On Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4, at 9:30PM both nights, at PianoFight in San Francisco, Radix Troupe will present an evening of new work. We'll premiere Zoey and the Wind-Up Boy, a new short film I co-wrote with Marica Petrey, and also re-mount Zoey in the Snow, the short play I wrote that inspired the film. We'll cap the evening off with some music and revelry - a new collaboration with the band Girl Swallows Nightingale. For more details, visit the Radix website.
On December 3, 2016, I will share my work on the Tanzanian playwright Ebrahim Hussein at the African Studies Association conference in Washington, D.C on a panel with several distinguished colleagues. My paper is entitled "The Ghost In The Gun Is The Bullet: Ebrahim Hussein, Julius Nyerere and the (Anti-)Politics of the Uncanny." For more details, visit the ASA website.
I am very pleased to have been selected to deliver a plenary paper at the 2016 American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conference in Minneapolis on Saturday, November 5. My talk is entitled "Going Ape: Simian Feminism and Transspecies Drag." In it I explore the politics of ape impersonation in the work of performance artists Coco Fusco and Kathryn Hunter. For more details, see the ASTR website.
My short play "The Lunatics" will be produced as part of the Best of PlayGround 20 Festival at the Thick House in San Francisco in June. I couldn't be happier to be working with Jim Kleinmann and the rest of the PlayGround family again. For more information and tickets, see the PlayGround website.
My short play "The Lunatics" - a slightly alternative look at the Apollo 11 moon landing - will be given a staged reading, directed by Jim Kleinmann, as part of Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Rep on MLK Day. For more details, visit the PlayGround website.
This year's Modern Language Association Convention - in Austin, TX - will feature a series of exciting conversations on theater and performance organized by Jody Enders and Nadia Ellis. I will be sharing my paper "Routes of Insurgency: Protest and Place-Making in (Post)Colonial Kenya," which explores the legacy of place-based forms of theatrical (and theatricalized) protest in Eastern Africa. To learn more, visit the MLA Convention's website.
On December 13th at 6PM, in Barrydale, South Africa, artists from the world-renowned Handspring Puppet Company and their community partners will stage Die Name Wat Ons Gee, this year's instantiation of the Barrydale Puppet Parade. I am honored to be part of the directing team.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share some of my research on blackness and animality at the Humanism and its Prefixes conference at U.C. Berkeley on October 3-4. For more information, please see the conference website. Please do come if you can.
On September 24th at 5:30PM in 340 Moffitt, I'll kick off the Program in Critical Theory's "Animal Futures" Working Group, which I've convened for the 2015-16 academic year, with my paper on "New Naturalisms." This paper explores the aesthetics and politics of wildlife art in the Anthropocene. For more information about my paper, and about the series as a whole, see this news item on the Critical Theory website.
I'm thrilled to be directing a reading of Philip Kan Gotanda's Love in American Times on Wednesday, September 16th at 4PM in Durham Studio Theater at U.C. Berkeley. The reading - which will kick off the Contemporary Drama Working Group's 2015-2016 New Play Reading Series - will feature Berkeley undergraduates with, perhaps, a special guest or two. For more details, visit the CDWG website.
I will be presenting a paper based on my research on Ebrahim Hussein and his 1969 play Kinjeketile at the 2015 Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference in Montreal. My panel is being organized by the Performance Studies Focus Group and is entitled "Remembering, Differently, Towards a Liveable Present." My paper explores the politics of the 1905-7 Maji Maji War as reimagined by Hussein in contradistinction with the nationalist project of Julius Nyerere. Check back soon for more details.
My new play, The Bonapartes, directed by the amazing Whitney Mosery and featuring Lindsay Rico, Becca Foresman and Sean Patrick Murtagh, is running for one night only as part of Ars Nova's ANT Fest. The Bonapartes is based on the incredible (and true) life story of the orangutan that Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine raised as a human child. June 13th at 7PM in New York City. For more information about the play, visit the ANT Fest website. Buy tickets here. Image courtesy of the artist, the incredible Ming Doyle.
On Wednesday, May 6, at 4PM in Zellerbach Room 7 on the U.C. Berkeley campus, the Contemporary Drama Working Group's Miyoko Conley and Martha Herrera-Lasso will direct an afternoon of readings of short plays by Takeo Rivera and myself. The catch? They've all, at one point or another, been passed over for production. For more information, see the CDWG website. Free and open to the public.
On Thursday, April 23, in honor of Earth Week, the Contemporary Drama Working Group will present the Planet Earth New Play Festival at U.C. Berkeley. I will direct some of the pieces that will be featured in a double header of new-play presentations. One session will go from 4 to 6PM and the second from 8 to 10:30PM, in Durham Studio Theater. More details to follow!
