World After This One: A Performance by Benji Hart

Event Type
Event Description

In this 2024 premiere, interdisciplinary artist Benji Hart’s World After This One uses movement and spoken word to examine how Black people have historically reclaimed the materials of empire to construct portals to impossible futures. Looking through the lenses of three Black art forms—the queer street style of vogue, the Afro-Boricua dance and drumming tradition of bomba, and gospel music—World After This One blurs the lines between the secular and the sacred, celebration and mourning, the past and the yet-to-pass, imagining Black liberation not as a metaphor, but a possibility.

This performance will by followed by a talk back with artist and playwright Kristiana Rae Colón.

The premiere of World After This One will take place across three different weekends at three venues, culminating at the LookOut Series at Steppenwolf. To see the full list of performances, visit


Benji Hart is an interdisciplinary artist, author, and educator whose work centers Black radicalism, queer liberation, and prison abolition. Their words have appeared or are forthcoming in anthologies from Oxford University Press, Beacon Press, Haymarket Books, Pluto Press, and have been published at Time, Teen Vogue, The Advocate, The Funambulist Magazine, and elsewhere. They have led popular education and arts-based workshops for organizations internationally, including Project NIA, Forward Together, SisterSong, and Dissenters, and presented at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the American Repertory Theater, the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Their performances have been featured at the Poetry Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Den Frie, and Museo del Chopo. They have received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and are a Kistenbroker Family Artist in Residence at the Lab School.

Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, producer, curator, creator of #BlackSexMatters, co-founder of the #LetUsBreathe Collective, and Executive Story Editor on Showtime’s hit series The Chi. Her collection of poems promised instruments was the winner of the inaugural Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize and published by Northwestern University Press. Past works include Tilikum (world premiere Sideshow Theater, 2019 Best New Play at Non-Equity Jeff Awards, 2018 Outstanding New Play at ALTA Awards), Octagon (world premiere Arcola Theatre, London, 2015; American premiere Jackalope Theatre, 2016), but i cd only whisper (world premiere Arcola Theatre, London, 2012; American premiere The Flea, New York, 2016). Kristiana is an alum of OpenTV’s Screenwriting fellowship where she is developing a series adaptation of her play suspension, which was a semi-finalist for American Theater’s Relentless Award. She is also an alum of the Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit where she developed her play florissant & canfield, which debuted at University of Illinois-Chicago in February 2018. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. Kristiana’s writing, producing, and organizing work to radically reimagine power structures, our complicity in them, and visions for liberation.

Running Time
2 hours
Dance Styles


Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre

1700 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608