2019 Schedule

Wild Project

195 E. 3rd Street

East Village, NYC

December 9-15, 2019

Tickets available later this fall!

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 40 individual performance events are speaking loudly and clearly from their hearts!

IHRAF 19 Schedule Grid .jpg

Monday, December 9-Sunday, December 15

Visual Art Exhibit

Monday, December 9, 7:30 pm

Abraham’s Daughters (Theatre)

Emma Goldman-Sherman, Abraham’s Daughters. Although Abraham is a Jew from Flushing, and he only has one daughter, Maxine, and her only daughter Racie is a lesbian, Abraham still believes he'll be the Father of Nations. He moves to Tel Aviv in search of his first love, Haajar. When he discovers Haajar's daughter has five Palestinian Muslim sons, he goes to Nablus in the midst of the first Intifada to claim them as his own. Abraham's Daughters is a mythic play about colonialism and identity. 

Emma Goldman-Sherman has been produced in the US, UK, Europe, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.  Her work toured the US as part of The Every 28 Hours Plays, a response to Ferguson.  She earned an MFA from U of Iowa where she received the Maibaum Award for plays addressing social justice.  Abraham's Daughters is based on her documentation of human rights abuses in Gaza and the West Bank during the first Intifada.  Member: Dramatists Guild. 

Tuesday, December 10, 7:30 pm

Short Play Festival (Theatre)

  • J. L. Diamond, Slicing an Onion. Pria strives to find  peace after surviving a shooting at her Sikh temple, and struggles to forgive, despite having been the target of xenophobic hatred and violence. She can forgive, but at what cost? J.Lois Diamond’s work has been produced off-off Broadway, regionally, in Canada, at the William Inge Theatre Festival, and the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. She is a member of Polaris North and The Dramatist Guild, where she recently studied with Tina Howe.

  • Joseph Bulvid: If Only . . .:  Michael is a successful actuary, married with twin children, who has long buried his true feelings about who he really is. Seeing Mason triggers a vivid vision where only love is love matters. Is it all just a dream, or a remembrance?Playwright Bio: Joe Bulvid has authored numerous short plays which have been produced in New York City and in London. He is considering opportunities for his full-length play, 'Blue Moon'. He continues to learn about human interaction teaching graduate students at NYU in Manhattan. Director: Rui Dun.

  • Eugene Grygo, Graduation. Graduation,” is the story of two roommates in 1983 who are sorting out their future together after college. However, their dream is threatened when one of them wants to deny the love that will define their lives.  Over the past 30 years, Eugene M. Grygo has worked as a playwright, journalist, producer, book editor, comedy writer, performer and producer. He has won awards for his accomplishments as a journalist and playwright because of his unique ability to bring new insights to difficult material. Director: Rachael Langton.

  • David Meyers, The Secret Keeper. Ahmad is the groundskeeper at a cemetery in Afghanistan. When a local mother visits the cemetery, she befriends Ahmad and unearths a troubling secret that unites them both. David Meyers (playwright) is an actor and writer based in New York and Los Angeles. www.DavidActs.com  Director: Ivette Dumeng is the Artistic Director of Nylon Fusion Theatre Company.

  • Hope Shangle, The Problem with Phantasms Is. What if the one person in the whole world who understands you is the one thing the whole world doesn't understand?  After spending her life reading, watching, and performing in plays and films, Hope decided it was time to start writing them after a medical diagnosis left her fearing for her long-cherished literacy. Now, writing plays and screen projects is my favorite obsession/hobby. Director: Michelle Cowles.

  • INTERMISSION

  • Yasmine Rana, Leena and Rose at the Barre.  With the looming reality of deportation and loss, Leena from Syria and Rose from El Salvador seek humanity and refuge at a New York City ballet studio as both women share their fear of disappearing and their solace in dancing. Yasmine Rana, the author of The War Zone is My Bed and Other Plays, has written extensively on the plight of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Yasmine's plays have been inspired by her work as a teacher and drama therapist in areas of conflict including post-war Bosnia. John Pietrowski, Director and Danielle Constance, Stage Manager.

  • Rachael Carnes, Permission. Permission offers an intergenerational #MeToo conversation, between a mother and daughter. What will these two family members reveal to each other, and to themselves?  Rachael Carnes had more than 50 productions across the U.S., U.K., Canada and Asia last year, with additional invitations to playwriting festivals, conferences and symposiums. A busy mom and full-time arts administrator, Rachael's plays are featured in the Coachella Review, the Silk Road Review, the Cascadia Rising Review and Some Scripts Literary Magazine. 

