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2018 Schedule

Wild Project

195 E. 3rd Street

East Village, NYC

November 12-18, 2018

The International Human Rights Art Festival signature event is a week-long series of advocacy art and performances at the intersection of art, spirit and society.  As the Sufis say: "Words spoken from the mouth never get past the ears; but words spoken from the heart, enter the heart."  Our  100+ artists presenting 30 events are speaking loudly and clearly from their hearts!

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Monday, November 12

7 pm: Tribal Baroque/Thoth (performance/music)

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Will be prayforming excerpts from their latest vocal theater piece entitled "The Pantheon Of Electric Beasties," about a despot who takes over a city using seductive entities called electric beasties.  Thoth and Lila’Angelique are world-based nomads using countertenor and coloratura soprano vocals to create fantasy operas based on love and devotion, accompanied by ritual theater, dance, foot-percussion, and violins. www.tribalbaroque.com or www.skthoth.com

8:30 pm "Fine" by Alexa Jordan (theatre)

Ticket for this performance here

Fine is a drama about a therapist and her patients. This play explores mental health issues, the way we view individuals with mental health disorders, and the stigma surrounding these common, human issues. This play deals with very sensitive subject matter. For trigger warnings, please contact onefineplay@gmail.com.

Featuring Alexa Jordan, Taylor Rynski, Hunter Menken (huntermenken.com), Alexandria Smalls, Ricky Wang, Chloe Crawford, Onome (onome.org), Michael Filisky (michaelfilisky.com), Michael Carr (michaelcarractor.com).

Playwright: Alexa Jordan | Director: Rachel Levens | Stage Manager: Karen Oughtred 

Tuesday, November 13

7 pm: Amirov Dance Theater (dance and workshop)

Ticket for this performance here

The Coop (excerpt) draws inspiration from Amirov’s immigration from the Soviet Union to Israel and then to the United States.  Exploring the profound, destabilizing, and overarching effects of immigration, and aims to illustrate the diverse experiences of immigrants, as some experience a sense of liberation, empowerment and refuge, while others are left feeling anonymous, voiceless, and clawing for control and a sense of integrity in their battle to assimilate. A workshop and discussion will follow the dance. Dancers: Sunny Bjaanes, Anna Pinault, Suzie Rzecznik, Asami Tomidal; Music by: Orgonite, Arvo Pärt.

Founded in 2013, Amirov Dance Theater is a dance company that embodies the diverse influences of culture, religion, and societal norms to creatively explore and challenge humanity’s most complex characteristics. Amirov Dance Theater has been presented in such venues such as Gibney Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dixon Place, The Green Space, Movement Research, The Gowanus Arts Center, The Sheen Center, The Tank, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, The Hudson Guild Theatre, and Dance Complex (MA). In addition to live performance, Amirov Dance Theater’s repertoire comprises movement-based films, which have been presented in a variety of local film festivals and internationally at IDACO Italian American Festival, International Arts Festival Florence, and Moving Images International Festival Nicosia. For more information: www.amirovdancetheater

8:30 pm: The Wall/ Puppet Workshop (theatre and workshop)

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Jessica Litwak of the H.E.A.T. Collective presents The Wall: a short play that uses poetry, humor, puppetry and diverse characters to give voice to one woman’s experience of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Directly after this piece the writer/performer will teach the short form of  Puppets For the People: a workshop that teaches some of the methods of The H.E.AT. Collective focusing specifically on our puppet building techniques. http://www.theheatcollective.org

Jessica Litwak is a multi-disciplinary international theatre leader, recognized in the field of Theatre for Social Change. Litwak has a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change and is a Fulbright Scholar. Her plays have been produced across the United States at theatres such as Rattlestick, The Goodman Theater and La MaMa. http://www.jessicalitwak.com

Wednesday, November 14

7 pm:  Movement of the People Dance Company and Christina Evans

Movement of the People Dance Company (dance)

Ticket for this performance here

Hair Ties is a multidisciplinary, dance-theater piece inspired by America's fear of Black power and beauty. Inspired by the Tignon Laws of the 1800s, this evocative work is a celebration of Black beauty, creativity, and ingenuity in the face of perpetual oppression. Collaboration with Evelyn Green (videographer), Amina Henry (wordsmith) and Hair Ties interviewee's.

