THE OFFICE performing arts + film is an independent curator and production company based in New York and London. We work in ongoing partnerships with festivals, venues, and institutions to create cultural programming that is unique and mission specific. We also produce events around the world, and consult on programming with organizations ranging from museums to universities to libraries to performing arts centers. THE OFFICE staff includes Laurie Cearley, Olli Chanoff, Eica Zelinski, Diane Eber, Lynn Koek, Noah Bashevkin, Catherine Degennaro, Gabrielle Davenport, Chloe Golding, Bruna Davila, and founder Rachel Chanoff, who has 35 years of experience working in the arts in New York.
THE OFFICE programs the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, New York’s longest running free outdoor performing arts festival, which takes place from June through August at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell and features free music, dance, film, spoken word, and other innovative performance. Rachel Chanoff has served as Artistic Director of Celebrate Brooklyn! since 1993.
THE OFFICE is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), where we have programmed a year-round series of dance, music, theater, and documentary film in multiple venues on the museum campus since its opening in 1999.
THE OFFICE programs the annual Freshgrass Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival at MASS MoCA, which is co-produced by the Freshgrass Foundation. We also work with the FreshGrass Foundation to help advance its mission to preserve and support innovative roots music, which it does by providing artists opportunities to create, perform, and record new work through programs that include the festival, FreshGrass Commissions, the FreshGrass and No Depression Awards, and the FreshGrass Album Fund.
Rachel is a consultant to the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute, selecting projects for the Writers and Directors Labs, and THE OFFICE produces the Sundance Works in Progress Screenplay Reading Series in New York. Rachel is also Chair of the Selection Committee for the New York Jewish Film Festival, and THE OFFICE is a programming consultant for the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History.
THE OFFICE created and programs the CenterSeries at the Williams College ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, where professional companies come for performances and residencies that include integrated programming events aimed at using the arts as a catalyst for scholarly inquiry on campus.
THE OFFICE produces events and performances in New York and around the world, notably with the photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems, with the Johannesburg-based visual and theater artist and filmmaker William Kentridge, with the Cambodian documentary filmmaker Rithy Panh, the Béninoise superstar Angelique Kidjo, and with Theater of War Productions, which presents community-specific, theater-based projects that address pressing public health and social issues.
THE OFFICE is the producer of William Kentridge’s The Head & the Load (Tate Modern London, Ruhrtriennale, Park Avenue Armory 2018, Holland Festival 2019) and Waiting for the Sybil, a caompanion piece to the Alexander Calder opera Work in Progress (Rome Opera, 2019). We also produced Kentridge’s massive site specific performance and installation Triumphs and Laments (Rome 2016), and have produced American and international performances of Miller’s REwind: A Cantata for Voice Tape & Testimony, , 9 Drawings for Projection, Black Box: The Music of Philip Miller for the Films of Williams Kentridge, and Paper Music: A Ciné Concert by Philip Miller and William Kentridge, and Kentridge and Miller’s Refuse the Hour (BAM Next Wave 2015), a chamber opera companion to Kentridge’s installation The Refusal of Time.
THE OFFICE produced Carrie Mae Weems’ and Geri Allen’s Slow Fade to Black at Celebrate Brooklyn! (2012), were the program producer for Carrie Mae Weems LIVE: Past Tense / Future Perfect at the Guggenheim in New York (2014), have produced multiple performances of Weems’ shows Past Tense (the Theater at the Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, University of Michigan, the Onassis Festival NYC) and Grace Notes: Reflections for Now (the Kennedy Center, the Spoleto Festival, Yale Repertory Theater), and were the project manager for Weems’ Sculpture Garden Series at MoMA (2014).
THE OFFICE produced Theater of War’s Antigone in Ferguson at the Onassis Festival NYC (2016), the Summer Nostos Festival in Athens, Greece (2017), and in extended runs at Harlem Stage (2018) and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn (2019), as well as performances of Theater of War’s Drum Major Instinct.
THE OFFICE is the producer of Yemandja: A Story of Africa, a new theatrical work created by and starring Angélique Kidjo, written by Naïma Hebral, designed by Kerry James Marshall, and directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce that is currently in development.
Among many other events, we have co-produced more than 20 multi-artist shows with the music producer Hal Willner at venues and festivals ranging from Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York, to the Sydney Opera House, the Barbican Centre in London, the Dublin International Theatre Festival, the Brighton Festival, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC. THE OFFICE was also executive producer of the album Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, the soundtrack to a documentary film about Willner’s Came So Far for Beauty concerts (which we produced), and project manager for Willner on the albums Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen and Bill Frisell’s Grammy-winning Unspeakable.
Other past and present clients of THE OFFICE include the Kennedy Center, the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, the Park Avenue Armory, the American Museum of Natural History, Symphony Space, the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative, Philip Glass, the Clark Art Institute, Wave Hill, Riverspace Arts in Nyack, NY, and the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center.