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October 31

Theatre & Performance in 1970s NYC: Hillary Miller’s Drop Dead

Photo by Shalmon Bernstein

Photo by Shalmon Bernstein

Monday, October 31
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion +
11:00am Screenings

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

In the mid-1970s, many artists and organizations successfully defied socially destructive policies and fought for the arts as a public good during New York City’s near-bankruptcy and resulting austerity. Scholar and playwright Hillary Miller’s book Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern UP, 2016) combines theatre history with a detailed analysis of productions of the time to examine how the performing arts developed innovative responses to survive the crisis. Miller’s account includes Broadway (TKTS), BAM, La MaMa E.T.C., and The Public Theater, and highlights the important role of Martin E. Segal in shaping the City’s cultural policy for decades to come. A panel of playwrights, directors, and historians will join in conversation about the theatre artists and arts institutions of the 1970s, and the significance of its theatrical legacies in understanding our contemporary city. Invited are Tisa ChangJulia Foulkes;Jessica Hagedorn; Muriel Miguel, Spiderwoman Theater; Cindy Rosenthal; and Richard Wesley.

The event will be followed by a book signing with author, Hillary Miller.

All-Day Screening: Shorts from the Feminist Seventies is a selection of 16mm documentaries made by women in the 1970s on topics ranging from marriage, sex, and reproductive health to labor, identity, and memory—all culled from the New York Public Library’s Reserve Film and Video Collection. Opening remarks by curator and film scholar Shilyh Warren, and invited guest Elena Rossi-Snook, Archivist, Reserve Film and Video Collection, The New York Public Library. Films courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Additional support from Third World Newsreel and Women Make Movies.

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11:00am Screenings
My Name is Oona, Gunvor Nelson, 1969 | 16 min.
A profound experimental film that remasters sounds from and images of the filmmaker’s young daughter to ask what girlhood might mean for the next generation. Presented in collaboration with Canyon Cinema.

I Am Somebody, Madeline Anderson, 1970 | 29 min.
Commissioned by Moe Foner for union activism, this film documents a successful strike by black female hospital workers in Charleston, SC in 1969. Screening courtesy Icarus Films. I Am Somebody has been preserved with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Game, Abigail Child Productions, 1972 | 40 min.
A frank look at an African-American couple negotiating work and sexual politics in Manhattan. Presented in collaboration with Abigail Child.

1:00pm Screenings
It Happens to Us, Amalie Rothschild, 1972 | 30 min.
One of the first documentaries to give voice to women’s experiences with abortion both before and after legalization. Presented in collaboration with New Day Films.

Joyce at 34, Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill, 1973 | 28 min.
A filmmaker who struggles to balance the new demands of motherhood with her career ambitions turns to her mother in New York for perspective and advice. Presented in collaboration with New Day Films. Joyce at 34 has been preserved with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Yudie, Mirra Bank, 1974 | 20 min.
The filmmaker’s aging Jewish aunt tells a powerful story of emigration, independence, and life on New York’s Lower East Side. Presented in collaboration with New Day Films.

Q & A with the Filmmakers
Participants: Amalie Rothschild, Claudia Weill, and Mirra Bank

3:00pm Screenings
Dyketaktics, Barbara Hammer, 1974 | 4 min.
One of the first documentaries about lesbian sexuality by a lesbian filmmaker, this explicit film quite literally takes lovemaking out into the open. Presented in collaboration with Barbara Hammer.

From Spikes to Spindles, Christine Choy, 1976 | 52 min.
A landmark exploration of New York’s Chinatown told primarily through interviews and observational footage.

Chicana, Sylvia Morales, 1979 | 22 min.
The first film to insist on the particular experiences of women in the Chicano community, this film challenges popular stereotypes by producing a new history of Mexican-American women. Presented in collaboration with Women Make Movies.

Gently Down the Stream, Su Friedrich, 1981 | 15 min.
Based on the filmmaker’s journals, this experimental film explores the boundaries between dreams, memories, and the present. Presented in collaboration with Canyon Cinema.

5:00pm Q & A with the Filmmakers
Participants: Abigail Child, Barbara Hammer, Amalie Rothschild, and others.

6:30pm Panel
Theatre & 1970s NYC, panel discussion with Tisa ChangJulia Foulkes, Jessica Hagedorn, Muriel Miguel, Cindy Rosenthal, and Richard Wesley.

