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November 13

Japanese Playwrights Project (Day 2): Yudai Kamisato/Tony Torn/Sarah Hughes, Satoko Ichihara/Kyoko Takenaka

Yudai Kamisato’s Isla, Isla, Isla! Photo © Yuta Fukitsuka

Tuesday, November 13
Segal Theatre
4:00pm, 7:00pm Readings + Discussions

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

After the success of the first edition of the Japanese Playwrights Project (JPP) in 2007 once again the Segal Center brings some of the brightest, most innovative, and most engaging emerging playwrights from Japan to New York to develop their pieces through translation into English and public readings of the work. The Japan Playwrights Project plays an important role in introducing contemporary writing and dramaturgy from Japan to the US.

In 2018, the Japanese Playwrights Project is proud to present:

A Question of Faeries by Satoko Ichihara
Favonia’s Fruitless Fable by Satoko Ichihara
Isla, Isla, Isla! by Yudai Kamisato
Avidya – Hot Spring Junkies in Hell Valley by Kuro Tanino
Sokonaizu by Jun Tsutsui

The Japanese Playwrights Project 2018 was made possible by the generous support of the Japan Foundation, New York (Koji Nozaki, Sanae Tani, and Kenji Matsumoto). Additional support for English translations by the Japan Playwrights Association. The Japanese Playwrights Project 2018 was initiated and realized by Frank Hentschker and Aya Ogawa.

Board of Advisors – Japan: Peter Eckersall, Shintaro Fujii, Kako Kishimoto, Hiromi Maruoka, Aya Ogawa, Toshiki Okada, and Masahiko Yokobori.
Board of Advisors – New York: Peter Eckersall, Anne Erbe, Frank Hentschker, Andrew Kircher, Kate Loewald, Aya Ogawa, and Yoko Shioya.

Participants of the 2007 JPP included Masataka Matsuda, Akio Miyazawa, Toshiki Okada, and Mikuni Yanaihara. Josh Fox/International WOW Company; Dan Safer/Witness Relocation, Jay Scheib, and The Play Company each presented successful productions in New York theatres.




Tuesday, November 13 (Click here for Day 1 schedule)

4:00pm Isla, Isla, Isla! (イスラ!イスラ!イスラ!)
written by Yudai Kamisato
directed by Sarah Hughes, performed by Tony Torn
translated by Aya Ogawa

On a fictitious island in the south, an island dictator addresses his countless soldiers before a battle. In part he recounts the story of how he, the king of the island himself, arrived on the island and encountered the first natives there. He goes on to describe the lengthy history of how he brought “civilization” to the island, and recounts his violent encounters with his rival, a monstrous bird of the island. Soon the island is wracked by a huge earthquake, followed by the arrival of a wave of foreigners. With the new inventions brought onto the island, the island itself is transformed irrevocably. The king’s words gradually become the voice of the island itself. With references to real historical events, this play portrays an epic and mythological reflection on colonization, immigration, culture and civilization.

7:00pm A Question of Faeries (妖精の問題)
written and directed by Satoko Ichihara
performed by Kyoko Takenaka with English subtitles by Aya Ogawa

The 2016 mass murder of disabled people that shook Japanese society to the core was the departure point for the playwright. The play turns a critical eye towards contemporary society’s value judgment on issues of ideology of eugenics, and the aging population. The play is comprised of three acts in three different styles (Act 1 as rakugo, a traditional Japanese stand-up comedy form; Act 2 as a music piece; and Act 3 a seminar) and performed primarily by a single performer. The second act requires live accompaniment by a pianist, featuring compositions by emerging composer Masashi Nukata (Tokyo Siokouji / nuthmique). The actor Kyoko Takenaka was the first Japanese actor to be accepted into Frances’ École nationale supérieure d’art dramatique de Montpellier as an actor. This performance for JPP is a simplified version of the full production and is performed by one main actor.


