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Theater Arts Department
McConnell Hall Room 102
Welcome to our Dialogues: Voices from Performance colloqia series!
Stream the live event and ask questions via YouTube (refresh the feed @ 10am): https://youtu.be/E_qW-f7Xe6k
Or find our Dialogues 2021-2022 playlist by searching "CWU Theatre Arts Dialogues" on YouTube.
Watch the Documentary MAY 25th at 6pm in McConnell Auditorium admission is free.
Khadifa is an award-winning Director. She trained at the iconic London Studio Centre in all aspects of dance. After 10 years as a Dancer she moved to New York to further study acting. On her return to London, frustrated by the lack of opportunities for actresses of colour, Khadifa wrote, produced and acted in a web series based on her New York experiences. It was then that Khadifa realised her true passion lay behind the camera and she formed her production company to help increase diversity on both sides of the camera. Since then, Khadifa has Directed, The Woman Who Knocked On My Door (Best Indie Short, LA Film Awards) with Finelight Films and executive produced a further 3 multi award winning short films. In 2019 Khadifa directed Black Women Dating White Men Written by Somebody Jones at the Drayton Arms Theatre. Uprooted is her feature-length film directorial debut.
Born in London, Khadifa was a Dancer before moving into Film and Theatre Directing. Her debut documentary Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance is currently screening on HBO Max. Recent theatre credits include, Five Plays and Changing Destiny as the Jerwood Assistant Director working with Kwame Kwei-Armah (Young Vic) Camera Director for Rockets and Blue Lights (National Theatre), HOW I LEARNED TO SWIM, I'M YOUR ROPE, La Gringa, Adventurous and 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre) and BLACK WOMEN DATING WHITE MEN (Drayton Arms Theatre)
LISA DONMALL-REEVE - PRODUCER - Lisa migrated to film from a successful and extensive career in theatre, where she spent over twenty years as a performer playing many leading roles in London’s West End and internationally. As a creative, she has assisted some of the world’s finest choreographers on numerous projects, and helped shape the next generation of dancers as an educator in both the U.S. and U.K. Lisa launched LDR Creative LLC in 2016 with the objective to build creative teams that inspire, and to produce product that makes a difference. Her first short film, Early Mourning, was screened at over 20 film festivals, winning 5 awards including the Audience Award at the Soho International Film Festival 2017 in NYC. The follow-up short, Free, is distributed on both Shorts TV and Amazon Prime, and several more shorts are currently screening on film festival circuits. Lisas’ first feature length documentary, 'Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance' enjoyed a world premiere at the Lincoln Centers Dance on Camera Film Festival in NYC, winning the Best of Fest Feature Award in 2020 and then continued to take the festival circuit by storm winning sixteen further awards including Best Musical Documentary at The Rhode Island International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary during its International Premiere at Raindance Film Festival.
Uprooted is currently streaming on HBOMax in the US.
For more information www.ldrcreative.com IMDB
|March 11th Dr. Martine Kei Green-Rogers
|Why All Theatre Artists Should Commit Acts of Dramaturgy|
Martine Kei Green-Rogers is currently President of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and an Assistant Professor at SUNY: New Paltz. She obtained her PhD from the Department of Theatre and Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to studying at UW-Madison, she received her B.A. in Theatre from Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.A. in Theatre History and Criticism from The Catholic University of America.
Her dramaturgical productions include: The Greatest with the Louisville Orchestra, Classical Theatre Company’s productions of Miss Julie, The Tempest, Uncle Vanya, The Triumph of Love, Antigone, Candida, Ghosts, Tartuffe, and Shylock, The Jew of Venice; Sweat at the Goodman; Silent Dancer at Salt Lake Acting Company, productions of King Hedley II, Radio Golf, Five Guys Named Moe, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Gem of the Ocean, Waiting for Godot, Iphigenia in Aulis, Seven Guitars, The Mountaintop, Home and Porgy and Bess at the Court Theatre (Chicago, IL); productions of Fences and One Man, Two Guvnors for the Pioneer Memorial Theatre; The Clean House at CATCO (Columbus, OH); Hairspray, The Book of Will, Shakespeare in Love, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Research Dramaturg), UniSon (Asst. Dramaturg), The Comedy of Errors, To Kill A Mockingbird, The African Company Presents Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fences and the Play on! project translations of Comedy of Errors and The Two Noble Kinsmen for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR); 10 Perfect and The Curious Walk of the Salamander as part of the Madison Repertory Theatre’s New Play Festival, and A Thousand Words as part of the WI Wrights New Play Festival. She also a current reader for The Great Plains Theatre Conference and the National Music Theatre Conference at the O’Neill.
