IVP 2017 SEASON April 17 - May 18 at the Instituto Cervantes Chicago
CONTEMPORARY PLAYS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
International Voices Project (IVP) celebrates the voices of international playwrights from translation to production.
Country - Spain
Playwright - Guillem Clua
Translator - Marion Peter Holt
Director - Emilio Williams
Synopsis - “Promised Land” is a farce on the subject of climate change and the inefficiency of international organizations to stop its terrible consequences. The play is set in the future at the United Nations headquarters in New York City and tells the story of the president and the diplomatic delegation of a fictitious country, Malvati, that is about to sink under the sea. Comedy, melodrama, political intrigue and mythology intertwine to make Promised Land one of Guillem Clua’s more reality-aware plays but also one of his funniest. Although an array of characters appear in the play, the script requires only four actors. Clua has given the roles of the mythological Malvati, one self-satisfied UN official, and some twenty-five delegates from different countries to a single actor. It can only be called an actor’s tour-de-force.
Playwright Guillem Clua: Although Guillem Clua is one of the most promising voices in a new generation of Catalan playwrights born in the 1970s, he was still considered marginal in his native Barcelona until the critically-acclaimed production of Marburg at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya in 2010. The following year his taut and chilling chamber musical Killer, with a score by Xavier Mestres, became a resounding success in Barcelona and has since been staged abroad. In 2011, he completed Promised Land, in which he combines comedy, pungent political satire, and mythology to create a provocative play about the consequences of climate change. His innovative gay comedy Smiley: A Love Story opened in November 2012. It was a critical and popular success, achieving more than 200 performances and winning the Butaca Awards for Best Play, Best Lead Actor, and Best Production. TimeOut-Barcelona named it Best Play of the Year. Clua is best known abroad for his earlier disturbing political drama Skin in Flames, which has had five productions to date in the United States.
Translator Marion Peter Holt: Marion Peter Holt is a writer and a translator of contemporary Catalan and Spanish theatre. His translations of plays by Buero-Vallejo, López Rubio, Skármeta, and other dramatists have been staged in New York and London, and by regional and university theatres throughout the United States, including the Wilma Theatre, Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory, the Atlanta Alliance Theatre, and the San Diego Repertory. In June 2010, his translation of Sergi Belbel’s Blood had its Australian premiere at TheatreWorks-Melbourne. His most recent translations are Guillem Clua’s Marburg, which is featured in the spring 2011 issue of TheatreForum, Clua’s provocative farce on climate change, Promised Land, and Clua’s inventive gay love story, Smiley. He is an emeritus professor of Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center and has been a visiting lecturer at the Yale School of Drama and Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre.
Director Emilio Williams: In the last ten years, playwright/director Emilio Williams has written nine plays and received seven world premieres. Those seven plays have received a total of seventeen different productions in his native Spain, France, UK, Estonia, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, including performances in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and at the University of Tennessee. His work has received two international awards, including the IV Premio El Espectáculo Teatral selected among eighty plays from twelve countries for “Tables and Beds, an unromantic comedy” (IVP 2011). Two of his plays have been published in book format, with two additional publications planned for 2017. Chicago world-premieres include Smartphones, A Pocket-Size Farce at Trap Door Theater and Your Problem with Men at Teatro Luna. Directing credits include That’s Weird, Abuelita for Barrel of Monkeys. For more information visit www.emiliowilliams.com
Country - Ireland
Playwright - Jimmy McAleavey
Director - Warner Crocker
Synopsis - “Surely you don’t think you failed him?’ Who, me? God’s chosen one? The holy stepfather? Of course I failed him. He’s dead, isn’t he?” Mary has disappeared. And now Joe is being hunted down. He urgently needs to understand what has happened to his family if he is to save himself….
Joe married the quiet girl in the village even though she was carrying someone else’s child. He failed to deal with her delusions about the pregnancy, and to keep the boy from joining a cult. But what could he have done in a land occupied by foreign forces who were targeting their son? Jimmy McAleavey’s superb monologue is a love story about the temptation to believe…
Playwright Jimmy McAleavey: Jimmy McAleavey has written numerous plays for stage and radio, most recently Monsters, Dinosaurs, Ghosts for the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. He has won a number of awards, including The Stewart Parker Award and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Major Individual Artist Award. The Virgin Father was his first stage play, recently revived in a new version at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Jimmy also teaches creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University Belfast. He lives with his wife, Kathleen, and dogs, Nelly and Mandy, in rural Ireland.
