Directors Weekend II
- Teatro Sea 107 Suffolk Street New York, NY, 10002 United States (map)
At the core of Women Center Stage is the next iteration of our unique and successful Directors’ Weekend, in which we invite 14 directors to create 15-30 minute pieces on a prompt and present them in a single evening over the course of two weekends. This year’s director-driven pieces use theatre in a unique way to address issues of immigration, presidential impeachment, criminal justice reform, and racism in our community or in our nation.
5:00-7:00 Series A
7:00-9:00pm Series B
Personal Bio: Tracy Cameron Francis is a first-generation Egyptian-American director and has directed and developed work with HERE, Atlantic Theatre Co, Red Bull Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, NY Arab American Comedy Festival, Pen World Voices Fest, NY International Fringe Festival, LaMama Culture Hub, and Alwan For the Arts. Internationally with Ubumuntu Arts Fest (Rwanda), Falaki Theatre (Egypt), LaMama Umbria (Italy) and regionally with Teatro Milagro, Corrib Theatre, T.B.A. festival, and Boom Arts. Cameron has created and curated original performances for Bushwick Open Studios Performance Art Showcase, Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery, the W Hotel, Alwan Center for the Arts, JAW at Portland Center Stage, Queens Arts Council, and Hybrid Theatre Works. TCG 2017 Rising Leader of Color. Member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and associate member of SDC. BA Middle Eastern Studies and Theatre Arts, Fordham.
Melody Erfani is a NYC based theatre creator and director specializing in devising, new works, and classical adaptations. She is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of LES Shakespeare Co. with a M.F.A in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School and was a participant of 2013 Lincoln Center Director's Lab. She graduated with a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts during which she procured an internship with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Favorite credits: The Sacrifice of Belonging (Creator), Bee (Creator and Director), Antigone, R+J (LES Shakespeare), 97 Orchard St. (Creator/Director), All an Act (The Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Our Town (Stagedoor Manor, NY).
Title of Piece: The Stars Fall Upside Down
Description: A new devised movement based work investigating displacement, inspired by Ancient Egyptian text and recent interviews with Syrian refugees.
Cast/ Creative: TBD
Personal Bio: Creative Traffic Flow (DawN Crandell, Kristin Rose Kelly and Jeesun Choi) is a theatre collective formed to create ensemble-driven performances with queer people of color and women as leaders. DawN, Jeesun and Kristin met at the 2017 National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation hosted by Pangea World Theater and Art2Action, which fosters artists of color and LGBTQ-identified artists for arts leadership. Creative Traffic Flow is 2018-19 Artists In Residence at the University Settlement. Their play, "Voices from the Roanoke River," has been commissioned by Clear Valley Council and was developed at 2018 Works On Water Governors Island Residency. Creative Traffic Flow's process honors all experiences and skills involved in the creation. They strive to present and perform at the highest level of artistic integrity while honoring multiple forms of expressions and perspectives.
Title of Piece: Duets of Difference
Description: “Duets of Difference” is a dance-theatre performance that explores how we find unity and equity despite conflict and difference. It has been developed through a five-month-long multidisciplinary community workshops. The workshops brought two strangers, unlike each other in age, identity, faith and culture, who may not get to connect in real life, together to foster a deeper understanding of themselves and each other. Through multidisciplinary performance building methods, we are creating dance/theatre duets that are informed and inspired by the participants' identities while also exploring how two contrary voices can hold space for one another. In this age of fast information consumption, we want to cultivate time and space for real exchanges instead of leaning into our current political impulses to polarize and hate. How do the duets challenge and enforce each other? What can the audience and artists learn from this pluralistic framework?
Performers: Nancy Shan, Stevie Xiong Wu, Gladys Solano, Elijah Rasheed, Allyn Wong
Personal Bio: Jennifer Tuttle is a professional actor and director. She is a member of Name of BIRD Theatre Company in NYC, is an Equity member, and teaches at The City College of New York (CCNY). Jennifer is based out of Queens where she lives with her husband, Ryan, and son, Noah. New York directing credits include: The Seedling Project for Partly Cloudy People Theatre Company NYC, This is My Last Attempt at Fame at Dixon Place NYC, REDlight for the NYC Fringe Festival, and Hay Fever, The Arabian Nights, Working! Top Girls and Macbeth at CCNY. Regional directing credits include: Much Ado Para Nada for Shakespeare in Detroit, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Music Man, The Sound of Music at The Straw Hat Players, The Seafarer at Theatre B, Hamlet, Tartuffe, Cabaret and Three Sisters at Minnesota State University, and True West at Le Chat Noir NOLA.