Founded in 2005 by Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Joya Powell, Movement of the People Dance Company is dedicated to addressing historic and present sociocultural injustices through dance. Over the years MOPDC has performed in various celebrated dance festivals and venues including: BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, Casita Maria, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, La Mama, Gibney Dance, Dance on the Greenway (commission), The Performance Project @ University Settlement, chashama, Amnesty International's Human Rights Art Festival, The FLEA Theater, BAAD!, Evoke’s Celebrate Dance Festival (San Diego), among others. Awards and recognition include: 2018-19 EtM Choreographers + Composers Residency, 2017-2018 Women in Motion Fellowship, 2017 Schusterman Family Foundation Grant Recipient, 2016-2017 Dancing While Black Fellowship. http://www.movementofthepeopledance.com

Christina Evans (performance)

TOYS is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning solo show by Christina Evans exposing the insidious and massive trade of sex trafficking. Winner of 3 awards at Hollywood Fringe Festival and a sell-out season at Adelaide Fringe Festival, TOYS captures the chilling cycles of abuse, exchange and sexual corruption that playthings worldwide are entrapped.

Christina Evans (Creator/Director/Performer) is a LA-based, Australian performing artist and actress who creates and performs multi-faceted creative works, focussed on issues of our time. In 2010 she received an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, spending time with scientists in Antarctica researching Antarctic ice and climate change. Christina collaborated with Oxfam Australia to present 'Made In Australia', a dance work on sweatshop labor. Her screen credits include ‘That Sugar Film’. www.christina-evans.com

Sasha Dylan Bell (Film Projection) is an Emmy award-nominated filmmaker, known for his background in editing. Sasha has edited features including Legacy, starring Peter Stormare (Fargo), The Rendezvous, starring Stana Katic (Castle), Blackmail, starring Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black) and Face To Face, directed by Michael Rymer (American Horror Story). Sasha has a also been nominated for two Australian Screen Editors Guild (ASE) awards, an IF Award and several other nominations & wins. Sasha has collaborated with Christina Evans on many projects including ‘Body of Ice’, ‘Elements’ and ‘Toys’. www.sashadylanbell.com 

Tobias Wilkins (Sound/Voiceover) first worked with Christina Evans in 2008 on the debut performance of “Toys”. Tobias is currently undertaking his Doctorate towards the teaching of Shakespeare in high schools.  http://soundcloud.com/tobias-whisky

8:30 pm: Celebration of Black Men (dance, music, theatre)

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  • Tyrone Bevans (dance): Getting Out the Door begins a discussion about processing trauma to find resilience in order to step into the world. Tyrone began his journey in dance while studying at the Mark Morris Dance Group and Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance. He is currently dancing for Christal Brown’s Inspirit Dance and Joya Powell’s Movement of the people. https://tyronebevansdance.com

  • J Bouey (dance): Holding Onto Innocence looks at the duality of innocence, a child-like innocence and not guilty of a crime, and the futile attempt to hold onto it. This piece shows the ways in which many adult Black Americans have tried to protect themselves and their Black children from state-sanctioned police violence. J has a Movement Research Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Fellow for 2018, Dancing While Black Fellow for 2017-2018, and performed with Elisa Monte Dance as an apprentice from 2015 to 2017. www.jbouey.com

    J will be joined by Dre Drummond/Dre.Speaks. Dre grew up in Queens, and earned his B.F.A in contemporary dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he worked with choreographers such as Bill T Jones, Susan Jaffe, Doug Elkins, Brenda Daniels and many more. DRE speaks is a multifaceted platform in which Dre expresses himself through the movement of his body and the words of his mouth. Through exploration Dre uses the unique qualities of poetry, movement, and film. http://andrespeaks.com/

  • Owen Valentine (violin/jazz fiddle): His soulful renditions of his original music and soul classics are just a starting point that lead to the creation of spontaneous works of music. With Rohin Khemani on Percussion. Owen has performed or recorded with George Duke, Gil Scot Heron and Surface, Mary J Blige, The OJays, Santana, Teddy Pendergrass, Anthony Hamilton and more. His most recent project collaboration with Emmy award winning Tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith,"Transformation", drew standing ovations at New York's Lincoln Center. www.theowenvalentine.com

