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March 2

Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP)


Segal Theatre + Elebash Recital Hall

All Day Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center announces its third annual Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP). The film festival will take place all day on Thursday, March 2, Friday, March 3, and Monday, March 6 at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, located at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance is an annual event showcasing films drawn from the world of theatre and performance. The festival presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals.

The program includes a roster of more than 40 features, shorts, documentaries, advance screenings, and meet-the-artist Q&A sessions.

The FTP 2017 is co-curated by Festival Founder Frank Hentschker (Executive Director and Director of Programming at MESTC), Antje Oegel (AO International), and Nina Segal (Playwright and Producer).

Festival Founding Producer: Joy Sarah Arab
Festival Dramaturg: Soriya K. Chum
Assistant to Curators: Jenny Tibbels

Film Festival Schedule At A Glance

Thursday, March 2

[Loop] Antonio Rezza – Flavia MastrellaMilano, Via Padova Italy | 70 Minutes
11:00am Georg Genoux, Liza Smith & Natal’ya VorozhbytMy Nikolaevka Ukraine | 95 minutes
12:30pm Janez JanšaMy Name is Janez Janša Slovenia | 68 minutes
12:40pm Michael LessacA Snake Gives Birth to a Snake [Global Arts Corps] USA/South Africa | 100 minutes
1:45pm András SalamonNational Documentary [National Theatre of Hungary] Hungary | 90 minutes
2:30pm Guy DavidiMixed Feelings Israel | 77 minutes
3:20pm Rodrigo Abreu & Mariana BleyInflamável Brazil | 10 minutes
3:30pm Tadeu Jungle – EVOÉ – Portrait of an Anthropophagus Brazil | 90 minutes
3:40pm Milo RauThe Moscow Trials Germany | 90 minutes
5:05pm Sahar AssafAl Khandaq Lebanon | 65 minutes
5:15pm René PolleschBad Decisions Germany | 95 minutes
6:15pm Marielle NitoslawskaBreaking the Frame Canada| 100 minutes
7:15pm 3-Legged Dog Media and Theater GroupHuang Yi & Kuka New York/Taiwan | 30 minutes [excerpt]
8:00pm Rimini ProtokollHome Visit Europe + Remote X Germany | 100 minutes
8:15pm Koji FukadaSayonara Japan | 102 minutes

Friday, March 3

[Loop] Chloé Déchery & Chris EleyWhat Do You See When You Turn Out The Light? France | 18 Minutes
12:30pm Jan Lauwers & NeedcompanyGoldfish Game Belgium | 105 minutes
1:00pm Deidre Schoo & Michael Beach NicholsFlex is Kings USA| 83 minutes
2:30pm Frédéric NauczycielHouse of HMU Series France| 22 minutes
2:30pm Popo FanThe VaChina Monologues China | 28 minutes
3:00pm Wim Vandekeybus Blush [Ultima Vez] Belgium | 52 minutes
3:00pm Nadia Ranocchi & David ZamagniAll Inclusive vs. Joule Italy | 65 minutes + 22 minutes
4:00pm Aneta PanekAlchemy of Punk Germany | 15 minutes
4:15pm Aurélia Thiérrée – Untitled USA  | 5 minutes
4:30pm Jason ZeldesRomeo is Bleeding USA | 95 minutes
4:30pm Brigitte PoupartOver My Dead Body Canada| 80 minutes
6:00pm Michelle Memran – (work-in-progress) The Rest I Make Up: María Irene Fornés USA | 20 minutes
6:30pm Nature Theatre of OklahomaLife & Times, Episode 7 USA | 135 minutes
7:00pm Arran ShearingForgotten Man UK/Canada | 84 minutes
9:00pm The Segal CenterPrelude Festival USA | 30 minutes [excerpt]

Monday, March 6

[Loop] The Living TheatreKnow Your Rites Tour 2016 USA | 40 minutes
11:00am Lee Breuer & Eric MarcianoBook of Clarence USA | 100 minutes
1:00pm Zachary OberzanFlooding with Love for The Kid USA | 107 minutes
3:00pm Robert LepageThe Image Mill Revealed Canada | 60 minutes
4:00pm Sean Edward LewisStorefront USA | 15 minutes
4:30pm Temporary DistortionThis Empty Room USA | 15 minutes
4:45pm A Two Dogs Company/ Kris VerdonckPresyncope [A Two Dogs Company] Belgium | 15 minutes
5:00pm Brian Rogers – (work-in-progress) Screamers [The Chocolate Factory Theater] USA | 30 minutes [excerpt]
6:00pm Andrew SchneiderActing Stranger USA | 20 minutes
6:30pm Lee Breuer & Eric MarcianoLa Divina Caricatura USA | 20 minutes [excerpt]
7:30pm Penny Arcade, Claire Moodey, Steve ZehentnerRichard Foreman Biography USA | 30 minutes

Start: Mar 2, 2017
End: Mar 3, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre + Elebash Recital Hall
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March 13

Poetry as Revolt: Spoken word reflections after the Age of Obama – Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

From top left, clockwise: Pamela Sneed, Saroya Marsh, Advocate of Wordz, Jaime Lee Lewis, Jennifer Falu, Shanelle Gabriel

Monday, March 13
Segal Theatre

6:30pm Readings + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

NYC-based spoken word artists address the drastic changes that have recently impacted our political landscape. Confirmed poets include Advocate of Wordz, Jennifer Falu, Shanelle Gabriel, Jaime Lee Lewis, Saroya Marsh, and Pamela Sneed.

Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theatre and visual arts. The Cafe champions the use of poetry, jazz, theater, hip-hop, and spoken word as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists. Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe “the most integrated place on the planet.” Curated by Daniel Gallant in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.

Erik “Advocate Of Wordz” Maldonado is an award winning performing poet, published author, and teaching artist who has been honing his craft for fifteen years. He is a recipient of the 2014 BRIO Award, and has worked out of legendary performance venues such as Lincoln Center and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. His work has been featured and/or covered by many major publications including PBS, LA Times, Fox News, Univision and CNN. Wordz has toured many notable establishments such as Princeton University, Roseland Ballroom (Broadway), and Georgetown University to name a few. His book “Advocate Of Wordz; a book of poems and other creative nonsense that is imperative to your existence” can be found on Amazon and is also available at all his live performances.

Jennifer Falu recently won first place in NBC-TV’s Amiri Baraka Poetry Slam and was ranked third internationally in the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has been a member of the 2006, 2009 and 2012 Nuyorican Poets Cafe Slam Teams, won the national Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2006, and ranked 3rd in the WOWPS in both 2009 and 2012.  As a performer, Falu has shared the stage with Jennifer Holliday, Carl Thomas and Patti LaBelle. She recently made her film debut in Mania Days, alongside Katie Holmes.

Shanelle Gabriel is a singer, poet, and powerful advocate for lupus. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Shanelle is widely known for both opening and featuring on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott and DMX, and has shared the stage with artists such as Eric Benet, Talib Kweli, Nas, and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, HuffPost Live, in a promo for the NFL Draft, in Women’s Health Magazine, and narrated Jennifer Hudson’s “I Got This” audiobook biography. She is presently the Program Director at Urban Word NYC, facilitates the North Brooklyn Lupus Support Group, and continues to perform throughout the US and abroad. For more information, visit www.shanellegabriel.com

Roya Marsh is the poet/author of the chapbooks Not All of Me Shall Die, Pieces, Vol. I & II and 26. She works as a preschool teacher and youth mentor, but has always had a passion for writing.   Roya was a finalist in the 2013 Poetry Idol, 2013 Inspired Word Slam Master Jam Champion, 2014 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion and captain of the first all- female slam team in the tri-state area, representing Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She has recently been ranked second in the world at the Woman of the World Poetry Slam. She has been featured in the Village Voice, Huffington Post, Blavity, Button Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital and at many venues and colleges around the country.

Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet, writer and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerTime OutBombVIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. In 2015, she appeared in Art ForumBlack Book and The Huffington Post. She hosted Queer Art Film at the IFC in New York City. She is author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG & other works, published by Vintage Entity Press (2009) and a chapbook Lincoln (2014). In 2015, she published the Chaplet Gift with Belladonna. She has performed for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, PS122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM Cafe, Joes Pub, The Public Theater, Central Park Summer Stage, Bronx Summer Stage,Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin, The Whitney Museum, BRIC and recently curated and performed in All Black/An Invitation at Danspace; Platforms. In 2016, she was also a presenter for Zoe Leonard’s event, “I  Want a President” at the Highline. She appears in Nikki Giovanni’s, The One Hundred Best African American Poems. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence as a guest faculty member and is an online Professor at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute teaching the courses Human Rights and Writing Art. She was a mentor/consultant for the Poet-Linc program at Lincoln Center and directed a final show at Lincoln Center Atrium in 2016. She has recently presented at a symposium at NYU on Humor, Politics and the AIDS crisis. In summer 2016, she received a residency at Denniston Hill and was an SAIC Visiting Artist in the MFA low residency program. She is completing a collection of short stories Anna Mae/For Me, Tina Turner and All Black Women Survivors, and has a forthcoming chapbook Sweet Dreams with Belladonna, February 2017.

