re:ROUTES Presenter Bios

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WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 31

PRE-CONFERENCE
Poetic/Justice: Activism, Aesthetics & Co-Creation for Poets & Storytellers

Claudia Alick, Executive Producer, Calling Up; Board Co-President, NET.

Jonathan Clark (aka “Courageous”) is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and Executive Support Manager at The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. He is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and alumnus of the University of Tennessee. His professional performance career began at the age of 13 with Carpetbag’s Youth Theatre Ensemble, and he has remained a working performance artist ever since. Courageous is an administrator, writer, playwright, director, event host, actor, digital storyteller/listener, spoken-word poet, and teaching artist.

Leah Marche, Co-Founder, BlackPoet Ventures; Founder, L!VE POET!C.

Marc David Pinate, Artistic Director, Borderlands Theater.

Billy Ramsey, Producing Artist, Talking Drum Studio Network; Artistic Director, BlackPoet Ventures.

 

New to NET

Park Cofield is the Field Resources Manager for the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), where his responsibilities include the ongoing management of the NET/TEN grant program and the development of Connector, a new mobile app to facilitate DIY tours and residencies within the NET community. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship in the Marshall School of Business at USC. His specialities and interests include human-centered design, intergenerational community-based theater making, creative aging, and early childhood development.

 

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1

Morning Plenary
DIY(T) - Do It Yourselves (Together): Artists Building Community & Sharing Resources

Part I - Dance in the Desert: Latinx Artists Co-Creating Community Across Distance

Working with and for artists is where Erin Donohue thrives. Previously, Erin was the education director at Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa. She also works as a local events producer/collaborator for a number of projects including the Dance Studies Association Conference and Dance in the Desert. Erin has spent the past three years as a project manager for Liz Lerman, and now manages Liz’s Arizona State University initiatives, including work with the other Institute Professors at the Herberger Institute. Erin performs as a freelance dancer and is a facilitator for Critical Response Process.

Adriana Harris is a mother, choreographer, studio director, and business owner based in Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON. Born and raised in Agua Prieta, at 18, she developed and presented her own repertoire of choreography under the guidance of Alma Dolores at the Alma Dolores International Dance Center. In 2011, Adriana opened BB Danceur Academy in Douglas, AZ. The company performs throughout Douglas and Agua Prieta. Under her direction, BB Danceur Academy received over 100 Platinum and Gold accolades at national competitions including 3 High Gold Awards for First Place Overall at the 2018 Hall of Fame Dance Challenge in Phoenix, AZ.

Reyna Montoya is the founder and executive director of Aliento, an organization inspired by her lived experience of having her dad detained and being undocumented in the U.S. In 2013, she led a team who stopped an immigration bus and prevented the deportations of undocumented immigrants. In the same year she stopped her father's deportation. She danced professionally and taught high school. She holds a BA in Political Science, a BA in Transborder Studies, and a dance minor from Arizona State University. She has a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and sits in the first Teach for America National DACA Advisory Board.

Yvonne Montoya is a mother, dancemaker, consultant, and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre based in Tucson, AZ. Ms. Montoya is a process-based choreographer whose work is grounded in and inspired by the landscapes, languages, cultures, and aesthetics of the U.S. Southwest. Ms. Montoya is the lead choreographer for Safos and under her direction, the company won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015. 2017-2018 Ms. Montoya was a Post-Graduate Fellow in Dance at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in the Projecting All Voices Initiative where she organized the inaugural Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers. www.yvonnemontoya.co

An artist, educator, leader, choreographer and community facilitator, Ruby Morales has kept herself involved and engaged in all aspects of the arts. She recently received her BFA degree in Dance at Arizona State University. Her passions lie within the worlds of Hip Hop, House and Post-Modern Contemporary dance. She currently trains as a Bgirl and is interested in the relationship she can build between her post-modern contemporary training and breaking. Ruby is passionate about art activism and presenting work that pushes societal norms. She believes art, and more specifically dance, is instrumental for human growth and understanding.

Gabriela Muñoz is an interdisciplinary artist, arts educator, and arts administrator. She is Artist Programs Manager at the Arizona Commission on the Arts where she leads the AZ ArtWorker initiative, facilitating dialogue and knowledge-sharing between Arizona artists, their national and international artist peers and residents of Arizona communities. Her collaborations with colleagues at various museums and cultural organizations have allowed her to foster community through public programs, artist grants and creative partnerships. Previously she served as Curatorial Associate of Contemporary and Latin American Art at Phoenix Art Museum.

