Take Care


Dec 1, 2015 – Jan 25, 2016 (The Flea Theater, New York)

Written by Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith. Directed by Niegel Smith.

Take Care is a participatory performance that investigates the ways we respond to present and imminent danger. This evening-length performance gathers and reconfigures our personal language around emergency preparedness, abandonment, and consolation.

Take Care includes individualized prompts for audience participation alongside scripted moments for The Bats, the resident acting company at The Flea. Audiences will have the opportunity to choose their desired level of participation—they can be on stage or around it.

““Take Care,” a willfully weird, highly interactive theater piece that uses a series of playful but ominous sketches and games to explore nervous-making aspects of the world today.”

– Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

Click here to purchase your tickets for Dec 1, 2015 – Jan 25, 2016

Dream State of Affairs


Jan 29 – 31, 2015

By Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith
Presented by The Invisible Dog Art Center in partnership with Elastic City

For our ten year artnership, we’ve scored a performance: a where-we-are but in your shoes. There are written prompts that overlap–a set of tasks that form a fairy tale weee invite you to complete.

We’ll play with race, lust, consent, underpaid labor and childhood shit; the cat and the meow. You’ve a choice: consent to be on stage or around it, as you will. We will take care of you.

The Arts Board Member and Development Director: Erin Markey
Lighting Design: Amith Chandrashaker
Stage Management: Ana Mari de Quesada
Rigging Consultant: Jon Harper

This work was created, in part, with a space grant from BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Rehearsal: The Perils of Obedience


July 10 – 11, 2014 (Abrons Arts Center, NYC)

Created By Itziar Barrio and Directed By Niegel Smith

As the next part of THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE, a long-term project that researches power and its diverse embodiments, Itziar Barrio mixes performance, theater, film and live experience to confront established sets of rules and cultivate the conditions for unscripted consequences.THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE is inspired by Stanley Milgram’s 1961 psychological experiments. In this project four characters are immersed in power dynamics within the same scene and an endless conflict.

In continuing collaboration with theater director Niegel SmithRehearsal TPO generates a narrative by placing the cast in specific roles and situations where power is contested, performed, and analyzed. The audience will witness the working process of a rehearsal, designed as a performance and where the entire process will be recorded and edited for a final video piece. The four participating actors were selected in the previous stage of the project, Casting THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE, presented at the Abrons Arts Center in March 2013. Following an open call, the selection process was exposed to the audience, who could experience the excitement and seduction of an audition.

Eat Me, Drink Me, Homo


July 27 & 28, 2013 @ 2pm

Written and Directed by Niegel Smith
Featuring Jamyl Dobson and Jax Jackson
Produced by JACK & Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival

As a young gay in a Catholic all-boy’s high school, I was often reminded of my outsider’s perspective. But, when communion, a sacrament in which only practicing Catholics (and I have never been one) are supposed to participate, was celebrated at an all school mass, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to join in. Breaking bread. Sharing wine. And muttering Latin phrases. It was the best kind of community performance – an opportunity to transcend our individuality and draw closer through shared experience. So now I invite you to leave the rigid confines of organized religion and join in an intimate walk outside. You’ll be lead in a heightened sensory experience as you share new texts, create ritual gestures and mold the outside into your sanctuary. But, don’t forget to say your prayers, things might get rough when you try to get a little bit closer.

I’m A Nigga


July 3, 2013

Conceived and Performed by Niegel Smith
Produced by VoxFest / Vox Barter and presented by The Hood Museum

In, I’m a Nigga, Niegel Smith appropriates contemporary gallery codes, the ubiquitous Apple text speaking program and American hip-hop and rap lyrics in order to question how we use media to subject ourselves to viewership and objectification. The artist takes a classical pose sitting on a stool, his laptop sits on a stool next to him and throughout the performance, a pre-recorded description of the artist is performed by his macintosh computer. The description is an adaptation, written by the artist, of 50 Cent’s “Poor Lil Rich”.

Casting The Perils of Obedience

Mar 29 & 30, 2013 (Abrons Arts Center, NYC)

Created By Itziar Barrio and Directed By Niegel Smith
Visual artist Itziar Barrio invites you, the audience, to witness the audition process as actors compete for roles in a new performance directed by Niegel Smith, all-the-while being filmed for a resulting video installation.
CASTING THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE is the second stage of Barrio’s exploration in power dynamics and constructed situations. Using the methods of theater casting, the performance will reveal the wills and desires of the actors to succeed and be recognized. By placing them within fictional and non-fictional parameters, whether movie scripts or their own lives, Barrio uncovers the formation of power through seduction.

Click here, to reserve your $10 tickets


Cabin Fever

March 23, 2012 (Brooklyn, NY)

Conceived and performed by Niegel Smith at the artist’s home
48 hours till nowhere to go / so / make the most of it
water spouts / heat waves & soul rots
8pm till 8pm till 8pm
we’ll be there and / back again

Cabin Fever is a performance which explores the question: what happens to a group of people who are in the same space for 48 hours? Insurrection? Transcendence?

Click here to watch the Cabin Fever Trailer!

so you’re one of them now

March 17th & 18th, 2009 (The Public Theater; New York, NY)

Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith as PERMISO

This performance debuted as “untitled” in the basement laundry room of the Public Theater in Manhattan. Participants were invited to join the artists in groups of two every 20 minutes. As the evening went on, the performance evolved and the ‘older’ participants taught the ‘newbies’ how to engage with the work. Fiercely physical and emotionally unbounded, “so you’re one of them now” engaged participants in the play and uncertainty when sequestered in a space with uncensored artists. The title was taken from a participant’s mouth at the end of the final performance.

this was the only place I knew to go

April 2008 (Brooklyn, NY)

Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith as PERMISO

“this was the only place I knew to go” was performed inside the bathrooms of Galapagos, a music/art venue in Brooklyn. We enlisted non-actors to expose their most intimate secrets with an unassuming public and to start a dialogue from within the stalls.

Associate Director: Andrea Williams

Performers: Jarah Moesch, David Shaenfield, Shannan Shaughnessy, Andrea Williams

December 31

December 31, 2007 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Niegel Smith in collaboration with Todd Shalom as PERMISO

Outside Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith scratched personal reflections and offerings from the previous year on sheets of paper, read those thoughts aloud, burned the papers and walked away.

Processional (2007)

May 2007 (Union Square, New York)

Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith as PERMISO

For Processional (2007), we led a silent walk in concentric circles around Manhattan’s Union Square in memory of those killed in the Virginia Tech shooting and the Iraq War. For 40 minutes, we spoke solely with the mass movement of our bodies and interrupted the public space to offer a moment of reflection and community through shared experience.

Participants: Jamyl Dobson, Kim Hamlin, Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith.


September 11, 2006 (New York, NY)

Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith as PERMISO

On September 11, 2006, there was an official ceremony in downtown Manhattan to remember those affected by the attack on the World Trade Center. Four blocks away (at the tip of Bowling Green Park) unheard voices emerged in a performace at Arturo DiMoica’s “Charging Bull” sculpture. “Fallout” used the live radio broadcast of the official ceremony as its score.

Performers: Christian Croft, Sarah Edgar, Natalia Ivanova, Tiffany Jewel, Jared Ray, Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith and Jonathan Tindle