7:30pm Book Signing with Hillary Miller book-cover-image
Drop Dead
Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York
Hillary Miller



Photo courtesy of the artist

Photo courtesy of the artist

Tisa Chang is a dancer, actor, director, producer, celebrating 50 years in American Performing Arts. Inspired by the global independence movement and civil rights activism in the 1970’s, she founded Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 1977 to champion professional opportunities for Asian American artists to reach the heights of one’s dreams and aspirations. Directing highlights: Sayonara the musical (2015) and A Dream of Red Pavilions (2016). Pan Asian Rep continues to expand the vocabulary of American Theatre with untold stories from the Pan Asian spectrum and from the Middle East. Acting highlights on stage: The Basic Training Of Pavlo Hummel, Lovely Ladies Kind Gentlemen, and Pacific Overtures;  Film And TV: Ambush Bay, Escape From Iran, Year Of The Dragon. Tisa is a former Executive Board member of SDC, member of Coalition of Theaters of Color, member of National Theatre Conference, and a founding board member of CAATA the national coalition of Asian-American Theatres and Artists that recently produced the 5th CONFEST in October 2016 at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland, Oregon.

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Photo courtesy of the artist

Julia Foulkes is a Professor of History at The New School where she investigates the intersection of arts and cities. Her most recent book is A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (2016). She is also the author of Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey (2002); To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal  (2011); and the editor of two journal volumes,The Arts in Place (Journal of Social History, 2010) and, with Aaron Shkuda, essays on arts and urban development in the Journal of Urban History (2015). Currently she is researching the rise of New York as a capital of culture in the 20th century.

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Photo courtesy of the artist

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Other publications include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and Burning Heart: A Portrait Of The Philippines. Hagedorn edited both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. Her plays include Most Wanted, Stairway To Heaven, Fe In The Desert, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. Multimedia theater collaborations include work in the ‘70s and ‘80s with Ntozake Shange, Thulani Davis, Laurie Carlos, Robbie McCauley, Urban Bushwomen, and Blondell Cummings. Music: The Gangster Choir. Screenplays: Fresh Kill, The Pink Palace. Prizes and honors include the Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, the Gerbode Foundation Playwriting Fellowship, and the Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship. Forthcoming: the stage adaptation of The Gangster Of Love for San Francisco’s Magic Theatre. www.jessicahagedorn.net

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Photo courtesy of the artist

Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a choreographer, director and actor. She is a founder and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running Indigenous feminist theater in North America. Muriel is a 2016 John S. Guggenheim Fellow; has an Honorary DFA from Miami University in Ohio; is a member of the National Theatre Conference and attended the Rauschenberg Residency in 2015. She has pioneered the development of a culturally – based Indigenous performance methodology. Choreography: Throw Away Kids – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; Director ( Selected) : Material Witness – Spiderwoman Theater; The Scrubbing Project – Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble and Evening in Paris – Raven Spirit Dance Company. Acting: Off-Broadway – Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge; Philomena Moosetail- The Rez Sisters; Aunt Shadie – The Unnatural and Accidental Women; One woman shows – Hot’ N’ Soft, Trail of the Otter and Red Mother. Muriel’s lecture Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective and her Storyweaving Workshops have been presented in the US, Canada and Europe.

Photo by DJ Dolack

Photo by DJ Dolack

Hillary Miller is Assistant Professor of Theatre at California State University, Northridge. Her book, Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York City(Northwestern University Press, 2016), explores how the city’s municipal crisis transformed performing arts communities across the five boroughs. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including Performance Research,Lateral, The Radical History Review, Theatre Survey, and PAJ. From 2013-2015, she was a Lecturer in Stanford University’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric and Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture. Her dramatic writing has been produced in various New York venues (Cherry Lane Theatre, Dixon Place, Manhattan Theatre Source, and HERE Arts Center) and three international Fringe festivals (New York, Edinburgh, Washington D.C.). She is from Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Cindy Rosenthal is Professor of Drama at Hofstra University and a performer and director. She coedited The Rise of Performance Studies: Rethinking Richard Schechner’s Broad Spectrum (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011) and Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theatres and their Legacies (U. Michigan, 2006) with James Harding. With Hanon Reznikov she coedited Living on Third Street: Plays of the Living Theatre 1989-1992 (Autonomedia, 2008). She has published essays inTheatre Survey, The New York Times, Women & Performance, Women: A Cultural Review and TDR, including Fall 2016, “Circling Up with The Assembly.” She is the author of Ellen Stewart Presents: Fifty Years of La Mama Experimental Theatre,forthcoming from U. Michigan Press. Also forthcoming: The Sixties, Center Stage coedited with Harding (U. Michigan) and with Julia Listengarten, Modern American Drama: Playwriting 2000-2009(Bloomsbury/Methuen).