About the Playwrights

Photo courtesy of the artist

Yudai Kamisato is a director and playwright, and the head of Okazaki Art Theatre.
He was born in Peru in 1982 and in now based in Tokyo and Kawasaki. In his teens, he lived for a few years in the Republic of Paraguay and the United States of America. In 2006, he became the youngest person ever to win the first prize in the TOGA Directors Competition for his staging of Desire Caught by the Tail, a farcical play with a script by Pablo Picasso, and he won the prize for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2018 with The Story of Descending the Long Slopes of Valparaíso which premiered in Kyoto Experiment 2017. He made his debut as a novelist in 2013. In October 2016, he undertook one year of residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina under the Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists offered by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2016, he served as a junior fellow of The Saison Foundation. More recently, he has been creating works that derive from heightened interest in his own identity and reflect deep insights into problems confronting immigrants and workers, the relationship between the individual and national identity, and communication with contemporary others.

Satoko Ichihara is a playwriter, director and novelist. Born in 1988. Studied theater at J.F. Oberlin University. Ichihara narrates the absurdity of life and the vitality of humans who shine in the rankling world from the perspective of women, delivered mainly through monologues. While setting great value on the bodies of performers, she also emphasizes the expression of texts and their rhythms. Her works are carefully built as if from an outside perspective into the behaviors of humans and animals, and aim to immerse the audience in the vibrancy and the bounding pulse of life. 2011, Receives the Aichi Arts Foundation Drama Award with the play “Insects” .2013, Serected to stage “Qlobe of Life Ⅱ” as part of the Festival/Tokyo. 2016, Released the novel “Insects” in the literary journal “Subaru”. 2017, Nominated for finalist of 61st Kishida Kunio Playwriting award for “Favonia’s Fruitless Fable”. Invited to present “Favonia’s Fruitless Fable” at the Seoul Marginal Theater Festival. 2018, Selected to The Saison Foundation Junior fellow Artist.


About the Directors

Sarah Hughes is a director and producer of theater and new media. She’s developed performances with artists such as Eliza Bent, Julia May Jonas / Nellie Tinder, MJ Kaufman, Sibyl Kempson, McFeely Sam Goodman, Chana Porter, Deepali Gupta, Cara Scarmack, Alaina Ferris, and Pablo Helguera. With Graham Sack, Geoff Sobelle & Sensorium she’s created VR & AR pieces for Tribeca Film Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, and The New York Times. She’s presented work at Abrons Arts Center, BAM Next Wave, JACK, The Bushwick Starr, Japan Society, PEN World Voices, Columbia University, and Prelude, among others. Sarah worked with Elevator Repair Service from 2007-14, assistant directing Gatz, The Select, Arguendo, Shuffle, and Fondly, Collette Richland, and she was Co-Artistic Producer of Target Margin Theater from 2015-17. www.sarahcameronhughes.com

Start: Nov 13, 2018
End: Nov 13, 2018
Venue: Segal Theatre
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November 26

50 Years to 1968: A Sit-In Seminar

Photo by Paul Klee. From the Collection of Paul Cronin.

Monday, November 26
Segal Theatre
All Day Seminar

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

In 1968, the student body emerged on the global scene as a cohesive revolutionary movement fighting alongside oppressed people in India, East and Western Europe, South and North America, and articulating a new political horizon. 50 years later, what remains of that emancipatory promise?

In an all-day event, the Segal Center and the Doctoral Students of Theatre and Performance will stage a critical homage to the 1968 sit-ins and alternative modes of congregation, inviting students, activists, scholars, artists and workers to share the space, sit together, talk, perform, meet and listen. The sit-in at the Segal will create an open forum for participants from different groups and areas to debate, experiment and re-imagine the political roles and potential of the student body and its collaborators today – both inside and outside the university.

Created in collaboration with Doctoral Students of Theatre and Performance, Amir Farjoun and Mara Valderrama.

