- Fall 2019 BRIClab Residents Include Raquel Almazan, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, and Zarina Shea
- Spring 2020 BRIClab Residents Include Morgan Green & Milo Cramer, Ty Defoe, Davalois Fearon, and Don Nguyen
BRIC, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, announces its residents for BRIClab 2019-2020. This long-standing program offers artists the time and space to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater, and multidisciplinary performance. The resulting works-in-progress will be presented in showings beginning in September 2019, through April 2020, in the Artist Studio at BRIC House (647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn).
BRIC President Kristina Newman-Scott said, “We are thrilled to welcome this year’s new BRIClab artists-in-residence. Giving artists the resources they need to develop new work in a safe and supportive environment is paramount to BRIC’s mission. We encourage artists to take risks under our roof and are committed to investing in their artistic process.”
Artists receive stipends and an intensive two-week residency in BRIC's Artist Studio with development time and opportunities for artistic mentoring. Work-in-process showings, presented with moderated artist-audience dialogues, bring audiences and other practitioners into the artists’ process and creativity, and offer valuable feedback to artists as they continue to develop their work.
In selecting BRIClab residents, BRIC looks for artists who are developing new work that is relevant to diverse Brooklyn audiences; exploring their interests and questions with thoughtful processes and articulating a context for their work; and who embrace dialogue with audiences as a meaningful part of their process.
All showings are $8 in advance or $12 at the door.
- Writer/performer Raquel Almazan will develop a new entry in her LATIN IS AMERICA play cycle titled LA NEGRA: A theatrical installation / An event to Honor your Dead, in which the audience will move through the complexities of Mexico’s crisis and a vision of hope and prosperity (September 26-27);
- Playwright Zarina Shea will present Climate Change: An Opera, about how we balance the day-to-day realities of being a human person in the world with the overwhelming reality of our planet’s changing climate—and our role in that change (October 10-11);
- Dance artist Jordan Demetrius Lloyd will showcase pink sheets, a piece for five performers using movement generated from explorations on tone to ask questions about what it means to create something magical, modern, and real (November 21-22);
- Director, playwright, poet, and vocalist Shayok Misha Chowdhury will develop SPEECH, a multidisciplinary piece wrestling with the problem of free speech in a racialized, still colonial, Instagramming America (December 12-13).
- Playwright Don Nguyen, with The Golden Spike, an epic love story spanning 13 years and weaving strong emotional narratives of Chinese and Irish immigrants (February 5-6);
- Dancer, teacher, and choreographer Davalois Fearon, with For C.J., a multimedia dance piece that highlights systemic environmental and medical racism, dedicated to Clifton Fearon, Jr., who died from an asthma attack at age 20 (March 5-6);
- Morgan Green and Milo Cramer with their co-creation JURY DUTY, cross-examining America’s most theatrical Democratic ritual through transcripts, testimonies, and surveillance-like video (March 19-20);
- Writer, interdisciplinary artist, and educator Ty Defoe, with Revolving Sky | GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG, an interdisciplinary work that uses Anishinaabe storytelling to look at astronomy from an indigenous perspective (April 9-10).
BRIClab Dates and Details
LA NEGRA: A theatrical installation / An event to Honor your Dead (work-in-progress)
THU-FRI, SEP 26-27, 2019 | 7PM
More Info and Tickets >>
Written and performed by Raquel Almazan
Directed by Mei Ann Teo
Ofrenda Installation Art by Ben Rojas
Excerpt presentation of LA NEGRA: As the Day of the Dead approaches, Drug Cartel Queen LA NEGRA takes a ritualistic journey from child prostitute to Patron Saint of Mexican outcasts—La Santa Muerte. Her top drug pusher and lover Siete, a Gringo tourist painter, and hundreds of street children inhabit her world as it moves towards light and peace. The citizens of Tijuana, police officers, and skull figures of the night force her to face her relentless darkness. These light and dark symbolic forces within her battle for the future of Mexico itself.