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Elena Rossi-Snook is the moving image archivist for the 16mm circulating film collection of the New York Public Library.  She has served as a curriculum consultant for the NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation MA program, on the Board of Directors of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and is the chair of the AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force.  Publications include “Persistence of Vision: Public Library 16mm Film Collections in America” (The Moving Image), “Continuing Ed: Educational Film Collections in Libraries and Archives” (Learning with the Lights Off: a Reader in Educational Film) and a chapter in an upcoming academic reader on race and non-theatrical film to be published by Duke University Press.  Rossi-Snook was the 2002 recipient of the Kodak Fellowship in Film Preservation.  Her documentary film We Got The Picture was made an official selection of the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.  She is in production on a second documentary film.

Photo by Michelle Long

Photo by Michelle Long

Shilyh Warren is assistant professor of Aesthetic and Film Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is currently writing a book about the history of women’s documentary filmmaking with a special focus on the 1970s. Her essays on documentary and feminist filmmaking have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Signs, Jump Cut, and Mediascape. She is also the co-editor of a special feature on feminist pedagogy and cinematic violence for Films for the Feminist Classroom.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Photo courtesy of the artist

Richard Wesley was born in Newark, New Jersey and graduated from Howard University. He has written professionally for the stage, screen and television across five decades. He is a past winner of the Drama Desk Award, two NAACP Image Awards, four AUDELCO Awards, the August Wilson Award for Outstanding Playwriting, the Otto Award for Outstanding Writing for Political Theater and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organization of Black Screenwriters.  Currently an Associate Professor in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Mr. Wesley also sits on the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress; the Selection Committee for the Black Film Festival of the Newark Museum; the Board of Directors, Newark Symphony Hall and is an Advisor to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers University in Brooklyn, NY. He is married to the novelist, Valerie Wilson Wesley.

Start: Oct 31, 2016
End: Oct 31, 2016
Venue: Segal Theatre
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November 7

The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatre

Judith Malina and Julian Beck, 1961. Photo Courtesy of The Living Theatre Archive

Judith Malina and Julian Beck, 1961. Photo Courtesy of The Living Theatre Archive

Monday, November 7
Segal Theatre
6:30 Readings +
10:00am Screenings

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

Join us for an evening celebrating the life and work of the late Judith Malina (June 4, 1926 – April 10, 2015), who was a regular participant and guest at many Segal Center evenings. Malina was a German-born American theatre and film actress, writer and director. In 1945, she became the student of the radical German political theatre director Erwin Piscator at The New School in New York. In 1947, with her husband and artistic partner Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 – September 14, 1985), Malina co-founded the highly influential The Living Theatre, a radical political theatre troupe that rose to prominence in New York City and Paris during the 1950s and 60s. Together they created legendary productions (The Brig, The Connection, Paradise Now, Antigone, Mysteries and Smaller Pieces, Frankenstein) until Beck’s death.

Just back from their 2016 US tour, join the The Living Theatre with Artistic Director Brad Burgess and Associate Artistic Director Monica Hunken as they read from diaries, manifestos, essays, and letters fromJulian Beck and Judith Malina. Compiled and adapted by Associate Archive Director Philip Schaffer.

All-day screenings feature highlights of iconic works from The Living Theatre as well as a preview about this year’s 2016 Know Your Rites Tour.



Signals Through the Flames
, Sheldon Rochlin, 1983 | 97 mins
Signals Through the Flames is at once a history and a celebration of The Living Theatre. Founded in the late 1940s by husband-and-wife performers Julian Beck and Judith Malina, The Living Theatre was for many years the Predominant American outlet for the avant-garde movement.

The Connection, Shirley Clarke, 1961 | 110 mins
Allen Gisnberg brought critic Kenneth Tynan to The Connection written by Jack Gelber and directed by Judith Malina at The Living Theatre’s 14th Street theatre. Tynan’s review, provoked by Ginsberg’s appreciation of the play, and Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd’s music, made The Living a fixture in the downtown scene. This was Shirley Clarke’s first major film effort, and helped set her career in motion as well.

The Connection excerpt, 2009 | 10 mins
In 2009 The Living Theatre staged a 50th anniversary production of The Connection directed by and also featuring Malina. The production took place in the company’s new Clinton Street theater which closed in 2013.

The Brig, Jonas Mekas, 1964 | 68 mins
The Brig by Kenneth Brown was the last play The Living Theatre performed at its 14th Street theatre before being exiled from the U.S. for their criticism of the Marine Corps. Brown, a former Marine, wrote a day in the life piece based on his experience in a brig facility in Japan. Jonas Mekas filmed the play after the 14th Street theatre closed, in a midtown theater space that was also closed. But the crew and ensemble found a way into the space for the filmshoot, which won Best Documentary at the 1963 Venice Film Festival, when the panel mistook its realism for a documentary film.