Director Warner Crocker: Warner Crocker is happy to return as a director for this year’s International Voices Project. He most recently directed Eye See All for the 30th Annual Young Playwrights Festival at Pegasus Theatre Chicago and the world premiere of the musical The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes at The Mercury Theater. As a producer, director, and playwright, his work has been seen on numerous stages in the US and Russia. A few other directing credits include the world premiere of The Seven-Per-Cent-Solution for City Lit Theatre, Barnum for The Old Creamery Theatre, and Boeing Boeing for Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse. Following a 20 year career in Chicago Theatre, he served as Artistic Director of the Wayside Theatre in Middletown, VA, from 1999 to 2013. In Chicago, he was the founder of the Absolute Theatre Company and Plan B Productions, and served as Artistic Director for New Turners Theatre and Pegasus Players. He is a Jeff-cited director and designer, and also writes for musical theatre.
Mammoth (formally Jessika's Cub)
Country - Finland
Playwright - Leea Klemola
Director - Brehan Pautsch
Translator - Penny Black
Collaborator - Akvavit Theatre
Synopsis - Jessika’s Cub is a comedy about Jessika’s family, her role as a wife and a mother, and her panic attack-inducing longing for nature and need to get away from the technological world of today.
Jessika, her mother, her husband, and her mental health therapy dog stage a play to help Jessika confront her demons. The idea is to show Jessika’s now adult, absent son what she wishes his upbringing had been like via a video feed of the play. Instead of staying home in front of the computer, in Jessika’s scenario the whole family goes into the woods to get lost.
Right from the get-go, everything goes awry. Despite their best efforts, Jessika’s mother and husband don’t seem able to create a world without technology that would satisfy her. Through personal and marital crises they are, however, able to understand that Jessika doesn’t belong in the modern era but with mammoths and other wild beasts, and start again from there. Jessika’s Cub is about animal instincts and being untamed.
Playwright Leea Klemola: In her plays, Leea Klemola (born in 1965) breaks the bounds of theatre, creating forms of expression that are new, unabashed, and honest. Klemola’s works examine shame, the body and sexuality, as well as love and community. Klemola is also an award-winning actress, having won Finland's highest acting honor, the Jussi Award, for her leading role in the Finnish movie Neitoperho (1997). In 2005 she was recognized by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, which awarded her an Olavi Veistäjä Grant for her significant contributions to Finnish theatre as a director and playwright. She is a founding member of the Aurinko (Sun) Theatre in Helsinki, where many of her productions were first produced.
Director Breahan Pautsch: Breahan Pautsch is excited to be back working at the International Voices Project. She earned her BA in Theatre and English at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has been working in Chicago as an actor and director since 2003. She is co-Artistic Director with Akvavit Theatre, which specializes in producing translations of contemporary Nordic plays. As a director, she has worked with many companies in Chicago in addition to her work at Akvavit Theatre, including Wildclaw Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, Raven Theatre, Hobo Junction Productions, Full Voice Productions, and mudgeonsoul productions.
Country - Romania
Playwright - Matei Visniec
Translator - Nick Awde
Director - Kate Hendrickson
Collaborators - Trap Door Theatre
Synopsis - They're from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Irak, Lybia, Mali, Algeria, Morocco, Haiti and many other places where life is no longer compatible with the idea of a future. There are millions of them. How many million? No one knows. They're called "migrants" and they have only one thing on their minds: the desire to reach Europe.
Playwright Matei Visniec: Matéi Visniec was born in Romania in 1956. From an early age, he discovered literature as a space dedicated to freedom. He draws his strengths from Kafka, Dostoevsky, Poe, and Lautréamont. He loves the Surrealists, the Dadaists, absurd and grotesque theatre, surrealist poetry, fantastic literature, magical realism, and even the realist Anglo-Saxon theatre. He loves everything except Socialist Realism.
Visniec studied philosophy at Bucharest University and became an active member of the so-called Eighties Generation, which left a clear stamp on the Romanian literature. He believes in cultural resistance, and in literature’s capacity to demolish totalitarianism. Above all, Matéi Visniec believes that theatre and poetry can denounce manipulation through "great ideas," as well as brainwashing through ideology.