Date: November 26
Venue: Segal Theatre
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December 3

Parliament (1st NY Session) with Michael Kliën (Austria)

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Monday, December 3
Segal Theatre
4:30pm  Closed Workshop* + 8:30pm Artist Talk

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

The workshop will be closed to audiences, to participate please RSVP corytamler@gmail.com                                                                      

The Segal Center is proud to present the CUNY version of Parliament (1st NY Session). Parliament is a pioneering work of situational choreography and exploration of ecological aesthetics. The work offers participants a critically needed withdrawal from normal modes of social action and provides instead an innovative site for 21st-century experimentalist cooperation. Embedded in the immediacy of Michael Kliën’s choreographic framework, citizen-performers, working in silence, come together to bear witness to and hold council amidst the elemental phenomena and fundamental concerns of collectively lived experience. Pointing towards unseen and unexperienced modes of social organization, Parliament traverses, probes and navigates the paradigms that animate our present-day political relations.

Produced in collaboration with Cory Tamler.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Michael Kliën (born 1973) is a choreographer and artist. Considered one of Europe’s most notable thinkers in contemporary dance and choreography, he has been commissioned by leading institutions including Ballett Frankfurt, Martha Graham Dance Company, New Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Hayward Gallery. As Artistic Director/CEO of Daghdha (2003-2011, Ireland) he developed an extended, socio-politically engaged choreography referred to as ‘Social Choreography’. Kliën’s practice encompasses interdisciplinary thinking, writing, curation, and centrally, choreographic works equally at home in performing and fine arts. He was awarded a PhD from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. In 2017 Kliën took up the position of Associate Professor of Practice at Duke University.

Start: Dec 3, 2018
End: Dec 3, 2018
Venue: Segal Theatre
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December 10

Performing Knowledge: What Does Learning Feel Like?

Joseph Beuys, Untitled (Sun State), 1974.

Monday, December 10
Segal Theatre
All Day Lecture Performances with Meg Araneo, Patricia Clough, Amir Farjoun, Jon McKenzie, Aneta Stojnic, and others

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

What is the role of aesthetics in the production and dissemination of knowledge and research? In what new ways can we perform our knowledge, and to what new ends?

Un-covering and celebrating the latent performative potential of any pedagogical situation, prominent scholars and graduate students convene to consider such basic, yet often neglected questions: what does learning feel like? Philosopher and political scientist Wendy Brown calls upon scholars to recover “what is ineffably moving, sublime, or meaningful in the humanities.” Performing Knowledge seeks to do exactly that, focusing on the Humanities’ struggles with trends of neoliberalism.

Performing Lecturers include Meg Araneo, Patricia Clough (The Affective Turn), Jon McKenzie (Perform or Else) and Aneta Stojnic, and Graduate Students.

Performing Knowledge is an initiative by Amir Farjoun, Ph.D. Student of Theatre and Performance at the Graduate Center CUNY, in collaboration with the Segal Center. Co-produced with Mara Valderrama.

Date: December 10
Venue: Segal Theatre
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December 12

Devised Theatre: Curating, Producing, Presenting (A Practical Roundtable)

Covers of Moment Work: Tectonic Theater Project’s Process of Devising Theater and Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Devised Theater.

Wednesday, December 12
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion + 3:00pm Workshop + 5:30pm Book Talk

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

What is devised theater? This form, which confounds traditional notions of theatermaking, is itself confounding. It has come to mean many different (and sometimes conflicting) things, depending on the context. Join our working group discussion, featuring producing institutions, funders, artists, legal experts, and scholars, as we attempt to create a comprehensive definition for the “devised theater.” What happens when the collaboration expands beyond traditional definitions? How is the work curated, produced, presented, compensated and credited?

3:00pm Workshop
Register at mestc@gc.cuny.edu for a special Devised Theatre afternoon workshop with the Dramatists Guild, who organized an International Devised Theatre Conference as a part of their 2018 National Conference.

5:30pm Book Talk
with Jimmy Maize, Moment Work (2018), and Chloe Johnston, Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Devised Theater (2018)

Organized and led by Andrew Kircher, Director of The Public Theater’s Devised Theater Initiative + an afternoon workshop with the Dramatist Guild on their new devised theater contract templates.