The Brig excerpt, Evan True, 2007 | 10 mins
In 2007, The Living revived The Brig at the opening of its Clinton Street theater under Malina’s direction. The production was given two OBIE’s for ensemble and direction.

Love & Politics, Azad Jafarian, 2012 | 52 mins
The film follows Malina through her life in the Lower East Side after the death of her second husband, Hanon Reznikov. It premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival and has played in theatres in Europe and South America.

Know Your Rites, Jessica Daugherty, 2016 | 60 mins
Just this August, in the summer of 2016, The Living Theatre went on tour across America. The company revived a piece from the early 1970s, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism, which was created after The Living’s arrest and imprisonment at a D.O.P.S. torture prison under the Medici dictatorship in Brazil. The 2016 tour also included street performances related to the Seven Meditations, at places such as Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis, Boeing in Chicago, Haliburton, B.P. and Spectra Energy in Houston, Mormon Temple Square in Salt Lake City and more. This video montage combines these elements to show the companies investigation of the political climate in America, both in the theatre and in the streets. Join us for the premiere screening of the work‑in‑progress documentary, directed by Jessica Daugherty.

Start: Nov 7, 2016
End: Nov 7, 2016
Venue: Segal Theatre
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November 14

A Day with Robert Lepage/Canada

Photo by Jocelyn Michel leconsulat

Photo by Jocelyn Michel leconsulat

Monday, November 14
Segal Theatre
7:00pm Artist Talk +
11:00am Screenings

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

Born in Quebec in 1957, Robert Lepage is one of the most versatile theatre artists of his generation. Working as an actor, playwright, and director he is constantly creating work in theatre, film, and opera. Since founding his theater company Ex Machina in 1994, his work has toured festivals worldwide and has won him great international acclaim. In his work, Lepage draws from contemporary history as a source of inspiration, and he has been at the forefront of telling stories through the use of new technology.

Lepage has presented his work at major theaters and opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris, Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and The National Theatre in London, and has been artistic director of several institutions including Théâtre français at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Ex Machina. Currently he is in New York preparing Kaija Saariaho’s medieval romance L’Amour de Loin (Love From Afar), which will have its Met premiere on December 1, 2016. One of the most highly praised operas of recent years, Lepage’s L’Amour de Loin premiered at the L’Opéra de Québec in 2015. Simultaneously, he is working on his visionary arts center Le Diamant, an international-scale performing arts center in Quebec City, the new home for his theatre company Ex Machina.

All-day screenings will be followed by a talk with Robert Lepage about his work and practice with Frank Hentschker.

Screenings curated by Soriya Chum.


The selections will focus on Lepage’s diverse career as a director of film, opera, and exhibition design.

Far Side of the Moon, 2003 | FILM, 105 mins (French with English subtitles)
After the death of his mother, a man tries to discover meaning in his life and in the universe and to rebuild a relationship with the only family he has left: his brother.

The Rake’s Progress, 2010 | OPERA, 175 mins (English)
Stravinsky’s masterwork The Rake’s Progress, created for Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 1951, is based on a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, inspired by a series of 18th century prints by William Hogarth. This amazing production from La Monnaie–De Munt ‘jazzifies’ the setting by replacing Hogarth’s sin city, London, with 1950s Las Vegas, turning it into a glittering, cinematic gallery of tableaux vivants inspired by the early days of television. Staged by one of the most visionary theatre directors of our age, the Québécois Robert Lepage, the neoclassical morality tale truly becomes a grand spectacle. Lepage’s visual imagination works its magic superbly, while Kazushi Ono’s energetic musical direction drives the sparkling ensemble to exhilarating heights. This is the same production performed at The Royal Opera House, London.

52 mins (French with English subtitles)
This documentary describes the final three months leading up to the opening of Moulin à images, an impressionistic performance-event celebrating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. Director Robert Lepage works with a member of the Ex Machina team, leading a group of talented and creative young people who were invited to build this monumental panorama. This film by Mariano Franco and Marie Belzil demonstrates the scope of the Lepage project, highlighting the contribution of every artist. The Image Mill Revealed is an adventure in art for the viewing audience.

Triptyque, 2013 | FILM, 90mins (French with English subtitles)
Triptych is a contemporary urban saga that tells the story of Michelle, a schizophrenic bookseller, her sister Marie, a singer and actress, and Thomas, a German neurologist and Marie’s future husband.


