|Theatre Without Boundaries!|
MEET THESE RADICAL VOICES ON APRIL 3!
DR. SUSAN CROFT (Featured Presenter) is Director of Unfinished Histories, the oral and archival history project on Alternative Theatre in Britain in the 1960s -80s, which she founded in 2006 with Jessica Higgs. She is Clive Barker Research Fellow at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. After working with Omaha Magic Theatre and then as dramaturg, director and workshop leader in the alternative theatre scene, in 1986 she founded New Playwrights Trust, an organization developing the work of new writers. She went on to teach Creative Arts/ Performance at Nottingham Trent and Manchester Metropolitan Universities before becoming Senior Curator (Contemporary Performance) at the V&A Theatre Museum. There her major exhibitions included Let Paul Robeson Sing! and Architects of Fantasy, she pioneered initiatives on audio-video documentation of performance, diversity and inclusion and edited Black and Asian Performance at the Theatre Museum: a Users’ Guide. As Director of Unfinished Histories she has conducted numerous oral history interviews with individuals active in the movement. In 2013-14 she curated the exhibition and publication Re-Staging Revolutions: Alternative Theatre in Lambeth and Camden 1968-88. She has written extensively on women playwrights, including …She Also Wrote Plays: an International Guide to Women Playwrights (2001), the anthologies Classic Plays by Women, Votes for Women and Other Plays and Thousands of Noras: Short Plays by Women 1875-1920 (with Sherry Engle) on activist, suffrage and New Women drama and co-wrote How the Vote Was Won: Art, Theatre and Women’s Suffrage. She is currently working on books on Unfinished Histories; the influential community arts project Inter-Action; and an update of She Also Wrote Plays.
DEBORA BALARDINI (Panelist) is a Performing Artist. Director. Coach with fierce loyalty to movement and physical theater as an art form. Her extensive performance background spans ballet, modern dance, and tap as well as theatre performance. Debora is a 2017 SheROCKS Art Innovators of the Year Award honoree. She is the co-founder of PUNTO Space, a venue for events, art happenings and performances that serves as a creative home and place for artistic community to collaborate, explore and thrive. She is also the co-founder of Nettles Artists Collective, which has received multiple nominations for original work such as Apple of My Eye (Menina dos Meus Olhos), the first professionally produced original piece written and performed by a playwright and artist with Down syndrome, Tathiana Piancastelli. Debora is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Group.BR, NY’s only Brazilian theater company, an award winning ensemble. She is a member and supporter of Actors Fund, Yoga Alliance, Americans for the Arts, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian Endowment for the Arts, the League of Professional Theater Women and is currently a Brazilian International Press Award 2017 Best Actress nominee for Inside the Wild Heart, a production she co-created, co-produced and performed in. She can be seen/heard in IR TV, Industry Rules, The Miami Herald, The Story Exchange, Cheapism, Trendy Trippin', Mushaka's Motivational Monday/Huffington Post blog, On Deck with Lucy and Business News Daily.
CHRISTINE BRUNO (Panelist) is Disability Advocate at Inclusion in the Arts, a national not-for-profit that promotes the full inclusion of artists of color and disabled artists in theatre, film, television and related media. She has represented the organization at symposiums, film and theatre festivals, forums, panels, resource events, and television and radio outlets across the U.S. and internationally. Christine received her MFA in acting and directing from the New School, is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and has worked across all mediums as an actor, director and acting coach. A proud union member, Christine is Chair of the New York SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities (PWD) Committee and serves on the SAG-AFTRA PWD Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) Task Force, SAG-AFTRA National Performers with Disabilities and the Actors’ Equity EEOC Committees. She is currently working with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs as a Disability Consultant to The Cultural Plan. Her selected theatre, film and television credits include The Maids (adaptation by Jose Rivera, INTAR), The Glass Menagerie (Fulton Theatre), The Good Daughter (NJ Rep), The Ugly Girl, Raspberry (musicals, U.K.), Screw You, Jimmy Choo! (U.K. and Australia) Law & Order, iCreep, Flatbush Luck, This is Where We Live.