Title of Piece: Immigration Stories: A Celebration of the Individual and Collective Voice
Description: Immigration Stories: A Celebration of the Individual and Collective Voice , is a piece reflecting young adults' feelings about the political climate and their desire to add their voices to the dialogue about injustice, human rights, identity, and belonging. Each actor/collaborator has researched their familial history, interviewed family members to create their own individual immigration story. The individual stories have been woven together chorally through devised physical and voice work to fully embody the atmosphere and qualities of the stories in the style of story-telling theatre. We want to share these stories with the audience as something to think about, absorb and pass along, because immigration isn't just "an issue," it's personal, and the beginning of a new story.
Actor/Writer: Hanna Ventura, Caleb Ricke, Zunairis Velazquez, Bibin Shrestha, Lucius Seo, Kayla Rodriguez
Dramaturg: Kathleen Potts
Personal Bio: Kate Bergstrom is a west coast director and performance artist whose eclectic work has been seen at Ars Nova, Rattlestick, REDCAT, UCLAlive!, Highways Performance Space, UCLA, La Mama Umbria, Theatre at Monmouth, LACMA and more. Founding Artistic Director of On The Verge Summer Repertory Company in Santa Barbara, Kate was named 2016 Central Coast BroadwayWorld.com’s Person to Watch.
Featured projects include The Children’s Hour: a Queer Explosion (operetta -Granoff Center for the Arts), The Taming of the Shrew, A Map of Virtue a nd Neva at Brown/Trinity, WHOLED at REDCAT and HOTBOX (also co-creator/performer) for Ars Nova’s Ant Fest, + the Explosions From the Other Canon project.
Other: Three Days of Rain and Enchanted April- Theater at Monmouth, At the Table (West Coast premiere; Best Play 2017, Broadwayworld.com,) Sometimes the Rain (nominated Best College Play 2018 Motif Magazine), Caridad Svich’s Red Bike - Rattlestick’s TheatreJam + The Wilbury Group. Recent: A.D. for Sky on Swings at Opera Philadelphia. Kate is also a professor at RISD. MFA, Directing: Brown University/Trinity Rep BA: UCLA.
Title of Piece: QUAKE
Description: In 2010, 7 out of 10 senior executives in the United States were white men. One day, a female colleague presents a pitch to her team and a board of executives for a new product line. As her presentation begins, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake hits.
The building begins to shake. Chaos. Evacuation. The men rise to flee. This woman does not. She continues presenting.
The room: torn, afraid, suspended. The woman continues forth with her slides. A man changes his career... and what else?
A Natural Disaster, a fight for a system that subsumes and disregards ones corporeality, the suspension of reality through performance, persistence and power, high stakes gambling. Music, media and subversive queer joy... The story re-calibrates and investigates the narrative of victimization of women, specifically women of color in the the subtle and deadly politicized mechanization of corporate america.
Co-writer: Octavia Chavez-Richmond
Composer + Performer: Martim Galvâo
Digital Poet + Perfomer: Todd Anderson
Guitarist + Performer: Alex Dupuis
Design consultant: Josiah Davis
Collaborators: Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Martim Galvão and Todd Anderson, also featuring Jayne Katherin
Carmen Caceres (Choreographer) is a dance artist, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her dance works have been presented in several venues in NY such as Dixon Place, Green Space Studio, Triskelion Arts Center, and Center for Performance Research. Her company, DanceAction has participated in international dance festivals such as the First International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City (FIDCDMX) in 2016, and the Contemporary Dance Festival Ticino in Danza, in Switzerland on July 2018. As a dancer she worked with artists Isabel Lewis, Jillian Peña, Elia Mrak, Lisa Parra, Jody Oberfelder, and Sarah Berges among others.
Devin Southard is a filmmaker originally from Baltimore, Maryland. After receiving her BA in Media Production at Temple University, Devin worked on a number of documentary and sports projects before starting her current job at MTV in New York City. Devin continues to work on a variety of television and film projects and is currently in pre-production on a documentary.