Part II - Ensemble Legacies: Next Generation Torchbearers in a New Era

Shoshana Bass (Associate Producer, Sandglass Theater) refers to herself as one of the “daughters of sand,” and is currently preparing to be the next generation of artistic leadership at Sandglass Theater. Having been raised in a traveling family of internationally acclaimed puppeteers, she has spent her life witnessing and in dialogue with artistic voices of diverse cultures, heritages, and perspectives. Her performance mediums range throughout theater, dance, circus, and puppetry, which makes her an enthusiastic and flexible collaborator. She is a graduate of Naropa University with an Interdisciplinary degree in performing arts, peace studies, and tai chi.

Jonathan Clark (aka “Courageous”) is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and Executive Support Manager at The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. He is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and alumnus of the University of Tennessee. His professional performance career began at the age of 13 with Carpetbag’s Youth Theatre Ensemble, and he has remained a working performance artist ever since. Courageous is an administrator, writer, playwright, director, event host, actor, digital storyteller/listener, spoken-word poet, and teaching artist.

After performing as a child in four Double Edge spectacles, Cariel Klein left to pursue a circus career and trained at New England Center for Circus Arts and the Circus Warehouse, while receiving her degree in the Political Performance of the Self at NYU and in Buenos Aires. In 2016, she started a marketing/IT business, leading to her return to Double Edge as Marketing Director. She also began leading body therapy and using her circus choreography and aerials in Double Edge’s performances. In August 2017, Cariel assumed a permanent role as Associate Producer of the theatre, engaging in all performance, production, and business activities.

Part III - Launching NET’s Connector App: Artist-to-Artist Touring, Residencies & Resources

Park Cofield is the Field Resources Manager for the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), where his responsibilities include the ongoing management of the NET/TEN grant program and the development of Connector, a new mobile app to facilitate DIY tours and residencies within the NET community. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship in the Marshall School of Business at USC. His specialities and interests include human-centered design, intergenerational community-based theater making, creative aging, and early childhood development.

Mark Mangoba, Web & Data Manager, NET.
 

Breakout Sessions A

A1. Between the Worlds: Queer Theatre and Site-Responsive Ritual

Seth Eisen is a San Francisco-based artist who engages LGBTQ history as a living, breathing dialogue by researching lost legacies. Blurring the edge between art, research and activism he creates a hybrid of visual art and live performance. His transdisciplinary aesthetic combines physical theater, dance, puppetry, drag, circus, installation and video art. In 2007 he founded the ensemble-based company Eye Zen Presents that unearths and elevates the lost histories of queer ancestors whose lives have been erased from the historical record. Eye Zen Presents is a resident company of CounterPulse. More info at eyezen.org

Walken Schweigert is a queer/trans actor, musician, composer and director. He is the founding Artistic Director of Open Flame Theatre, which is based in Minneapolis, MN and in residence at Philadelphia Community Farm in Osceola, WI. He has studied physical performance with the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Double Edge Theatre, been part of over a dozen musical ensembles of varying genres, busked on the streets of eleven countries and facilitated Theater of the Oppressed workshops across the Americas.

Elisa Sugar is a visual artist, designer, activist and occasional troublemaker who calls St. Louis, MO home. Holding a BFA and MFA in Printmaking, Elisa has stepped away from the art world, academia and traditional studio practice (after many years of head-banging) to focus on collaborative work and community art projects. She has been a designer, maker and wrangler for parades, community theatre, the Burning Man Event as well as numerous gallery exhibitions and site-specific projects.

A2. Soundpainting: A Tool for Democratizing Art

Amanda Hinkle-Wallace has been a Strike Anywhere ensemble member for the past 9 years, fulfilling roles as diverse as: board member, education coordinator, teaching-artist, grant writer, scenic designer and stage manager. She was recently hired as SA’s Director of Education and Partnerships. She has managed school partnerships for Roundabout Theatre Company, served as Assistant Director of Education at George Street Playhouse in NJ, and served most recently as Director of Education at Irondale in Brooklyn. She has established technical theatre training, STEM to STEAM programs, new play development series, and issue-oriented programming, along with youth ensembles and multi-institutional partnerships.

Leese Walker is Founder/Artistic Director of NYC’s Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble. Established in 1997, SA is comprised of jazz musicians, modern dancers and actors, creating original, politically-charged works. A core member of the Walter Thompson Orchestra since 1997, Leese helped adapt the soundpainting language for theater and is one of three certified soundpainters in the USA. Soundpainting has evolved to include all performance disciplines and is practiced in 35 countries. Leese has soundpainted at Lincoln Center, BAM, American Airlines Theater, Irondale, and internationally in Milan, Paris, London, Tours, Bordeaux, Barcelona and Indonesia. Leese served on the NET board from 2003-2008.

