Award and Peabody Award-winning series “Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry” on HBO.” Her most recent directorial work, “Between the World and Me” aired as a special event on HBO and HBO Max in November 2020 to critical acclaim. This Root 100 award winner and Sundance Fellow’s most recent projects include directing the world premiere, tour and theatrical adaption of Ta-Nehisi’ Coates’ New York Times best-selling novel “Between the World and Me.” In addition to her work at the Apollo Theater, Kamilah is set to direct the Broadway premiere of “Soul Train” alongside Questlove, Dominique Morrisseau, and Camille A. Brown.

NIEGEL SMITH is a Bessie Award winning theater director and performance artist. He is the Artistic Director of NYC’s Obie Award winning theater, The Flea guiding the organization through its refounding as a hub for experimental art by Black, brown and queer artists. He is also a board member of A.R.T./New York and was a ringleader of Willing Participant, an artistic activist organization that whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. Smith has received residencies, grants and fellowships from Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the MAP Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Stage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theater Communications Group, Tucker Foundation, Van Lier Fund and VoxFest. His current directing projects include The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist, a multi-media opera and community ritual commissioned and produced by Hopkins Center for the Arts, Suzan-Lori Park's Plays for The Plague Year produced by The Public Theater and Taylor Mac and Matt Rays The Bark of Millions produced by Pomegranate Arts and Nature's Darlings. His theater work has been produced at The Alley Theater, The Barbican, Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Flea, The Goodman Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, The Invisible Dog, Luna Stage, The Melbourne Festival, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood, the National Black Theatre, New York Fringe Festival, New York Live Arts, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Playwrights Horizons, Pomegranate Arts, The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Summer Play Festival, and Under the Radar, and his participatory walks and performances have been produced by Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, The Brooklyn Museum, Dartmouth College, Elastic City, The Flea, The Invisible Dog, Jack, The New Museum, Prelude Festival, PS 122, the Van Alen Institute and Visual AIDS. He often collaborates with playwright/performer Taylor Mac. Niegel recently directed the wildly popular and critically-acclaimed jazz opera The Hang. For this work, he was nominated for a Drama League Award in best direction. Smith is co-director of the critically acclaimed ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music’, winner of the Kennedy Prize in Drama, Bessie Award, the Edwin Booth Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He associate directed the Tony Award winning musical FELA! – restaging that production in London, Lagos and its world tour, and he assistant directed the original Broadway and off-Broadway productions of Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change. He has worked on the artistic staffs of The Public Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Black Rep. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Smith attended high school in Detroit, and he grew up in the North Carolina piedmont, fishing with his dad, shopping with his mom and inventing tall-tale fantasies with his two younger brothers.

We acknowledge that New York Live Arts is located on the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people in New York City. We acknowledge and pay respect to the Lenape people and to all Indigenous people past, present and future, here and everywhere. Led by world-renowned artist Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts produces and presents dance, music and theater performances in its 20,000 square-foot home, including a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square-foot studios. New York Live Arts offers an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people; it supports the continuing professional development of performing artists. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; it is the company’s sole producer, providing support and the environment to originate innovative and challenging new work for the Company and New York’s creative community.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.




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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead
[email protected]

New York Live Arts
Tyler Ashley 
[email protected]
212-691-6500 x209


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