  • Monica Raymond, Ernesto: undocumented and always wanting to be a doctor, Ernesto escaped gang warfare in El Salvador to come to the US.  But what can his English teacher say about him that won't give him away? Monica Raymond’s play, THE OWL GIRL, won the Peacewriting Award, the Castillo Theater prize, a Clauder Competition Gold Medal, and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award (best play in English by a woman). A MacDowell Colony Fellow and a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center, she has taught writing and interdisciplinary arts at Harvard, CUNY, and the Boston Museum School.  

  • Ivan Faute, Lost Sock Laundromat, Astoria, Queens. When a recent immigrant from Lebanon shows up at their corner laundry, a first generation Mexican-American and second-generation Greek-American must decide how to respond. As laws change around them, the women build friendships and community while negotiating their own lives at a corner laundry in Queens. Ivan Faute’s fiction appears in various journals and anthologies and his plays have been produced in New York, London, Chicago and elsewhere. He has been the winner of the Art of Adaptation Festival (City Lit Theater) and a finalist for the Calvino Prize and the ATHE Excellence in Playwriting Award. Director: Melissa Mowry.

Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 pm

Shalom/Salaam in conjunction with the Muslim Jewish Solidarity Committee (Theatre, Music and Storytelling)

Zizi Azah Abdul Majid: Being In Time follows Hajar and Sarah, wives of Abraham and matriarchs of Islam and Judaism, as they move from patriarchs’ time to the peaceful metropolis of 11th Century Cordoba to present post-Sept 11th NYC, questioning the nature of the world they gave birth to. Zizi Majid is a Malay-Muslim playwright whose plays explore the oft-cruel chasm between geopolitical realities and an individual's yearning for a fulfilling life. Cole Stern is an American-Jewish dramaturg who specializes in structural analysis and Hungarian Theatre.  Director: Keenan Tyler Oliphant

Hannah Goldman, In the Kitchen. In the Kitchen is a community-based project that brings together Jewish women with heritage in Arab lands.  The performance is part supper, part oral history, and part movement piece.  The audience is invited to dwell on the themes of food, cultural labor, and the divine feminine, and engage in conversation over Moroccan tea at the end. 

Hannah Goldman (she/her) is a performer, writer, and producer based in Brooklyn.  She recently devised and performed in Between The Threads (Jewish Women Project), which premiered at NYC's HERE Arts Center and toured the DC area in June.  As a producer, she hosts The Straight Man: A Comedy Show Without One at the Peoples Improv Theater and organizes cultural events for Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ).  Hannah is a proud member of Experimental Bitch Presents, which produced the latest workshop run of In the Kitchen at Access Theater. www.hannah-goldman.com

Thursday, December 12, 7:30 pm

https://www.nuyorican.org (Poetry, Music and Panel Discussion)

Helena D. Lewis, We Are Still Human: Women, Incarceration, and Reentry.  Over the past three decades, the number of women incarcerated has increased by eight-hundred percent. This increase can be attributed to untreated mental illness, substance abuse, social and economic disparities, and tougher sentencing laws for women’s drug offenses. However,  the current correctional system does not take into consideration the gendered needs of women who are incarcerated and how their reentry into society can be hindered by unresolved grief and loss. We Are Still Human explores through narrative story telling, poems, and monologues the marginalized voices of incarcerated women.   

Panel:

Jada Fulmore, Director New Jersey Reentry Corporation, Paterson, NJ

Emilly Tully, BA Community Corrections and substance use counselor

Tonya Tucker, MSW (works with formally-incarcerated and incarcerated men and women)

Ms. Melanie Holmes, Director of Fly Women's Network (provides housing to formall-y incarcerated women) 

Helena D. Lewis 

Helena D. Lewis is an award winning actress, poet, and playwright.  Lewis has performed at numerous universities and colleges across the country and has been featured in the  award winning series, “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Lewis is currently a member of the performance troupe HERStory, the host of VERSES at the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC, and the host of the Midnight Poetry Jams at the National Black Theater Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, NC.  In addition to her career as a performer, Lewis obtained her Master in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol Drug Counselor (LCADC).  hdlpoet.com

Darian Dauchan, Music in the Key of Life.  Music from Darian’s next album, which is a combination of socially conscious lyrics, Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and Afrobeat specifically designed to both uplift people and get them dancing. The lyrics explore questions on how to avoid wackness, fighting wackness, rising above wackness and replacing it with peace, love and dopeness. The live performance of the music entails me performing intricate live looping that combines verses with beatboxing, vocal melodies, and sound effects. 