Andrew Kircher is the Director of the Devised Theater Initiative and associate dramaturg at the Public Theater. As a creative producer, he has worked with companies including Ars Nova, Les Freres Corbusier, and Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, and was previously the associate director of the Under the Radar Festival. He has served on panels with NEFA, Creative Capital, among others. He curated the 2017 and 2018 PRELUDE Festival.

Start: Dec 12, 2018
End: Dec 12, 2018
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December 13

Teatro delle Albe (Italy): Artist Talk with Marco Martinelli

Photo by Lidia Bagnara.

Thursday, December 13
La MaMa Theater – Downstairs Theatre (66 4th Street, New York)

6:30pm Artist Talk

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

Join us for an artist talk with Marco Martinelli and a reading by Ermanna Montanari from Teatro delle Albe’s latest production, Love’s Faithful (fedeli d’amore) – A Polyptych in Seven Panels for Dante Alighieri (Fedeli d’Amore). The unusual participatory work is a reflection by Marco Martinelli “about” Dante Alighieri and the contemporary world. Dante, himself a refugee, fled from Florence when he was condemned to death by burning at the stake. We meet Dante on his deathbed in 1321, exiled in Ravenna, the home of the Teatro delle Albe.

This “polyptych” for the stage enriches the itinerary by Martinelli and Montanari on The Divine Comedy, a project from 2017 to 2021 where the whole city is a stage and all citizens are called on to participate.


Photo courtesy by artist

Marco Martinelli, playwright and director, founded with Ernanna Montanari the Teatro delle Albe (1983), one of the most respected Italian theatre companies. Martinelli has been awarded numerous prizes including: five Ubu Prizes; the Drammaturgia In/Finita Prize; the Hystrio Prize; the Golden Laurel-international Festival Mess; the Prize for Career Achievement- international festival Journées théâtrales de Carthage.His texts have been published and staged in Italy, France (selected by the European projects on contemporary playwriting Face à Face and Fabulamundi), Belgium, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Chile, Brazil and the United States (translated in English by Thomas Simpson).

Ermanna Montanari, actress, author and set designer, Teatro delle Albe’s founder and artistic director with Marco Martinelli, for her work and in particular for her extraordinary itinerary of vocal and musical research, has been awarded prestigious acknowledgements including: three Ubu Prizes, the Golden Laurel-international Festival Mess; the Lo straniero Prize-dedicated to the memory of Carmelo Bene; the Eleonora Duse Prize, and the Prize of the Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro.

Presented in collaboration with Umanism, Italian Playwright Project, Valeria Orani (Director) with additional support from La MaMa, Mia Yoo, Artistic Director, and the Italian Cultural Insitute.
Media partner Rai Radio3


Start: Dec 13, 2018
End: Dec 13, 2018
Venue: LaMaMa- The Downstairs, 66 4th Street, New York, NY
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December 17

Experimental Theatre + Performance Publishing with 3 Hole Press, 53rd State Press, and Ugly Duckling Presse

Left to Right: Matvei Yankelevic, Mac Wellman, Kate Kremer (photos courtesy of the artists), and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff © Roman Kane.

Monday, December 17
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion

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

The 2018 Daniel Gerould Memorial Lecture

Why publish a play in the 21st century? What are the limits of performance and paper—and what becomes possible when they converge? Can something be so analog that it becomes futuristic? In the last decades, independent publishing houses have taken up the challenge to re-think the relationship between print and performance in our times of post-dramatic theatre and ubiquitous virtual texts.

Join Mac Wellman, publishers Matvei Yankelevich (Ugly Duckling Presse), Kate Kremer (53rd State Press), Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (3 Hole Press) and affiliate artists from each press for conversations and readings from newly released works.

Is God Is
By Aleshea Harris
Introduced by Dawn Lundy Martin
3 Hole & Soho Rep. Special Edition




Pop Star Series
By Neal Medlyn
53rd State Press




A Piece of Work
By Annie Dorsen
Ugly Duckling Presse





Start: Dec 17, 2018
End: Dec 17, 2018
Venue: Segal Theatre
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