The Future is Present: A Casting the Vote Project

The Future is Present: A Casting the Vote Project is a seven-week performance and action laboratory that centers the voices and vision of Black and Indigenous young people, and builds concentric circles of solidarity around their demands on our collective future. These demands will be amplified through a series of rigorous, joyful, and high-distribution artistic interventions to be unveiled in January 2021.

A co-production of the Fisher Center at Bard, the Bard Theater & Performance Program, and Casting the Vote.

Co-commissioned by Live Arts Bard and New York Live Arts.

Charlotte Brathwaite’s genre-defying works illuminate the realities and the dreams of the marginalized and center unheard, unseen, and overlooked stories. Dealing with subject matter from the historical past to the present and the distant future, her work brings to light issues of social justice, race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. Current projects include Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin created with Meshell Ndegeocello is active September – December 2020 with new content each month via print, video and a toll free hotline; The Future is Present (TFP), a collaborative performance laboratory that amplifies the life-affirming demands of young black and indigenous activists. Future projects include: Omar, an opera composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Ables inspired by the life of Omar Ibn Said, and Forgotten Paradise: Grazettes Sun, a feature-length film and traveling installation on historical trauma and the legacy of the transAtlantic slave trade. Awards: Princess Grace, Creative Capital, United States Artist, Map Fund. Associate Professor Theater Arts, MIT.

Janani Balasubramanian is an artist and creative researcher working at the intersection of contemporary art, science, and social practice. Janani’s work has been presented at over 160 across North America and Europe, including The Public Theater, MOMA, Andy Warhol Museum, Red Bull Arts, Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Museum, High Line, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They have been an Innovator-in-Residence at Colorado College, Brooklyn College/Tow Foundation artist resident, artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado, Sundance Institute fellow, MAP Fund grantee, a Pioneer Works Narrative Arts Fellow, and Van Lier Fellow at the Public Theater.

Janani is currently a Hemispheric Institute fellow at NYU; a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow; artist-in-residence in the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History; the 2020-2021 visiting artist at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts and Information Theory group; and an inaugural Collider fellow at Lincoln Center.

Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist, and Drama Desk-nominated composer who investigates identity and value. Hicks has worked as a writer, and performer with various artists including Steffani Jemison, Abigail DeVille, Charlotte Brathwaite, Hilton Als, Meshell Ndegeocello, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, Lynn Nottage, and Ayesha Jordan. His work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Public Theater, LaMama, festival Steirischer Herbst, Western Front Society, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Nottingham Contemporary, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts among others.

Sunder Ganglani is respected for his collaborative practice across disciplines that brings particular attention to the social dimensions of contemporary performance. As Co-producing Artistic Director at The Foundry Theatre in New York City, Sunder commissioned, developed, and produced new works including Ariana Reines’ TELEPHONE, Claudia Rankine’s THE PROVENANCE OF BEAUTY and most recently W. David Hancock’s MASTER. After attending the Yale School of Drama Ganglani has gone on to work with artists including visual artists Izhar Patkin, Wardell Milan, and Ak Jansen; composer/musicians Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Hicks, and Nathalie Joachim; and directors Charlotte Brathwaite, and Lileana Blain-Cruz. His work focuses on the interaction between audience and performance, and crafts environments that encourage intimacy and exchange Ganglani also sits on the board of The Stop Shopping Choir, with whom he screams and sings on the street.