Selected Performance Projects
My performance practice started in 1994 with short solo and duo pieces, performed in alternative spaces all over San Francisco, including the Diesel Cathedral, BUILD, LunaSea, and Bindlestiff Studios. For the last fifteen years, I have facilitated and directed a number of community-based performance projects with diverse communities, including adults with and without disabilities and LGBT youth and elders. Some selected projects and performances are below.
Wish You Were Here
Co-creator & director, developed with the HATCH Performance Collective as part of "Fire House / Waters' Edge" for the 2016 San Francisco International Arts Festival. Site-specific piece examining history, memory, masculinity, and race co-created with AeJay Mitchell and Anthony Julius Williams at the historic Fort Mason Center. Performed as part of a suite of works created by HATCH members.
Join Us at the Table
Co-curator & performer, produced by OutLook Theater Project as part of the Mission Arts and Performance Project at Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco. In August 2014, OutLook Theater Project took over the Red Poppy Art House, curating a day of workshops and a performance dinner party where each course was a different offering on the topic of belonging. The event featured participatory performances created by each OutLook ensemble member (Shirley Acuna, Anne Carol Mitchell, Anthony Julius Williams, and Jason Wyman) centered around their personal symbol of belonging. I created a performance piece examining the often contradictory relationship between the intimate and personal belonging of my marriage and the random, government-sanctioned belonging that is immigration status. For a recap of the event, check out OutLook ensemble member Jason Wyman's post here.
This Many People
Co-creator & director, developed with OutLook Theater Project, National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco. OutLook’s first largest-scale project centered on the creation of an original full-length play based on the personal histories of Bay Area LGBT seniors. For two years, OutLook gathered material through interviews with seniors and interactive story-sharing workshops in collaboration with New Leaf Outreach to Elders and Lavender Seniors of the East Bay. The collaborating ensemble, which included two LGBT seniors, developed the play in Spring 2009 during an AIRSpace residency at The Garage, which culminated in workshop performances in late May 2009. OutLook cast a mixture of professional actors and community members to perform in the full production, which premiered at CounterPulse in June 2010 as part of the Queer Arts Festival. Kevin Rolston was the lead writer for the play, which was directed by Rebecca Schultz and choreographed by Lynn Johnson.
This Many People, set in February 2004 (when 4,000 same sex couples were married at San Francisco City Hall), follows an intergenerational cast of characters in their search for meaningful connection and community. In the process, they recall both joyous and painful parts of their personal histories, negotiate their relationship with San Francisco, a city both of refuge and of struggle, and begin to see glimmers of recognition across decades of age difference. This Many People played to packed houses and generated an enthusiastic response, particularly from LGBT seniors who were thrilled to see their stories on stage.
The SPIRAL Project
Co-facilitator (with Lynn Johnson), in collaboration with LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center), San Francisco. In 2008-2009, OutLook partnered with LYRIC, San Francisco's premiere LGBTQ youth-serving agency, to work with youth interns ages 15-23 to create and present original theater pieces addressing the challenges queer youth face in accessing public health resources, particularly mental health and substance abuse services. In 2009, OutLook collaborated with Tectonic Theater Project's Leigh Fondakowski (the lead writer of The Laramie Project), with Ms. Fondakowski coming to San Francisco to facilitate a weekend intensive with the youth.
Theatre of the Oppressed Workshops in West and South Africa
In 2008, I received a Theatre Communications Group Future Collaborations grant to do an international creative exchange centered on interactive theater for social change. I traveled to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for the Festival International de Theatre pour le Developpement, and co-facilitated a Forum Theatre workshop for theater artists from all over West Africa, Canada, and the United States. We created and performed a forum play about early marriage. I then traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, to work with Themba Interactive, an organization that uses interactive theater for HIV awareness. We created a play about the invisibility of LGBT people in the education system, both students and teachers. Lastly, I facilitated a Forum Theatre workshop for the Reseau Arts Vivants in Niamey, Niger, where we created and performed a play about gender dynamics in the workplace.
Safer to Name
Co-creator & director, developed with the Identified Queer Objects ensemble. With the Identified Queer Objects ensemble, consisting of LGBTQ performers, including Maya Orli Cohen, Alexis Dinno, Liz Green, Dazie Grego, and Antoine Moore; together we co-created Safer to Name, an experimental physical theater piece examining the challenges of articulating and defining gender within the LGBTQ community. Safer to Name was performed as part of the FoolsFury Fury Factory Ensemble Theater Festival in 2007, the National Queer Arts Festival at the SF LGBT Center, and as part of the Women on the Way Festival at Footloose.
Creater and perfomer. Passages is an evening-length performance interweaving my experiences as a young woman with those of my mother and grandmother when they were my age. Passages was developed in an AIRSpace residency at the Jon Sims Center for the Arts and was performed at LunaSea and at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 2003.