A multi-interdisciplinary theater production that integrates text, media, Butoh-based movement, and Day of the Dead altars, where the audience moves through the complexities of Mexico’s crisis and a vision of hope and prosperity.
- Raquel Almazan (Writer/Performer) is an interdisciplinary artist, facilitator, activist, and creator of social justice arts programs. M.F.A. – Playwriting, Columbia University. Select plays: La Paloma Prisoner (NYTW April, 2020, workshops: The Signature Theatre, La Mama, The Lark, INTAR, Labyrinth, and WPI -Stockholm), Does That Feel Good to you My Lark? (Reading- Bushwick Starr, New Georges), LA NEGRA (Readings -Classical Theatre of Harlem, Lincoln Center, Iati), CAFÉ (Workshop:Columbia University, The Kennedy Center), Cross//Roads: Re-framing the Immigrant Narrative (La Micro Theatre), La Migra Taco Truck (Off-Broadway Theatre Row), Porning the Planet (Dixon Place). Recipient of residencies with Eugene O’Neill Center Playwrights Conference and The Playwrights' Center. Recipient of Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award, the Kate Neal Kinley Playwriting Fellowship, the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize, and the NALAC grant. Artistic Director of La Lucha Arts, dedicated to producing her new works. www.raquelalmazan.com
- Mei Ann Teo (Director, she/they) is a theatre/film maker who works at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice to shift culture towards justice and compassion. As a director/devisor/ dramaturg, she collaborates across genres, including multi-form performance, music theatre, and intermedial participatory work. Recent and current work includes: the world premiere and 25-city tour in China of Dim Sum Warriors by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo (composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun); Diana Oh’s Clairvoyance at ART Oberon; Jillian Walker’s Songs of Speculation at JACK; SKiNFoLK: An American Show at SPARK Festival and MTF; Nia Witherspoon’s Dark Girl Chronicles at BAX, JACK, and Playwrights Realm; Double Yolk Moon with Bex Kwan and Sophia Mak at BRIC; and Madeleine Sayer’s Where We Belong at the Globe in London. Mei Ann is the Producing Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory, a Resident Company of Playwrights Horizons.
- Ben Rojas (Installation artist, Illustrator, Altar Maker) is a visual artist of Salvadoran descent, based out of Brooklyn. Father. Husband. Teacher. Co-founder of Trust Your Struggle, an artist collective focusing on activism and arts education. His work has toured Mexico and Central America where he created murals with local artists and communities. His ofrendas (altars for the ancestors) buildings and installations have been portals for healing and ancestral meditation; each year they are built with community members and artists. He has been a panelist at Harlem School of the Arts, Trinity College, Virginia Tech University, University of the Arts in Boston, and the Casa de Artesana Women’s Center in Guatemala City. Benjamin has also painted murals for Sprite, Google, and Discovery Channel. Recipient of the Dr. Judith Temple Scholarship Fund (Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts)
- Produced by Almazan’s La Lucha Arts.
It’s easy to place the planet’s changing climate in the future, to make it a frightening possibility we should probably attend to when we have a minute. But climate change is now: Record-breaking storms have become quotidian, “climate refugees” are a reality, and there’s an island of plastic off the coast of Japan. So how are we supposed to balance the day-to-day realities of being a human person in the world with the overwhelming reality of our planet’s changing climate (and our role in that change)? Well, through songs, snacks, games, and binge-watching TV, for starters…
- Zarina Shea’s plays include Just up the road, slightly; I Am Here; The Part Where Peter Leaves; Stella Stein; and The Peggy Project. Just up the road, slightly was nominated for the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Zarina’s work has been produced and/or developed by Berkeley Rep, Clubbed Thumb, Two River Theater, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, JACK, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. She has been a resident at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, the Ucross Foundation, Two River Theater, and Norm’s Fish Camp at Tofte Lake. She’s an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group, a member of the New Georges JAM, and a recipient of a Clubbed Thumb Short Play Commission and Brown University’s David Wickham Playwriting Award. Zarina has performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Trinity Rep, and Ars Nova, among others. BA: University of Chicago, MFA in Acting: Brown University, MFA in Playwriting: Brooklyn College.