  • Anthony Wills (theatre): Its good to be alive is a celebration of Ahmed El Motassem and all the unknown brilliant artists of the world. Recent performance credits include Rob in Ace the Case with Susan Sarandon, Richard in Cassanova Was a Woman, a guest appearance on Alpha House and Denzil Best in the Swedish film “Monica Z” directed by Per Fly. Anthony played the role of Harold Hill in Music Man with Tony Nominee Marla Schaffel. He has performed all over the country in his unique style of clowning, dance, singing and spoken word. http://www.anthonywillsjr.com/me/Welcome.html

 

Thursday, November 15

7 pm: ImprActivists (improv comedy)

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Katie Hutch leads her team of professional improv actors to the intersection of improv comedy and social activism. The ImprActivists (“making the seemingly impractical, real”) are the International Human Rights Art Festival house team, bringing social activism to you in the form of humor, creativity and engagement. Tonight, they will be interpreting two different stories — one, a mystical take taken from Chuang Tzu, the Chinese Taoist, and then a biography of a well-known activist who really did make a difference! (This activist will be announced from the stage.)

Katie Hutch is a writer, comedian, singer, and creator that has been teaching and coaching performance for over 15 years. Hutch is best known for her impressions, parody songs and characters. She has been featured on improv and sketch house teams at The Peoples Improv Theater and original groups throughout NYC. With training and experience in a wide range of styles from improv to dance and IPA to Suzuki, Hutch applies lessons outside the traditional scope of improv to stretch the principals of improv. www.katiehutch.com

8:30 pm: New Dance Projects (dance)

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  • Tom Tsai: In his solo Filling Nothing, Tom Tsai relates an experience dancing with incarcerated men to his understanding of Breakin' culture and Hip Hop history. Tom's solo works have been presented throughout California and New York, and internationally in Sweden, Portugal, The Netherlands, and at Sadler’s Wells in London. Tom is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and two-time winner of the REVERBdance Festival’s REVERB Award. http://tomtsai.com

  • Garrett Parker: Room 1 is a solo dance work that explores the spectrum of human emotion and physicality as the protagonists realizes his loss of freedom. Garrett graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with academic honors and a merit-based full scholarship, the Sarah Graham Kenan Scholarship. Garrett attended the Movement Invention Project (2015, 2017), the NYC Gaga Winter Intensive (2016), the Kyoto Dance Festival (2016) and the American Dance Festival (2013, 2014, 2015). https://www.detoxmovement.org

  • Christopher Nuñez: What a wonderful time we almost had: A final conversation with Christopher’s father. The piece concerns issues of the understated affection of fathers and disengagement in relationships. Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a Costa Rican born, Brooklyn-based choreographer, live artist, curator and dance educator. Most recently, his work has been presented at Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art, BAM Fisher, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, NY City Center Studios, InSitu Dance Festival, Performance Mix Festival and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. unpezverde.com

  • J CHEN PROJECT: The story of a single immigrant girl-child, making her way from Honduras through Mexico and into the U.S., is told as myth, through poetry and dance. Performed by dancers Elizabeth Cowperthwaite and Rafael Sanchez, with actor Graceann Dorse.  Original music by Desiree Miller.  Co-Directed and Co-Choreographed by Jessica Chen and Chieh Hsiung.  A dance/theater commission from Tom Block's original La Bestia: Sweet Mother text. Jessica's choreography credits include Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theater, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Ai Weiwei: The Seed for Brooklyn Museum, TEDx Semester at Sea, Cornell University’s Celebration of Asian American Women, World Expo - USA Pavilion in Shanghai, China (jchenproject.com) Tom Block is a playwright, author of five books, 25+ year exhibiting visual artist and the founding producer of the International Human Rights Art Festival. tomblock.com

 

Friday, November 16

7:30 pm: Celebration of Justice: the signature event, bringing together artists, activists, politicians on the IHRAF stage to most clearly present our philosophy of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement. 