Before 1987, Matéi Visniec had made a name for himself in Romania by his clear, lucid, bitter poetry. Starting in 1977, he wrote drama; the plays were much circulated in the literary milieus but were barred from staging. In September 1987, Visniec left Romania for France, where he was granted political asylum. He started writing in French and began working for Radio France Internationale. At the present time, Visniec has had many of his works staged in France, and some twenty of his plays written in French are published (Actes Sud-Papier, L'Harmattan, Lansman, Non Lieu, Espaca d'un instant). His plays have been staged in more than 30 countries. In Romania, after the fall of Communism, Matéi Visniec has become one of the most frequently performed authors.
The work of Matéi Visniec has been represented in London by the performance The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, staged at the Young Vic Theatre in November 2000. The play received rave reviews in the British newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian. The Story of the Panda Bears told by a Saxophonist who has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival (August 2005). The production is by Rouge28 Theatre, London.
In the United States, the work of Matéi Visniec has been represented in New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Hollywood.
Translator Nick Awde: Nick Awde has written or edited books on non-European languages and cultures, including a Chechen Phrasebook, a Georgian Phrasebook, Women in Islam: An Anthology from the Qur'an and Hadiths, An Illustrated History of Islam, and an Arabic Dictionary. He has written three other dictionaries for Swahili, Serbo-Croatian, and Hausa, as well as 15-plus dictionary-phrasebooks. He has commissioned many authors, particularly from the Caucasus, then edited and designed their books for other publishers. He is also a long-standing consultant on the Caucasus, and, with Fred James Hill, runs the publishing companies Bennett & Bloom (academic) and Desert Hearts (general arts).
Director Kate Hendrickson: Kate Hendrickson’s particular focus at Trap Door Theatre is premiering new plays by radical American playwrights. Over the years, Kate has developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights. For Trap Door, Kate directed world premieres of ANGER/FLY by Ruth Margraff and Cookie Play, Chaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for Best New Work, After Dark Award for Best Original Music), by Ken Prestininzi. Chaste received “Best of 2010″ nods in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. ANGER/FLY was recognized in the Chicago Reader “Best Of” 2011-12 edition as part of a Trap Door season presenting the “best string of theatrical stunners.” Kate also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn’s Emma (After Dark Award for Best Ensemble), and 12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich. Additional work has included adapting the Mo Willems book I Am Invited to a Party! into a children’s production; directing a staged reading of Caridad Svich’s new play, Spark; the Midwest premiere of Ruth Margraff’s Three Graces at Pivot Arts’ Multi-Arts Festival; and Links Hall’s Physical Fest Chicago, where Kate and Margraff showed new work in progress. This new piece, inspired by the TV show Fantasy Island, will have its world premiere at Trap Door in 2016. Other upcoming projects include collaborating with company member Lyndsay Rose Kane on her one-woman show, CassAndra.
A graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, Kate has worked as an actor and director in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and abroad. She performed internationally at the Komedia Theatre in Brighton, England; the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; and with the Dutch performance collective Lupus Ludens. While in Los Angeles, Kate did script analysis and casting work for films and television, and played small roles in several films (credits: imdb.com/name/nm0376789/). Kate is also the founder and director of Summerdale Workshop. Located in Andersonville, Summerdale Workshop provides children with high-quality acting instruction in a playful yet focused setting.
Country - Serbia
Playwright - Dušan Kovačević
Translator - Dennis Barnett
Director - Liz Carlin-Metz
Collaborator -Consulate General of The Republic of Serbia in Chicago andVitalist Theatre
Synopsis - Kumovi is a domestic comedy that takes place on Milan and Ana's twenty-fifth anniversary. Milan has recently lost his job and his best friend, Boban, has disappeared, leaving Milan depressed and anxious. But Milan has made a new friend, a stray dog, who comes to his rescue when he is mugged in the park, and one of the policemen investigating the mugging happens to be a dog "specialist." Through the combined efforts of Milan, the policeman and the dog, both the mystery of the missing man and Milan's anxiety find a happy resolution.