Start: Nov 14, 2016
End: Nov 14, 2016
Venue: Segal Theater
, , ,

November 21

Pig Iron Theatre Company: Celebrating Pig Iron’s 20th Anniversary

Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Monday, November 21
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion +
12:00pm Screening

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


Since 1995, Pig Iron Theatre Company has been making unprecedented,
original work for audiences in its hometown of Philadelphia and beyond.
Inspired by the work of Jacques Lecoq, Joseph Chaikin, and Toshiki Okada,
the company focuses on the intersection of physical theatre, clowning, and
dance, and has innovated across the physical and the textual. Pig Iron has
created over 30 original works and has toured to festivals and theatres in
Poland, England, Scotland, Peru, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Romania, and
Germany, among others.

Following afternoon screenings of a selection of the company’s productions,
founders Dan Rothenberg, Dito van Reigersberg, Pig Iron artists Mimi
Lien and Jenn Kidwell, and others will talk about the company’s beginnings,
its journey, and vision for the future in a dialogue moderated by Rebecca
Rugg, Director of the Conservatory of Theater Arts, SUNY Purchase.


Photo by Colin Lenton

Photo by Colin Lenton

Dan Rothenberg is a founding member and co-artistic director of the Pig Iron Theatre Company. Dan has directed almost all of Pig Iron’s original performance works, including Poet in New YorkGentlemen VolunteersIsabellaPay UpThe Lucia Joyce Cabaret, and the OBIE Award-winning Hell Meets Henry Halfway. In 2001, Dan co-directed Shut Eye with Joseph Chaikin. In April 2010, Dan directed the English-language premiere of Toshiki Okada’s Enjoy for Play Company in New York, and then in 2014 followed up with the critically acclaimed production of Okada’s Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise for Play Company at JACK.  In 2015, Dan directed I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Humana Festival and FringeArts Philadelphia) as well as Swamp is On, a concert-spectacle with the rock band Dr. Dog. He has received a Pew Fellowship in Performance Art and a United States Artist Knight Fellowship.


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Dito van Reigersberg, a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company, is from Washington, D.C. He has performed in almost all of Pig Iron’s productions since the company’s founding in 1995, including Hell Meets Henry Halfway at Woolly Mammoth and the Ohio Theater (Obie Award); Chekhov Lizardbrain at Under the Radar (Obie Award); Zero Cost House at The Public Theater; Twelfth Night at Abrons Arts Center; and Shut Eye (co-directed by Joseph Chaikin). Regional Theatre: Prince Conti in La Bête at Arden; Lady Enid in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Act II; and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Azuka. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse. His alter-ego Martha Graham Cracker is famously “the tallest drag queen in the world.”

Photo by Ian Douglas

Photo by Ian Douglas

Jennifer Kidwell is a performing artist. Recent projects include Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Bernice Johnson Reagon); I Understand Everything Better (David Neumann); 99 Break-Ups and I Promised Myself to Live Faster with Pig Iron Theatre Company; and Dick’s Last Stand (as the controversial Donelle Woolford, Whitney Biennial 2014). She is currently at work on the original duet Underground Railroad Game (FringeArts Festival 2015, ANT Fest 2014) with collaborator Scott Sheppard. Kidwell is a proud co-founder of JACK (Brooklyn). Her piece On Playing Donelle was published in Movement Research’s Performance Journal #45 and on hyperallergic.com. She received a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship to work with Pig Iron Theatre Company, funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group.  She is a 2016 Pew Fellow.


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Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Civilians, resident designer at BalletTech, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. She was a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction, and received an OBIE for sustained excellence in 2012. Her work has been presented at Lincoln Center Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, Soho Rep, The Kitchen, among many others. Her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015.


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Rebecca Rugg is the new Director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at SUNY-Purchase. Since 2005, she has taught at Yale University for both Yale College and the School of Drama, where she also previously served as associate chair of playwriting. In addition to Yale, she has taught at DePaul and Northwestern Universities and at the University of Chicago. She was the founding producer of The Great Chicago Fire Festival, developed at Redmoon Theater Company in partnership with the City of Chicago. She was dramaturg on the original productions of Caroline, or Change; Harlem Song; Radiant Baby; and commissioned Passing Strange with Joe’s Pub director Bill Bragin. Rugg is co-editor with Harvey Young Jr. of the anthology Reimagining A Raisin in the Sun: Four New Plays (Northwestern University Press). Her criticism and translations have been published in American Theatre, Theater Magazine, and Performing Arts Journal.


 Screening Schedule:

Shut Eye (2001)
A comic meditation on dreaming, sleeping, and “the ordinary,” conceived
and co-directed by Joe Chaikin.

2:00pm Welcome to Yuba City (2009)
A cowboy/clown odyssey through a mythic American desertscape.