Ticket for this performance here

9:30 pm: Dance Party (free and open to the public): Join the Short Stack All Stars, the Festival team and friends and family for a rocking post Celebration of Justice celebration! Stop by the Wild Project to groove at the intersection of jazz and hip-hop, imbibe in some of our special human rights-themed libations (such as the Barbed Wire; Mahatma Colada; L, G, B and T; Emancipation Proclamation; Beautiful Trouble and others) and share the mellow buzz with fellow travelers. Short Stack All Stars is Keston McMillan (vocals), John Filmanowicz (vocals), Peter Enriquez (bass, guitar), Grant Meyer (keys, synth bass) and Zack Pockrose (drums)

Saturday, November 17

1 pm: Aseemkala Initiative (traditional Indian Dance and discussion)

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The Mahavidyas are a group of 10 demi-goddesses, each with a unique strength and character, who live on the margins of acceptable society. They are widows, young girls, dark skin, blood thirsty, warriors. They are feared and celebrated for their imperfections. Their ability to unify opposites through erasing boundaries between correct, incorrect, just and unjust makes the Mahavidyas the inspiration of this dance project—a project hoping to cross boundaries in medicine. There will be six dance pieces, and a 15-20 minute discussion. Dancers and Artists: Shilpa Darivemula, Sophia Salingaros, Supraja Chittari, Haritha Sishtla, Jenn Pamela Chowdhury. Choreographer Panelists for Q&A: Jenn Pamela Chowdhury, Shilpa Darivemula, Supraja Chittari. 

The Aseemkala Initiative uses traditional dance to narrate stories of women in medicine. Why traditional dance? There is an inherent healing in traditional dance performances – storytelling offered to a connected community audience. Empowering one woman in a community to see her artistic culture as an intrinsic tool for health improvement, we believe, will form the seed of change needed to improve health for indigenous communities. This project also provides animmersive experience for physicians-in-training to understand their patients and themselves through telling stories through their bodies. www.aseemkala.org or on Facebook @aseemkalainitiative

2:30 pm: Theatre of the Oppressed (interactive theatre)

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An original, interactive forum play by the Fortune Society Theatre Troupe addressing injustice in the criminal justice system, based on the lived experiences of the actors. This project is a partnership between Theatre of the Oppressed NYC and The Fortune Society.

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC partners with community members at local organizations to form theatre troupes. These troupes devise and perform plays based on their challenges confronting economic inequality, racism, and other social, health and human rights injustices. After each performance, actors and audiences engage in theatrical brainstorming – called Forum Theatre – with the aim of catalyzing creative change on the individual, community, and political levels. https://www.tonyc.nyc

4:30 pm: Horny Bastards (theatre)

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Horny Bastards takes on the curious relationship between rhino poaching in Africa and the sexual harassment of women in America. A concert reading of the upcoming world premiere play.  Written by Sam Graber and directed by Katrin Hilbe. Featuring Rachel Halper, Lawryn Lacroix, Cary Hite (member AEA), Natalie Hoy, Lee Roy Rogers (member AEA),  James Kennedy. Stage directions - Nicholas-Tyler Corbin.

Sam's plays have been staged in some shape or form around the United States, including the Abingdon Theatre (NYC), Warner Theatre (CT), City Theatre of Independence (MO), Driftwood Players (WA), Love Creek Productions (NYC), AlphaNYC Theater (NYC), New York Theater Festival (NYC), Players Theatre (NYC), Capital Fringe (DC) and The Workshop Theater (NYC).His play Modern Prophet was awarded to the 2016 Broadway Producer List (NYC). He teaches classes at The Playwrights’ Center. His work has been published by Smith & Kraus, Original Works and Dramatic Publishing. https://samgraber.com/  

6:30 pm: Movement of the People Dance Company and Oxana Chi (dance)

Ticket for this performance here

Movement of the People Dance Company

Hair Ties is a multidisciplinary, dance-theater piece inspired by America's fear of Black power and beauty. Inspired by the Tignon Laws of the 1800s, this evocative work is a celebration of Black beauty, creativity, and ingenuity in the face of perpetual oppression. Collaboration with Evelyn Green (videographer), Amina Henry (wordsmith) and Hair Ties interviewee's.

