Daniel Alexander Jones has cultivated a wildflower body of work since beginning his career in 1993. His performance art pieces, plays, music theatre works, and recordings reflect his deep curiosity, iconoclasm, and abiding interest in the liberatory power of intimacy and unguarded presence. Rooted in the arts of the Black American Avant-Garde, Jones explores concepts of the afromystical in theory and practice.
Daniel’s work includes Phoenix Fabrik, Blood:Shock:Boogie, and Bel Canto; the musical, Bright Now Beyond, created with composer Bobby Halvorson and director Will Davis; and the multi-chapter series of solo autobiographical performances, The Book of Daniel created with musician Walter Kitundu, and director Tea Alagić. Duat, also directed by Davis, premiered in 2016 at Soho Rep to critical acclaim. As his performance alter-ego, Jomama Jones, he has released four albums, and performed across the country in the theatrical concert shows Radiate, and Black Light.
Daniel received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist award in 2015, in recognition of his risk-taking practice. He was an inaugural Creative Capital Artist, an Alpert Award recipient, and a recent ArtMatters grantee. He is an Associate Professor of theatre at Fordham University. Daniel is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists and the Playwrights’ Center.
Los Angeles, CA
Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her most recent work is The First Bad Man, a novel. July’s collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty-three countries. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; It Chooses You was her first book of non-fiction. She wrote, directed and starred in The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know — winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. July’s participatory art works include the website Learning to Love You More (with artist Harrell Fletcher), Eleven Heavy Things (a sculpture garden created for the 2009 Venice Biennale), New Society (a performance), and Somebody (a messaging app). Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.
Born in Japan in 1948, he is an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest, a master of the art of Japanese archery, as well as the Artistic Director of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC). After graduating from the Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles in 1970, he continued to study in the fields of Esoteric Buddhist art. He has been actively advocating Japanese culture and art at JACCC since 1984.
Most recently in 2012, Kosaka was commission by the J. Paul Getty Center to kickoff the Pacific Standard Time Performance (PST) and Public Art Festival by transforming the Center’s Arrival Plaza into a sculptural and performative installation with searchlights, dancers, and hundreds of spools of colorful thread – representing the Kalpa, Sanskrit for “a long period of time.” On September 2013, a survey and retrospective 1969-1974 performance work titled, “Project series 46: Hirokazu Kosaka on the verandah” was exhibited at the Pomona College Art Museum.
Young Jean Lee is a writer, director, and filmmaker who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by the New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She has written and directed ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Theatre Communications Group, Samuel French, and Dramatists Play Service. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has written a screenplay commission for Plan B/Paramount Pictures. Her first short film, Here Come the Girls, was presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest, and she has released an album with her band, Future Wife.
Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Doris Duke Artist Residency, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, and the ZKB Patronage Prize of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel.
Jefferson Pinder’s work provokes commentary about race and struggle. Focusing primarily with neon, found objects, and video, Pinder investigates identity through the most dynamic circumstances and materials. Through his meditative exploration with light and sound or his intensely grueling corporeal performances, he delves into conversations about race. His exploration of sound, music and physical performance are conceptual threads to examine history, cultural appropriation, and portrayals of exertion and labor. Creating collaged audio clips and surreal performances he under score themes dealing with Afro-Futurism and endurance.
His work has been featured in numerous group and solo shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands, The Phillips Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. At present, Pinder is preparing for the 2016 Shanghai Biennale, and has just finished a sculptural installation at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Pinder resides in Chicago where he is a Professor in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
New York, NY
Peggy Shaw is a performer, writer, and producer based in New York City. In 1980, with Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin, she co-founded Split Britches Theater Company, which has transformed the landscape of queer performance with its trademark vaudevillian, satirical, gender-bending works. Shaw also co-founded the WOW Cafe Theatre, a year-round festival of women’s and transgender people’s performance. Her recent solo performance, RUFF (2013), responds to her 2011 stroke and subsequent recovery, and also initiated the first ‘Public Service Announcement’ advisory film aimed at elders. The project also developed the Green Screening workshop methodology for survivors of stroke. Shaw has received two MAP Fund grants (2012, 2007), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2004), and numerous OBIE Awards. She was the 2014 recipient of the Doris duke Artist Award. In 2011, Michigan Press published A Menopausal Gentleman, a collection of her solo show scripts. She teaches writing and performance internationally and has worked with female prisoners in Brazil through the Staging Human Rights initiative. With Weaver, Shaw is currently devising Unexploded Ordnances (UXO), part-performance, part-conversation, exploring unmined potential in older people. UXO has been developed through residencies at the Barbican Centre, London and Governors Island, NYC, and has been presented as work-in-progress at La Mama ETC.
