Big Summer on Little Island


Jun 01, 2024 to Sep 22, 2024
Official Site

Little Island announces an ambitious summer season of world premieres and nine commissioned pieces starting June 1. Bookended by the premiere of legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s newest full-length piece, titled How Long Blues, and a 90-minute remix of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with which outré opera diva Anthony Roth Costanzo singing every leading role, the season will offer a variety of liver performances including music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, jazz, pop, and funk, all outdoors on the Hudson River at 14th Street in New York City. The Amph, the park’s 700-seat amphitheater, will house larger scale performances at a $25 ticket price, while The Glade, the park’s 200-seat venue, will be home to more intimate works, all of which will be completely free to the public.

In addition to Ms. Tharp’s newest work, which marks her 60th year making dances and is a collaboration with T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield, the season will include: Robeson, a new work created and performed by star bass baritone Davóne Tines, co-created and directed by Zack Winokur, about events in the life of Paul Robeson; Open Throat by Henry Hoke, a theatrical experience based on the novella of the same name about a queer mountain lion living beneath the Hollywood sign, directed by Caitlin Ryan O’Connell; Day For Night, a dance by choreographer Pam Tanowitz that takes place before and after sunset and uses the cityscape as its score; Mama, an evening of all-new music about, and performed on, the water, written by Britton Smith, who performs alongside his funk liberation band, Britton & The Sting, with direction and choreography by Ebony Williams; The Oyster Radio Hour, a live three-act radio show combining science, story and song with special guest appearances to tell the captivating story of oysters in the Hudson River – a collaboration between RR Sigel, podcast producer Ana González and composer Angélica Negrón and Mark Sonnenblick, in partnership with Yo-Yo Ma’s Our Common Nature project; The Summer Legacy Ball, led by the stage and film costume designer and activist Qween Jean, and directed by a consortium of emerging young producers from across New York City; and The Manhattan Variations, a musical memoir that revolves around the legendary Lower East Side cocktail bar Milk and Honey, performed by the virtuoso mandolinist and acclaimed composer, Chris Thile, created by Thile and Claire Coffee. The season concludes with a 90-minute radically re-imagined adaptation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Dustin Wills, with new arrangements by Dan Schlosberg, and costumes by Emily Bode, in which star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings every leading role.

In July and August, The Glade will be home to a completely free-to-the-public performance series, in which a committee of New York cultural vanguards will each program one week of public events (to be announced shortly). The curators include Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks, Grammy Award-winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant, cabaret legend Justin Vivian Bond, comedy world sensation Morgan Jay, New Amsterdam Market founder and culinary world figure Robert LaValva, experimental musician, singer, and songwriter Gio Escobar and Standing on the Corner, and linguist Ross Perlin and the Endangered Language Alliance.

In a statement, Barry Diller, founder of Little Island said, “For the past three years, it’s been extraordinarily gratifying to see New Yorkers embrace Little Island – whether for a few moments, a few hours, an entire afternoon, or late into the evening. Now, with this inaugural slate of entirely original programming, we fulfill the initial intention and vision for the park. Little Island was incepted with the goal of becoming a permanent hub of cultural activity, excitement, and entertainment, constantly building and creating new work for the City to enjoy. There is going to be something great to see – all throughout the park – every night, all summer long.”

Mr. Diller also announced that Zack Winokur has been named Little Island’s Producing Artistic Director.

“We are planning, season by season, to offer the people of New York City a nightly party with great art, great food and drinks, great sunsets, and great views,” said Mr. Winokur. “By opening with a new dance, closing with a reimagined opera, and filling the intervening weeks with works of all different disciplines and scales, we are offering audiences an astonishingly broad array of work in a relatively condensed amount of time. We are embracing a world premiere and commissioning model, which we believe will create remarkable opportunities, not just for the artists involved, but for the audiences who will experience work being made expressly for New Yorkers in a space unlike any other. We are not only presenting these projects but also focusing on their development processes on a bespoke level, built around every show and every idea. Our commitment to commissioning and producing these new works will extend long past the final performances on Little Island and will continue throughout the long life of each project.”

About Mr. Winokur, Mr. Diller said, “Zack is a prodigiously talented leader with a shrewd and encompassing vision for the park and its programming. The way he’s been able to rally these participating artists has been a terrifically impressive demonstration of collaborative leadership. It’s a true fulfillment of the conception of our plan for Little Island and it creates, finally, the opportunity for the park to be a fully imagined destination – as both a park and performance space in equal measure.”

In June and September, The Glade will be New York’s newest outdoor cocktail lounge, complete with a bar designed by Green River Project and a menu of beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails that can be consumed in The Glade or enjoyed anywhere on Little Island. This will be just one of the multiple food and beverage venues in the park, throughout the summer.

To reinforce Little Island's ongoing commitment to artists and audiences, the 2025 season (which will be announced fully at a later date) will be replete with an entire month of dance, a new re-examination of the music theater canon and eight other world premieres. While the 2024 season is currently in motion, workshops and development are also well underway for next year. That season will include a world premiere collaboration between dance world sensation Bobbi Jene Smith and Ringdown; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s new project with Danni Lee: a musical exploration of the life of disco superstar Sylvester written and conceived by Pulitzer Prize-winner Hilton Als; a new musical from Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominated Whitney White and director Taibi Magar; a new play from emerging writer Jacob Wasson; an adaptation of Ben Shattuck’s Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau by Sam Amidon and Amy Berryman; a commission from MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born of Sweat Variant; and a reimagining of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes conceived and arranged by Chris Thile.

