I never thought I would be able to make a life in the arts feasible until I moved to New York and met inspiring people who had figured out how to make that life a reality. Between college and graduate school, I assisted Anna Deavere Smith and was a backup dancer for performance artist John Fleck. Since then, I’ve worked with dozens of amazing directors and companies and performed at venues all over the world. I’ve also appeared in photos, films, and installations by Carrie Mae Weems, Pedro Reyes, Thomas Dozol, John Malpede, Sharon Hayes, Andrea Geyer, David Michalek, Candice Breitz, and Jennifer Reeves; and been a fellow at Yaddo and Blue Mountain Center. Below are clips and photos from shows I’ve done with The Wooster Group, The Builders Association, Mike Iveson, Jr., and Jay Scheib. Recently, I have also been collaborating with Sibyl Kempson, Brooke O’Harra, and Andrew Ondrejcak. In April 2015, Andrew and I were named as award recipients for ELIJAH GREEN by the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In March 2016, ELIJAH GREEN had a completely sold-out run during its world premiere at The Kitchen NYC and received a 4-star review and critic’s pick from Helen Shaw.
I worked with The Wooster Group on the development and production of House/Lights based on Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights and the B-movie classic, Olga’s House of Shame. That show went on to tour 16 cities around the world and received an Obie Award for Best Production. I’ve also produced a benefit for The Wooster Group and now serve on its board.
I worked with Marianne Weems and her company The Builders Association on Alladeen and Super Vision, both of which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and toured to a combined total of 42 cities. Alladeen received an Obie Award for Outstanding Production, and I was nominated by the Evening Standard UK for Best Actress in a Visiting Production for my performance.
In 2014, I started working with Mike Iveson on his debut as a playwright, Sorry Robot. We developed the show at the Orchard Project residency and premiered it at PS122’s COIL Festival in January 2015. I played four roles, and in one scene alternated between three characters–as you’ll see in the clip. Ben Brantley gave the show a wonderful review in the New York Times.
I was in all three parts of the Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems trilogy as well as The Making of Americans at the Walker Art Center and This Place is a Desert at the Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival. Untitled Mars (this title may change) premiered at PS 122 in New York and toured to the Hungarian National Theater in Budapest, Hungary; it received an Obie Award for Best Scenic Design. Bellona, Destroyer of Cities premiered at The Kitchen in New York and toured to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and Maison des Arts in Creteil, France. World of Wires also premiered at The Kitchen in New York and toured to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, KRT Festival in Krakow, Poland, and three cities in France (Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, Maison des Arts in Creteil, and Le Manege in Maubeuge); it received an Obie Award for Best Direction. In addition to acting in Bellona and World of Wires, I produced these two shows.
I love doing readings, labs, and new play development. Below are some of the places where I have worked.
At Theatre Communications Group’s annual conference in Los Angeles, CA, I was honored to speak on a panel, “What if the future of theatre were in the hands of artists today?”. You can view the video here.
Please also check out MADE HERE, a documentary series I produced for HERE with lead support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Director Chiara Clemente and I interviewed nearly 100 performing artists throughout the five boroughs of New York City about their lives and work.
Photos by Paula Court, Georgia Nerheim, Maria Baranova