She has also directed a staged reading of Adopting Aunt Tabitha for the Alley Theatre’s HYPE program, and productions of Venus and Adonis for the Classical Theatre Company and Much Ado About Nothing for Kenyon College.
She is the stage adaptor of the Jason Reynolds’ book Long Way Down which premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in October of 2018.
Her publications include the article "Talkbacks for ‘Sensitive Subject Matter’ Productions: The Theory and Practice" in the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, Co-Author on “A New Noble Kinsmen: The Play On! Project and Making New Plays Out of Old” in Theatre History Studies, Co-Author on “Visual Dramaturgy: Problem Solver or Problem Maker in Contemporary Performance Creation” in Theatre/Practice, and Co-author on “Continuing the Conversation: Responses to Gabriela Serena Sanchez and Quiara Alegría Hudes” in Theatre Topics.
Current writing projects includes the book In the Studio: Dramaturgy and Stage Design which is Co-authored with Jesse Portillo and under contract with Southern Illinois University Press.
She has previously taught at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, and Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. Her research interests include violence in African American Theatre, African diaspora theatre, gender and race in American theatre, dramaturgy, devising, and issues of sustainability in the theatre.
She is a proud member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR).
|September 25th 2020 Dr. Dotun Ayobade||Facing the Music: AIDS, Social Death and Gendered Survival after Fela Kuti|
I locate my scholarship and teaching in the areas of dance, performance and African popular culture, as well as in the intersection of gender, class and nation in the production of myriad theatre and performance forms in postcolonial Nigeria. I also investigate how, beyond the modalities of writing, [West] Africans activate aesthetic and everyday social performance to shape their lived realities, forge belonging, and declare their presence within the African political economy. My first book project tentatively titled Fela Kuti’s Queens: Performance, Play and Punishment in a Nigerian Music Subculture (currently under contract with Indiana University Press) examines the art, activism and politics of the wives of late Nigerian activist and musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. My work demonstrates how in the 1970s and 1980s postcolonial Nigeria the Queens evolved a host of self-fashioning performance strategies to negotiate agency and visibility in the face of social rebuke and state repression.
I earned my Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice from the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. I also obtained portfolio certificates in African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) as well as in Women and Gender Studies (WGS).
October 30th 2020 CHARLES O. ANDERSON
|(Re)Current Unrest and the Fire This Time: Choreographic Responses to BLM|
|Charles O. Anderson is artistic director of Charles O. Anderson/dance theatre X, an afro-contemporary dance theatre company, which he founded in Philadelphia in 2003. Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Charles earned his BA in Choreography and Performance from Cornell University and his MFA in Dance from Temple University. He has performed in the companies of Ronald K. Brown, Sean Curran, Mark Dendy and Miguel Gutierrez among others. His work has been presented nationally and internationally and has earned recognition by numerous grants and organizations such as the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, and one of ‘12 Rising Stars in the Academy” by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education Magazine. Anderson is currently based in Austin, Texas where he is Head of the Dance Program and an associate professor of African Diaspora Dance Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Anderson also serves on faculty of the American Dance Festival six-week school in Durham, NC.|
|November 13th at 10AM PST: DR. LISA B. THOMPSON||Staging Black Feminism|
