Open Call: Asia Stewart

JUL 25 – 27
A ritual response to Morrison’s Song of Solomon and tribute to Black matrilineal wisdom


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About this commission

Asia Stewart’s Fabric Softener is a theatrical response to Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, offering an imagined ritual with the power to revive young Black women and insist on their survival. Stewart draws on three characters from the many who populate Morrison’s 1977 novel: Pilate, her daughter Reba, and granddaughter Hagar. In the original text, Hagar dies of a broken heart after deeming herself unworthy of love, beauty, and acceptance.

In her performance, punctuated by musical outbursts of spirituals and passages from the novel, Stewart presents three new characters who are not recreations of these women but are instead archetypes: The Laundress, The Celebrant, and The Witness. The performance begins as The Celebrant and The Witness prepare The Laundress for an intervention: a baptism, a becoming, and a funeral for what used to be and can no longer exist.

Creative Team

A portrait of artist Asia Stewart, a Black woman with light brown skin who poses with her elbow on her knee and her chin supported by a loose fist. She looks directly at us from a three quarter profile with one eyebrow slightly raised. Asia has short hair and wears a black leather vest. Photo by Dana Golan
Photo: Dana Golan.
Asia Stewart
A portrait of Dominican Greene, a biracial, Black, queer woman. She looks directly at us, posing against a neutral background. She has light brown skin and her hair pulled up behind her head. She wears a tan garment that wraps behind her neck, leaving shoulders bare.
Photo: Avery Johnson.
Dominica Greene
Yaz Lancaster, a nonbinary Black artist, sits on large boulders along a seashore. They have long locs that hang beneath their shoulders. Yaz looks back at us over one shoulder. They wear a long dress with bands of color: black, white, red, and green.
Courtesy Yaz Lancaster.
Yaz Lancaster
A portrait of Shala Miller, a Black nonbinary singer who is seen close up as if taking a selfie. Shala has a quizzical or skeptical expression. Their short hair is a bright orange and they wear a bright red scarf over their head, tied under their chin.
Courtesy Shala Miller.
Shala Miller
Asia Stewart
Creator, Director, and Performer
Asia Stewart (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based performance artist whose conceptual work centers the body as a living archive. She develops ways of transforming the language specific to studies of race, gender, and sexuality into materials that can be felt by and worn on the body. As a National YoungArts Winner in Musical Theatre and a former National Arts Policy Roundtable Fellow with Americans for the Arts, Stewart uses her past experiences on stage to inject her work with a heightened sense of theatricality. Stewart has received various honors and support for her works in performance from organizations that include Franklin Furnace, A.I.R. Gallery, Marc Straus Gallery, Marble House Project, GALLIM, the Watermill Center, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Stewart routinely questions how performance, movement, and live art can be documented and represented across multiple mediums. Her works in video and installation have been exhibited at venues across the United States, including the Mercury Store, Untitled Space, NARS Foundation, Goodyear Arts, A.I.R. Gallery, Kellen Gallery, and Anthology Film Archives. Her first series of prints is also held in the permanent collection of the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dominica Greene
Performer (The Celebrant)
Dominica Greene (she/her) is a movement-based conceptual artist, dancer, and facilitator based in Brooklyn. She values dance as one of the purest forms of expression, utilizing it as an energetic entity capable of affecting real and palpable change. Her company and freelance experience is extensive, having collaborated with, performed, and toured the work of many notable choreographers domestically and internationally. She creates body and time-based conceptual art which aims to reflect movement as one of the most fundamental conduits of existential and ancestral knowledge. As a biracial, Black, queer woman, she is committed to dreaming up and worldbuilding alternative realities and more expansive futures with her BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ community.
Candice Hoyes
Performer (The Witness)
Yaz Lancaster
Composer, Music Director, and Violinist

Yaz Lancaster (they/them) is a transdisciplinary artist residing in Lenapehoking (NYC). Their work as a performer, composer, poet/writer, and collaborator is grounded in queer, DIY, and liberatory frameworks. It utilizes fragmentation and collage, relational aesthetics, improvisatory forms, and experimental electroacoustic composition. Through independent study, Lancaster spends time thinking about the cultivation of care and intimacy, Marxist/collectivist praxis, and digital (sub)cultures.

Their debut record, AmethYst, comprising music for violin, voice, and electronics, was released in April 2023 and has been featured on I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Bandcamp (New & Notable), and Foxy Digitalis, among other publications. Recent and upcoming collaborators include Black Mountain College/Hub New Music, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Eliza Bagg, Massa Nera, Mingjia, Minnesota Philharmonic, Miss Grit, and Sean Pecknold.

Lancaster additionally works as the comanager of people places records, a co-organizer of abolitionist music collective Sound Off, and a freelance (music) writer. They love powerlifting, summers down South, and going silly mode with their little dog Nori. More at

Shala Miller
Performer (The Narrator)
Shala Miller (they/them), also known as Freddie June when they sing, was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by two southerners named Al and Ruby. At around the age of 10 or 11, Miller discovered quietude, the kind you’re sort of pushed into, and then was fooled into thinking that this is where they should stay put. Since then, Miller has been trying to find their way out, and find their way into an understanding of themself and their history, using photography, video, writing, and singing as an aid in this process.
In The Works


Fabric Softener was commissioned by The Shed as part of Open Call‘s third edition (2023 – 24).

This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace FUND 2022 – 23, supported by the Jerome Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the friends and members of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

Fabric Softener is also supported by YoungArts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Additional thanks to Robert Rising & NYCitySlab, Nicholas K, and Gotham Production Studios for supplying set pieces, costumes, and audio recording equipment.

Development was made possible by The Watermill Center, NARS Foundation, GALLIM, ART/ New York Theatre, and Amanda + James.

In memory of Barbara Jean Lockhart.

All text and dialogue in this performance is reprinted and performed by permission of Estate of Chloe A. Morrison

Copyright © Estate of Chloe A. Morrison, 1977.

Location and dates

This event takes place in The Griffin Theater.

July 25 – 27
7:30 pm

The Shed’s Griffin Theater is located at 545 West 30th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. View The Shed on a map.

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Thank you to our partners

The Sponsor of Open Call is
Support for Open Call is generously provided by

Additional support for Open Call is provided by The Wescustogo Foundation and Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.

The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners. Major support for live productions at The Shed is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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