Playwright Dušan Kovačević: Dušan Kovačević is a Serbian playwright and director best known for his theater plays and movie scripts. He also served as the ambassador of Serbia in Lisbon, Portugal.
Kovačević was born in Mrđenovac near Šabac, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia, graduated from a grammar school in Novi Sad, and received a Bachelor's degree in dramaturgy from the University of Belgrade in 1973. From 1973, he worked as a dramaturge at TV Beograd for five years. Since 1998, he has been the Artistic Director of Zvezdara teatar. In 2003, he directed his first movie, Profesionalac (The Professional).
Kovačević's prolific work is well known and popular in Serbia. His comedies have been translated into 17 languages, but his work didn't become available in English until the mid-1990s. One of his plays, Balkan Spy, was being rehearsed in Beijing at the time of Tiananmen Square protests, only to be cancelled by the authorities. He also adapted one of his plays for Kusturica's Underground, which won the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1995.
A declared royalist, Dušan Kovačević is a member of the Crown Council of Aleksandar Karađorđević. He is also a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Translator Dennis Barnett: After nearly 20 years as a professional theatre artist (director and actor), Dennis Barnett returned to school, the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism. His primary focus has been the theatre of the former Yugoslavia and the ways in which it has intersected with other socio-cultural formations. Since receiving that degree in 1997, he has taught in New England (Keene State College, Colby College) and is presently situated at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, where he has tenure. In 2008, "Theatre and Performance in Eastern Europe: Changing Scenes" was published by Scarecrow Press, co-edited by Arthur Skelton from the University of Edinburgh and Barnett. In 2016, he edited "DAH Theatre: A Sourcebook," published by Lexington Press and, for "Selected Serbian Plays," published by New Avenue Books, he translated three plays, edited two, and contributed the Afterword.
Director Liz Carlin-Metz: Liz Carlin-Metz is the Smith V. Brand Distinguished Professor of Theatre at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She holds an MFA from Temple University and is the founding artistic director of Vitalist Theatre in Chicago, IL, where she was cited for Excellence in Directing by Chicago’s After Dark Theatre Awards for her production of Mother Courage and Her Children. Liz directed and played Lyn in the 2016 IVP reading of Multitudes and also in the Rasaka Theatre, Vitalist Theatre, and IVP USA Premiere co-production of the play at Victory Gardens Theatre last October. She serves on the board for and is an associate artist (director) at The International Voices Project in Chicago. She is a contributing author to Embodied Consciousness: Performance Technologies (Palgrave: 2013) with a chapter entitled, “The Neuroscience of Performance.” She has presented on this topic (among numerous others) at The Association for Theatre in Higher Education and The Symposium on Performance Pedagogies at Bowling Green University, and presented a pedagogy workshop at the DAH Teatar International Theatre Conference and Festival in Belgrade, Serbia. She has worked regionally around the United States at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare Theatre, and multiple seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Currently she teaches acting, voice, directing, and dramatic literature at Knox College.
Country - Germany
Playwright - Franz Xaver Kroetz
Translator - Conor McPherson
Director - Andy Hager
Collaborators - TUTA Theatre
Synopsis - Parents-to-be Kurt and Martha just want the best for their baby. They're not afraid of hard work - the latest buggy doesn't come cheap. But when Kurt's boss offers him a chance to make some easy money with a mysterious side job, his rashness catches up with him. A fable about the moral and environmental cost of our materialistic nesting instincts, Conor McPherson's powerful new version of Franz Xaver Kroetz's Das Nest premiered at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, in 2016.
Playwright Franz Xaver Kroetz: Franz Xaver Kroetz was born in Munich, West Germany, in 1946, the son of a government tax official. Growing up in Bavaria, he attended Catholic school, and this early exposure left him cold to religion. Kroetz claims to have made his last Confession at the age of 14 and formally left the Church at 20.
An indifferent student, Kroetz was soon forced into a kind of tradeschool-business college devoted to turning out junior employees for government use. When the boy was 15, however, his father died, and Kroetz soon flunked out. He then was determined to become an actor, and after three years of conservatory training, earned his certificate of competency. During the Sixties, he managed to land minor roles in various small theatres, including the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder's antiteater, but was forced to support himself by working various odd jobs such as banana cutter, truck driver, and orderly in a mental hospital.