A3. The Magic of Myth: How Stories Shape Our Society

Calvin J. Worthen is a vocal artist with a distinctive sound. He’s performed in the Talking Drum Studios and Black Theater Troupe. He has three books on Audible and is the voice of Radio Phoenix hosting two shows; Blue Friday and Soul Star Live. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @CalvinJWorthen_BigKelvin.

A4. Progressive Performance Feast

Act I - yokomeshi: a meal eaten sideways

Dorothy Melander-Dayton is a theater maker and designer. She obtained her Masters in Performance Design and Practice from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London in 2014, where she co-founded the theater company Mapped Productions. Since 2015 she has been working with A Host of People in Detroit, where she is a company member. In addition to her work with these companies, she maintains her own performance practice and was an artist in residence at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo, Japan, from February through April, 2018. She will be presenting yokomeshi: a meal eaten sideways on November 15th and 16th at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM.
www.surrenderdorothy.org
IG: @dorothy505

Renee Willoughby is a multimedia performance artist and designer working within themes of assemblage, heterotopia, telematics, and ghosts. A resident of Hamtramck, Michigan, Renee creates across disciplines and distances, from participatory Internet-based performance projects exploring mummification to co-facilitating bi-national improvisation sessions with performers in Tehran and Detroit. Renee has recently collaborated with artists across Europe and the US, including The Hinterlands, A Host of People, Shaun Caton, PARS and Interstate Arts. She has a Master of Arts from the experimental Digital Performance program at Wimbledon College of Art (London). www.reneekindling.com  IG : @_renalien_

Act 2 - Like A Mother Bear: Reproductive Justice in a Toxic World

Helen Stoltzfus has been creating, performing, directing and teaching ensemble theatre for over twenty-five years.   She is Co-Artistic Director and co-founder of Black Swan Arts & Media, an Oakland-based theatre that creates and produces original performance and multimedia works (blackswanarts.org). BSAM’s most recent works are: The Prepared Table: a multimedia response to the post-9/11 wars and Heart of America, an aerial dance work on immigration.   Prior to Black Swan, Helen was Co-Artistic Director of A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and along with other representatives from ensemble theatres, helped found NET.

Act 3 - Ready Aim Fire, and Other Survival Strategies for the 21st Century

Gayle Fekete is the Head of Dance/Professor in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona.  Gayle has been associated with Urban Bush Women NYC as guest artist and consultant on numerous international residencies and summer institutes. She is on the consultant team for Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Centre NYC. Gayle Fekete presents and produces festival and immersive performance projects in the Los Angeles area, and has produced and facilitated numerous CSU Summer Arts Dance intensives. She is a creative consultant/dramaturge for independent performance practice. Fekete is an active voice regionally and has served on numerous grant panels including NET, DCA, and COLA. Currently, she is exploring site specific, interactive media and interdisciplinary performance collaborations. Her interests include dancetheatre, choreography, installation architecture, and performance practice that challenges class, race, culture and identity. She also is an independent producer and performs with PRISM, Mechanism Dance Theatre, Rennie Tang/Architect, Opera Del Espacio, and The Market Gallery Studio in Los Angeles.

Manuel Macias is a interdisciplinary artist, dance-maker, researcher, and educator from La Puente, CA. Founded in 2012, he is also Co-Artistic Director of the performance art collective Mechanism Dance Theatre. Significantly informed by dance theatre, improvisation, and cultural studies, he creates performance experiences that critique and re-conceptualize social architectures- especially from a queer latinx perspective. Macias holds a B.A. from Cal Poly Pomona in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies with a minor in New Dance. He is currently an M.F.A. Candidate at the Cal State Long Beach Department of Dance.

Act 4 - Artist Talkback & Peer Response

Dr. Carrie J. Cole is an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Theater and Dance and an affiliate faculty member in Women and Gender Studies at IUP. Trained as a historian/dramaturg, her work emphasizes the future of theatre and performance more than the past. Her scholarship and creative endeavors focus on current and future trends in US theatre and popular culture (specifically staging science fiction). Carrie directs, fight directs, devises, dramaturgs, production manages--and occasionally performs when provoked. As an advocate for new plays, she produces and directs “Flash Play Festivals”— readings of ten-minute plays by award-winning authors.
 

Breakout Sessions B

B1. Reclaiming Dance for All Bodies

Eric Kupers, Director/Performer/Professor, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE); Co-Director, Dandelion Dancetheater; Director/Choreographer, Bandelion.

Jacob Goldstein, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Ina Gonzales-Valenzuela, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Mariela Guerra, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Sylvia Lam, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Elijah Rel, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Tatyanna Robles, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

Colleen Swafford, Performer/Collaborator/Co-Teacher, CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE).

