What are the journeys you have made? What maps guided you through?

Revisit CARTOGRAPHY, an exploration of our lives through the lens of four refugees.

Presented in partnership with UNHCR as part of World Refugee Day

What are the journeys you have made? What maps guided you through? Reexperience theater at its best in this new work designed for audiences young and old. Brought to you by Brooklyn based artists, Kaneza Schaal & Christopher Myers, journey with four young people as they leave their worlds behind and begin new. Combining simple storytelling with interactive video technology, CARTOGRAPHY engages you from start to finish. Performed by a diverse company of actors from El Salvador, Syria, Lebanon, and Rwanda, this is theater for our times, theater for all ages, and theater at its most relevant.

For one time only, revisit this highlight from The Arts Center’s archives, filmed in The Black Box on February 13th, 2020. Bridge the distance, join the community online.

Be engaged with dazzling visual tools like map-making along with performance elements such as filmmaking and dancing. Sculptures create an array of visual journeys; sound sensors respond to actors’ voices, activating a virtual storm; and cellphones are used to mark memories and distances traveled.
Developed in part at NYU Abu Dhabi, including the work of NYUAD Interactive Media graduates.

In 2016, theater artist Kaneza Schaal and sculptor and author Christopher Myers, spent one month in Munich, Germany with a group of 25 young people. These 9-17 year olds were refugees seeking asylum in Europe who had come Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, Eretria, Somalia, Iraq, and Nigeria. They had walked through forests, taken inflatable rafts across the Mediterranean, found their way on trains and in cars, traversing the treacherous personal, political, and literal terrain of migration across Europe. They had encounters with people smugglers, border authorities across multiple countries, and primarily with the unknown landscape of their own future. Many of these young people had come alone. Through mapmaking and storytelling we aimed to provide the young people a framework from which to unpack the complexities of their maps both internal and geographic.

Get a behind the scene look at the creation of the work.


Kaneza Schaal (Co-Creator) is a New York City based theater artist. Her recent work JACK & showed in BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and with its co-commissioners Walker Arts Center, REDCAT, On The Boards, Center for Contemporary Art Cincinnati and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Schaal received a 2018 Ford Foundation Art For Justice Bearing Witness award, 2017 MAP Fund award, 2016 Creative Capital Award, 2008 Princess Grace George C. Wolfe Award, and was an Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. Her last project GO FORTH premiered at Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; LMCC’s River-to-River Festival; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT. Schaal’s work with The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, Jim Findlay, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, The Whitney Museum, and MoMA. Schaal is an Arts-in-Education advocate and has collaborated nationally and internationally with recent teen immigrants and asylum seekers; on intergenerational exchange between elders and teens; and on workshops and talks at Princeton University, Yale University, Emerson College and her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT.

Christopher Myers (Co-Creator) is an artist and writer who lives in New York. While he is widely acclaimed for his work with literature for young people, he is also an accomplished fine artist who has lectured and exhibited internationally. His practice can be divided into two categories, interventions in historical narratives and work crafted with artisans from around the globe. Christopher’s work has been exhibited at PS1/MoMA, and included as part of Greater New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Prospect Biennial in New Orleans and Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Myers has curated shows in Vietnam, designed theater that has travelled from PS122 in New York City to the Genocide Memorial Theater in Kigali, Rwanda and collaborated with Hank Willis Thomas on a short film Am I Going Too Fast which premiered at Sundance. Myers participated in the
Whitney Independent Studio Program and recently opened his solo exhibition Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me at Fort Gansevoort Gallery in Manhattan.