Sriya Sarkar is a digital media producer, comedian, and filmmaker working at the intersection of digital media, comedy, and activism. She is the producer of Speakout Laughout , a comedic storytelling show about abortion, as well as lolvote, a comedy variety show and accompanying Twitterbot encouraging youth voter turnout. She's worked with Upworthy, Lady Parts Justice, and Hillary for America, and performed in a variety of bar basements and stages of all sizes. More juicy details can be found at sriyasarkar.com
Title of Piece: 2 Minutes Hate
Description: "2 Minutes Hate" is a movement narrative inspired by George Orwell's 1984. It explores our participation in a system that rewards us for enabling its power to destruct. What happens when we're hit with that realization?
Talent: Carmen Caceres, Nicole Rae Jones, & Thomas Gunderson
Bond Musician: Eran Fink
Other Collaborators: Paige Louise Stella & Samsam Yung
Personal Bio: Joey Lorraine is a dance artist who showcases her work through experimental theatre, video, and film. As a dancer, Ms. Lorraine has performed with the Morgan Scott Ballet (formerly Joffrey II) and presented her own choreography for Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, aka. BAAD!, Balasole Dance, and Flexicurve Dance, among others. Her short films have been presented at film festivals nationwide, most notably “Pigeon Hole” inspired by the tragedy of the Venus Hottentot, which received an Honorable Mention Award by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Ms. Lorraine is also a Teaching Artist for Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Videographer for Classical Indian Dance Company, Jiva Arts. She is from Bear Valley, a suburb of Denver, CO, and has been a resident of East Harlem since 1998. Ms. Lorraine holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Title of Piece: Black Girl Rising
Description: Black Girl Rising is a choreopoem that juxtaposes the matriarchal lineage of a bi-racial suburban born woman and the Mexican women of her current community in Spanish Harlem. Themes of motherhood, parental separation, racial awareness, and social standing emerge through a story of the pain of being abandoned by a parent, and the journey of discovering one’s identity and embracing one’s cultural heritage. Dance, poetry, music, and theatre meld into a stream of conscious dramatization of a fractured human experience that blossoms into feminine power.
Dancer & Actor: Joey Lorraine
Orator & Actor: Valerie Alexander
Composer: Moise Mamouzette
Personal Bio: Michele Jones, a native of Washington, D.C. Currently the Director of Works/Artistic Resident of INCARN at the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Michele has developed stories and directed original work that teaches African American history. Nat Turner, Thurgood Marshall, Honorable Distinction, Emancipated Glory, Resurrection and MAAFA to name a few, Michele has trained and worked with artists that are currently seen in Cloak & Dagger, Hamlet, Fences, Lion King and more. Only movie credit Salina P! An acting coach/teacher she is passionate about working with children and developing those with the heart for theatre. Privileged to work with an amazing team, the future is bright! She is a member of SDC, Lincoln Lab ‘09/’10.
Michele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Namaste.
Title of Piece: In This America
Description: In this America is a twenty minute theatrical experience that examines the history of Black people from the early 1800’s slavery until now. This piece starts out with old Negro spirituals and progresses into songs of the 60’s 70’s 80’s and beyond. It forces us to remember the cruelty of a people kidnapped from their country while also celebrating the triumph obtained by these same people such as the election of President Barack Hussein Obama. We are reminded of Shaft and Action Jackson as well as the Panthers and Aretha. We are saddened with the pain of remembering the assignation of Malcom and Martin. It is accentuated with dialogue, song and movement of these different eras. It is wrapped neatly in a package and delivered into this dramatic presentation. The project explodes with facts and messages that leads to a shocking conclusion. In this America is not only entertaining but it is education as well.
Director: Michele Hawkins Jones
Asst: Kenya Cagle
Musician: DaVaughn Screen
Lights: Ulric flaherty
Stage Mgr: Demetrya Ford
Costumes: Pamela Blount
Props: Molisha Jones
Sound: Kim Brothers
Carl Grant, Ivan Rawls, Aboti Kaseem Waters, Roseanne Rock, Michele Houston, Kendra Williams, Celestine Jones, Sharon Brothers