B2. Devising Postdramatic Theater: Collaboration on the Edges of Discipline

Stephen Christensen is a sound designer and live engineer who has worked in devised theatre, dance, performance art, musical theatre, and interactive installations. Stephen serves as Technical Director and Resident Sound Designer for Orange Theatre, which he co-founded with Matthew Watkins in 2010. He teaches sound design and live engineering at Arizona State University.

Katrina Donaldson is a performer and writer based in Phoenix, AZ. She has been a member of Orange Theatre since 2011. Her work with the company includes <solaris>, YOU YOU SHOULDN’T COME BACK, Blood Wedding, Elektranostop, Ida, Herakles and hair and fingernails. She has appeared in productions of new work in Phoenix and at NACL and HERE Arts Center in New York. Most recently, Katrina performed the role of Adriana in the original English translation of Summer, Summer by Myrna Casas at the Power Grid Festival presented by the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York.

Joya Scott is a producer, dramaturg, and director based in Phoenix, AZ. She specializes in contemporary, devised, and multidisciplinary work, ensemble practice, and artistic process design. She creates and supports work that challenges audiences to engage with issues of power, justice, gender, sexuality, and truth. Joya also serves as a lecturer at Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theatre. She is the Producer and Resident Dramaturg at Orange Theatre, a contemporary performance ensemble. Joya is an alum of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and LaMaMa Directors Symposium. BA in Theatre, Middlebury College; MFA in Directing, Arizona State University.

Matthew Watkins is a theatre director and designer. He currently serves as Artistic Director of Orange Theatre, a contemporary, ensemble performance group he co-founded in 2010. His work explores issues of gender, sexuality, and power in a hyper-mediated society. He has directed and designed twelve shows with the company and has had productions in Phoenix and New York. His work has twice been featured in the Phoenix New Times’ annual “Best of Phoenix.” He and the company received the 2014 Big Brain Award for Performing Arts.

B3. The Power of Performance: Creating Theatre in Conflict Zones

Michael McGuigan, actor, director, and instructor for Bond Street Theatre, has performed in all of the company’s cultural exchange programs, including projects in Myanmar, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Israel, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, China, Japan, the Balkans and Europe. He directs BST’s Young Audience Program, and has developed programs for UNICEF and other international aid organizations. Michael performed in the Public Theatre’s Broadway production of The Tempest with Patrick Stewart, directed by George C. Wolfe, and was stilt consultant for the Broadway productions The King and I and Sideshow. His article “Can Laughter Set You Free” about the theatre in Myanmar appeared in American Theatre Magazine (Nov. 2010).

Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director, Bond Street Theatre, has conducted theatre projects in 40 countries worldwide, working toward peacebuilding in communities in crises. She is a frequent speaker and advocate for Theatre for Social Justice, and a member of the Laboratory for Global Performance at Georgetown University. She received the 2014 Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, the 2015 Otto Award for Political Theatre, and has served as Cultural Envoy in Myanmar (2010) and India (2018). Joanna has a BFA in Fine Arts from Cooper Union, and an MA in Theatre & International Studies from New York University. She also plays saxophone with the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band.

B4. Vessels: an Experiment in Black Feminist Ritual Performance Process

Rebecca Mwase (they/she) is a Zimbabwean-American theater and performance artist, creative consultant, producer, and cultural organizer working at the intersection of art and social justice. They have trained with ArtSpot Productions, Dah Theater, the Highlander Center for Research & Education, Urban Bush Women and Junebug Productions in cultural organizing, devising and storytelling. Supporters of her work include Alternate ROOTS, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, TCG, and NEFA. They are also a 2016 A Blade of Grass-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellow in Criminal Justice. They are a co-founder of LOUD and serve on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
 

Evening Workshops

W1. Decolonizing Ensemble Theater

Dipankar Mukherjee is a professional director originally from Calcutta, India with a 30-year history of directing. He is the Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, an international theater in Minneapolis that is a progressive space for arts and dialogue. His aesthetics have evolved through his commitment to social justice, equity, and deep spirituality and these factors, along with a response to relevant politics, form the basis of his work. Dipankar has received the Humphrey Institute Fellowship to Salzburg, a Ford Foundation delegate to India and Lebanon, a Leadership Fellowship from the Bush Foundation, and the Doris Duke Fellowship at Shangri-La.

Meena Natarajan is a playwright and director and the Executive and Literary Director of Pangea World Theater, a progressive, international ensemble space that creates at the intersection of art, equity and social justice. Meena has co-curated and designed many of Pangea's professional and community-based programs. She has written at least ten full-length works for Pangea, ranging from adaptations of poetry and mythology to original works to original works dealing with war, spirituality, personal and collective memory. She is currently on the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, and has been an NTP Advisor at NEFA.