Daniel Gallant is the Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the author of the short story collection Determined to Prove, and the recipient of a 2016 Eisenhower Fellowship. He is also a poet, playwright, theatrical producer, actor and teacher. His writing has appeared in eight anthologies from Vintage Books, Applause/Hal Leonard and Theater Communications Group. Daniel previously served as the Director of Theater and Talk Programming at the 92nd Street Y’s Makor and Tribeca centers. As an Eisenhower Fellow, he has explored how cultural organizations in Spain and Japan use innovative program and funding models to expand arts engagement. Daniel also advises cultural organizations in the United States about how to use game theory and social media to broaden their impact. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Crain’s New York, the Daily News, New York Post, Time Out New York, New York Magazine and Voice of America; and on MTV, CNN NBC, NY1, CBS, NPR, Univision, the BBC and other networks. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Gallant has exploited expanding social-media tools to grow the cafe from a small, volunteer-led venue best known for weekly poetry events to a thriving arts center with partnerships across the city.”

Start: Mar 13, 2017
End: Mar 13, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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March 22

Create NYC: A Symposium and Town Hall

Photo by Julien Jourdes

Wednesday, March 22
Proshansky Auditorium
All day symposium and town hall

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

The Segal Center is partnering with New York arts and culture organizations to host a day of outreach, engagement, and strategy towards the creation of a new cultural plan for New York.

Who is this for? Artists, administrators, activists, community members…..Everyone who is committed to strengthening the NYC-based Arts and cultural landscape. We want to hear your voice.

The symposium will address issues of equity, access, affordability, and social and economic impact of the arts in our communities.



10:00am – 12:00pm Breakout Sessions:

  • Anti-Racism Training
  • Space and Real Estate
  • Collective Manifesto

2:00pm – 5:30pm 5 Minute Proposals and Presentations Open Call

6:30pm – 8:30pm Manifestos and Open Mic Town Hall


The all-day symposium features morning breakout sessions around themes and ideas generated from a series of breakfasts and meetings between cultural workers and organizations over many months leading up to this event.

The afternoon program features short presentations of direct proposals to the planning consultants, followed by an evening with short manifestos from NY arts organizations and a Town Hall discussion. In partnership with The Field, New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, Center for Arts Education, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and Gibney Dance, the initiative grew out of the Cultural Agenda Fund’s efforts to supplement the official planning process conducted by the city and is supported by the New York Community Trust. This Create NYC event was organized by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Brad Burgess and Frank Hentschker in close collaboration with The Field, New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, Center for Arts Education, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and Gibney Dance.

Visit www.CreateNYC.org to learn more about the NYC Cultural plan and the work of the Hester Street Collaborative.


Invited are:
The Actors Fund
A.R.T. / New York
Asian American Arts Alliance
The Indie Theater Fund
Staten Island Arts Council
TCG: Theatre Communications Group
The New Black Fest
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
all CIGs, CEGs,
and more TBC.





Start: Mar 22, 2017
End: Mar 22, 2017
Venue: Proshansky Auditorium
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March 27

Elfriede Jelinek’s On the Royal Road: The Burgher King – World Premiere Reading Translated by Gitta Honegger l Directed by Stefan Dzeparoski

Translated by Gitta Honegger

Monday, March 27
Segal Theatre

6:30pm Reading + Conversation

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

“This unique performance text by 2004 Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek offers a provocative European perspective on Donald Trump’s persona. The main speaker, a blind female seer suggests Miss Piggy channeling a confused Tiresias as she tries to get a handle on the bizarre behavior of the leader elect to draw from it some sort of oracle for the future. This seer with bleeding eyes sends Trump through a shattered looking glass where Jelinek examines him through the distorted mirrors of the heroes of Western culture: From Oedipus to Abraham, Isaac and Jesus, to Martin Heidegger, who attempted to lead the Führer.”
                                                                                                                            – Gitta Honegger

The world premiere of Elfriede Jelinek’s On the Royal Road: The Burgher King will be staged in October 2017 at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Germany. The rights to the world premiere reading at the Segal Center in New York have been generously granted by Rowohlt Theater Verlag; Nils Tabert, Head of Rowohlt Theater Verlag publishing house in close collaboration with Jelinek’s translator, Gitta Honegger.