4:00pm Chekhov Lizardbrain (2008)
The OBIE-winning amalgam of faux-Russian tragicomedy and contemporary


Start: Nov 21, 2016
End: Nov 21, 2016
Venue: Segal Theater
, , ,

November 28

Contemporary Opera NYC: Talks with Artists and Producers


Photo from the premiere of ‘The Hubble Cantata’, presented by OneFifty partnered with National Sawdust

Monday, November 28
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion

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

New York City is experiencing a renaissance of contemporary opera. Artists find boundary-pushing new expressions by crossing musical genres, creating stunning visuals, and defining new narratives. Join us to explore how and why experimental theatre artists successfully revive this art form, while classical opera is struggling. Artists and producers at the forefront of the contemporary New York opera scene
will present their works and discuss the radically changing landscape of the field.

Participating artists: Jecca Barry (General Manager, Beth Morrison Projects); Lisa Bielawa (Composer); M. Lamar (Composer/Performer); Aaron Siegel (Composer/Producer, Experiments in Opera); Paola Prestini (Composer/Producer/Presenter, National Sawdust); Ashley Tata (Director) and thingNY (Composer/Performer collective); and Kristin Marting (Co-producer, PROTOTYPE and Artistic Director, HERE Arts Center).


Photo by Liz Linder

Photo by Liz Linder

Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. The New York Times describes her music as, “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart.” Bielawa began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992 and has premiered and toured works by John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Michael Gordon. In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California. Bielawa’s music is frequently performed throughout the US and Europe. Highlights include premieres at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Orlando Philharmonic, and performances as both composer and vocalist at the Kennedy Center. She is currently working on Vireo, an episodic opera which will be released by KCET for free, on-demand streaming in 2017. Her latest album is The Lay of the Love (Innova 2015). For more information, please visit www.lisabielawa.net.

Photo by Alex Norelli

Photo by Alex Norelli

M. Lamar works across opera, metal, performance, video, and sculpture to craft sprawling narratives of racial sexual transformation. Lamar holds a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and attended the Yale School of Art, sculpture program, before dropping out to pursue music. Lamar’s work has been presented internationally, most recently at The Kitchen New York, Merkin Concert Hall New York, PS1 Greater New York, Participant Inc. New York among others. Mr. Lamar continues to study classical and bel canto technique with Ira Siff, and is a recipient of grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (2015), Harpo Foundation (2014-2015), and Franklin Furnace Fund (2013–14). www.mlamar.com

Photo courtesy of the artist

Photo courtesy of the artist

Kristin Marting is a director of hybrid work based in NYC. Over the last 25 years, she has constructed 27 stage works, including 12 original hybrid works, 8 reimaginings of novels and short stories and 7 classic plays. She works in a collaborative, process-driven way to fuse different disciplines into a cohesive whole. Kristin is co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE where she has directed 17 works and cultivates artists and programs (including 17 OBIE-award winners) in two performance spaces for an annual audience of 30,000. She has also premiered works at 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Her work has toured to 7 Stages, Berkshire Festival, Brown, MCA, New World, Painted Bride, Perishable, UMass, Moscow Art Theatre and Oslo. She has directed readings and workshops for Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, Target Margin, and others. Selected residencies include Cal Arts, LMCC, Mabou Mines, MASS MOCA, NACL, Orchard Project, Playwrights Center, Smack Mellon, Voice & Vision and Williams.

Photo by Reuben Radding

Photo by Reuben Radding

Aaron Siegel is a Brooklyn-based composer working mainly in the worlds of experimental opera and chamber music. He is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera, where he has helped produced over 40 new works for in the last five years.  He is currently working on a short opera called ‘The Wallet’ for EiO’s Flash Opera program to be premiered in May 2017, a Chamber Music America commission for Mantra Percussion, and a pair of song cycles for Soprano and Baritone.  His most recent recording is BOOK OF NOTIONS, 9 duos for piano and vibraphone released in fall 2016. He is the Executive Director of Experiments in Opera and on the education staff at Carnegie Hall.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Ashley Tata is a freelance director working principally in the fields of new opera and multi-media performance. Recently: Molière’s Don Juan (Fisher Center, Bard College); George Lam’s Heartbreak Express (Rhymes with Opera); thingNY’s This Takes Place Close By (Knockdown Center); Mojiao Wang’s opera Encounter (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing); Venture Opera’s Don Pasquale (National Opera Center, NYC); Lainie Fefferman’s oratorio Here I Am featuring Newspeak Ensemble and Va Vocals (Roulette); Morningside Opera Company’s A Weimar Flute, (Housing Works Bookstore); and a multi-media concert staging of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs with video by Bill Morrison (Atlas Theatre, DC and The Holland Festival, Amsterdam, Beth Morrison Projects). As an assistant she frequently works with Beth Morrison Projects and directors Robert Woodruff, Daniel Fish, JoAnne Akalaitis, Jay Scheib and Michael Counts. Recipient of the Lotos Foundation’s Emerging Artist Prize in the Arts and Sciences. MFA Columbia University. She is currently working with Kate Soper and Wet Ink Ensemble on a new music multi-media piece, Ipsa Dixit which will premiere at EMPAC in December of 2016. www.ashleytata.com