Friday, December 13, 7:30 pm

Dance Friday

  • mignolo dance, Conjoined: Conjoined is duet which explores the chronic exploitation of conjoined twins, especially in relation to the world of entertainment. The idea of acting / dancing as "normally" as possible (as though not attached) is often employed in order to de-sentimentalize the concept and allow the physicality to speak for itself. Dancers/choreographers Charly & Eriel Santagado founded their contemporary dance company, ~mignolo dance~, in 2017. They have been dancing and creating together for more than ten years and use this experience to continue to collaborate with each other and other dancers and artists to create new work that explores elements of various artistic mediums through movement. The company has had work produced at many festivals including KoDaFe, Dumbo Dance Festival, Triskelion’s SummerFest, Waxworks, Peridance's APEX, and Koresh’s Come Together Dance Festival, and had their first full length show, “Translations”, produced by HERE Arts Center in July 2019.

  • Catey Clark, CoHERence: Is the reality we perceive the reality we see? Through vibrant gestures, vigorous physicality, and spoken text, coHERence explores a fragmented reality.  " ...an archipelago of choreography and connections"- Sydney Skybetter ACDA Adjudicator. Artist Catey Clark: Human. Mover. Choreographer-In that order. Catey is a choreographer from Florida who focuses on race, feminist, queer, and social theories. She has had the opportunity to present her works at numerous locations across the United States as well as working with guest artists.

  • Linda Kuo Dancers Unlimited 3017: Time & Again: Time and Again reflects upon human conditions and humanity. We imagine what our collective future will look like in a thousand years, through the lenses of our ancestral wisdom. By with our own past, we grow collectively through resilience, faith and love that are innate to humanity. I’mMigration: Currents:  I’mmigration: Currents is an excerpt of an immersive dance & art installation that explores the challenges and promises that are attached to being an immigrant, and being a body on a foreign or unfamiliar land. Each dancer's (im)migration narrative is weaved into the choreography, and the movements represent how our experiences shape our identities and perspectives. Linda Kuo is the Co-Founder and Director of Dancers Unlimited, a bi-city dance company based in Honolulu and NYC. Linda believes in the intimate and authentic power of movement to create dynamic narratives for change. Linda is the choreographer for I’mMigration: Currents and the co-choreographer for 3017: Time & Again. Director: Linda Kuo Co-Choreographer (3017): Hara Zi Dancers for 3017: Britnee Hay, Gabriela Messina, Sammi Tai, Kareem Woods, Hara Zi. Dancers for I’mMigration: Britnee Hay, Eugene “Spyderman” Jordan IV, Sammi Tai, Kareem Woods, Hara Zi. Costumes for I’mMigration: Jenny Efremova. Original Music for 3017 by: “It Takes Time” DJ Maineframe. Original Music for I’mMigration: “Life Form” DJ Outsource

Friday, December 13, 9:30 pm

Late Night at the IHRAF: Short Stack Allstars (Funky Tunes and Dance Party)

Short Stack Allstars, Dance Party!  The Short Stack Allstars return to the IHRAF to groove at the intersection of jazz and hip-hop.  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, December 14, 1:30 pm

Aseemkala Initiative (Indian Dance and Workshop)

Aseemkala Initiative, Traditional Indian Dance meets Contemporary Healthcare Concerns.  Aseemkala Initiative returns to the IHRAF with four dances and a workshop!  

1. Matangi's Skin:  Is it Race or Racism?  This piece explores the impact of bias on outcomes for women of color in the healthcare world by paralleling the story of  Mahavidya Matangi, the goddess of knowledge with dark skin.  Choreographed and performed by: Sriya Bhumi.

2. Chinnamasta's DNR:  Choosing to end life is fraught with ethical complexity in the ICU. This piece parallels the story of a physician and a patient who disagree on her DNR order and parallels this story with the Mahavidya Chinnamasta, who sacrificed parts of herself to help her loved ones embraces the theme of minimalism and simplicity.  Choreographed by Rohini Bhatia and Shilpa Darivemula; Performed by: Sophia Salingaros and Shilpa Darivemula; Music: Anoushka Shankar's Lasya.

3. Reflection: This piece explores eating disorders in dancers and the stress to achieve physical perfection. Through Bharatantaym, Sophia tells a story based on interviews with fellow Ballet and Bharatanatyam dancers on how food impacts our relationships to our bodies.  Choreographed and Performed by: Sophia Salingaros

4. Dhumavati's Waiting Room:  This piece explores three stories in a waiting room, mixing contemporary styles with traditional dances from Puerto Rico and India to explore what the Mahavidya Dhumavati has always known--that it is always harder on those waiting. This piece features choreography and performance by Teresa Cuevas and Sayoko, dancers from the Indorican Multicultural Project. Music: Boat to Nowhere by Anoushka Shankar. Choreographed by and Dancers: Shilpa Darivemula, Sayoko, Teresa Cuevas.