His first experiments in playwriting were influenced by the realistic, socially-critical plays of ordinary life written in the 1920s and 30s by Ödön von Horvath and Marieluise Fleisser, but Kroetz soon began to develop his own distinctive voice. On April 3, 1970, two one-act plays, Stubborn and Working at Home, premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele. They depicted onstage activities such as masturbation, an attempted abortion, and a child murder. The style, language, and subject matter of these plays aroused such violent audience reactions that the theatre had to be put under police protection. In spite of the scandal, however, the theatre journal Theater Heute proclaimed Working at Home the "most important new play of 1971." With the receipt of the Suhrkamp stipend for young dramatists and the premiere of these two pieces, Kroetz could finally afford to cast aside his role as a part time laborer and focus on his writing.
Over the next few years, Kroetz produced a whole string of short, largely one-act theatrical pieces. These plays are often composed of short scenes which begin and end abruptly and which feature a style that could best be described as "super-naturalism." Onstage, characters take showers, use the toilet, eat meals, wash dishes, shop, picnic, make love, work, and tell dirty jokes. Of this early work, his most successful play is probably Farmyard, which tells the story of a love affair between a retarded teenage girl and a farm worker four times her age.
The first production in the United States to receive widespread attention was the Joanne Akalaitas/Joan MacIntosh production of Request Concert at Women's Interart Theater in New York in 1981. Subsequent American productions have included stagings by Empty Space Theater in Seattle, Washington; L.A. Theatre Works; Manhattan Theater Club; and Mabou Mines at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theater.
By 1973, Kroetz had become Germany's most produced living playwright, but he was at something of a crossroads in his career. Eager for some new direction, he decided to join the German Communist Party. From 1972 until 1980 (when he quit the party) his work exhibits an uncomfortable tension between his own postmodern pessimism and the guidelines of the Party, which called for positive heroes. In spite of repeated attempts to conform, he was never able to achieve a synthesis between his own theatre aesthetics and Marxist ideology. Kroetz would later remark, "Positive plays, positive characters--that seems to me too simple."
Mensch Meier, a family drama written shortly before Kroetz broke with the Party, marks a return to his earlier techniques and ideology and proved to be the playwright's first widespread popular and financial success when it had its world premiere in four simultaneous productions in 1978. Mensch Meier tells the story of an insecure Munich assembly-line worker, his housebound wife, and their teenage son, a silent observer. The play exhibits many of the features of the early super realist plays including shocking stage imagery such as intercourse, masturbation, nudity, and violence. Another popular play, Through the Leaves, portrays the relationship between a female butcher and her lover.
In 1988, Kroetz was cast as corrupt gossip columnist Baby Schimmerlos in the popular television mini-series, Kir Royale. This Dynasty-like romp through contemporary Munich cafe society escalated Kroetz from the status of literary celebrity to media superstar. His life, opinions, and romantic liaisons are now grist for tabloid cover stories.
Translator Conor McPherson: Conor McPherson is a playwright and screenwriter who was named by The New York Times as ‘the finest playwright of his generation.' Conor won the George Devine Award in 1997 with his play St Nicholas, and went on to win an Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999 with his follow-up, The Weir. In 2006, he received a Tony Award nomination for Shining City and an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play for The Seafarer. In 2011, he wrote and directed The Veil for the National Theatre and in 2012 he adapted Strindberg's The Dance of Death for the Donmar Trafalgar Season. The Night Alive premièred at the Donmar in June 2013 and transferred to the Atlantic Theater in New York in November 2013. Conor also writes for film and in 2008 he began production on The Eclipse, which marked his debut as a screen director. The Eclipse was adapted by Conor from a ghost story by Billy Roche and stars Aidan Quinn and Ciaran Hinds. He also developed Strangers for Number 9 Films based on the novel by Taichi Yamada.
Conor is currently working on the screenplay Double Cross for Paul Greengrass. His original television drama Paula, developed with Cuba Pictures and BBC NI for BBC2, begins shooting in Belfast in October 2016. The Girl from the North Country, with music from Bob Dylan, will have its world premiere at the Old Vic theatre in July 2017.