Photo courtesy of the artist

The Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek received the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature and many other prestigious literary and theatre awards. She is best known in the US from Michel Haneke’s film The Piano Teacher based on her novel Die Klavierspielerin.  Since the Nobel award she has written only one novel, but many plays addressing urgent issues of our times. Her themes include the politics of memory and guilt (Rechnitz); the 2008 global financial crisis, (Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns); the rapidly escalating European refugee crisis (Die Schutzbefohlenen); the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris (Wut), and now Donald Trump (Auf dem Königsweg). Her latest performance text was preceded by a brief essay, [German title] “The One and Only. His Ownness” which she wrote one day after the presidential election. Jelinek is one of the most produced living authors/playwrights in the German language world. Her plays are presented by all the major theatre companies often staged by leading innovative directors. These productions have been invited to countless prestigious international festivals and received numerous awards. Her plays have also been produced across Europe, in Japan, India, Australia and China. In the US the only fully professional staging was the 2013 New York Woman’s Project Theatre’s production of Jackie, directed by Tea Alagic. It was nominated for 2 Lucille Lortel awards, for outstanding solo show and outstanding sound design.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Gitta Honegger
is the authorized translator of Elfriede Jelinek.  Recent translations of Jelinek’s performance texts: Rechnitz (The Avenging Angel) and the Merchant’s Contracts. A Comedy of Economics; Charges (The Supplicants) (all Seagull Books/U. of Chicago Press), Fury (Rowohlt Theatre scripts); Shadow. Eurydice Says (Performing Arts Journal), On the Royal Road: The Burgher King (forthcoming, Yale/Theater Magazine); Fury/Rage, an adaptation by the Hamburg Thalia Theatre, that interweaves parts of her text with scenes from Simon Stephens’ Rage, a response to Jelinek’s text.Currently Honegger is completing her translation of Jelinek’s opus magnum, the 666 page novel The Children of the Dead for Yale University Press. She also translated plays by Thomas Bernhard, Elias Canetti, Marie Luise Fleisser and others.  Book publications: Thomas Bernhard, The Making of an Austrian, (Yale University Press), which she also translated into German (Propyläen Verlag).  Dr. Honegger is Professor of Theatre at Arizona State University. For ten years she was a professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama and resident dramaturg at the Yale Repertory Theatre, where she also directed.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Stage and film director, Stefan Džeparoski, is a Serbian-born, New York-based, renowned international director and creator known for his visually arresting and iconic live productions. The hallmark of his interdisciplinary stage practices is the creative use of projected media. His work has been seen on stages in Europe, Canada and US. Most recently Stefan directed Off-Broadway productions of Wide Awake Hearts by Brendan Gall (BirdLand Theatre at 59E59 Theaters), and The Birds by Conor McPherson (BirdLand Theatre at 59E59 Theaters). He is a Resident Director at BirdLand Theatre where he also directed Fortune and Menʼs Eyes by John Herbert, and Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. His other selected directing credits include After The Fall by Arthur Miller, The Creation of the World and Other Business by Arthur Miller, Roberto Zucco by Bernard Marie Koltes, Whoʼs Afraid of Virginia Wolf by Edward Albee and Quartet by Heiner Müller. His multimedia project Delete was featured at Prague Quadrennial in 2015. Stefan is an award-winning director and educator holding MFA in Theatre Directing, and MA in Theater Studies.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Masha Dakić, has more than ten years of professional theatre experience as an actress in Europe. Originally based in Serbia, she has worked with some of the major directors from the region. She also performed in Stockholm (Sweden) and Derry (UK). As a lead voice-over artist she has been a part of relevant franchised work such as Ice Age; Smurfs; Phineas and Ferb; Wreck-It Ralph, etc. She, co-produced and wrote the screenplay for a short film Run-up(2012), securing its distribution in Japan. With Tuna Fish Studio and the first regional Web Series #SamoKazem (#JustSaying, powered by BBC Media Action) that won the Satellite Award in Los Angeles; Special Honoree for prestigious Webby Awards, she took on a role of the Head of Casting, being also the creative part of the Production team. Shortlisted for Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, (2015), Official Finalist “World Series of Screenwriting” (2015) with her first feature film screenplay, and one of the lead writers for Serbian Sitcom Nemoj da Zvocas (TV Prva, 2016), Masha is a diverse artist who takes special pride in her collaborations with the director Anja Susa and is excited to be, now a long-term Alumni of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center’s Reading Series.

Start: Mar 27, 2017
End: Mar 27, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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April 3

Richard Maxwell

Photo by Juri Junkov

Monday, April 3
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Artist Talk + 2:00pm Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an artist talk with Richard Maxwell of New York City Players and selected afternoon screenings of his work.

Evening Program
Richard Maxwell in Conversation
with Frank Hentschker

Afternoon Screenings:
House (1998 / 50 mins)
3:00pm The Darkness of this Reading (2005 / 60 mins)
4:00pm Isolde (2014 / 90 mins)

Richard Maxwell is a playwright, director, and the artistic director of New York City Players. He studied acting at Illinois State University and then became a co-founder of the Cook County Theater Department. He is a Doris Duke Performing Artist and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, and was an invited artist in the Whitney Biennial. His latest book, Theater for Beginners, is published by TCG (2015). He directed Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play, Really, for New York City Players (March 2016). Upcoming projects include The Evening Part 2 and Samara, directed by Sarah Benson with music by Steve Earle (April 4-May 7 at Soho Rep).

Start: Apr 3, 2017
End: Apr 3, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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April 17

PS122: Past and Future with Vallejo Gantner, Mark Russell, and Jenny Schlenzka

Mark Russell, Vallejo Gantner, Jenny Schlenzka. Photos courtesy of PS122.