- Sarah Hughes is a director and producer of theater and new media. She's collaborated on new plays and devised works with Zarina Shea, Eliza Bent, Julia May Jonas, MJ Kaufman, Elevator Repair Service, Limited Liability Theater Company, and more, and her work has been seen at Clubbed Thumb, Abrons Arts Center, LPAC, The Bushwick Starr, and New Ohio, among others. As a producer she's developed live performances with Target Margin Theater, Sibyl Kempson, MoMA, and Half Straddle, and VR/AR pieces for Tribeca Film Festival, NYTW, and The New York Times. Sarah has received residencies with New Georges, the Drama League, and NACL; is an alum of The Civilians’ R&D Lab and Clubbed Thumb's Directing Fellowship; and is a current New Georges Jam member, WP Theater Directors Lab Fellow, and NNPN/O’Neill National Directors Fellow. Sarah was recently named Director of Artistic Programming at Theatre Row, and teaches at Dartmouth College and NYU.
Choreographed and performed by Jordan Demetrius Lloyd
Composed by Ryan Wolfe
Performed by Trinity Dawn Bobo, Stanley Gambucci, Myssi Robinsons, and Kennedy Thomas
This dance work seeks to interrupt the linearity of time to create a fabulatative experience for its viewers. Taking fragments of stories conjured from memory, fantasy, and our collective imaginations, Lloyd and collaborators reorder and overlap these events to reveal a new logic and meaning. Curiosity boils as the work finds ways to amplify tension and pleasure and a deep connection to the entropy of the human spirit. Using movement generated from explorations on tone, this group of five performers questions what it means to create something magical, modern, and real.
- Jordan Demetrius Lloyd (Choreographer + Performer) is a dance artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Albany, NY, Lloyd graduated from The College at Brockport where he performed works by Maura Keefe and Alexandra Beller. He has collaborated with and performed for Karl Rogers/Red Dirt Dance, Tammy Carrasco/Wild Beast Dance, Catherine Galasso, Brendan Drake, Laura Peterson, Netta Yerushalmy, Ambika Raina, and David Dorfman Dance. His work has also been shown at Movement Research’s Judson Series, Center for Performance Research’s Fall Movement Festival, Mark Morris Dance Center, and Triskelion Arts. His teaching practice has brought him to Rutgers University, Mark Morris Dance Center, and various other institutions teaching and setting work for DDD. For more on Jordan visit jordandlloyd.com.
- Trinity Dawn Bobo (Performer) a native of Sun Prairie, WI, is a dancer, choreographer, and visual artist currently based in New York. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance from Columbia College Chicago in Spring 2016. There she studied dancemaking, pedagogy, and cultural studies within the context of dance. She has presented three works on The Dance Center stage, the last of which was her Capstone project entitled OoSix (2016), a companion piece to her solo The Marvelous Real (2015). These works are a culmination of her interest in exploring hyper sensuality through movement and storytelling. She has performed in works by Tosha “Ayo” Alston, Peter Carpenter, Hope Goldman, Jeff Hancock, Darrell Jones, Kelsa Robinson, Lisa Gonzales, and Onye Ozuzu. Trinity has supplemented her training at American Dance Festival-Winter, Module with Sidra Bell Dance New York, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and Gaga technique with Doron Raz.
- Stanley Gambucci (Performer) is new to things—their body included.
- Myssi Robinson (Performer) is an artist from Richmond, VA. Home is currently Jersey City and the movement worlds of Baye and Asa, the ColemanCollective, David Dorfman DRIGGproductions, and Kyle Marshall Choreography. Since her graduation from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance, she has maintained a visual art practice of marking, design, and simple construction. Her work has been presented by Smush Gallery, the Jersey City Theater Center, Nimbus Dance Works, and Le Poisson Rouge. She is currently set designing for Davalois Fearon Dance. In all her creative work, empathy is queen.