Photo courtesy of the artists

Photo courtesy of the artists

thingNY is a quirky collective of New York composer-performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, text, song and installation. Founded in 2006 for an ad hoc festival in the historic Loew’s Jersey City Theater, thingNY performs experimental sound works created collaboratively by the core ensemble – Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Jeffrey Young, Gelsey Bell, Dave Ruder, and Andrew Livingston – and by adventurous composers such as Robert Ashley, Frederic Rzewski, John King, Pauline Oliveros, Miguel Frasconi, Vinko Globokar, John Cage, Julius Eastman, James Tenney, David Snow, and Andrea La Rose.




Start: Nov 28, 2016
End: Nov 28, 2016
Venue: Segal Theater
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December 5

Italian Playwrights Project: Stefano Massini’s SOMETHING ABOUT THE LEHMANS

Photo by Attilio Marasco

Photo by Attilio Marasco

Monday, December 5
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Artist talk 

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

Something About The Lehmans by Italian playwright Stefano Massini tells the story of the historic rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers investment house. This fictional book is based on Massini’s theatre plays The Lehman Trilogy, a five-hour saga that traces the legacy of the infamous banking family back three generations, beginning with their humble arrival to America in the mid‑1800s and ending with their empire’s eventual demise in 2008.

The play premiered at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano-Teatro d’Europa in 2015 and was the last work of legendary Italian theatre director Luca Ronconi. It has since been produced widely in Europe. Oscar Award-winning director Sam Mendes will be staging The Lehman Trilogy. Join us for a conversation with Stefano Massini about his work, the history of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, and contemporary theatre in Europe.

Italian Playwrights Project created by Valeria Orani (Umanism NY, www.umanism.com) and Frank Hentschker (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center) in collaboration with Giorgio Van Straten (Director, Italian Cultural Institute in New York (www.iicnewyork.esteri.it).

This event is made possible by the generous support of Joseph LoCicero/ The Segal Company.

piccolo_0931bdf3-1a9d-434b-adbd-db7d702a401f   umanism-logo    iic-vector-newyork

Start: Dec 5, 2016
End: Dec 5, 2016
Venue: Segal Theatre
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December 12

FEAST: Yoruba Project by The Royal Court Theatre and The Young Vic

Photo courtesy of Young Vic and Royal Court

Photo courtesy of Young Vic and Royal Court

Monday, December 12
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Reading + Discussion

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

The Segal Center presents a staged reading of Feast, a theatrical exploration with vibrant music and dazzling dance of the magnificent, cross-continental Yoruba culture. Followed by a discussion with
Elyse Dodgson, International Director, The Royal Court Theatre.

Originally produced in 2013 by the Young Vic and the Royal Court, this is the first presentation of Feast in the US. Afro-Caribbean traditions and ancestral lore come to life in this energetic work about three sisters who become divided at a crossroads on their way to a family dinner. From Nigeria in the 1700s through Brazil, Cuba, and the USA to London in 2013, the sisters survive by their spirits—spirits of courage, mischief, and incredible resilience.

Feast was written by playwrights Yunior García Aguilera (Cuba), Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria), Marcos Barbosa (Brazil), Tanya Barfield (US), and Gbolahan Obisesan (UK) and originally directed by Rufus Norris. Artistic Producer: Elyse Dodgson.

This event is made possible by the generous support of Cecelia and Seward Johnson.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Photo courtesy of the artist

Elyse Dodgson has been a member of the Royal Court artistic team since 1985 – first, as Director of the Young People’s Theatre and, since 1995, as an Associate Director and Head of the International Department. She was the first director of the International Summer School (now the Royal Court International Residency) which she started in 1989, and has produced the Royal Court Young Writers Festival (1986-91) and MORE THAN 30 FULL PRODUCTIONS OF NEW INTERNATIONAL PLAYS AT THE ROYAL COURT SINCE 1997. Elyse has co-ordinated play development in many parts of the world including CHILE, CHINA, Cuba, Nigeria, Uganda, Mexico,LEBANON, Palestine, Russia, Syria, India, Brazil AND SOUTH AFRICA. She has also edited five anthologies of international plays, all published by Nick Hern Books, from Germany, Spain, Mexico and the Arab World. She was the recipient of the 2004 Young Vic Award and, in 2010, received an MBE for her contribution to ‘international theatre and young writers overseas’.