Founded in 2005 by Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Joya Powell, Movement of the People Dance Company is dedicated to addressing historic and present sociocultural injustices through dance. Over the years MOPDC has performed in various celebrated dance festivals and venues including: BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, Casita Maria, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, La Mama, Gibney Dance, Dance on the Greenway (commission), The Performance Project @ University Settlement, chashama, Amnesty International's Human Rights Art Festival, The FLEA Theater, BAAD!, Evoke’s Celebrate Dance Festival (San Diego), among others. Awards and recognition include: 2018-19 EtM Choreographers + Composers Residency, 2017-2018 Women in Motion Fellowship, 2017 Schusterman Family Foundation Grant Recipient, 2016-2017 Dancing While Black Fellowship. http://www.movementofthepeopledance.com

Oxana Chi

Psyche (Part I & II):  What are the affinities between the Psyche and the Soul? In this choreographic exploration of her body memory, the dancer dives deeper and deeper into her inner self, to discover her own humanity…

Oxana Chi is an award-winning choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, curator and publisher from Germany based in New York since 2015. A 2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center, she was listed in the Dance Enthusiast's A to Z of "People who Power the Dance World". She has toured at theaters, universities and festivals in France, India, Finland, UK, Indonesia, Germany, Taiwan, Martinique, Turkey, Singapore and Australia. Chi has received various international awards and grants, and was honored as an Ambassador of Peace at the DOSHIMA 2016 in Jakarta. www.oxanachi.de

8:00 pm: Celebration of Women (dance, spoken word, music)

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  •  Barkha Dance Company presents Mukta, A Woman Liberated. A dance production about the internal journey of a nayika, or woman, grappling with long-held tradition against a modern world. Choreographer: Barkha Patel; dancers: Barkha Patel, Juhi Desai, Ishita Bhattacharya, Henna Khanijou, Urvashie Kissoon; music: Kedar Pandit; lyrics: Shailesh Kulkarni; costume: Punita Patel & Raju Gulam. Barkha Patel is an Indian Classical Kathak dancer trained in the Jaipur and Lucknow style by her Guru, Rachna Sarang. Based in New York, she was praised in the NY Times for her 'brilliant virtuosity and bewitching charm. She has performed across the USA and India, including for former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and music virtuoso Pandit Jarajji. An accomplished choreographer, she completed her Master’s in Kathak Performing Arts from the Kalidasa Sanskrit University in Nagpur, India. www.barkhadance.com

  • Te Ao Mana Oli (dance, music) Kaina Quenga and Anthony Aiu will present traditional chant; Oteʻa - Ori Tahiti  (Tahitian drum dance); Aparima - Tahitian hula and Oli Mahalo - Traditional chant. Te Ao Mana's mission is to expand the presence of Polynesian cultural arts and community worldwide by promoting collaboration of creative projects, community involvement, technique classes and lectures, cultural workshops, events, and exchanges. Kaina Quenga and Anthony Aiu are co-founders of Te Ao Mana (2016). A native of Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Kaina Quenga has been dancing hula professionally for over 20 years in Hawaiʻi, Florida, New York and throughout the East Coast. Anthony Haumanava Mataheiari'i Aiu has been presented by the LABA Theater NYC, Green Space, Dixon Place, 92Y, SUNY Purchase, Dance Parade NYC, Steppin’ Out Studios, Brooklyn Ballet, and Webster Hall, among other festivals. FB:teaomanaori

  • La Roka NYC (dance, music): An uplifting message celebrating women's presence in hip hop. The performance incorporates dramatic Hip hop choreography done by 2 Full Circle HardRock dancers that burst into live song and rhymes performed by the legendary La Roka. Born and raised in NYC, La Roka, also known and acclaimed internationally as Bgirl Rokafella for her breakdance mastery, is well rooted in Hip-hop and Afro Latin rhythms and currently teaches at The New School. She began to perform at theatrical venues with Full Circle Prod, the non profit company she co founded with her husband Kwikstep. She has proven her multi faceted creativity, as a model for Athleta, an actress in the film "On the Outs" and the choreo-play "SHE" and as a film maker directing the documentary "All The Ladies Say". La Roka created Hip hop choreography for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 70th anniversary Hamlet, performed with the House of Ninja for Rainbow Fashion week, and appeared in the Netflix series “The Get Down”! larokasoul.com