W2. Creative Exploration of Cultural Equity

Jonathan Clark (aka “Courageous”) is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and Executive Support Manager at The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. He is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and alumnus of the University of Tennessee. His professional performance career began at the age of 13 with Carpetbag’s Youth Theatre Ensemble, and he has remained a working performance artist ever since. Courageous is an administrator, writer, playwright, director, event host, actor, digital storyteller/listener, spoken-word poet, and teaching artist.

Joe Tolbert, Jr. is a minister, writer and cultural organizer who works at the intersection of art, culture, spirituality, and social justice. Currently serving as the Interim Director of the Parris-Bennett Digital Story House, he helps communities reimagine their stories through digital media. As the founder and lead strategist of Art at the Intersections, he works with communities and organizations to help them harness the power of art and culture through the building, implementation, and evaluation of cultural strategies. For more information visit www.TheJoeT.com.

 

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2

Breakout Sessions C

C1. 3-Dimensional Dramaturgy: Balancing Ensemble Engagement with Aesthetic Excellence

Natalie Greene is a multidisciplinary performing artist and the Artistic Director of the award-winning devised theater ensemble, Mugwumpin. She has been performing, teaching, creating in the Bay Area since 2003. Her work has appeared at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco Airport, Children's Fairyland, ODC Theater, Dance Mission, Z Space, Shotgun Players, and in schools, senior centers, and site-specific locales throughout the Bay. She is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches dance technique, history and pedagogy, and leads international service-learning programs in Latin America.

Christine Young is Director of the Honors College at the University of San Francisco. As a feminist theater practitioner, she develops and directs plays about social issues affecting women’s lives, practices creative casting that seeks to put as many female performers onstage as possible, mentors young women theater artists, and promotes a world where women’s lives are understood not as special interest stories, but rather as essential human stories. She also has experience working in non-profit arts administration, including six years as Associate Artistic Director for Playwrights Foundation. She currently curates Works by Women San Francisco, a blog that spotlights theatrical work produced by women in the San Francisco/Bay Area.

Dr. Carrie J. Cole is an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Theater and Dance and an affiliate faculty member in Women and Gender Studies at IUP. Trained as a historian/dramaturg, her work emphasizes the future of theatre and performance more than the past. Her scholarship and creative endeavors focus on current and future trends in US theatre and popular culture (specifically staging science fiction). Carrie directs, fight directs, devises, dramaturgs, production manages--and occasionally performs when provoked. As an advocate for new plays, she produces and directs “Flash Play Festivals”— readings of ten-minute plays by award-winning authors.

Joya Scott is a producer, dramaturg, and director based in Phoenix, AZ. She specializes in contemporary, devised, and multidisciplinary work, ensemble practice, and artistic process design. She creates and supports work that challenges audiences to engage with issues of power, justice, gender, sexuality, and truth. Joya also serves as a lecturer at Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theatre. She is the Producer and Resident Dramaturg at Orange Theatre, a contemporary performance ensemble. Joya is an alum of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and LaMaMa Directors Symposium. BA in Theatre, Middlebury College; MFA in Directing, Arizona State University.

C2. Centering Youth Leadership and Power Sharing in an Artistic Process

Trinity Lugo, Apprentice Artist, Rising Youth Theatre.

Ty Muhammad is a freshman at Grand Canyon University, which is an impressive accomplishment at 17 years old. Ty is currently an apprentice artist with Rising Youth Theatre, and has worked on nine RYT productions as an ensemble member. Her favorite performance credits include playing “42” in Fandom, and working as a stage manager for The Kids Table. This past summer, Ty was selected through a competitive process to work on the youth organizing team for The Trouble Series, an education justice project with the ACLU of Arizona. She is also working as an assistant teaching artist at Rising Youth’s Create Academy residency.

Paula Alvarado Ortega grew up in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico and is 17 years old. Paula is an apprentice artist with Rising Youth Theatre, and has been working with the company since 2014. As an ensemble member of Rising Youth Theatre, Paula has worked as a performer, facilitator, and creator of original work on nine RYT productions. Her most recent performance credit is for the fall 2017 Light Rail Plays, which was named one of the best arts events of 2017 by the Phoenix New Times. Paula is currently a freshman at Phoenix College where she is the president of the theater club and a member of MENCHA and NAMI. Paula is a graduate of Genesis Academy, and is now working as an assistant Teaching Artist on Rising Youth’s Genesis residency.

Quinn Pursell is seventeen years old and is a senior at Arizona School for the Arts. This is Quinn's first year as an apprentice, but he started working with Rising Youth Theater as an understudy for Shipwrecked. Some other credits include working as an actor, and later a musician, on the Light Rail Plays, as well as assistant director for The Kid's Table. Quinn also worked on the Demand2Learn campaign during the summer of 2017 and was a part of the "100th Day."

