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Sundance Institute's 2020 Theatre Lab Fellows

29/05/2020

15 Fellows & 7 Artists in Virtual Residence Develop New Work for the Stage

New York, NY -- Eight genre- and format-spanning pieces are among the works being developed by a diverse array of theatremakers at the 2020 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, reimagined and expressed digitally this year on Sundance Co//ab. The Lab is the centerpiece of the Institute's year-round work with the theatre community, and offers theatre makers from the US and Arab region/diaspora the opportunity to advance their work with the benefit of experienced dramaturgs and advisors, and within the context of an intimate artistic group centered around the values of dramaturgy, community and cultural exchange.

This year's cohort was selected by the Theatre Program's interim Director, Christopher Hibma, with support of a five-member curatorial team including Jesse Cameron Alick (U.S.A), Lisa Peterson (U.S.A), Hana Sharif (U.S.A), Junaid Sarieddeen (Lebanon) and Meiyin Wang (U.S.A) along with Theatre Program staff. For the 2020 Lab, Hibma will collaborate with Guest Artistic Director Leigh Silverman. Jesse Cameron Alick (U.S.A.), Abdullah Al-Kafri (Syria/Lebanon), Janice Paran (U.S.A.) and Leyla Rabih (Syria/France) join as dramaturgs, and additional Lab participants, including the acting company and creative advisors will be announced at a later date.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is supported by an endowment from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with generous additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Perry and Martin Granoff, Luma Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, John and Marcia Price Family Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Inc., The Carrie Louise Hamilton Foundation, and Francena T. Harrison Foundation.

The Fellows and projects selected for the 2020 Theatre Lab are:

Cairo Critical Cabaret (Egypt)

Conceived by Adham Hafez

Project by HaRaKa Platform: Mona Gamil, Lamia Gouda, Adam Kucharski

Cairo Critical Cabaret uses performance, song and choreography to stage political chronicles, collective conviviality, and politics of intimacy during crisis by looking at the history of Egyptian cabaret at the turn of the 20th century and its connections to Berlin, Paris and New York cabaret scenes. Through archival research, reenactments, guest experts, glitter, feather and leather, the project exists within the tension of experimental contemporary performance work and wanton entertainment.

Adham Hafez works with choreography, sound, text and performance creating work for theatres, galleries, screens and in print. For over fifteen years he has been working with HaRaKa Platform, addressing issues such as climate change, postcolonial theory, gender and performance, and radical urban change.

Evidence of Things Not Seen (Lebanon)

By Stephanie Kayal

Music by Abed Kobeissy

Phantom Limb Syndrome is a condition in which a person experiences sensations, whether painful or otherwise, in a limb that does not exist; a false consolation that an amputated limb is still attached. Evidence of Things Not Seen is a dance performance about home, and the sensation of its presence, and its loss. A performance gazing at the body, be it static or in movement, as the last remaining refuge of intimacy, and safety.

Stephanie Kayal is a dancer, actress, and physical movement instructor based in Beirut. Since 2015, she has been collaborating with different theater companies both nationally and internationally. In February 2020, she received a grant from Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy to produce her debut dance project Evidence of Things Not Seen which was previously presented as a work in progress at Bipod Festival in Beirut and at Wonder-Women Festival at Spam! venue in Italy.

Abed Kobeissy is an electro-acoustic musician based in Beirut. He's composed music for solo works, and soundtracks for films, theater, and contemporary dance, and co-founded the duo Two or The Dragon with percussionist Ali Hout. He received 2 Masters Degrees in semiotics of Arabic music, and taught as a lecturer at the Lebanese American University. His work tackles the family-related, intimate, and the political-historical, with a focus on the urban aspect as the main generator of language.

The Gift (U.S.A.)

Co-created by Janani Balasubramanian and Dr. Natalie Gosnell

Produced by Andrew Kircher, Production Dramaturg

Composed by Tina-Hana Miller

Illustrated by Amy Myers

The universe is a place of many stories. To you, a library; to me, a galaxy.' The Gift is an immersive new media performance experience that merges the private pleasures of reading and listening with shared moments of generosity to explore companionship, care, life, death, renewal, loss, and what we can learn by observing the stars. This accessible theatrical installation playfully animates the research of observational astrophysicist Dr. Natalie Gosnell, and re-inscribes outer space as feminist space. The project team will be investigating strategies (digital and live) for sharing this piece across various modes of social distance--so the storytelling design can be resilient and responsive in meeting the audiences changing access needs.

Janani Balasubramanian is an artist and creative researcher whose practice centers deep collaborations with astrophysicists, formal experimentation, accessibility, and play. Balasubramanian is currently a 2020 Hemispheric Institute fellow at NYU; a 2019-2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow; artist-in-residence in the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History; a 2020 visiting artist at Stanford University; a 2020 Pioneer Works Narrative Arts Fellow; and a member of the Guild of Future Architects.

Dr. Natalie Gosnell is an observational astrophysicist and Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College. Dr. Gosnell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from th
LINK: http://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/2020-theatre-lab-fellows...
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