Workshop: Using Dance to Transform Healthcare: How to Perform a Story

Aseemkala Initiative is a group of female artists and physicians who use our traditional dances to perform stories of healthcare inequity. They are activists who believe that diversity in healthcare stories should be represented by diverse women through diverse traditional dances, empowering unique women while reminding medicine of the shared goal of improving the human condition equitably. Please see our work at www.aseemkala.org

Saturday, December 14, 3:00 pm

Film Lab (Film and Talkback)

Film Lab, Mirror/MirrorMirror/Mirror is a sitcom pilot, created by Jennifer Betit Yen and produced by the Film Lab, that uses comedy to address the very real and very pervasive gender bias women, and particularly women of color, endure every day in the workplace.  The screening will be followed by a talkback with a panel of cast, crew and experts in the field on gender bias in the post #MeToo world - how far we've come (or haven't) and what we can proactively do to address implicit and explicit gender bias in ourselves and others.

Jennifer Betit Yen is an actor, writer and producer.  New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio proclaimed May 9, 2019, "Jennifer Betit Yen Day" in honor of her acting and activism work.  A graduate of Cornell University, Jennifer is the President of the Film Lab (www.film-lab.org), a non-profit promoting diversity in the arts.  She created the IWATTAU ("Immigrants: We Are Them. They Are Us") project, through which New Yorkers from all walks of life shared their hopes and fears about immigration on a multi-media platform to create a non-polarizing, constructive dialogue.  She is a staunch animal welfare advocate and, in her spare time, she boxes and enjoys fine vegan dining with her husband and running with her beloved rescue mutt.

The Film Lab is a 501c3 not for profit that has been working to promote and support ethnic and gender diversity in entertainment media since 1998.  AAFL TV, the Film Lab’s production arm, creates original narrative content that is (gasp!) socially conscious.   Mirror/Mirror is an example of AAFL TV entertainment that uses comedy as a means of addressing serious social issues ranging from gender bias in the workplace to xenophobia on the street. 

Saturday, December 14, 5:00 pm

Farm Arts Collective (Eco-Circus)

Pele Bauch (Dance/Performance)


Farm Arts Collective, El Viento was developed with performers, designers, stilt-walkers, and singers, explores the immigrant experience of crossing borders, leaving hardship, and building a new life. Using broad humor and heart-felt text, El Viento ends on a positive and beautiful note. Farm Arts Collective productions are spectacular indoor and outdoor works performed at conferences, festivals and parades in the Catskills Region of NY and PA, and New York City. Our productions address concepts of conservation, social justice, the human condition, and contemporary issues. Our artistic work strives to achieve thought-provoking experiences that inspire conversation and action. www.farmartscollective.org Farm Arts Collective Ensemble: Tannis Kowalchuk, Director; Jess Beveridge, Production Manager. Caroline Bailie, Melissa Bell, Raina Bowers, Michael Chojnicki, Rebekah Creshkoff, Greg Erickson, Rima Fand, Eric Feinblatt, Annie Hat, Daniel Lendzien, Erica Madden, Manon Manavit, Adrianne Picciano, John Roth, Doug Rogers, Robert Skotch, Jon Jon Thomas. Costumes: Sue Currier. Co-produced with NACL Theatre. Not all members appear in all shows.

Pele Bauch, A.K.A. Ka Inoa is a montage of supple movement, vivid characters, and personal story, woven together with rolls of red ribbon. Pele Bauch mines her experiences as a multiracial New Yorker with Hawaiian ancestry who carries the weight of being named after Hawaii’s most significant and beloved deity.  This interdisciplinary performance unpacks our attachment to cultural identity and pushes it against the needs of personal identity.  Ka inoa is Hawaiian for the name, the namesake, the name of a chant or song, and an affectionate term for relatives not related by blood. Pele Bauch is a choreographer/director who explores the oddities of human nature through abstraction, visual metaphor, and physical expression. Combining dance with visual objects/set design and theater, her work has been selected for presentation at NYC venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, HERE's TALR and the Best of TALR, Dixon Place, and BAX. She has received residencies from The Joyce Theater Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop, Chocolate Factory, and 92Y Harkness Dance Center. www.pelebauch.org

Saturday, December 14, 8:00 pm

Celebration of Women (Dance and Performance)

Saturday, December 14,10:00 pm

Theatre of War (Theatre)