Julio-Cesar Sauceda, General Manager, Rising Youth Theatre.

Sarah Sullivan is a theatre artist, educator and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Rising Youth Theatre, a company that creates original work with young people in collaboration with professional artists. Through Rising Youth Theatre she has directed and produced a number of youth-driven plays, and built partnerships with social service organizations across the Phoenix Metro area. She also serves as the Development Director of Childsplay, where she coordinates all institutional and individual giving programs for the organization. She holds her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and her BS in Theatre and English from Northwestern University.

Xanthia Walker is a director and facilitator. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University. Xanthia is co-founding Artistic Director of Rising Youth Theatre (RYT), which creates youth-driven original works through partnerships between young people, professional artists, and communities. RYT received the 2014 Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and the 2012 inaugural Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award in Theatre. Recent projects include directing the world premiere Haboob by Marvin Gonzalez de León on the Arizona State University Mainstage (2017); co-curating The Soul Justice Project at the Mesa Arts Center (2015, 2017); co-curating the Light Rail Plays, a site-specific performance on Phoenix’s public transit system (2014-2017). Xanthia is the winner of the 2015 Phoenix New Times Big Brain Award in Performing Art and is the 2009 Winifred Ward Scholar.

C3.  This is a Manifesto! - Writing Workshop with Virginia Grise

Virginia Grise is a recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, the Yale Drama Series Award, the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship, the Loft Literary Center’s Spoken Word Fellowship, Pregones Theatre’s Asuncion Award for Queer Playwriting, and is a Time Warner Fellow Alum at the Women's Project Theatre Lab.  Her published work includes Your Healing is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), blu (Yale University Press), The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press), and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). Her work has been produced, commissioned and/or developed at the Alliance Theatre, Bihl Haus Arts, Company of Angels, Cornerstone Theatre, Highways Performance Space, Playwright’s Center, Pregones Theatre, REDCAT, Victory Gardens, Women’s Project, and Yale Repertory Theatre. She earned her MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.
 

Morning Plenary
In Conversation: Liz Lerman & Michael Rohd

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant”, a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2017 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and led it until 2011. Her most recent work, Healing Wars, toured across the US in 2014-15. Liz conducts residencies on Critical Response Process, creative research, the intersection of art and science, and the building of narrative within dance performance at such institutions as Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Theatre Studio among others. Her third book, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press. As of 2016 she is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University. In 2016 Liz was named the first Institute Professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of the 19 year old Sojourn Theatre. He is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Insititute for Design and the Arts and author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. He leads the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago.
 

Afternoon Plenary/Workshop
Standing with Saguaros

Kimi Eisele is a multidisciplinary artist in Tucson. Kimi’s performance work (primarily in dance) explores human-nature relationships involving storytelling and public participation in site-specific venues and has addressed issues such as endangered species, water, food systems. She is co-founder and member of Movement Salon, an improvisational performance group that incorporates dance, spoken word, and live music to create ephemeral compositions. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Orion, High Country News, and other publications and has covered art, the environment, health, culture, youth, and the borderlands. Her debut novel, The Lightest Object in the Universe, is forthcoming in 2019 from Algonquin Books. She works as an editor/writer for the Southwest Folklife Alliance. (KimiEisele.com)

Tanisha Tucker is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. She recently took over the direction of the family bahidaj, or saguaro fruit harvest, from her mother, Stella Tucker. The family has been harvesting saguaro fruit in what is now Saguaro National Park since before Arizona was a state. Stella and Tanisha are recipients of a 2018 Master-Apprentice Artist Award from the Southwest Folklife Alliance in support of their work carrying on the bahidaj tradition.
 

Evening Plenary
Indigeneity, Sovereignty & Liberation

Act I - Shooting Columbus: Radical Indigenous Time Travel and Sovereignty (Fifth World Collective)

Rachel Bowditch (PhD) is a theatre director, an Associate Professor, Head of the MFA in Performance, and the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Her areas of specialty are the Lecoq method, Rasaboxes, mask, devising, site-specific theatre, immersive theatre, incorporating innovative technology into performance, festival and utopian theory, and performance studies.  She is author of three books: On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man (2010/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), Performing Utopia (2017/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), and Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field (2018/Routledge) with Jeff Casazza and Annette Thornton. She is currently working on a book under contract with Routledge about Richard Schechner’s performance workshop and rasaboxes with Paula Murray Cole and Michele Minnick (expected publication 2019). For artistic/directing work visit: www.vesselproject.org

Adam Cooper-Terán is a critically-acclaimed video, sound, and multimedia artist from Tucson, Arizona, better known for his collaborations with various theater companies, performance artists, musicians, rabble-rousers, and activists. His work has featured across the globe in universities, museums, basements, and streets as large-scale projections, musical interventions, and installations of digital storytelling. As a performer, Adam incorporates live video and audio mixing into ritualized improvisations, which have led to highly personal and political spectacles rooted in ceremony and the occult. For more information and overview of his work, visit ANTRAL.NET.