Narcissister works the intersection of performance, dance, art, and activism. Integrating prior experience as a professional dancer and commercial artist with a long-standing art practice in a range of media including photography, video, and experimental music, she has presented work at The New Museum, PS 1, The Kitchen, Abrons Art Center and many nightclubs, galleries, and alternative spaces. Narcissister was a re-performer of “Luminosity” in The Artist is Present at MoMA. She has also presented work internationally at the Music Biennale Zagreb, Chicks on Speed’s Girl Monster Festival, Festival of Women Ljubljana, at Copenhagen’s first live art festival, the Camp/Anti-Camp festival in Berlin, among others. Her videos have been included in exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including recently on MocaTV. Her video “The Self-Gratifier” won “Best Use of a Sex Toy” at the 2008 Good Vibrations Film Festival; “Vaseline” won the main prize in 2013. Interested in troubling the divide between popular entertainment and experimental art, Narcissister appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2011. In 2013, she was in FORE at The Studio Museum and had her first solo gallery exhibition “Narcissister is You” at envoy enterprises. She was nominated for a Bessie Award for her evening-length piece “Organ Player” which debuted at Abrons Art Center in 2013. Narcissister is a recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Award for the creation of a feature length experimental art film based on the Bessie nominated “Organ Player” performance. At the Creative Capital retreat in July, Narcissister was awarded a Theo Westenberger Grant.
Jackie Sibblies Drury is a Brooklyn based playwright. Her plays include We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 and Social Creatures. Jackie’s plays have been presented by Soho Rep, Victory Gardens, Trinity Rep, Matrix Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Undermain Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Available Light, Company One, and The Bush Theatre in London. Her work has been developed at Sundance, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., The Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, PRELUDE.11&14, The Civilians, The Bushwick Starr, The LARK, The Magic Theatre, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival and The MacDowell Colony, among others. Jackie has been a dramaturg for Futurity by César Alvarez with The Lisps and directed by Sarah Benson, Zero Cost House by Pig Iron Theatre Company & Toshiki Okada and The Garden by Nichole Canuso Dance Company. She received the 2012-2013 Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, and was the inaugural recipient of the 2012-2014 Jerome Fellowship at The LARK. Jackie is a NYTW Usual Suspect and is currently a member of The Writer’s Room at Manhattan Theatre Club and Ars Nova. She is the recipient of a 2015 Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Drama. Her play, Really, will be produced by New York City Players at Abrons Art Center this spring and directed by Richard Maxwell.
New York, NY
Kia Corthron is a playwright living in New York City. In 2014 she was awarded the Simon Great Plains Playwright Award and was a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize. Her work is expressly political and has focused on such issues as reproductive rights, capital punishment, homelessness, and the mainstream media. Corthron’s work has been performed in New York by Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place Theatre; regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Hartford Stage Company, Delaware Theatre Company; in London at the Royal Court Theatre and Donmar Warehouse; and elsewhere. Awards include the Lee Reynolds Award, Playwrights Center’s McKnight National Residency, Masterwork Productions Award, Wachtmeister Award, Columbia College/Goodman Theatre Fellowship, Barbara Barondess MacLean Foundation Award, Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, Fadiman Award, National Endowment for the Arts/TCG, and in television a Writers Guild Outstanding Drama Series Award and Edgar Award for The Wire. Residencies: MacDowell, Bellagio (Italy), Dora Maar (France), Siena Arts Institute Visiting Artist (Italy) and others. She currently serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild and is an alumnus of New Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre and more. She is a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize and the Simon Great Plains Playwright Award.
Los Angeles, CA
Sigrid Gilmer is a Los Angeles based playwright who makes black comedies that are historically bent, totally perverse, joyfully irreverent and are concerned with issues of identity, pop culture and contemporary American society. Her work has been performed at the Skylight Theatre, Pavement Group, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cornerstone Theater Company and Highways Performance Space. She is a winner of the Map Fund Creative Exploration Grant and the James Irving Foundation Fellowship.