SPEECH is a poisonous love letter to cancel culture. The ghost of a show that never was haunts the theater. An absence so disturbing, so exotic, so white-hot, so traumatic, so incendiary, so horrifying, that we must, no ... we must NOT look. If we look, we feed it. It feeds on our imagining of what it could have been. It grows. We must exercise superhuman restraint. To look would indulge a pernicious fetishization, a complicity with snuffish voyeurism. SPEECH is our attempt to wrestle with the problem of free speech in a racialized, still colonial, Instagramming America.
- Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, musician, and theater-maker based in Brooklyn. Misha is currently in residence at Ars Nova, The Drama League, and The Flea, and was a recent 2050 Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop and member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent and upcoming credits: Beast Thing with Aleshea Harris (Drama League); MukhAgni with Kameron Neal (Ars Nova); rasgos asiaticos (SohoRep & CalArts Center for New Performance); and Your Healing Is Killing Me (PlayMakers Rep) with Virginia Grise. He is one half of the writer/composer duo Grill and Chowder; their musicals have been seen or developed at NYMF, Ars Nova, and SPACE on Ryder Farm, with an upcoming concert at Joe’s Pub. Misha’s poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has taught and directed at Stanford, Fordham, Syracuse, Brown, and Williams. MFA: Columbia.
- Scott R. Sheppard is a theater artist living in New York City and a Co-Director of the Philadelphia-based theater company Lightning Rod Special. Recently, he was a lead writer and performer in LRS’s The Appointment at New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series (The New York Times and TONY Critics’ Pick). He was also a co-creator and performer of Underground Railroad Game, (OBIE for Best American Theatre Work, Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Edinburgh Stage Award, named by The New York Times as one of the 25 Best Plays of the past 25 Years). Recent credits: Pig Iron Theatre Company: Period of Animate Existence, 99 Breakups (deviser/performer), and Gentlemen Volunteers (performer); George & Co.’s Holden (co-creator/performer); Proud graduate of Pig Iron School for Performance Training. Recently an Independence Foundation Fellow and a Guild Hall Resident Artist. Up next he is co-writing Nosejob, 2019 Drama League Residency, and Very Smart and Fragile Boys with Andrew Neisler.
- Saori Tsukada is a performer/creator in the New York downtown dance and theater scene, known for her “astoundingly precise movements” (Irish Times) and “carefree charisma” (Village Voice). Born in America, raised in Japan, and living in NYC since 1999, Saori has generated “virtuoso” (TimeOut NY) principal roles for experimental works by the likes of John Moran, Yoshiko Chuma, Catherine Galasso, Aya Ogawa, Hoi Polloi, Witness Relocation, the Vintage DJ, and Joe Diebes. Her choreography has been exhibited/performed at C24 Gallery, Figge Art Museum, and Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair. Saori was nominated for Best Actress at Dublin Fringe in ’05 and ’08. She co-created and starred in Club Diamond, which was developed at Sundance and MassMoca and premiered at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar ‘17. Most recently she performed in Haruki Murakami's SLEEP with Ripe Time (BAM) and Nosebleed by Aya Ogawa (Under The Radar).
The Golden Spike (work-in-progress)
THU-FRI, FEB 5-6, 2020 | 7PM
Libretto by Don Nguyen
Music & Lyrics by The Lobbyists
Directed by Seonjae Kim
The Golden Spike borrows elements of the Monkey King legend to tell an epic love story of Sun Wu and Jiao Zhou spanning 13 years, from the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad to the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Sun Wu, a Chinese railroad worker pursuing equal rights for his fellow laborers, finds himself caught in the machinations of America's largest infrastructure project. While his head is steadily focused on negotiating fair working conditions for him and his fellow workers, his heart yearns for a young Chinese laundress. Weaving strong emotional narratives of Chinese and Irish immigrants, The Golden Spike explores the pursuit of love, family, truth, and the sparkling light of equality under the otherwise dark shadow of America's history.