Monday, April 17
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Conversation

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an evening with former and present Executive Artistic Directors of PS122: Vallejo Gantner, Mark Russell, and Jenny Schlenzka. They will discuss past, present, and future of PS122, one of the most influential theatre and performance spaces in the Americas.

Performance Space 122 began in 1980, emerging from a city struggling with high rates of poverty, crime, racial strife, and drugs, as well as the deaths of many vital artists and thinkers caught up in the AIDS epidemic. Together with AIDS Service Center NYC, Mabou Mines, and Painting Space 122, PS122 transformed an abandoned public school in the heart of a low-rise immigrant neighborhood into a multi-use community and cultural center.

Vallejo Gantner joined PS122 in 2005. Previously, he was Director of the Dublin Fringe Festival from 2002 – 2004, and Artistic Associate of the Melbourne Festival 2000/01. Originally from Melbourne, Vallejo has worked in a range of capacities throughout the arts in the US, Asia and Australia – as a director, writer, performer, agent, producer and programmer. He co-produced Spiegelworld from 2006-2008, a commercial producer / presenter of contemporary circus, cabaret, music across the US. More recently he’s performed in “The Curator’s Piece” by Tea Tupajic and Petra Zanki across Europe and in NY, Executive Produced the hit indie feature films “Your Sister’s Sister” and “Touchy Feely” by Lynn Shelton, and the upcoming “Men go To Battle” by Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil and directed a new concert performance at the Irish Arts Center by composer / singer Julie Feeney. He is a partner in a micro-brewery – Mountain Goat Beer in Australia, and in 2006, he was a Deakin Lecturer in Melbourne. Vallejo also sits on the board of directors of Jianguo Pty Ltd (Aus), and Four Winds Foundation (Aus).

Mark Russell launched the Under the Radar Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse in January 2005. UTR focuses on theater based contemporary performance. The festival moved to the Public Theater in 2006 and has become a centerpiece in the New York City theater season; mixing international performances with national and local artists. Russell has also served as the guest artistic director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Arts Festival 2006-2008. He created the Off Center Festival for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa California, as well as the Off the Wall series at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as an associate curator for the Act French Festival in New York in 2005. From 1983-2004 he was the Executive Artistic Director of Performance Space 122, bringing the space from an artist rental space to a world renowned presenting institution committed to developing the work of New York City artists.  Russell has been involved with many artists over his career in dance, music, performance and theater, creating opportunities for them to reach wider audiences.  In 2014 and 2015 Russell lived with his family in Lausanne, Switzerland, researching  European festival practice while maintaining his work with The Public Theater. He and his family are currently living in New York on the upper West Side.

Jenny Schlenzka was recently appointed Performance Space 122’s Executive Artistic Director and is the organization’s first female artistic leader. Prior to joining PS122, Ms. Schlenzka was the Associate Curator at MoMA PS1 in New York where she established the interdisciplinary live program Sunday Sessions. The program has featured artists such as Mette Ingvartsen, Ann Liv Young, and Justin Vivian Bond as well as new commissions by Trajal Harrell, Ragnar Kjartansson, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Matthew Lutz Kinoy and Tobias Madison, among many others. In addition to her event program that incorporated performance, music, dance, discourse, and moving images, Ms. Schlenzka also developed an interest in performance within the exhibition format, organizing at MoMA PS1 the New York presentation of Retrospective by Xavier Le Roy (2014) and Anne Imhof: DEAL (2015), both exhibitions with strong performance components. Prior to her work at MoMA PS1, Ms. Schlenzka was the Assistant Curator for Performance in the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art from 2008 to 2012, where she focused on presenting, collecting, and exhibiting performance-based art, including co-organizing the Performance Exhibition Series with artists like Tehching Hsieh, Simone Forti, Roman Ondák, Jerome Bel, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, and Allora & Calzadilla, among others. She has also worked as a curatorial liaison for KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Ms. Schlenzka received her MA in cultural studies from Humboldt University, Berlin, in 2007. She was the recipient of the 2012 Yoko Ono Courage Award.




Start: Apr 17, 2017
End: Apr 17, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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April 19

Arab Classic Plays: Yusuf Idris (Egypt), Issam Mahfouz (Lebanon) + Sa’dallah Wannous (Syria)

Wednesday, April 19
Segal Theatre
2:00pm,  4:30pm, 6:30pm Readings +Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Please join us as we expand our collective knowledge of the classical canon of Arab plays. Yusuf Idris (Egypt), Issam Mahfouz (Lebanon) and Sa’dallah Wannous (Syria) are some of the Arab world’s most renowned playwrights, but are relatively unknown to the Western world. Their complex and nuanced plays address the timeless issues of power and politics in ways that deeply resonate with our own situation. This event is curated by Joy Sarah Arab (Producer) in collaboration with Marvin Carlson; dramaturgy by Salma S. Zohdi.

