October 27 4:30-6:00pm
Join Culturebot.com for a panel featuring a discussion on current socially engaged practices in the arts. Part of Undesirable Elements Festival: Real People. Real Lives. Real Theater.
Michael Rohd, Artistic Director, Sojourn Theatre
Shay Wafer, Executive Director, 651 Arts
Amy Smith, Founder and Co-Director, Headlong Dance Theater
Gonzalo Casals, Director of Education & Public Program, El Museo del Barrio
Ping Chong, Artistic Director, Ping Chong + Company
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Ellen Stewart Theatre
For background, culturehub recommends reading these two articles:
On Social Practice and Performance by Andy Horwitz
Translations: The Distinction Between Social and Civic Practice and Why I Find it Useful by Michael Rohd
More information about Undesirable Elements: Real People. Real Lives. Real Theater: pingchong.org/uefest.
Tickets for the performance can be reserved here:
El Museo del Barrio
Gonzalo Casals joined El Museo del Barrio in September 2006, where he currently serves as Director of Education & Public Programs. Casals developed exciting new programs, drawing in new audiences and cultivating new stakeholders for the institution. He has led the department in the development of a new approach to cultural production, in which the Museum’s resources are used as a tool to foster cultural empowerment and understanding. Casals truly believes that museum should be an active participant in civic life, while providing a space for its constituents to learn, reflect and impact the communities they belong to.
Ping Chong + Company
Ping Chong, Artistic Director of Ping Chong +Company, is an internationally acclaimed theatre director, playwright, video and installation artist, and a seminal figure in the interdisciplinary theater community. In 1992, Ping Chong created the first work in the Undesirable Elements series. Since then there have been nearly 50 productions in communities around the world. Among his many honors and awards, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two BESSIE awards and two OBIE awards, including one for sustained Achievement in 2000. In 2006, Ping Chong was named a USA Artist Fellow in recognition of his contributions to American arts and culture.
Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre, a thirteen year old ensemble-based company and a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy Exemplar Award. He devises and directs around the nation, received a 2010 Chicago Jeff Award for Best New Work, is on faculty at Northwestern University, and wrote the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. His work with Sojourn, other theaters and in non-arts sector settings focuses on social and civic practice projects through collaboratively designed arts-based engagement and participation strategies. He leads the recently formed Center for Performance and Civic Practice.
Headlong Dance Theater
Amy Smith is a founder and Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater, a Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company. Since 1993, Headlong has created collaborative dance theater works, and toured nationally. Recent projects include This Town is a Mystery, an ambitious project that spans the breadth of Philadelphia, bringing audiences to homes for performances by the members of the household, followed by a communal dinner; and Red Rovers, a performance and fake rover driver conference. In addition to her artistic work, Amy is Finance Director for Headlong, and often works with younger artists and companies in Philadelphia, helping them increase their financial literacy.
Shay Wafer, Executive Director 651 ARTS has demonstrated a stalwart dedication to the arts and community development, with a focus on African-American programming, community engagement and arts education. In 2007, Shay became the founding Vice President of Programs for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Prior to the August Wilson Center, she served for six years as the managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, California- her hometown. She also served as the Managing Director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company and LA Theatreworks. She was a founding partner of Marla Gibb’s Crossroads Arts Academy and Theatre in L.A., as well as the co-founder of Colored Girl Productions.
Culturebot.org is a website devoted to cultural critique and the contemporary performing arts. Through previews, interviews, points of view and reviews, Culturebot provides a platform for dialogue and conversation around the performing arts, fostering new voices in critical writing and supporting thoughtful investigation of artists working across disciplines.