Shoptalk is a casual salon-style gathering of theater makers engaging with the pressing topics that define theater today. Following on the success of last year’s lively conversation about women in theater, for this installment, we consider the experiences, struggles and victories of LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people in theater. Typically held around a dining table, this presentation opens up intimate conversations to a broad and diverse public. Moderated by Ginia Bellafante.
COMPANY AND PANELIST BIOS
Vertigo Theater Company was formed to foster a diverse, collaborative community that challenges and nurtures creative artists and to develop and produce new works and adaptations that expose both the audience and the artists to experiences beyond their comfort zones. Unlimited by form and convention, Vertigo Theater Company strives to make provocative theater accessible to all walks of life. Vertigo Theater is currently producing Street Children, a new play to premiere at the New Ohio Theater in November 2016.
Adam Bock's plays include A Life (Playwrights Horizons with David Hyde Pierce), The Colby Sisters (Tricycle Theater, London), A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk nom for Best Play), The Receptionist (MTC, Outer Critics nom, Best Plays of 2007-2008), The Evidence Room (with Megan Mullally, Broadway.com Audience award), The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons, Outer Critics nom), The Thugs (Soho Rep, OBIE Award), and Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage Uptown, GLAAD nomination). He has won the Glickman, BATCC, and Heideman awards and is a Guggenheim fellow. His plays have been produced all over the US, in Canada, the UK and Australia, and around the world.
Will Davis is a director and choreographer focused on physically adventurous new work and old plays in new ways. He is also the newly appointed artistic director of American Theater Company (ATC). Recent projects include: Evita for the Olney Theatre Center, Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus for Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks and Playwrights Horizons; Orange Julius by Basil Kreimendahl; Mike Iveson’s Sorry Robot for PS122’s COIL Festival; and two productions of Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker for Mixed Blood Theater and the Olney Theatre Center, for which he won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction. Davis has developed, directed and performed his work with New York Theatre Workshop, Clubbed Thumb, the New Museum, the Olney Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, the Playwright's Realm, the Fusebox Festival, New Harmony Project, the Orchard Project, the Ground Floor Residency at Berkeley Rep, Performance Studies International at Stanford University, and the Kennedy Center. He is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship and the BAX (Brooklyn Art Exchange) artist in residence program. He holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from DePaul University and an MFA in Directing from UT Austin.
Donnetta Lavinia Grays is a Brooklyn based actor/playwright. Notable acting credits: Broadway’s In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Well, O, Earth, (The Foundry Theatre), and Men of Boats (Playwrights Horizons and Clubbed Thumb). Regionally her stage work has garnered two Connecticut Critics Circle Awards and a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Film/TV: Book of Henry, Wild Canaries, The English Teacher, The Wrestler, Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, all Law & Order series, Mercy, Rubicon, The Sopranos, and A Gifted Man. Her plays include: Last Night and The Night Before (2015 National New Play Network New Play Showcase. 2015 Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest Winner. 2014 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist), The Review or How to Eat Your Opposition (2013 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist), among others. Inaugural recipient of the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award and a 2016-2018 Time Warner Foundation WP Theater Playwright’s Lab Fellow.
Carmelita Tropicana has been performing in New York’s downtown arts scene since the 1980s, straddling the worlds of performance art and theater in the US, Latin America, and Europe with her irreverent humor, subversive fantasy, and bilingual puns. She received an Obie for Sustained Excellence in Performance (1999) and is a recipient of the Performance and Activism Award from the Women in Theater Program / American Theater in Higher Education (2015). Notable and recent works include: Schwanze-Beast (2015), a performance commissioned by Vermont Performance Lab; Recycling Atlantis (2014), a performance installation at 80WSE Gallery; Post Plastica (2012), an installation/video and performance presented at El Museo del Barrio; and the highly anthologized Milk of Amnesia (1994). Her publications include the book, co-edited with Holly Hughes, Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Tropicana has taught at numerous universities and sits on the Board of Directors at Performance Space 122 and NYFA.
Ginia Bellafante (moderator) is an American writer and critic for The New York Times. She was a Senior Writer for Time Magazine, and has worked for The New York Times for over a decade, starting as a fashion critic, reviewing off Broadway theater, and then spending the next five years reviewing television. She currently writes the weekly column “Big City” devoted to life, culture, politics, and policy in New York City.
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online.
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