- Don Nguyen’s full-length plays include The Supreme Leader (World Premiere - Dallas Theater Center), Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (The Playwrights Realm), The Man from Saigon (A.C.T New Strands Festival, NYSAF Founders Award), Red Flamboyant (Firebone Theatre, Ojai Playwrights Conference), Sound (Azeotrope/ACT, BAPF), The Commencement of William Tan (Yale Cabaret, NYSAF). Don is the recipient of the 2015 GAP Prize from the Aurora Theatre, a New York Stage & Film Founder’s Award, and was a finalist for The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Princess Grace Award, and The Woodward International Playwriting Prize. Nominations include: the Laurents/Hatcher Award and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. Don is a current member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, The Civilians inaugural R&D Group, the 52nd Street Project, and a co-founder of Mission to (dit)Mars, a Queens based theatre arts collective. For more information, please visit: thenuge.com
- Seonjae Kim is a NYC-based director from Seoul, South Korea. Recent: First Love (Drama League DirectorFest, New Ohio Theatre), Trojan Women (University of the Arts), Riot Antigone (La MaMa, Ars Nova ANT Fest). Honors: 2050 Fellowship (New York Theatre Workshop), New York Fellowship (Drama League), Van Lier Fellowship (Asian American Arts Alliance), Mike Ockrent Fellowship (SCDF). BA: Northwestern. Upcoming: World Premiere of Hot Asian Doctor Husband by Leah Nanako Winkler at Theatre Mu/Mixed Blood. jae-k.com
- The Lobbyists (Tommy Crawford, Eloise Eonnet, Alex Grubbs, Will Turner, Tony Aidan Vo, and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman) are a NYC-based band and theater company that creates and performs original music and innovative music-theater. The group takes its name from the lobby of The Flea Theater, where the founding members met in 2012 while working on the Drama Desk-nominated These Seven Sicknesses. Since then, the group has played venues across New York such as Joe’s Pub, Rockwood Music Hall, and Mercury Lounge, and toured to various locations in the northeast. As a theatrical and songwriting collective, the group’s work has been developed with NY Stage & Film, Cape Cod Theater Project, Ars Nova, Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, Playwrights Realm, Naked Angels, and Musical Theater Factory. The group’s debut theatrical piece, SeaWife, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Musical in 2016. Stay in touch and learn more at www.wearethelobbyists.com and @thelobbyistsnyc.
For C.J. (work-in-progress)
THU-FRI, MAR 5-6, 2020 | 7PM
by Davalois Fearon Dance
For C.J. stems from the sudden death of Davalois Fearon’s nephew in 2017 from an asthma attack. According to the New York City Department of Health, asthma hospitalization and death rates among Blacks and Hispanics are 3–5 times those of Whites. Urban planning and systemic redlining in government agencies have pushed populations of color to areas that face disproportionate levels of pollution.
For C.J. uses a two-pronged approach that incorporates arts and a community engagement initiative to address this systemic medical and environmental discrimination. The piece features Fearon’s ballet-infused postmodern/ Caribbean movement vocabulary; music composed by Mike McGinnis; and wearable sculpture, costume, and makeup designed by interdisciplinary artist Jasmine Murrell.
- 2019 Map fund grantee Davalois Fearon is a critically-acclaimed dancer, teacher, and choreographer born in Jamaica and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is one of Dance Magazine’s Seven Up-and-Coming Black Artists to Have on Your Radar and a Bessie Award recipient as a performer in “the skeleton architecture, or the future of our world's.” She is the founder and Artistic Director of Davalois Fearon Dance, a company with a mission that pushes both artistic and social boundaries. Her choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, on Broadway at the New Victory Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the world-renowned Joyce Theater. She has been commissioned by the likes of Pentacle, Harlem Stage, Barnard, SUNY Purchase, and The Bronx Museum and has received awards such as the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO, Mabou Mines Suite/Space Residency, and Alvin Ailey New Dance Directions Choreography Lab.