Director Andy Hager: Andy Hager has been working in Chicago theater for almost 20 years, primarily as an actor. He has appeared on dozens of off-loop stages and is a recipient of an After Dark Award for Performance. Directing credits include the Jeff-Recommended production of Through the Leaves at the Side Project, The Silence of the Sea for TUTA Theatre Company’s Lab Series, and unmarried woman for last year's IVP. He has been a TUTA company member since 2006.
Country - India
Author - Rohinton Mistry
Adaptors - Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith
Director - Kamal Hans
Collaborators - Rasaka Theatre
Synopsis - With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recalls the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.
The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.
As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
Author Rohinton Mistry: Rohinton Mistry is considered to be one of the foremost authors of Indian heritage writing in English. Residing in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Mistry belongs to the Parsi Zoroastrian religious minority. Mistry’s first novel, Such a Long Journey (1991), brought him national and international recognition. Mistry’s subsequent novels have achieved the same level of recognition as his first. His second novel, A Fine Balance (1995), concerns four people from Bombay who struggle with family and work against the backdrop of the political unrest in India during the mid-1970s. The book won Canada’s Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. It was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Booker Prize. Mistry won the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2012.
Adaptor Sudha Bhuchar: Sudha is an actor/playwright and a pioneering artistic leader. She is co-founder of Tamasha theatre company where she served as co-artistic director for 26 years. She has written extensively for Tamasha and her landmark plays include Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral (winner of Barclays/TMA Best Musical) an adaptation of the booker shortlisted A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry, and Strictly Dandia (all with Kristine Landon-Smith). Her solo plays include The House of Bilquis bibi (Lorca’s The House of Bernada Alba transposed to contemporary Pakistan) and most recently the critically acclaimed My Name is… which Sudha also adapted for Radio 4 where it was ‘pick of the week.’
Sudha’s extensive acting career includes Eastenders, Doctors and Casualty for the BBC, Stella for Sky tv, and most recently she played Sonia Rahman in Coronation Street. Theatre credits include Khandan by Gurpreet Bhatti and Sudha is a regular contributor on Radio 4 where she is also currently under commission.
Sudha will make her first Disney appearance in the sequel of Mary Poppins in Dec 2018 and she has recently set up a new company, Bhuchar Boulevard, for her freelance slate of work. She is producing a timely revival of her acclaimed play Child of the Divide (Best kids show 2006-Time out) for a national tour this Autumn; commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.
Adaptor Kristine Landon-Smith: Kristine Landon-Smith is a theatre practitioner, cultural entrepreneur, and educator. She has recently returned to the UK after completing a three year posting as Senior Lecturer in Acting at The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Australia. She joined the institution in 2013 after more than 22 years as a Founder member and Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre, one of Britain's leading middle scale touring companies specializing in artist training, new writing, and intracultural theatre practice. Prior to founding Tamasha, Kristine was a Senior Producer for BBC Radio Drama, and a freelance director and teacher. She currently freelances as a teacher and director in the UK and Australia.
Country - Australia
Playwright - Michele Lee
Director - Bec Willett
Synopsis - Rice by Michele Lee explores the role of two Australian women of Asian heritage and their roles in the business of global food production. Nisha, a late 20s second generation Australian Indian is the Executive Officer of Golden Fields, Australia’s biggest rice company. Yvette, an older Chinese woman and cleaner at the same office is trying to connect with her daughter whose experience growing up in Australia is far removed from her own. The relationship that forms between these women is one that reveals the complexity of the Australian identity.
Playwright Michele Lee: Michele Lee is an Asian-Australian playwright and theatre-maker working across stage and audio. Her works are about female identity, otherness, intimacy, and chaotic worlds, usually through a non-white perspective. She has been commissioned by Radio National, Next Wave Festival, Darwin Festival, Platform Youth Theatre, St Martins Youth Arts Centre, Arts House, Griffin Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, and Malthouse Theatre, as well as being in development programs or opportunities with many theatre organizations.
Michele’s digital theatre work, The Naked Self, was commissioned by Arts House and was presented in the 2016 Festival of Live Arts. Michele’s short play, Off Centre, was commissioned by Sydney Theatre Company and presented in 2016 as part of their ‘Power plays’ season. In 2017, she is working on a new plays Security, with support from Footscray Community Arts Centre, and Single ladies, with support from Creative Yarra.