|Lisa B. Thompson is an award winning playwright, scholar, and professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of three books, Beyond The Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (University of Illinois Press, 2009), Single Black Female (Samuel French Inc. 2012), and Underground, Monroe, and The Mamalogues: Three Plays (Northwestern University Press, 2020). Thompson’s plays, which have been produced off-Broadway, throughout the US and internationally, include Single Black Female (LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Comedy nominee, Irma P. Hall Black Theatre Award Best Play winner), Underground, (Austin Critics Circle David Mark Cohen New Play Award winner, Broadway World Regional Awards Best Writing of an Original Work nominee), Monroe (Austin Playhouse Festival of New Texas Plays winner), The Mamalogues (Broadway World Regional Awards Best Writing of an Original Work winner), and Dinner (Crossroads Theatre Genesis New Play Festival). Thompson has received teaching awards from the Texas Exes and the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. Her scholarly and creative work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies; the University of Texas at Austin’s Humanities Institute; the W. E. B. DuBois Research Institute at Harvard University; the Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research; the Five Colleges, the University of California’s Office of the President; Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Hedgebrook; the Millay Colony for the Arts; and MacDowell.|
|January 29th, @10am: Frankie Lewis||Title: The Collective: The Importance of Building Community|
Bio: Frankie Lewis was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Frankie received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Theater Arts from the University of Louisville, soon after she had started her first fashion label, Ann DeEvelyn clothing company in 2014. Her work was first featured in EXTOL magazine and followed by Louisville magazine KMAC COUTURE - Art Walks the Runway as well as British and ITALIA Vogue. In 2018, Frankie was selected to compete with 15 other designers on season 17 of Project Runway. Currently, Lewis lives and works in Los Angeles, California as a freelance tailor for Micheal Schmidt’s Studios and is owner of the Frankie Lew fashion house. To learn more about her LA projects and adventures visit www.Frankielew.com
|Feburary 26th, 2021: DONALD BYRD:||Social Justice and Just Causes: What is the balance of the didactic, the authentic/personal, and the aesthetic in the creation of dance works during a time of racial reckoning and consciousness expansion|
Donald Byrd has been the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater since December 2002. Formerly, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured both nationally and internationally. His career has been long and complex, and his choreographic and theatrical interests are broad. The New York Times describes him as “a choreographer with multiple personalities … an unabashed eclectic.” He is a Tony-nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer.
Mr. Byrd has frequently been referred to as a ‘citizen artist,’ a descriptive that perfectly aligns with an important component of Spectrum Dance Theater’s mission and Mr. Byrd’s personal beliefs – “dance as an art form and as a social/ civic instrument.”
Spectrum’s recent seasons, conceived, choreographed, and directed by Mr. Byrd, are a testament to his commitment to art as a Credible Partner of Social Justice. He continues to demonstrate this by creating dance/theater that is meant to question, to create awareness, to activate, and to move audiences & citizens into action around the persistent social issues that plague contemporary American society and the world: racism and white supremacy, climate change and the climate gap, gender equality, gender identity biases, xenophobia, and police brutality.
|May 12th, 2021: NOELLE SCAGGS||Diversify The Stage: How Do We Collectively Transform The Live Music Industry.|
Diversify The Stage was founded by Noelle Scaggs, co-lead vocalist of alt-pop band Fitz And The Tantrums, in the spring of 2020, with a focus on transforming the concert, events, and touring industries to increase more diverse representation. The organization counts on the support of industry professionals and artists to collectively and actively build a culture of accountability that establishes more inclusive hiring practices and greater access to equitable opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ); Female-identifying and Gender Nonconforming individuals. In less than a year, Diversify The Stage has set forth long-term change by partnering with the Music Forward Foundation to create educational and mentorship programs followed by paid internship/apprenticeship placements, in addition to working with NeverFamous.com to create a technical solution to hiring qualiﬁed touring staff. Diversify The Stage has gained support from the biggest players in the industry, including Live Nation, Live Nation Urban, WME, UTA Music, Azoff Company, Elektra and Atlantic Records, National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), The Event Safety Alliance, Roadies Of Color United, lighting collective EVEN Network, as well as, stage suppliers and designers Clair Global and TAIT.