The evening reading will be followed by a discussion with Joy Sarah Arab, Marvin CarlsonKareem Fahmy (Director/Playwright), Philip Himberg (Sundance Institute Theatre Program), Christian Parker (Columbia University), Edward Ziter (Tisch School of the Arts, NYU), and Salma S. Zohdi. The discussion will be moderated by Frank Hentschker.

2:00pm The Adventure of the Head of Mamlouk Jabir (1971)
Written by Sa’dallah Wannous (Syria)
Translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab
Directed by Rania Khalil

The Adventure of the Head of Mamlouk Jabir was completed in 1971, several months after Hafez al-Assad seized power. It was first staged in the Arab world in a production directed by the Iraqi director Jawad al-Assadi. The play is perhaps most notable for its use of a hakawati, a traditional Arabic storyteller, as a narrator in a traditional gathering place in the Arab world, a coffee house, who tells the story-within-a-story—a form derived from Eastern frame tales like 1001 Nights.

4:30pm The Dictator (1969)
Written by Issam Mahfouz (Lebanon)
Translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab
Directed by Sara Rademacher

The Dictator is an absurdist classic. A minimalist mixture of Ionesco, Plautus, and Beckett, with fierce and frequently hilarious jabs at despotism in the Arab world, The Dictator was a revolutionary work when it was written in the 1960s and continues to speak to the revolutions and reversals unfolding in today’s Middle East.

6:30pm The Flipflaps (1964)
Written by Yusuf Idris (Egypt)
Translated by Trevor LeGassick
Directed by NJ Agwuna

Known as Yusuf Idris’s foremost absurdist work, The Flipflaps (Al Farafir) was written during a time of great change and challenge in Egypt and caused a literary uproar for two weeks in 1964 before it was banned. The Flipflaps is a two-person dialogue between a master and a slave. The slave, Flipflap, imparts Idris’s social, political, moral, and metaphysical ideas through allusions and symbols.

Yusuf Idris, born May 19, 1927, is an Egyptian playwright and novelist who broke with traditional Arabic literature by mixing colloquial dialect with conventional classical Arabic narration in the writing of realistic stories about ordinary villagers. Idris studied medicine at the University of Cairo (1945–51) and was a practicing physician in Cairo when he began to write fiction. As a committed leftist, he initially supported President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s reforms but later, in 1954, was imprisoned for opposing Nasser. Idris’ first anthology of stories, Arkhas Layali (The Cheapest Nights), appeared in 1954 and was quickly followed by several more volumes, including A-laysa kadhalik (Isn’t That So?). In the 1960s he sought to create a uniquely Egyptian dramatic form using colloquial language and elements of traditional folk drama and shadow theatre. He presented this plan in a series of three essays entitled “Towards a New Arabic Theatre,” and he tried to put it into practice in his own plays, notably Al-Lahzat al-harija (The Critical Moment), Al-Farafir (The Flipflaps), and Al-Mukhatatin (The Striped Ones).

Born in southern Lebanon in 1939, Issam Mahfouz, at the early age of twenty, quickly became involved in the movement to renovate and modernize Arabic poetry, which was spearheaded by the poets Yusuf al-Khal and Adonis. Several years later he wrote his first play, The China Tree (al-Zanzalakht), which premiered in Beirut in 1968. The China Tree, published in 1995 in the anthology Modern Arabic Drama, edited by Salma Jayyusi and Roger Allen, is the first play of a trilogy written between 1963 and 1967, which includes The Dictator (al-Dictatur), translated into English by Robert Myers and Nada Saab, and Saadoun the King (Sa’dun Malikan). The first two works were completed, but the latter was not. In 1969, the year after the premiere of The China Tree, The Dictator was produced in Beirut. The Dictator was recently revived and staged in Beirut in 2012, in a production directed by Lina Abyad, who modified the text and changed the gender of the two characters, the General and Saadoun, to female. This production was also performed in 2012 at Sharjah’s Theater Festival, where it received the award for “Best Arab Play of 2012” (the Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Qasim Prize). In addition to publishing four collections of poetry between 1959 and 1973, Mahfouz taught drama at the Lebanese University from 1969 to 1975, and in 1976, soon after the Lebanese Civil War began, he moved to France, where he lived until 1981. Other notable plays written after the trilogy include Carte Blanche, written in 1972, and a collection of short plays published in 1975. For the celebration of World Theater Day in 2000, he was asked to translate a play from the international repertory.  He chose Striptease, a Kafkaesque one-act play by the Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek, in which two men, an intellectual and activist, are imprisoned for unknown reasons and are eventually forced to strip. Mahfouz later adapted the play, maintaining the nucleus of Mrozek’s plot but adding elements that highlighted his own critical perspective of globalism, which had become an increasingly dominant aspect of contemporary political and economic life.