She is the 2015 recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize for her new play Going Down. She is the winner of the 2016-17 Queensland Premiers’ Drama Award for her play Rice, which will be presented by Queensland Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre, and Hothouse Theatre in 2017.
She is the 2017 co-writer-in-residence at Union House Theatre. She is a 2016 Co.Lab participant through the Malthouse Theatre and in 2016 was in residence at The Playwrights’ Centre, USA, and was the early career fellow in the Wrice residency in China and Melbourne.
Her radio play See how the leaf people run won an AWGIE in 2013. Michele’s audio theatre work Talon Salon was presented in Next Wave Festival 2012 and re-mounted by invitation for You Are Here Festival 2013 and Darwin Festival 2013.
Michele’s memoir, Banana Girl, was published by Transit Lounge in 2013.
Director Bec Willett: Bec Willett is an Australian, Chicago-based director, designer, educator, and writer. She has directed for Chicago Dramatists, Dandelion Theatre, Idle Muse, Prologue Theatre, Something Marvellous, Three Cat Productions, and Waltzing Mechanics. Bec reviews with Perform.ink and is proud to serve as a Board Member with No Stakes Theater Project. To find out more about her work and upcoming projects, please visit becwillett.com.
Country - Wales
Playwright - Kaite O'Reilly
Director - John Green
Collaborator - Columbia College Chicago
Synopsis - Kaite O'Reilly's The 9 Fridaswas commissioned by Sherman Cymru Theatre (Wales, UK), and is exclusively licensed to Taipei Arts Festival to conduct the premiere outside the UK. Directed by internationally known director/actor-trainer, Phillip Zarrilli, co-produced by Mobius Strip Theatre and Hong Kong Repertory Theater, The 9 Fridas challenges conventional ways of looking at the world famous female Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo--an everywoman whose life has great resonance for today. The 9 Fridasexplores disability, love, creativity, and politics. It is a salute to the artist as well as to the tenacity and passion in life.
Playwright Kaite O'Reilly: Kaite O'Reilly has won various awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (Bush Theatre, London), Manchester Evening News Best Play of 2004 for Perfect (Contact Theatre), and was one of the winners of the 2009 International Susan Smith Blackburn Award for The Almond and the Seahorse (Sherman Cymru). Her new version of Aeschylus's Persians was directed in August 2010 by Mike Pearson, site-specifically on Ministry of Defence land in Wales, part of the inaugural year of National Theatre Wales, and won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Works in Poetry. She works extensively within disability arts and culture, and wrote the ground breaking Peeling for Graeae Theatre in 2002 (two national and European tours, British Council Best of British showcase at Edinburgh Fringe 2003). She has recently received an Unlimited Commission, part of the Cultural Olympiad for the London Olympics, to create The 'D' Monologues, which will be produced in 2012 by National Theatre Wales as well as In Water I'm Weightless, before transferring to London as part of the official celebrations for the Olympic Games. Other productions in 2012 include The Echo Chamber with The Llanarth Group (Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff) and Leaner, Faster, Stronger, a Cultural Olympiad Commission with Chol/Sheffield Theatres (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, then on tour). She is a Fellow of International Research Centre "Interweaving Performance Cultures," Freie Universitat, Berlin.
In London, she has had plays on at the Bush, Royal Court Upstairs, Soho Theatre, and Arcola; and at Contact, Manchester, Birmingham Rep, Manchester Royal Exchange, and the Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Festival. Her work has been produced in Ireland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany (in repertoire at the Maxim Gorki Theatre for two years), Austria, Poland (the Grotowski Centre), Spain, Croatia, and Australia. She has had seven plays produced by BBC Radio 3 and 4 and wrote and directed a Screen Gem for Channel 4/Sgrin/British Screen, which has appeared in film festivals worldwide. Her plays are published by faber&faber, Aurora Metro and Oberon books.
Her prose has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She was a contributor to the 1994 Mind/Allen award winning anthology Mustn't Grumble (Women's Press) and was runner-up in the 1996 Stand International Short Story Competition with Mouth. The Meat Man was one of the winners of the Image Irish Short Story Writers of the Year Awards. She is currently writing her first novel.
Kaite works internationally as a dramaturg, mentor and tutor, working with theatre companies and educational institutes to develop emerging and established artists' performance work. Companies include Breaking Cycles, Soho Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Graeae, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Hall for Cornwall, Contact Theatre, DaDa (Disability Arts and Deaf Arts), amongst others.