Davalois Fearon Dance is fiscally sponsored by the Foundation for Independent Artists, Inc., a non-profit organization administered by Pentacle (DanceWorks, Inc). Pentacle is a non-profit management support organization for the performing arts. Mara Greenberg, Director; 75 Broad Street, Suite 304, New York, NY 10004. 212-278-8111. www.pentacle.org.
The development of For C.J. was made possible with partial financial support from Bronx Council on the Arts, the Bronx Museum of Art, individual contributions, BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and RestorationART ChoreoQuest dance residencies. For C.J. was created in part from “As Above, As Below,” a site-specific piece created in dialogue with Gordon Matta-Clark’s exhibition "Anarchitect" at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and The BxMA Co Lab commission program. BxMA Co-Lab is made possible by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Davalois Fearon Dance is fiscally sponsored by the Foundation for Independent Artists, Inc., a non-profit organization administered by Pentacle (DanceWorks, Inc) and also receives capacity-building support from Pentacle’s Administrative Resource Team (ART).
JURY DUTY (work-in-progress)
THU-FRI, MAR 19-20, 2020 | 7PM
Conceived & created by Morgan Green and Milo Cramer
Production design by Ray Sun Ruey-Horng
JURY DUTY collages verbatim voir dire transcripts, harrowing personal testimonies culled from interviews with former jurors, eerily surveillance-like live video by Ray Sun, and virtuosic performances by actors playing dozens of attorneys, civilians, and citizens at once, to paint a loving and chilling portrait of America’s most theatrical democratic ritual. One juror brought a bag lunch, one juror is starving. One juror has always wanted to do this, how neat to see Democracy in action! One juror couldn’t get child care, commutes two hours each way to the courtroom, and won’t make rent this month because she has to be here. The whole thing feels like theater: justice administered via theater.
- Morgan Green is a theater director and co-founder of New Saloon, a Brooklyn-based experimental theater company. In 2016, Morgan received the Award for Outstanding Director from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for her work on New Saloon’s MINOR CHARACTER: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time, which was seen most recently at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival. Recent work includes: The Danube by María Irene Fornés (Harvard University), The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (Marin Theatre Company), Cute Activist by Milo Cramer (The Bushwick Starr), and The Music Man by Meredith Wilson (The Sharon Playhouse). MorganClaireGreen.com
- Milo Cramer’s play Cute Activist premiered at The Bushwick Starr in association with Clubbed Thumb (“a brilliant match of material and theater…a fable for our times” – Jesse Green, NYT). With New Saloon Theater Company, Milo co-created MINOR CHARACTER: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time (“delightful… a spring-green forum on youth’s discontents” – Helen Shaw, Village Voice), presented at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival and The Invisible Dog. Milo has developed work with SoHo Rep, Ars Nova, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Baryshnikov Arts Center, LMCC, Mabou Mines, Clubbed Thumb, and elsewhere. Under commission from Playwrights Horizons. Representation: Emma Feiwel, WME.
- Ray Sun Ruey-Horng is a video artist, designer, and director creating original works internationally since 2008. His works focus on human perception, memories, and the uncanny experiences in our daily lives. In 2013, Ray was selected to attend Lincoln Center director’s Lab. His recent video design works include: Elena Demyanenko’s Echo/Archive at EMPAC. Yu-Ming Yang’s Le Corbusier at Konzert Theatre Bern. Kristin Marting’s IDIOT at HERE Arts Center. Lars Jan’s MAKANDAL at Guggenheim Museum. The Assembly’s Seaguallmachine at La MaMaTheatre. Chia-Ming Wang’s Dear Life at the National Theatre Taipei. Ray received his MFA from CalArts and has taught video design at the Bennington College and Taipei National University of the Arts. www.raysun.cc
Revolving Sky | GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG (work-in-progress)
THU-FRI, APR 9-10, 2020 | 7PM
Created and performed by Ty Defoe
In collaboration with Katherine Freer
Inviting blankets, camping chairs, and iPads live underneath a projected starscape. Using an online portal and Augmented Reality (AR) mobile application, audiences can explore the cosmos or listen to individual recorded stories (both visual and auditory) that are linked to stellar bodies and constellations. This self-driven installation allows discovery of a living database paralleling Anishinaabe astrological knowledge. This storytelling platform is an immersive skyscape generated from the Gaia catalogue (a database with over 1.3 billion stellar distances).