Theatre of War, Little Wing: loosely uses Octavia E. Butler’s final novel, "Fledgling" as source material for a startling theatrical exploration of survival and self-preservation.  Also combining originally devised text, found text, object, 70s Blaxploitation films such as Blacula (1972) and Ganja & Hess (1973), movement, as well as popular tropes drenched in the tradition of gothic horror, we seek to use the vampire genre as means to create and explore this hallucinatory meditation of Black Otherness in present/past day America. Little Wing is an existential vampire dram-edy pushing the limits of what it means to be human and how far one is willing to go to completely purge oneself of ignorance and confusion. Featuring: *Jehan O. Young, Jonathan Schenk, Lilja Owsley, Chet King, Robert M. Stevenson, and *Merritt Janson [*Members of Actors Equity Association]

Christopher-Rashee Stevenson (Director/Adaptor) is a writer-director from Baltimore. Was recently seen as performer in Wilderence's immersive work Elgin Park alongside Drew Petersen. His reworking of Amiri Baraka’s cult classic “Dutchman” enjoyed a one night only showing at the Wild Project in November and at the Tank last February. A recent alum of Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab ‘18. His work as director and performer has been featured at The Performing Garage, The Tank, JACK, HERE Arts Center, The Actor’s Studio, American Repertory Theater, Millennium Film Workshop, Lincoln Center Education, LaMaMa, and the Eubie Blake Jazz Institute.

Octavia E. Butler (Author) is known for blending science fiction with African-American spiritualism. Her novels include 'Patternmaster,' 'Kindred,' 'Dawn' and 'Parable of the Sower. Her first novel, Patternmaster (1976), would ultimately become one of the installments in the four-volume Patternist series. Butler went on to write several other novels, including Kindred (1979) as well as Parable of the Sower (1993) and Parable of the Talents (1998), of the Parable series. She continued to write and publish until her death on February 24, 2006, in Seattle, Washington.

Sunday, December 15, 1:30 pm

Good Mother (Performance)

Karen Cellini: The Good Mother reveals the phantasmagorical world of  ‘Glow in the Dark Mary’. Moonlight on water summons Mary to visit her earthly twin, guiding her from invisibility to visibility. In a solo show of heightened realities, immersive audio and visual effects, Karen Cellini as Mary leads the besieged Mother through a kaleidoscope of memories, broken dreams, and grief, determined to break their family’s legacy of female victimization and male rage. 

Collaborative Team: Karen Cellini (playwright, actor, singer, conceptual artist, activist); Meryl Joseph (director, award-winning filmmaker, production designer, visual artist); Gabrielle Senza (international visual and performing artist, activist, multi-media creative researcher).

Sunday, December 15, 3:00 pm

Three Theatre Pieces (Theatre)

  • Sora Baek, I Am From North Korea is inspired by the true stories of North Korean defectors and their journeys risking everything to find freedom in South Korea. The piece was created in hopes of being the voice of the people of North Korea: raising awareness about the hardships they face in their home country and helping to bring support to defectors.  Sora Baek is a Korean born performer and playwright.  She is grateful for her ability to speak both Korean and English as it enables her to share the powerful yet hidden stories of North Korean defectors with the world. She has an MFA in acting from Academy of Art University in SF and is an associate member of Blessed Unrest. 

  • Mark Lanham, Anything Helps. The play starts with one man’s decision to reject passivity about the 70,000 homeless people in New York City. A simple choice—buying a big pump-top thermos and serving coffee one-on-one to Union Square’s homeless--puts him on a path that explores the true nature of charity—why we give, and why we often hold back. This transforming experience shows the power kindled when you say “yes” to the call of service, and a surprising paradox of the rich experience that results from eye-level contact with the poor. Mark Lanham is a New York-based actor and writer who performs and creates original content. As an actor, he has performed in regional theatre, and New York City theaters including The Pearl (NYMF), Signature Theatre and The Delacorte Theatre’s Shakespeare in Central Park. He has appeared on the TV series Difficult People and in It’s A Lie, a music video for the British band Fiction Plane.  Directed by Chris Clavelli.

  • Tom Block, Let’s Pretend.  The play concerns two children playing with modeling clay, building a world.  It begins with a Japanese toilet and ends with a bullet-proof backpack and a belt-fed rifle, the SFS BFR.  One of the little modeling-clay creations is an adopted Chinese Jewish baby with brittle bone disease. Tom Block is the Founding Producer of the International Human Rights Art Festival.  He is also a playwright, author of five books and 25+ years exhibiting visual artist.  tomblock.com

Sunday, December 15, 5:00 pm

Laurel Snyder Curates (Dance)


Sunday, December 15, 7:00 pm

Columbia University (Theatre, Music, Performance)