  • Onliest (music): is Tiffany and Ganessa James: twins with a life-long passion for music  With their guitars and voices, they explore the territory of vulnerability and authenticity - and cast a spell made of song. They blend in the hip-hop ethos of freestyle: creating impromptu vocal harmonies in performance, weaving their voices together in exuberant improvised explorations. Their band Onliest is the product of a passionate love for music with multi-genre influences including rock, soul, salsa, soca, and R&B - reflecting the twins Central American and Caribbean heritage and New York City upbringing. Singing in English, or Spanish, wielding their guitars, or conjuring freestyle harmonies. Ganessa brings 20 years experience playing bass in soul, funk, and rock music bands and touring internationally with Saul Williams, JOI and Toshi Reagon. ganessajames.com and FB:onliestmusic

  • Layla Zami (spoken words, saxophone): Homesong is a diasporic journey from Berlin to Brooklyn, using words and sounds to flow through freedom, love, and resistance. Dr. Layla Zami is an independent scholar, artist, curator and globetrotter born in Paris, France. Drawing from a rich Jewish-Russian-German and Afro-Indian-Caribbean cultural heritage, Layla performed across NYC and across the globe as a Resident Artist with Oxana Chi & Ensemble Xinren from the Abrons Arts Center in Manahatta to the Solo International Performing Arts Festival on the island of Java, Indonesia over the HAU Theatre in Berlin. She Ph.D. from Humboldt-University, Berlin, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Pratt Institute, Performance + Performance Studies Program and Assistant Producer at the International Human Rights Art Festival. www.laylazami.net

10 pm: (Flying) Dutchman (theatre)

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Experimental Theater Group, Theatre Of War Reconstructs Amiri Baraka's Scathing Racial Diatribe, Dutchman. Amiri Baraka's 1964 text serves as foundation for a timely reconstruction examining eloquent blind fury, racial hysteria, sexual hysteria, and white obsession with silencing the black voice/body. (Flying) Dutchman is part theater piece, town hall meeting, heated debate, hypnosis session, and rite created to navigate the haunted, outer reaches of the human psyche, to conjure up baraka himself for marching orders as well as to herald in our final wake up call. Featuring Malcolm B. Hines & Jonathan Schenk; Direction/Sound Design: Christopher-Rashee Stevenson; additional text from "Les Negres Clownerie" by Jean Genet.

Jonathan Schenk (Lula) - New York: [Flying] Dutchman: A Rite (The Brick), The Trojan Women* (NySocLib),  Richard II: An Experiment Processional (Bushwick Starr), #thisamericanplay (Blue Flamingo), The Emperor's New Clothes* (Theatre of War). Regional: Haruki Murakami's Sleep* (Ground Floor at Berkely Rep / Ripe Time). TV: Co-Star (Law & Order SVU). www.jonathanschenk.com 

Malcolm B. Hines (Clay): "To Be Young, Gifted, & Black. Oh what a lovely, precious dream." - Weldon Irvine

 

Sunday, November 18

1 pm: Quill House (performance)

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QUILL HOUSE is an immersive sonic visual theater experience by Karen Cellini & Gabrielle Senza that explores invisible truths, the unseen realms of experience, and the founding of self. Through movement, sound, and ethereal elements, multidisciplinary artists Karen Cellini and Gabrielle Senza present a layered collage of visual and sonic experiences that delve into the subconscious realities and conscious fictions of the psycho-emotional realms of existence in a world fraught with injustice. 

