New York's Premier Home For Socially Conscious Theatre
1. Michelle Sutherland
Personal Bio: Michelle is a visual artist and activist working across genres: video production, dance theater, painting, public and performance art. Her work is an exploration of the feminine. Feminine wisdom, intelligence, beauty, and power.
Title of Piece: Darkwave Feminism Talk #1
Description: Darkwave Feminism Talk #1 is a musical experience incorporating women singers, spoken word artists, performance artists, djs, and musicians to educate the audience about the sexualization of women’s bodies: what it is and how it negatively impacts everyone’s lives.
2. Rania Lee Khalil
Personal Bio: Rania Lee Khalil (director, There is a Portal) works in performance and moving image. Interweaving reflections on post colonialism, ecology and third world feminism, Khalil’s artworks meditate on the beauty and displacement of indigenous plant, animal and human (culture)s. Her works have been seen in such places as The Judson Church, Utopia Station and The Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York; Aomori Art Museum Japan, Al Ma’mal Contemporary Art Foundation Jerusalem, Palestine, Zawya Cinema, Egypt, Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art, Finland and the artistic research pavilion of the 2015 Venice Biennale. She is presently completing a practice based doctorate at Theatre Academy/ University of Arts Helsinki. Between 2007 to 2016, she was based between Cairo, Egypt and Europe, and has recently returned to Brooklyn, where she lives, works and is the mother of one daughter.
Description: There is a Portal is a multimedia, one-woman performance that uses storytelling and participatory theater to create a space for dialogue and healing. Written by 2016 White House Champion of Change and Emmy award winning writer, performer and activist Kayhan Irani, There is a Portal chronicles Irani’s experiences of immigration from Tehran to Queens as a girl, set against the backdrop of 9/11 in her early adulthood. Designed for schools and community centers as well as theaters, There is a Portal hopes to create openings for conversation and healing among immigrant communities affected by Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism (including folks neither Muslim nor Arab) and for all who’s experience of citizenship, safety and belonging is compromised by the anti-immigrant policies of our government. It is dedicated to a new generation of youth, growing up in the shadow of these policies upon our lives and bodies.
Kayhan Irani: writer, performer
Gazelle Samizay: video artist
Gargi Shinde: dramaturg
3. Kate Mueth
Personal Bio : Founder and Artistic Director of Neo-Political Cowgirls
Title of Piece : Title: One Flag, United in Hell
Description: OFUIH is an exploration into the dangers and depravity of nationalism. Flag identity politics, no matter the country, hit hardest the extreme ends of the female experience. The child and the elderly, the beginning and the end of a life, bookend the pained experience of nationalism's crushed hope and wilted endings. Within the female entity lies promise and possibility. Nationalism defeats these with the blunt smack of fear and "otherness" while vibrant achievement and communal outcomes are depleted and replaced with a neutralizing allegiance.
Personal Bio: Holly Cinnamon is an actor, writer, director, songwriter and Alexander Technique teacher based in New York. Directing credits include Qualia (New Works Fest), The Woman in the Red Dress (NextFest), This Is the Kind of Animal I Am (NextFest / Fringe) and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (Boston Conservatory). She appeared in Dear Jane ( Off-Broadway) and is a recurring guest on Season 3 of Marvel/Netflix’s Daredevil . Holly teaches Alexander Technique to actors and offers private lessons at the Balance Arts Center in Manhattan. She frequently performs her original music on her ukulele at the West End Lounge and venues around town. You can read her poetry and articles, find out more about AT and see her past work at www.hollycinnamon.com . Holly completed her MFA in Musical Theatre at the Boston Conservatory and her BA in Drama at the University of Alberta. Insta: @holly.cinnamon
Title of Piece: Mary / Frank: the Ellis Island Story
Description: “I had been told that I looked like a man, and I knew that in Canada some women have put on men’s clothes do men’s work. So the thought took shape in my mind. If these women had done it why could not I, who looked like a man? ... I bought men’s clothes and began to wear them. Then things changed. I had prospects.”
Mary Johnson was a Canadian immigrant who entered New York through Ellis Island in 1908 as Frank Woodhull, dressed in a suit and asserting that they had lived under a male identity for fifteen years. Woodhull was brought before a Board of Special Inquiry at Ellis Island, which declared him a “desirable immigrant who should be allowed to win her livelihood as she saw fit.” This is the story of a transgender immigrant who was accepted freely into this country in 1908.