SUSANA COOK (Panelist) writes and performs bold, authentic, gender bending, funny, queer performance art/theater that sharply critiques injustice; her voice of protest contains visceral knowledge of the look and feel of dictatorship. Born in Argentina, Cook has been writing and producing original work for over 20 years, presenting over 17 original plays in New York and around the world. She writes and directs all her shows, and performs in them with her company and casts comprised mostly of minority and queer women. Cook's work has been presented in numerous NYC venues, including Dixon Place, PS. 122, W.O.W Cafe Theater and The Kitchen. She has also performed internationally in Spain, France, India, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada and at several colleges and universities around the U.S. Her most recent works include: Conversations with Humans, We Are Caligula, The Funeral of the Cow, The Homophobes, The Fury of the Gods, Homeland Insecurities, The idiot King, The Values Horror Show, 100 Years of Attitude, Dykenstein, Hamletango, Prince of Butches, Gross National Product, Hot Tamale, Conga Guerrilla Forest, The Fraud, Butch Fashion Show in the Femme Auto Body Shop, Rats:The Fantasy of Extermination and Tango Lesbiango. Cook has received awards from New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, The Franklin Furnace Archives, The Puffin Foundation and INTAR. Her work is archived at the Digital Video Library of The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics of New York University.
YALINIDREAM (Panelist). Lankan Tamil Blood, Manchester-Born, Texas-Bred and Brooklyn-Brewed, YaliniDream is an international touring performing and theater artist who conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance-- reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. Her work has been performed in Africa, Asia, Europe, and esteemed venues in the US such as NYC’s Lincoln Center, New York Live Arts, Chicago's Vittum Theater, and numerous universities. YaliniDream was Artistic Director of APIA feminist performance company, Mango Tribe, Artist-in-Residence at the University of Michigan's Center for World Performance Studies and a recipient of the Jerome Foundation's Fellowship in Literature. YaliniDream also has almost 20 years of experience using artistic tools for healing, organizing, and dignity with communities contending with violence and trauma. She is a consultant with Vision Change Win, a specialist with EM Arts, and teaches "Social Justice Pedagogy and the Arts" at University of San Francisco's graduate program in Human Rights. In addition, she tours as part of the Hip Hop Storytelling Duo Brooklyn DreamWolf with her partner, in love and art, Hip Hop MC/Photographer, Jendog Lonewolf. Rooted in ending the full continuum of violence and exploitation, Brooklyn DreamWolf has shared stages with icons like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, and Rah Digga. Currently YaliniDream is in a new collaboration with Hip Hop Theater pioneer reg e. gaines, writer of the Tony award winning play Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk.
MELANIE JOSEPH (Panelist) is the founder and Artistic Producer of The Foundry Theatre. Championing an artist-led process, she takes on multiple creative roles across projects including co-creator, director, dramaturg and producer. Joseph is known for making theatre in unusual forms – on a bus traveling thru the South Bronx (w. poet Claudia Rankine), a play built of questions posed to the audience (w. playwright Kirk Lynn), a musical performed in peoples’ living rooms across NYC (w. composer/performer Gideon Irving) – and her productions have collectively garnered 12 OBIE’s, 7 Drama Desk nominations, and 2 Lucille Lortel Awards. For 23 years, Joseph has also led The Foundry’s annual dialogue series and community engagement programs which bring artists together with grassroots communities and public thinkers to explore the ways our world works (and doesn’t work). The intersectionality of her work builds alternative considerations for ways that Art and the Artists who make it might claim a newly oriented relevancy in the fabric of our democracy. For her hybrid work with the Foundry, Joseph has twice been honored with the Ross Wetzteon OBIE for “creating cutting edge theatre” and “engaging artists in some of the thorniest issues of the world we inhabit”. She has been honored with the Doris Duke Artist Prize, the Skirball-Kennis T.I.M.E. Artist Prize and a Lucille Lortel Lortel Award for Artistic Producing.
TAYLOR MAC (Panelist)—who uses “judy”, lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun—is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, and performance artist. Mac’s work has been performed at Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, London’s Hackney Empire (with the LIFT Festival), LA’s Royce Hall, San Francisco’s Curran Theater, Magic Theater and MOMA, the Sydney Opera House, Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater, Chicago’s MCA and Steppenwolf Theater, Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, and literally hundreds of other theatres, museums, music halls, opera houses, and festivals around the globe. Mac is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces. Most recently: Hir at Playwrights Horizons and upcoming with judy’s first all-ages play, The Fre, at the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis. Recent acting roles include Shen Teh/ Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama and the Public Theater, Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and in a vaudeville entitled, The Last Two People On Earth, which judy created with Mandy Patinkin, director Susan Stroman, and Paul Ford. Mac is the recipient of a Guggenheim Award, The Doris Duke Award, The Herb Alpert Award in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, an Obie Award (for The Lily’s Revenge), and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. Mac and collaborator/music director/ arranger Matt Ray were awarded an Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History for A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Mac is currently the resident playwright at the Here Arts Center and is a New Dramatists alum.