T Loving, Performer.

Ryan Pinto, Performer.

Denise Uyehara, Playwright/Dramaturg.

Act II - Music as a Solidarity Practice: Challenging Borders and Empire through Transnational Cultural Collaboration (Afro Yaqui Music Collective)

Benjamin Barson, Baritone Saxophonist; Co-Composer, Migrant Liberation Movement Suite; PhD Candidate in Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Ruth Margraff, Librettist

Trevor Miles, Dancer.

Nejma Nefertiti, Actor/Vocalist.

Gizelxanath Rodriguez (Yaqui), Vocalist; Electric Cellist; Activist (Indigenous rights and water access).

 

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 3

Morning Plenary
A Place-Based Primer: Tucson, the Border Regions & All Souls Procession

Maribel Alvarez is Associate Dean for Community Engagement in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. She holds the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center, UA; and is also Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology. She was the founder of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an affiliate nonprofit of the University of Arizona, which produces the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival in addition to another 20+ programs connecting artisanal economies, foodways, and traditional arts to community organizing and neighborhood-based economic development. She serves as Folklorist and Curator for SFA. She has conducted research on wheat and identity in Sonora, Mexico as a Fulbright Fellow and co-launched with her colleague Gary Nabhan the Sabores Sin Fronteras initiative at the University of Arizona. She is also Placemaking Policy Fellow at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University (2017-19). In 2016 she completed a 6-year term appointment as a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Her work focuses mainly on bridging academic knowledge with practical skills of community development. She teaches, writes, and lectures nationally on methods of cultural analysis, food, oral narratives, and visual cultures of the US-Mexico border, nonprofit management and leadership development, social theories of change, and Latino creativity and demographics.

Rachel Bowditch (PhD) is a theatre director, an Associate Professor, Head of the MFA in Performance, and the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Her areas of specialty are the Lecoq method, Rasaboxes, mask, devising, site-specific theatre, immersive theatre, incorporating innovative technology into performance, festival and utopian theory, and performance studies.  She is author of three books: On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man (2010/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), Performing Utopia (2017/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), and Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field (2018/Routledge) with Jeff Casazza and Annette Thornton. She is currently working on a book under contract with Routledge about Richard Schechner’s performance workshop and rasaboxes with Paula Murray Cole and Michele Minnick (expected publication 2019). For artistic/directing work visit: www.vesselproject.org

J. Sarah Gonzales serves as a community organizer and artist in Tucson, AZ. She is the Director of Spoken Futures, Inc, a youth centered social justice and literary organization and works as a consultant locally/nationally in social justice education as the CEO, Founder of TruthSarita, LLC. Her work is rooted in the belief that the intersection of art and activism is a critical place for community survival.

Debi Chess Mabie is the mother of three, a community organizer, strategists, and convener. With a masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she has over 25 years of experience in organizational and program development. She has worked extensively  in communities in Jamaica, West Indies, Englewood and Lawndale in Chicago. She is working with the Community Engagement team under Dr. Maribel Alvarez at the UA College of Social and Behavioral Science where she focuses part of her work on supporting the sustainability of the historically segregated Dunbar Pavilion: An African-American Center for Art and Culture, in the Dunbar/ Spring neighborhood of Tucson, AZ--where she now lives.

Gerard Stropnicky is a theatre artist, writer, director, and co-founder of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, and CampEmerge, a camp for families touched by autism. In rural communities, in Appalachia, Pennsylvania, and the deep South, he writes and directs large-scale site-specific productions featuring diverse community casts employing local story to celebrate, challenge, and address intractable issues. Several were co-written with poet and playwright Jo Carson. He only goes where he’s invited, often specifically because he is a glaring outsider, into communities in conflict, post-trauma or in crisis, communities needing to tell their stories toward healing and peace building. He’s worked with rural teens, Kentucky coal miners, Georgia shrimp processors, moonshiners, New Orleans' Mardi Gras Indians, communities atop the Marcellus Shale, and communities seeking peace in post-war Uganda and post-genocide Rwanda, among others. Current projects include story work with former steelworkers and their descendent generations, toward a play and a festival that will explore post-industrial Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was named USA Lowe Fellow in Theatre in 2010, and is a Temple Grandin Award winner for his service to the Autism (ASD) Community. He is currently a NET Board Member.

