See You Yesterday at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theatre:
As Program and Development Manager for Global Arts Corps, I
produced the U.S. premiere of this award-winning production created
by young Cambodian circus artists and a corps of actor/facilitators
from across the globe.
"Nineteen Cambodian performers utilize their extraordinary physical
skills, including acrobatics and circus arts, to travel back in time and
shatter a legacy of silence. Performed by second-generation survivors
of the Khmer Rouge genocide, See You Yesterday explores the
fragmented narratives these young artists have inherited from their
parents and grandparents."
Roots of Our Welcome: An exploratory professional development workshop series serving up an unforgettable theatrical experience through interactive storytelling.
Two co-facilitators and I recruited 20 self-selecting participants from across New York City as the culminating thesis project for our Masters in Applied Theatre. Together, through personal storytelling and applied theatre activities, we explored the ways in which identity impacts relationships to food and place. In a four-session workshop series, participants shared stories of origins, ancestors, cooking, and the complicated relationships that shape our intimate needs to be rooted and free. I explore what values emerged from those stories and reflections, and what these might tell us about leadership in accordance with, informed by, and in humble conversation with nature. In order to fully understand food justice, values, and eco-leadership, I built on the work of Leah Penniman, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Martha Lasley, Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and adrienne maree brown. We explored:
The project explored:
What values emerge when a self-selecting group of diverse adults explore their relationships to food, identity, and place using applied theatre and storytelling? What connections can be made to eco-leadership models? How do applied theatre methods support this process?
GUNPOWDER sold out at FailSafe Festival NYC, August 2018
The lights came up, the music swelled, the cast took the stage and gave it everything they had! They were stunning. We had a live DJ mixing electro swing, the choreography by Andrea Palesh perfectly captured my hopes to mix old and new, classic and now, and our second show was sold out with a waitlist! Raise a glass to "Gunpowder," and thank you to all the cast, crew, and supporters!
Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference: Presenting! June 2018
Even though it was my first time attending and presenting at The 23rd Annual International Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference, “Disrupting the Politics of Place: Building Inclusive Communities for the Future,” it felt oddly like coming home. I’ve never met so many warm, activated, brilliant, generous people concentrated in one place at the same time, ever before in my life. In our M.A. in Applied Theatre program, we are constantly strategizing and evaluating how the arts, and theatre specifically, can be used for social justice. We presented on Saturday to a room of approximately 25 attendees from a diverse range of identities, backgrounds, occupations - from young people in a theatre organization in Chicago to veteran practitioners working around the world. We presented a Forum Theatre piece -- a type of interactive theatre used to examine injustice and oppression and to give people a chance to brainstorm power inequities and rehearse actions to take in their own lives. The Forum Theatre piece we shared at the conference was developed in Kigali, Rwanda, during an elective class for the Applied Theatre program. We had worked in partnership with the University of Rwanda teachers-in-training to examine gender roles and sexual harassment, and we used this practice to activate creative solutions to combat these issues. In our session, and throughout the course of the conference, my fellow presenters, colleagues, peers, and new friends, exchanged stories and best practices, and discovered the power and disarming strength of using theatre and liberatory practices to dismantle oppression and build stronger communities.
Interactive Theatre in Education and Playbuilding with High Schoolers, April 2018
Working with three co-facilitators, I constructed and implemented an interactive, immersive, educational experience for two high schools in Brooklyn examining the culture of silence and the fracking industry in North Dakota. After talking with students and teachers, we set out -
To inspire students to examine and amplify their minds and voices
To set students up to make complicated decisions for themselves in connection to their community
To allow students to practice group decision making, conflict resolution, and empathy
To have fun and explore creative freedom within structure
To expose students to alternative ways of creating and experience theatre, to increase theatre literacy, and to show that theatre for social justice is a career option
To invite students to think about forces in their lives in new, fresh ways
We had an amazing experience. It was heartening and humbling to lead and learn with engaged young people examining the immersive play's central question: “In tough times, how do our obligations to self and our community affect the choices we make?” As a high schooler commented, “I liked how, even though it was fictional, it was applicable to other situations...now that I look back on it it's like… opening my mind.
Beyond the Bars: Building Community through Participatory Theater
The 8th annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia
University sought to contribute to the growing movement to close jails and prisons
as a part of the larger struggle to end mass incarceration. My amazing co-facilitator,
Grace Schiraldi, and I built a fun and empowering workshop for the Conference
centered on arts-based activism, designed to build community and foster active
engagement in justice work through devising pieces of powerful, original theater.
International Womens Voices Day Reading
The Women’s Voices Theater Festival, in partnership with National New Play Network
(NNPN) and New Play Exchange® (NPX®), invited theaters and theatremakers around
the world to join them in advocating for gender parity by presenting unproduced works by
women playwrights on International Women’s Voices Day. The event coincided with the
anniversary of the revolutionary 2016 Women’s Marches. Along with similar events in this
global movement, I organized a reading in Brooklyn for new works, including my newest
piece, "Gunpowder," and plays-in-progress written by my brilliant peers in the Applied
Theatre Masters program.
Hostos Leadership Workshop!
I facilitated a leadership development session for the Annual Winter Workshop Series at Hostos Community College. The series is curated by the Hostos Student Leadership Academy, and consisted of four days of intellectual content, dynamic speakers, breaking bread, and an exploration of the leadership journeys of visionary and ambitious undergraduate students.