Arden – But, Not Without You

February 6 - March 21, 2022
The Sam Theater
"If you’re looking for an evening of traditional theater, Arden – But, Not Without You isn’t for you. But if you’re open to an experience you won’t soon forget, then come down for this Flea for all." – Manhattan Digest
"Arden feels like a poem, an ode to new beginnings, a ritual to solemnize a space, and a group embrace. The performers let us in, open their arms, feed off our energy, and offer us blessings. Together, we can hopefully leave more at peace and bask in this much-transformed version of the Flea." – Theatermania
"Wonderfully entertaining" – New York Theater

ARDEN: But, Not Without You

Arden: But, Not Without You is raw, vibrant, and QUEER AS F*CK. Don’t miss this genre-bending new work, commissioned by The Flea and led by Peter Born, Diana Oh, Okwui Okpokwasili, Niegel Smith, Carrie Mae Weems and Nia Witherspoon.

Diana Oh describes Arden as “Four Generations of Deeply Intimately Bound All-Kinds-of-Doing-Shit Artists sharing of themselves in a Tender-Ass Room full of Queer Femme Shamanic Energy who Genuinely and Gently Welcome You: Social Anxieties, Yummy Freakiness, and All.”

Okwui adds: “We assume nothing. We know nothing, other than a shared desire to reach out and learn about how little we have known and how much we assume. We bring each other offerings and practices and we ask people to come and join us in these offerings. Can we come together in this spirit? There will be music, there will be dance, there might be a party. You bring what you can, we will hold a space for it.”

And Diana brings it all back, “When the world be moving so fast, and I be so gentle, this is the room I wanna be in.”

Come as you are.

Digital Program

A World Premiere and a New Experience

This is the Flea’s first major work in two years and was created in collaboration by lead artists Peter Born, Diana Oh, Niegel Smith, and MacArthur Fellows Okwui Okpokwasili and Carrie Mae Weems.



Composer and Co-Music Director:  Diana Oh

Do Not Let Go” Lyrics by Okwui Okpokwasili Music by Peter Born and Okwui Okpokwasili

Co-Directed by Nia Witherspoon & Niegel Smith

Peter Born
Bernice “Boom Boom” Brooks
Viva DeConcini
Jack Fuller
Diana Oh
Sharaé Moultrie
Niegel Smith
Serena Ebony Miller
& Carrie Mae Weems

Environment Design: Peter Born
Costume Design: Linda Cho
Sound, Lighting & Projection Designer: Hao Bai
Music Producer & Co-Music Director: Jack Fuller
Co-Music Director: Diana Oh
Associate Costume Designer: Raphael Regan
Associate Sound Designer: Bryson Ezell

Production Stage Manager: Caren Celine Morris
Assistant Stage Manager: Ilona Calatayud
Covid Safety Manager: Siobhan Petersen