The theater performance section follows a Queer/two-spirit narrator who journeys to discover their own identity. They, like the stars, strive to find points of interconnectedness to persevere and overcome the challenges of being a Queer/two-spirit person of color in current society. Anishinaabe star stories become a guide, a sacred location, a place of both tradition and contemporary indigeneity for the central character. The performer conjures visuals out of the cosmos to support the text gathered from the story circles and personal lived experience. These stories come to life through text, music, multimedia design, and movement. The stars are a metaphor to ask questions like: how does a contemporary Queer/two-spirit person keep their culture alive today and at the same time find new ways to explore identity within themselves and their chosen family? The outcome will be a shared experience and documented commentary through photographs, audio recordings, and video about participants’ personal experiences of gazing at stars and themselves.
Gathering under the stars is a brave space for diverse people to intersect with powerful ideas. It is a communal effort to decolonize and re-indigenize space. This starts with community, comes together through ritual and performance, and lives on through shared knowledge.
- Ty Defoe (Giizhig) is from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. He is an interdisciplinary-hyphenated artist, activist, writer, cultural worker, and shape-shifter. He has toured nationally and internationally as a performer from an early age. His theatrical production, Ajijaak on Turtle Island, which he wrote and co-directed, toured the United States in the winter of 2019. Awards include: GRAMMY Award, NEA/NEFA, First American in the Arts Outstanding Performance Award, First Americans in the Arts Scholarship Award, Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, 2016-2018 Denison Visiting Artist, 2016-2017 Institute of the American Indian Arts Visiting Artist, 2017 Jonathan Larson Award, 2018 TCG Global Connections Grant. Ty is a co-founder of Indigenous Direction (w/ Larissa FastHorse). He recently made his Broadway debut in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men directed by Anna Shapiro.
- Katherine Freer is a multimedia artist working in theater, installation, and film. Frequent collaborators include Liz Lerman, Ping Chong, Tim Bond, Kamilah Forbes, Stein | Holum Projects, Talvin Wilks, and Tamilla Woodard. Over the last decade her theatrical work has toured nationally and internationally. Katherine is a Wearhacks NYC award winner, a Helen Hayes Nominee, and an Innovative Theater Award nominee. Her design for Ajijaak on Turtle Island will be featured at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.
- Lux Haac (Choctaw/Pequot) is a New York based costume designer working in theatre, film, opera, and dance. Having grown up overseas, she brings a unique, multi-cultural perspective to her projects. As an artist, Lux is unafraid to push the boundaries of texts to explore the truth and meaning of a story. Upcoming projects include: Well-Intentioned White People (Barrington Stage), Native Gardens (Syracuse Stage/Geva Theatre/Portland Center Stage), and Between Two Knees (OSF). Lux holds an MFA from New York University and is a member of USA 829. For more information, please visit www.luxhaac.com
- Marika Kent is a New York City based Lighting Designer of new and classic plays, musical theater, opera, dance, experimental theater, puppetry and site-specific performance. Frequent collaborators include Ping Chong + Company, Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, Little Lord, The Barrow Group, and Ariel Rivka Dance. Her work has appeared in venues including The Pearl Theater, LaMama ETC, HERE Arts Center, The Barrow Group, New York Live Arts, The New Ohio Theater, Abrons Arts Center, The National Black Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and The Brick. She has received an AUDELCO Best Lighting Design nomination for The Last Saint on Sugar Hill (National Black Theater), and a New York Innovative Theater Award Best Lighting Design nomination for Now Is The Time... (Little Lord). For more information please visit www.marikakent.com