Karen Cellini is a live performance collage artist experimenting with text, sound, and media in the vibrational, psychological and emotional landscape through singing, writing, music, and activism. Her play, The Good Mother: making the invisible, visible was written with an incarcerated heroin addict giving voice to victims of violence and addiction. She starred in Dynasty and later co-produced Doctor Zhivago on Broadway, the iconic Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, among other plays and film projects. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and was Writing for Performance Candidate mentored by Carl Hancock Rux at CalArts. KarenCellini.com

Gabrielle Senza exhibits, lectures, and performs internationally. Her socially engaged art initiatives, including Walk UnafraidSeeing Red, and The Collaborative Scroll have toured through cities in the US and Europe and earned her awards from Transart Institute for Creative Research, the Puffin Foundation, Assets for Artists, and MASS MoCA among others. Gabrielle is a returning Fellow at ZK/U Berlin - The Center for Art & Urbanistics where she first launched Invisibility Lab in 2017, a participatory multi-cultural creative research project that investigates the phenomenon of invisibility and aspects of the unseen. https://gabriellesenza.com

2:30 pm: Circus Amok and Barbara Ann Michaels (circus and clown)

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Circus Amok (circus)

Circus Amok presents Enough is Enough (excerpts), with Jennifer Miller, Ashley Brockington, Carlton Ward and Kali Therrin. Live music provided by Jenni Romaine, Mary Feaster, Jessica Lurie.
Circus Amok is a circus-theater company whose mission is to provide free public art addressing contemporary issues of social justice to the people of New York City. Directed and founded by Jennifer Miller, the group has been together since 1989, bringing its funny, queer, caustic and sexy, political, one-ring spectacles to diverse neighborhoods throughout the city. Traditional circus skills combined with experimental dance, life-size puppetry, music old and new, gender-bending performance art and improvisational techniques, create new meanings for circus while continuing to entertain crowds of all ages throughout the streets, gardens, parks, and playgrounds. https://www.circusamok.org

Barbara Ann Michaels (clown)

"Stranger in A Normal Land:" Are we all really friends who haven't met yet? How do we bridge the perceived distances between us? "Stranger in a Normal Land" is a clown theater exploration of what it means to be a stranger and a friend. Whether traveling the world or the block, how do we often interact with each other? And how else could we? How often do you feel like a stranger or a friend to your own self? Enjoy this audience-interactive playful and serious take on connection. 

Barbara Ann Michaels, Jester of the Peace, works at the nexus of art, love and comedy. Recent projects include Clown Curious and Seven Senses Stroll with AirBnB, and tours of #IVOTE4U, AND NOW: WOMAN salon, and Love Letter Lounge. Performances include Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New York Clown Theater Festival, Miami Project, San Francisco Fringe, Boston Museum of Science, First Night Boston, and Discovery Channel. She is an award-winning Interfaith Minister for highly personal, costume, and adventure weddings. Press includes The Learning Channel’s Four Weddings, New York Times, Boston Globe, New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, and more. https://www.jesterofthepeace.com

4 pm: Mare Nostrum Elements (dance/workshop)

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MNE’s participation in the festival will include a live class demonstration of their teaching method (The Wave Within) followed by a performance of Altering, a dance work created by choreographer Patrick O’Brien during ECS 2018. Mare Nostrum Elements directors Kevin Albert and Nicola Iervasi will lead a participatory class following their signature Movement Theater method The Wave Within.  The class will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Altering premiered at MNE’s Emerging Choreographer Series in February 2018 and was inspired by the Me Too movement. 

Mare Nostrum Elements is an organization dedicated to the expression of human emotion through dance, theater, and movement that carries out its work through a performance group (MNE creates), training outlet (The Wave Within!), and production company (MNE presents). Since 2001, Mare Nostrum Elements has explored the points of intersection among artistic disciplines and has shared the results through performances, workshops, and outreach programs. http://www.mnelements.org

Patrick O’Brien Dance Project is a New York City-based contemporary dance freelance ensemble that has received generous support from Mare Nostrum Elements and the CUNY Dance Initiative. PODP has presented works at Brooklyn Museum, Dixon Place, Socrates Sculpture Park, MMAC, EMIA, LaGuardia PAC, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Gelsey Kirkland, and 14th St Y. They have toured to Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Patrick has also been commissioned to set original works in Honolulu, HI, on CelloPointe (New York), and at the Joffrey Ballet School. 