She has been writer-in-residence at Essex University, UCE, and visiting playwright at Korean National University of the Arts. Between 2003-06 she was AHRC Creative Fellow at Exeter University, her research through practice being 'Alternative Dramaturgies informed by a d/Deaf and Disability Perspective.' She has supervised writing for performance to postgraduate level at a number of Universities and is currently Honorary Fellow at Exeter University.
Director John Green: John Green is a Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches Stage Directing and is the Director of the Graduate program in European Devised Performance. He previously served as Department Chair and Interim Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. He was born and educated in England, where he received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Plymouth. As a director, he has over 100 productions to his credit, which have been staged internationally in the UK, including four productions at the Edinburgh International Festival, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Russia, and Australia. In the United States, he has had a long association as guest director at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and most recently has directed staged readings of new works in translation for Chicago’s International Voices Project, and served as a guest director at Flinders University in South Australia.
John has received a number of “best director” awards at festivals including, The London Student Drama Festival, The National Student Drama Festival of Great Britain, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Country - Sweden
Playwright - Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translator - Rachel Willson-Broyles
Director - Anna C. Bahow
Synopsis - How much do you earn? Who do you serve? In Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s recent play ≈ [Almost Equal To] we encounter a number of people who are colliding with the economy surrounding them.
Martina dreams about growing her way out of the contemporary economic system; Mani wants to crush it. Andrei is looking for a job; Freja is seeking revenge. They all invest money in postage and pine nuts, fake bubbles and perfumes, strollers and utopias. Everyone seems invaded by numbers. How are we, our eyes, our words, our bodies affected by the economic system that surrounds us?
≈ [Almost Equal To] is a funny and brutal play that tries (and fails?) to give the audience a maximized entertainment value for every dollar invested. Premiered October 23, 2014 at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and was performed until spring 2016.
Playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri: Jonas Hassen Khemiri, born in Sweden in 1978, is the author of four novels and six plays. His first novel, One Eye Red, received the Borås Tidning award for best literary debut. His second novel, Montecore, (published by Knopf in 2011) won several literary awards including the Swedish Radio Award for best novel of the year. His most recent novel, All I Don’t Remember, was awarded the August Prize, which is Sweden’s most important national literary award. Khemiri’s work has been translated into more than fifteen languages and his plays have been performed by over 100 international companies. In 2011, INVASION! received its US premiere in New York and Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for playwriting.
Translaor Rachel Willson-Broyles: Rachel Willson-Broyles is a freelance translator specializing in literature. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Her dissertation is titled Cultural Untranslatability in Swedish-English Literary Translation in the Age of the Internet. Rachel received her BA in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2002 and her MA in Scandinavian Studies from UW-Madison in 2007.
Director Anna C. Bahow: Anna Bahow is committed to the development of new work and a diversity of voices. She is an Associate Artist with The International Voices Project and Chicago Dramatists, she served as the 2011-2012 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at the Goodman Theatre, and she received an After Dark Award (Direction) and two JEFF Awards (New Work; Use of Multi-Media). Her work has appeared on many “best of the year” lists, including her 2013 production of INVASION! at Silk Road Rising. Find out more about her work at AnnaBahow.com.
Where is Instituto Cervantes of Chicago
The Instituto Cervantes of Chicago is located downtown at 31 W. Ohio St. between State & Dearborn Streets.
How to get there
Bus: 147, 146, 145, 151, 135, 136, 22, 36
Train: CTA Red Line Grand station
Patrons of the Instituto Cervantes may park for up to 12 hours in the parking garage located within the Grand Plaza building. There is a garage entrance directly adjacent to the Instituto Cervantes lobby on Ohio St., as well as block south on Grand Ave. $12 with validation from the center.
In addition to the parking in the building, the garage directly across the street from the center offers a rate of $10 for up to 16 hours. There are garage entrances on Ontario St. and Ohio St., between State and Dearborn. Go to www.ooparking.com for more details.
Please Note: For both of these parking options, you will need to request a validation ticket at the Instituto. Please specify which garage you are parked in when requesting the validation.
The Instituto Cervantes is not responsible for lost or damaged tickets or duration of special rates.
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