On Sunday, March 8, from 11AM until 1PM, Gowri Vijayakumar and I will lead a workshop in Zellerbach 170 on the U.C. Berkeley campus on a text that we assembled out of coroner's reports, courtroom testimony and newspaper articles pertaining to the deaths of black people - including Emmett Till, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin - at the hands of the police or armed vigilantes. How do we imagine movement and performance out of this horrific archive? For more details, see here.
I am very happy to announce that I will be directing the first play in the CDWG New Play Reading Series Spring 2015 season: You Mean To Do Me Harm, by Christopher Chen. It's a whip-smart piece about (mis)communication and relationships and it's well worth your time. Wednesday, February 11 at 4PM in Durham Studio Theater. Free and open to all. For more, visit the CDWG website.
On December 8th, at 11AM, I will be sharing my dissertation research as part of the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies' Fifth-Year Talk series. I will be speaking about the research I've conducted at the Nairobi National Museum and the performative role the Museum played in Kenya's transition from colonialism to its various post-s. The lecture will take place in the seminar room in Dwinelle Annex.
I am very pleased to get to direct the Contemporary Drama Working Group's reading of my friend Martha Herrera-Lasso's extraordinary play Frente al Mar on December 3rd. For more details about the play and the others we'll be reading as part of the New Play Reading Series, see the CDWG website.
I am honored to have been selected to share my research on a plenary panel at this year's American Society for Theatre Research conference in Baltimore. My panel is entitled "Non-Humans and Political Formations" and I will be presenting on my dissertation research in East Africa. The working title of my paper is "Remains of the Wild: Pre- and Non-Human Figures of the (Post-)Colonial in the Nairobi National Museum." See the conference website for more details.
I am directing Eugene Ionesco's absurdist classic Rhinoceros as part of the U.C. Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies' 2014-2015 season. The production will feature a company of extraordinarily talented undergraduates and will hopefully upend some of our more staid assumptions about the play. November 14-23 in Durham Studio Theater. Read more about the production and buy tickets here.
On November 14th at 3PM in Dwinelle 370 (on the U.C. Berkeley campus), I will be joined by a number of distinguished colleagues for a roundtable discussion of the role of animals and animality in contemporary art-making and humanities scholarship. The title of the event is "Acting the Goat: Critical Perspectives on Art and Animality" and it is free and open to the public. Afterwards, why not attend the opening night of Rhinoceros in Durham Studio Theater?
Martha Herrera-Lasso and Églantine Colon, inspired by Gayatri Spivak's provocative idea that translation is the most intimate form of reading, have organized a discussion of Ionesco's Rhinoceros on the page, on the stage and in the classroom. I'm thrilled to join this group of scholars and artists for what I'm sure will be a fascinating conversation. The symposium will take place in Dwinelle 370 on November 7th. For more details, see here.
Dr. Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and a number of her extraordinary colleagues at the University of Colorado, Boulder will be hosting a roundtable discussion on At Buffalo and "performing the archive" at the Black Theatre Network's annual conference in New York in August. It should be a fascinating event.
AT BUFFALO is coming to the East Coast for a public reading as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Showtimes are Thursday, 7/17 at 4PM; Thursday, 7/17 at 8PM; and Sunday, 7/20 at 7PM. Directed by David Mendizábal and produced by Deadria Harrington. Admission is free. For more info, see: nymf.org/atbuffalo or http://www.atbuffalomusical.com.
On Wednesday, April 16th, at noon, I'll be joining one of my fellow recipients of the Rocca Dissertation Fellowship in presenting my work at the Center for African Studies at U.C. Berkeley. The subject of my presentation is "Animals Foreign and Domestic: Performing Non-Human Others in Colonial Kenya." More details here.
On April 9th, at 1:30PM, I will be presenting a paper - "Ghosts in Revolutionary Time: Ebrahim Hussein, Julius Nyerere and the (Anti-)Politics of the Uncanny" - at the African Literature Association's 2014 conference in Johannesburg. My panel is called "Ghosts, Zombies and the Uncanny," which is beyond fantastic.
On March 26th at 2PM, I'll be lecturing on "The Politics of Animality in Kenyan Cultural Production, 1933-1991" at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi, where I am an affiliated researcher.
AT BUFFALO - the new musical that I'm developing with Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and Khalil Sullivan - will receive its workshop premiere in the ATLAS Black Box space at the University of Colorado, Boulder, on December 6th and 7th at 7:30PM. Featuring music by the one and only Mad Noise.
For more information, visit: http://theatredance.colorado.edu/events/event/at-buffalo-the-musical/