Sa’dallah Wannous, who was born in 1941 near Tartous, Syria and died in 1997, is widely considered to be one most important playwright from the Arab world of the twentieth century. He was a playwright, cultural critic, journalist, founder and director of the High Dramatic Institute in Damascus, and dramatic theorist. He wrote over twenty plays including An Evening’s Entertainment for the Fifth of June, The Adventure of the Head of Mamlouk Jaber, The King is the King and Rituals of Signs and Transformations. This latter work was produced in 2013 in French at the Comédie Française in Paris and in English at Babel Theatre in Beirut, where it was directed by Sahar Assaf and produced by Robert Myers, Joy Sarah Arab and AUB. The English version, translated by Nada Saab and Robert Myers with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, appears in “Four Plays From Syria: Sa’dallah Wannous,” edited with translations by Marvin Carlson and Safi Mahfouz, published by CUNY’s Martin E. Segal Theater Center in 2014. The translation of The Adventure of the Head of Mamlouk Jaber used in this reading will appear in “Sentence to Hope,” a collection of translations of Wannous plays and other writings, to be published this year by Yale University Press’s Margellos World Republic of Letters series.

NJ Agwuna is a freelance theatre and film director, hailing from the ‘burb’s of central Maryland. Performing from a young age, NJ found herself drawn more to the directorial and technical side of theatre. In 2009 she pursued her passion for theatre, at Binghamton University, where she majored in Theatre Directing and Cinema. Some of NJ’s credits include Garbage (Director), Good Man (Director), The Duel (Director), Town Hall (Director), Truth or Lie (Director), Funeral Food (Director), Dracula (Director), Then She Fell (ASM), Roadside Attraction (SM), Amazing Spider-Man 2, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (SM Sub). She would like to thank Joy for trusting her in the driver’s seat. She would also like to thank her family and roommate for always keeping her grounded.  www.njagwuna.com

Rania Khalil is a performance artist working in live and moving image. Her original artworks and performances have been seen in such places as The Judson Church, LaMama Galleria, Joe’s Pub, Utopia Station, HERE Center for the Arts,  The Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York,  Townhouse Gallery Cairo, Al Ma’mal Contemporary Art Foundation Jerusalem, and the 2015 Venice Biennale.  Born to Egyptian parents in the U.S., Khalil has recently returned to New York after 9 years abroad in Egypt and Finland where she is a doctoral candidate in artistic research at the Theatre Academy/ University of Arts Helsinki.  She lives and works in Brooklyn.  www.raniakhalil.co

Sara Rademacher is the Co-Founder and former Artistic Director of Elements Theatre Collective, whose mission is to bring professional quality theatre free of charge to audiences with limited access.  Sara is dedicated to creating theatre to engage her community both locally and globally. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University. Some favorite directing credits include The Last Five Years, Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and boom.  Before forming Elements, she studied theatre in South Africa, and earned her BA in Dramatic Arts at UCSB. She has worked in Casting, Assistant Directing, Dramaturgy and other internships regional theatres including The Guthrie, Seattle Repertory, Mixed Blood, Marin Theatre, and more.  Recently, she directed Campaign at the Museum of Art and Design and is currently directing for the Greenhouse Theatre Ensemble. Sara currently works for The National Theatre Conference. She continues to serve on the Board at Elements.

Start: Apr 19, 2017
End: Apr 19, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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April 24

Remembering Dario Fo with Robert Brustein

Photo by Guido Harari/Milan (1995)

Monday, April 24
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Conversation + 2:00pm Screenings

*Watch livestream here at 6:30pm!

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.
Join us for a day celebrating the legacy of Dario Fo with Robert Brustein, the legendary founder of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T) and Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Evening conversation with Robert Brustein (via Skype) ; plus actor Joseph Grifasi reads excerpts from selected Dario Fo plays:

Accidental Death of An Anarchist (1970)
Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas (1992)
Mistero Buffo (1969)
We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! (1974)
(Plays TBC)

Afternoon screenings curated by Rossella Menna.

Additional support from Rossella Menna (Dramaturg, performing arts curator), and Mariateresa Pizza (Director, Franca Rame Dario Fo Archive/Rome); the Italian Playwrights Project, Valeria Orani and The Italian Cultural Institute, Giorgio Van Straten.

The Segal Center honored Franca Rame in 2013 after her passing.