Adam Cooper-Terán is a critically-acclaimed video, sound, and multimedia artist from Tucson, Arizona, better known for his collaborations with various theater companies, performance artists, musicians, rabble-rousers, and activists. His work has featured across the globe in universities, museums, basements, and streets as large-scale projections, musical interventions, and installations of digital storytelling. As a performer, Adam incorporates live video and audio mixing into ritualized improvisations, which have led to highly personal and political spectacles rooted in ceremony and the occult. For more information and overview of his work, visit ANTRAL.NET.
 

Breakout Sessions D

D1. Art as Creative Resistance: Waging ART WAR

Adam Cooper-Terán is a critically-acclaimed video, sound, and multimedia artist from Tucson, Arizona, better known for his collaborations with various theater companies, performance artists, musicians, rabble-rousers, and activists. His work has featured across the globe in universities, museums, basements, and streets as large-scale projections, musical interventions, and installations of digital storytelling. As a performer, Adam incorporates live video and audio mixing into ritualized improvisations, which have led to highly personal and political spectacles rooted in ceremony and the occult. For more information and overview of his work, visit ANTRAL.NET.

D2. FIERCE PLAY PHYSICAL THEATER: Artistic Agility with Ragged Wing Ensemble

As playwright, director, actor and visual artist, Ragged Wing Ensemble (RWE) Artistic Director Amy Sass brings a fierce voracity to her creative practice. She specializes in creating new methods of artistic collaboration, story building, and multidisciplinary training. Recent RWE credits include Dramaturg & Director of A Different Long Stretch of Earth, Writer & Director of Whale’s Wake, and Co-Writer & Director of RedWolf. Her short plays have appeared in PlayGround’s Festival, Bay Area One Acts, FURY Factory and Eugene O’Neill Foundation Shorts. In all endeavors, Amy works from the gut, using theater and art as vehicles for healing, empowerment and social change.

Anna Shneiderman is a theater artist, entrepreneur, and educator working at the intersection of the arts and social justice. After an early career in public school teaching, she co-founded the professional theater company, Ragged Wing Ensemble, and then spearheaded the opening of The Flight Deck, a shared performance venue in downtown Oakland, California. She now serves as the joint organization’s Executive Director. Both as an artist and organizational leader, Anna designs unique structures of collaboration that bring divergent voices into dialogue, creating opportunities for connection. She is fiercely committed to shifting the cultural paradigm so that under-resourced artists can thrive.

D3. Re:Work—Risk, Consent, and the Collaborative Process

Taiga Christie is a founding member of Faultline Ensemble, a new ensemble of artists and health workers, and is currently a masters student at the Yale School of Public Health. She creates and directs work at the intersection of performance, queerness and community resilience, with an emphasis on involving underrepresented artists and promoting physical safety and accessibility in creative processes. She has created theater and worked as an EMT on both coasts, and considers rural Southern Vermont the home of her artistic and healthcare work.

Walken Schweigert is a queer/trans actor, musician, composer and director. He is the founding Artistic Director of Open Flame Theatre, which is based in Minneapolis, MN and in residence at Philadelphia Community Farm in Osceola, WI. He has studied physical performance with the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre and Double Edge Theatre, been part of over a dozen musical ensembles of varying genres, busked on the streets of eleven countries and facilitated Theater of the Oppressed workshops across the Americas.

Christine Suarez is a Los Angles-based choreographer, performer, educator, feminist and community activist and founder of SuarezDanceTheater. Their work has been seen in theaters, public parks, classrooms and houses and toured nationally and internationally to over 20 cities. SuarezDanceTheater has been awarded grants from Network Ensemble Theaters, California Arts Council and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Christine Suarez brings experience as co-creator of Dance for Veterans - a program that uses dance to build creative expression, social cohesion and bodily authority at Greater Los Angeles VA Hospitals. With SuarezDanceTheater she is looking at ways outside of a theater or studio to build community, connect and collaborate.
 

Evening Performance
Barrio Stories Barrio Fiesta

Borderlands Theater


SUNDAY NOVEMBER 4

Morning Plenary

Steve Arnquist, Chief of Staff, Tucson City Council Ward 1.

Adam Cooper-Terán is a critically-acclaimed video, sound, and multimedia artist from Tucson, Arizona, better known for his collaborations with various theater companies, performance artists, musicians, rabble-rousers, and activists. His work has featured across the globe in universities, museums, basements, and streets as large-scale projections, musical interventions, and installations of digital storytelling. As a performer, Adam incorporates live video and audio mixing into ritualized improvisations, which have led to highly personal and political spectacles rooted in ceremony and the occult. For more information and overview of his work, visit ANTRAL.NET.

Tanya Moreno, Resident, Barrio Anita.

Marc David Pinate, Director/Lead Artist, Barrio Stories; Artistic Director, Borderlands Theater.

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