Start: Dec 12, 2016
End: Dec 12, 2016
Venue: Segal Theater
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December 19

Heiner Müller‘s Discovery of America


Heiner Müller in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 1975. Photo courtesy of Jack Zipes. With writting from Heiner Müller

Monday, December 19
Segal Theatre
All day Symposium + Screenings

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

Playwright, poet, and author, Heiner Müller (Jan. 9, 1929 – Dec. 30, 1995) is considered the most significant German dramatist of the 20th century after Bertolt Brecht. Müller’s Hamletmachine represents an iconic and enigmatic text in post-dramatic theatre that has been highly influential on a
global scale for writers, directors, and dramaturgs. During the 1970s, Müller received permission to temporarily leave East Germany to visit America. Müller’s journeys in the U.S. included cross‑country car trips and visits to San Francisco, Texas and New York City—an experience that ultimately changed the aesthetics of his work.

The Segal Center’s all-day symposium will trace Müller’s artistic and political thinking and artistic practice during his American journeys, where he witnessed the decline of Socialism at home and the rise of Neo‑Capitalism in the U.S. International theatre artists, scholars, friends, and former students
will revisit the dramatist’s journey through America with screenings, an exhibition of documentary materials, excerpted readings of selected work, short lectures, and panel discussions.

Screenings will include rehearsals directed by Heiner Müller of Mauser in Austin, Texas and Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1975; Zement in Berkeley 1979 as well as as reading of Life of Gundling Lessing’s Sleep Dream Cry (LEBEN GUNDLINGS FRIEDRICH VON PREUSSEN LESSINGS SCHLAF/TRAUM SCHREI), a text Müller wrote partially in Austin. Additionally short interviews with Jean-Luc Godard, Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Betty Nance Weber, and others.

Invited participants: David Bathrick, Sue-Ellen Case, Terry GallowayJean‑Pierre Gorin, Frank Hentschker, Jost Hermand, Andreas Huyssen, Jonathan Kalb, Sylvère Lotringer, Bonnie Marranca, Klaudia Ruschkowski, Wolfgang Storch, Janet Swaffar, Arlene A TeraokaGinka Tscholakowa, and others (TBD).

Check website for updated schedule + screenings.

Findings from the Segal Center Heiner Müller in America Symposium will be presented in a follow-up symposium in Berlin, followed by a book publication. Curated by Wolfgang Storch and Klaudia Ruschkowski in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.

PAJ Publications is Heiner Müller’s American publisher.

The event is dedicated to Betty Nance Weber, who first invited Heiner Müller to the US as a Writer-in-Residence to the University of Austin, Texas, in 1975.



Wolfgang Storch was born in 1943 in Berlin. He studied dramatics, art history and German philology and works as a dramaturge, author, editor and curator. He was engaged at several German theatres, a.o. Schaubühne and Schillertheater Berlin, Schauspiel Frankfurt, and held professor- and lectureships at Freie Universität Berlin, at Hochschule der Künste Berlin, at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, at the University of Frankfurt a. M. and at the Bavarian Theatre Academy. Since 1975, he writes essays and realizes books, scenic works, shows, workshops and symposiums on Heiner Müller. From 1997 to 2013 he was a board member of the International Heiner Müller Society. He published writings and curated numerous art exhibitions and programs on the relationship of the arts, on Italy and the Mediterranean, on the Greek Myths, on “Prussia and the poets”, on Richard Wagner, Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Luchino Visconti and Jannis Kounellis.


Klaudia Ruschkowski was born in 1959 in Dortmund. She studied German language, literature and arts and works as a dramaturge, author, translator and curator. After engagements at several theatres in West and East Germany, she co-founded in 1991 the European Cultural Center in Thuringia, was one of the directors until 1997 and member of the publishing committee of Via Regia, international journal for cultural communication. From 1999 to 2010 she conceived workshops for the International Heiner Müller Society, in collaboration with Wolfgang Storch, and co-edited a series of volumes about Heiner Müller’s plays. She is known as a literature translator from Italian and English, collaborating since 1997 with the poet and painter Etel Adnan. She is the author of radio plays for Deutschlandradio Berlin, a.o. on Pier Paolo Pasolini and the painter Giuseppe Zigaina, on Mary de Rachewiltz and her father Ezra Pound.

Start: Dec 19, 2016
End: Dec 19, 2016
Venue: Segal Theatre
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