Afternoon screenings:

2:00pm Mistero Buffo Part 1 (Palazzina Liberty, 1977)
– subtitled English 60 min excerpt
3:00pm Morte accidentale di un anarchico (Teatro Cristallo, Milano 1987) – subtitled English 60 min excerpt
4:00pm The Theatre of Dario Fo (documentary, 1984) – in English 50 min
5:00pm Dario Fo and Franca Rame: A Nobel for Two (documentary, 1998) in English 55 min Directed by Lorena Luciano & Filippo Piscopo


Photo courtesy of the artist

Awarded the coveted National Medal for the Arts in 2011 by President Obama, Robert Brustein—a veteran of World War II—has been a playwright, critic, teacher, actor, director, and founder of
two major repertory theatre companies, the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University, he is a former Professor of English at Harvard University (now Senior Research Fellow), and New Republic Theatre Critic for over forty years. He now writes regularly for the Huffington Post, and teaches Dramaturgy students at the Drama School. He was Dean of the Yale School of Drama for thirteen years, where he also founded Yale Theatre magazine and the Yale Cabaret. He served for 20 years as Director of the Loeb Drama Center where he founded the ART Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.


In Fugadal Senato 2013@ Photo credit: Luca Vittorio Toffolon

Dario Fo (24 March 1926 – 13 October 2016) was an Italian actor-playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter, political campaigner for the Italian left-wing and the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. Fo’s plays, in a hybrid Brechtian tradition, have been translated into 30 languages, and he was considered the most widely performed contemporary playwright in world theatre. Much of Fo’s dramatic work, co-created with his partner Franca Rame (18 July 1929 – 29 May 2013), depends on improvisation and comprises the recovery of “illegitimate” forms of theatre, such as those performed by giullari (medieval strolling players) and, more famously, the ancient Italian style of commedia dell’arte.
His plays have been translated into 30 languages and performed across the world, including in Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the UK[6] and Yugoslavia. His work of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s is peppered with criticisms of assassinations, corruption, organised crime, racism, Roman Catholic theology and war. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, he took to lampooning Forza Italia and its leader Silvio Berlusconi, while his targets of the 2010s included the banks amid the European sovereign-debt crisis.
Fo’s solo pièce célèbre, titled Mistero Buffo and performed across Europe, Canada and Latin America over a 30-year period, is recognised as one of the most controversial and popular spectacles in postwar European theatre. The play has been denounced by by Cardinal Ugo Poletti from the Vatican as “the most blasphemous show in the history of television”. Fo considered himself an atheist. The 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature marked the “international acknowledgment of Fo as a major figure in twentieth-century world theatre.” The Swedish Academy praised Fo as a writer “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”. Dario Fo owned and operated his own theatre company.


Photo courtesy of the artist.

JOE GRIFASI Recent appearances include Endgame at Long Wharf Theater, Julie Taymore’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Encores revival of Little Shop of Horrors. Broadway shows include Dinner at Eight, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The 1940’s Radio Hour and Happy End. Other credits:  The Boys Next Door (Drama Desk Award), Says I Says He, Phoenix Theater, Hughie Goodman Theater, Room Service, Enemies (Williamstown), About Face and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Yale Rep). Directing credits include One Slight Hitch by Lewis Black, A Cup of Coffee by Preston Sturges and As I Remember It at The Kennedy Center. Joe has appeared in over fifty feature films including, Presumed Innocent, The Deer Hunter, Beaches, Naked Gun, Benny & Joon, Matewan, FX and Natural Born Killers. TV appearances include, Bull, The Good Wife, Law & Order, Rosanne and LA Law. He is on the faculty of  The New School of Drama.


Start: Apr 24, 2017
End: Apr 24, 2017
Venue: Segal Theatre
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April 28

The 2017 Edwin Booth Award: Taylor Mac

Taylor Mac by Teddy Wolff. Photo courtesy of artist.

Friday, April 28
Proshanksy Auditorium


Join us for an evening celebrating the groundbreaking work of Taylor Mac, American actor, playwright, performance artist, director, producer, and singer-songwriter. Taylor’s 24-hour, 246-song marathon performance, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, was hailed by Wesley Morris in the New York Times as “one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

The Edwin Booth Award is given annually by the Doctoral Theatre Students’ Association to honor a person, organization, or company for their outstanding contribution to the NYC theatre community, and to promote integration of professional and academic theatre. Past honorees include: The Royal Shakespeare Company (‘83), Ellen Stewart (‘84), Joseph Papp (‘89), Arthur Miller (‘92), Richard Foreman (‘97), Tony Kushner (‘02), Karen Finley (‘08), The Living Theater (‘09), Elevator Repair Service (‘14) and Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir(’16). The event will feature live performances and a discussion with Frank Hentschker.

Presented by the GC CUNY Doctoral Theatre Students’ Association (DTSA; Elyse Singer, Second Vice President), in collaboration with The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, and
GC Public Programs (Karen Sander, Director).

Additional support from Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center CUNY, and the Doctoral Students’ Council Marvin Carlson, Sidney E. Cohn Chair in Theatre Studies; David Savran, Vera Mowry Roberts Chair in American Theatre.


Start: Apr 28, 2017
End: Apr 28, 2017
Venue: Proshansky Auditorium
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