Little Island, the 2.4-acre park that sits along the Hudson River, opened in May 2021 and has since been enjoyed by 4.6 million visitors. In 2013, Barry Diller, in partnership with Hudson River Park Trust leadership, embarked on the unique opportunity to envision a solution for the repair and reactivation of Pier 54, which had been badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The park was designed as an entirely new type of public space for New York, one that would create an immersive experience of nature and art. Born from a collaboration of the UK-based Heatherwick Studio and the New York-based landscape architecture firm MNLA, led by Signe Nielsen, the park’s imaginative design offers all New Yorkers and visitors a new public space that is dynamic, captivating, and restorative.

Little Island is operated year-round by a 50-member staff co-helmed by Mr. Winokur and newly appointed Executive Director, Laura Clement.

The 2024 summer season of events at Little Island is made possible by a gift from the Diller - Von Furstenberg Family Foundation.

Tickets to Little Island's summer season of performances are available for purchase on


How Long Blues
6/1/24 – 6/2/24, 6/5/24
Opening Night:
6/6/24 (Amph)
Performances through:

Directed, Choreographed and Conceived by
Twyla Tharp
Original Music and Arrangements by
T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield
Performed by
Michael Cerveris, Piper Dye, Jourdan Epstein, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Kyle Halford, Colin Heininger, Daisy Jacobson, Claude CJ Johnson, Pomme Koch, Skye Mattox, Nicole Ashley Morris, Hugo Pizano Orozco, Ryan Redmond, Victoria Sames, Frances Lorraine Samson, John Selya, Reed Tankersley, Andromeda Turre, John Bailey, Justin Goldner, Wayne Goodman, Dan Lipton, Mark Lopeman, Jay Rattman, George Rush, Paul Wells

Opening Night:
Performances through:

Conceived by
Davóne Tines and Zack Winokur
Music Arrangements by
Directed by
Zack Winokur
Performed by
John Bitoy, Khari Lucas, Davóne Tines

Open Throat
Opening Night:
Performances through:

By Henry Hoke
Based on the novel by Henry Hoke
Directed by
Caitlin Ryan O'Connell
Performed by
Marinda Anderson, Layla Khoshnoudi, Susannah Perkins, Calvin Leon Smith, Steven Wendt, and more to be announced
Choreography by
Lisa Fagan

Day For Night
Opening Night:
Performances through:

Created and Choreographed by
Pam Tanowitz
Performed by

Morgan Amirah, Marc Crousillat, Lindsey Jones, Brian Lawson, Sarah Elizabeth Miele, Maile Okamura, Melissa Toogood
Costume Design by
Reid Bartelme & Harriett Jung
Lighting Design by
Davison Scandrett

Opening Night:
Performances through:

Created by
Britton Smith
Performed by
Britton & The Sting – Zwe Bell le Pere, Andrew Jagannath, Malachi Mabson, Tiffany Mann, Ines Nassara, Josh Roberts, Britton Smith
Direction and Choreography by
Ebony Williams
Associate Choreographer
Christine Sheppard
Scenic Designer
Carlos Soto

The Oyster Radio Hour
Opening Night:
Performances through:

Creative Producer
RR Sigel
Music by
Angélica Negrón, Mark Sonnenblick, and more to be announced
Content Developer
Ana González
Performed by
Angélica Negrón, Darian Donavon Thomas, and more to be announced.

The Summer Legacy Ball
Opening Night:
Performances through:

Creative Director
Qween Jean

The Manhattan Variations
Opening Night:
8/14, 8/15, 8/16 & 8/18

Created by
Claire Coffee and Chris Thile
Music and Lyrics by
Chris Thile
Book by
Claire Coffee and Chris Thile
Direction by
Claire Coffee
Performances by
Chris Thile

The Marriage of Figaro
8/30/24 – 9/1/24, 9/4/24
Opening Night:
Performances through:

Composed by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by
Lorenzo Da Ponte
Conceived by
Anthony Roth Constanzo
Music Arrangements by
Dan Schlosberg
Directed by
Dustin Wills
Performed by
Chris Bannow, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Daniel Liu, Emma Ramos, and more to be announced


Week 1: Suzan-Lori Parks (Conversations + Music)
Wednesday 7/10 – Sunday 7/14

Week 2: Pam Tanowitz: Day for Night Epilogue (Dance)
Wednesday 7/17 – Sunday 7/21

Week 3: Justin Vivian Bond (Cabaret)
Wednesday 7/24 – Sunday 7/28

Week 4: Oyster Market / Robert LaValva
(Local vendor market + live oyster shucking)
Wednesday 7/31 – Sunday 8/4

Week 5: Morgan Jay
Wednesday 8/7 – Sunday 8/11

Week 6: Ross Perlin, The Endangered Language Alliance, Michael Leibenluft,
Gung Ho Projects
(Performances about the past, present, and future of the world’s most linguistically diverse city)
Wednesday 8/14 – Sunday 8/18

Week 7: Cécile McLorin Salvant
(A week of celebrated jazz and folk artists)
Wednesday 8/21 – Sunday 8/25

Week 8: Gio Escobar
(Standing on the Corner – a Brooklyn-based post genre music collective)
Wednesday 8/28 – Sunday 9/01

Author: Little Island

Special Events
New York, NY

All events and times are subject to change.