6 pm: Thank You for Coming Out (improv comedy)

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Thank You For Coming Out Presents an Improvised Love Story. Our incredible cast of LGBTQ improvisers will bring to life a Queer Love Story through musical improv. Nothing is rehearsed. Everything is love and magic. 

Thank You For Coming Out celebrates LGBTQ improvisers and storytellers of all experience levels from all over NYC. Based on the details of a vulnerable and heartfelt coming out story, our improvisers make up a hilariously insightful and creative show on the spot. Our actors range from newbies to Broadway sensations! www.thankyouforcomingout.com

7:30 pm: Julia Levine and Ran Xia (theatre)

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Dirt: Inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and other writings both scientific and fantastical, Dirt elucidates the world beneath our feet and evaluates our connection to where our food grows. Theatre artists Julia Levine and Ran Xia will present a staged reading of this new play at the Festival.  Featuring Jessie Atkinson, Drew Gardner, Jenny Jarnagin, Natalia Lopresti, Valentina Muhr, Kelsey Pargeter, Sharlee Taylor and José Useche.

Julia is a theatre artist and educator who uses theatre to pose questions that ignite dialogue, to interrogate dominant narratives, and to pave the way to a more equitable future for all.  She is the Marketing Associate at HERE and Artistic Producer of The Arctic Cycle. She writes for the online series Artists and Climate Change, and is a founding member of the Back to Work Collective and CLIMATE LENS. https://www.juliaslevine.com

RAN XIA is an interdisciplinary dramatist, director, designer, and visual artist. She co-founded theatre collective The Arctic Group and curates The Polar Bear Plunge showcase monthly at Lucky Jack's NYC. http://www.ranxia.info

9 pm: New Dance Projects (dance)

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  • Tom Tsai: In his solo Filling Nothing, Tom Tsai relates an experience dancing with incarcerated men to his understanding of Breakin' culture and Hip Hop history. Tom's solo works have been presented throughout California and New York, and internationally in Sweden, Portugal, The Netherlands, and at Sadler’s Wells in London. Tom is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and two-time winner of the REVERBdance Festival’s REVERB Award. http://tomtsai.com

  • Garrett Parker: Room 1 is a solo dance work that explores the spectrum of human emotion and physicality as the protagonists realizes his loss of freedom. Garrett graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with academic honors and a merit-based full scholarship, the Sarah Graham Kenan Scholarship. Garrett attended the Movement Invention Project (2015, 2017), the NYC Gaga Winter Intensive (2016), the Kyoto Dance Festival (2016) and the American Dance Festival (2013, 2014, 2015). https://www.detoxmovement.org

  • Christopher Nuñez: What a wonderful time we almost had: A final conversation with Christopher’s father. The piece concerns issues of the understated affection of fathers and disengagement in relationships. Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a Costa Rican born, Brooklyn-based choreographer, live artist, curator and dance educator. Most recently, his work has been presented at Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art, BAM Fisher, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, NY City Center Studios, InSitu Dance Festival, Performance Mix Festival and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. unpezverde.com

  • J CHEN PROJECT: The story of a single immigrant girl-child, making her way from Honduras through Mexico and into the U.S., is told as myth, through poetry and dance. Performed by dancers Elizabeth Cowperthwaite and Rafael Sanchez, with actor Graceann Dorse.  Original music by Desiree Miller.  Co-Directed and Co-Choreographed by Jessica Chen and Chieh Hsiung.  A dance/theater commission from Tom Block's original La Bestia: Sweet Mother text. Jessica's choreography credits include Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theater, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Ai Weiwei: The Seed for Brooklyn Museum, TEDx Semester at Sea, Cornell University’s Celebration of Asian American Women, World Expo - USA Pavilion in Shanghai, China (jchenproject.com) Tom Block is a playwright, author of five books, 25+ year exhibiting visual artist and the founding producer of the International Human Rights Art Festival. tomblock.com

    END OF FESTIVAL

 

Producer: Tom Block

Assistant Producer: Layla Zami

Volunteer Coordinator and Festival Administrator: Alexa Jordan

Technical Director: Nancy Valladares

Assistant Technical Director: Lisa Stafford

Photographer: Steven Pisano

Videographer: Mark Stetson

Public Relations Representative: Sam Morris