For more information and to join the Diversify The Stage community visit: www.diversifythestage.org
Follow on IG and FB @DiversifyTheStage and @DiverseStage on Twitter.
|April 23 2021 @ 10am GOLDEN||A Dead Name That Learned How to Live.|
|Golden (they/them) is a black gender nonconforming trans-femme photographer, poet, & community organizer raised in Hampton, VA (Kikotan land), currently residing in Boston, MA (Mashpee, Wampanoag, and Massachusett people land). Golden is the recipient of a Pink Door Fellowship (2017/2019), an Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Luminaries Fellowship (2019), the Frontier Award for New Poets (2019), a Best of the Net Award (2020), and a Pushcart Prize nomination (wildness, 2019 & Glass Poetry, 2020). Their work has been featured on/at Shade Literary Arts, the Offing, Button Poetry, Buzzfeed, i-D, Interview Magazine, & elsewhere. Golden holds a BFA in Photography from New York University (2018) and is currently a City of Boston Artist-in-Residence (2020-2021).|
|May 28th 2021: Dr. Daryl Harris||Black Out: the Afrocentric Aesthetic and Global Outreach|
Dr. Daryl Harris is a Full Professor in the School of the Arts (SOTA) Theatre and Dance Program at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). At NKU since 2003, he is an over 50-year veteran of traditional, alternative, academic, and applied theatre. He has studied and worked throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. In addition to teaching diverse interdisciplinary theatre courses, and being the area coordinator for his program’s Theatre in World Cultures undergraduate area of study, Harris also acts in, directs and costume-designs theatrical productions locally, nationally and internationally. He is a member of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, and a 2010 recipient of President Obama’s President’s Call to Service Award, the highest level of awards recognizing and honoring volunteerism. Recently,as a Fulbright Specialist, he co-wrote, costumed, directed, and played a cameo role on Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy’s world premiere English language production of the traditional Buddhist tale, Sanda Kinduru. This was the third in a series of initiatives using theatre techniques to help English as a Second Language students learn and confidently use the language. The research for his MFA in Theatre and his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies continues to fuel his primary passion: engaging scholars and communities transculturally and transnationally across disciplines.
|Doctora Xingona’s ancestors bloom in her/their voice. Her songs roar an otherworldly fire against oppression, exalt queer love and liberation, and create a gripping atmosphere for healing. An expansive multimedia artist and educator, Doctora Xingona’s music, poetry, performances, films, and gatherings center transcendence, kinship, and the co-liberation and nourishment of queer and trans artists of color. Doctora Xingona is the composer behind the award-winning performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera, and the co-founder of the BridgeSong Fund, an emergency relief program for Western MA musicians. Her debut album, Ser Artista, produced by Seth Glier, is slated for release in the fall of 2021.
|November 12, 2021 @ 10am||
Rudy Ramirez (they/them) is a director, writer and performer focused on the development of new work. They are the founding Artistic Director of Avante Theatre Project—dedicated to producing new and avant-garde Latinx/Latine work—and Associate Artistic Director of The VORTEX. They have directed pieces for numerous companies around the country, including Austin Bike Zoo, Color Arc Productions, The Lark, National Queer Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center, Red Bull Theater, The San Antonio Public Theatre, ScriptWorks, Shrewd Productions, Sky Candy Aerial Arts, Southwestern University, Teatro Audaz, Teatro Vivo and the University of Texas at Austin.
Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, storyteller, and performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Jesús is a 2021 CantoMundo fellowship recipient at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, a 2019 Lambda Literary fellow, a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Playwriting Fellow of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a recipient of the 2019 Letras Latinas Scholarship from the Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop, and a poetry fellow at Idyllwild Arts Writers Week. Jesús is also a 2018 Undocupoets Fellow, a 2018 Tin House Scholar, a fellow of The 2018 Poetry Incubator, and the runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest.
|Februrary 25th 2022||
Dr. Grégory Pierrot
|Grégory Pierrot is Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. He is the author of Decolonize Hipsters (OR Books, 2021), The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture (UGA Press, 2019), and co-editor of the forthcoming An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (UVA Press, 2021). He is also a translator, and co-host of the Decolonize That! webcast series with Bhakti Shringarpure. His writing has appeared in Africa Is A Country, L.A. Review of Books, Libération, Public Books, Warscapes and scholarly journals such as The African American Review, Criticism, Atlantic Studies and more.|
Dialogues is a free colloquium series that highlights the work of diverse artists, scholars, and actCWU Student Ellie Cook A Finalist In Broadway Dance Competition
CWU student Ellie Cook (BFA Musical Theatre) is NOW IN THE TOP 9 of the Broadway World NexCWU Student Participates In National Competition At The Kennedy Center
Easton Benson, a Central Washington University junior (Theatre) is one of four 2019 nominees for the