Participants: Annie-B. Parson, Lee Breuer, Maude Mitchell, Theodora Skipitares, Norman Frisch,
Nicky Paraiso, Cammisa Buerhaus and John Jesurun
Interview with Bonnie Marranca by Joseph Cermatori
About the Performing Arts Journal
PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, originally called Performing Arts Journal, was founded in 1976 by Bonnie Marranca and Gautam Dasgupta. The journal explores innovative work in theatre, performance art, dance, video, writing, technology, sound, and music, bringing together all live arts in thoughtful cultural dialogue. In addition, more than 155 books in performance, drama, criticism, and history have appeared under the PAJ Publications imprint. Since its inception the independent press has published more than 1000 plays and performance texts, translated from 20 languages. Authors include Maria Irene Fornes, Mac Wellman, Sam Shepard, Heiner Müller, Vaclav Havel, Charles Mee, The Wooster Group, Richard Maxwell, Thomas Bradshaw, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Richard Schechner, The Wooster Group, Adrienne Kennedy, Sybil Kempson, Richard Foreman, Tadeusz Kantor, Meredith Monk.
Joseph Cermatori has written on theatre and opera for the Village Voice, New York Times, Theater, and was formerly associate editor of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. He is an assistant professor in the English department at Skidmore College.
Lee Breuer is one of this centuries most innovative stage directors, as well as an poet, lyricist, film maker, playwright, and occasionally, teacher. Lee’s productions include The Animations (Red Horse and B. Beaver), The Gospel at Colonus, Mabou Mines DollHouse, Peter and Wendy, The Lost Ones,Hajj, Sister Suzie Cinema, Epidog, Ecco Porco, Porco Morto, Prelude to Death in Veince, Mabou Mines Lear, Un tramway nommé Désir (commissioned by the Comédie Française), and most recently the first part of his trilogy La Divina Caricatura: Part I which premiered at The Ellen Stewart Theater at La MaMa. Films: Mabou Mines DollHouse. Forthcoming: The Book of Clarence and La Divina. His books include, Sister Suzie Cinema and the forthcoming, Getting Off (with Steven Nunns and Sharon Levy). Honors include a Chevalier of Arts and Letters, MacArthur, Harvard/Radcliffe Bunting, Ford/USArtists, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, McKnight, MacDowell, Camargo, three Fulbright, two Asian Cultural Counsel fellowships, and a Japan American Friendship Commission. Nominations include Pulitzer, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Awards. He has directed thirteen OBIE Award-winning performances, including the only OBIE ever awarded to a puppet. Lee has received OBIE Awards for Playwriting, Directing, Production, and Distinguished Achievement; as well as the Kennedy Center Fund for Best Original American Play, and The Edinburgh Herald Archangel Award for sustained achievement.
Cammisa Buerhaus is an artist based in NYC. She uses video and sound to synthesize critiques of politics and gender. December 2016 marks the wrap of an extensive European tour as a lead actress with The New York City Player’s production of The Evening, the presentation of a solo exhibition of video work at Ύλη[matter]HYLE in Athens, Greece, and performing in Cecilia Corrigan’s play Motherland as Hillary Clinton. Her work has been reviewed in The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music, Artforum, and Texte Zur Kunst.
Norman Frisch is an independent dramaturg, performance curator, and producer. He has worked throughout his career with some of the great American theater-makers. He has curated international arts festivals in cities large and small. He has programmed performance in museums and civic arts centers. And, occasionally, he teaches.
Frank Hentschker is Executive Director and Director of Programs at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, at the Graduate Center-CUNY, in New York. Home to the annual Prelude Festival each fall, the Center also hosts evenings of discussion on the arts by professionals here and abroad, special events organized around a single artist or theatre company, lectures by noted critics and scholars, and staged readings. In recent years, the Theatre on Film Festival has been initiated. The Segal Center also publishes several academic journals, and volumes of plays and essays.
John Jesurun is a playwright/director/media artist. Since 1982: text,direction,design for over 30 pieces including: the 61 episode CHANG IN A VOID MOON, EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE,SNOW and the media trilogy: DEEP SLEEP/WHITE WATER/BLACK MARIA. Fellowships include NEA, MacArthur, Rockefeller,Guggenheim, Asian Cultural Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Published by TCG, PAJ, NoPassport Press. “Shatterhand Massacree and other Media Texts”/ Performing Arts Journal. Past projects include FAUST~HOW I ROSE/ BAM, PHILOKTETES/Soho Rep. “Philoktetes”/Kyoto Performing Arts Center with Hideo Kanze, FIREFALL/DTW, STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS/La Mama, Jeff Buckley video “Last Goodbye”, Harry Partch’s opera “Delusion of the Fury”/Japan Society. Teaching: Justus Liebig University/Giessen,Goethe University,Frankfurt,DASARTS Amsterdam, NYU,Tokyo University,Kyoto University of Art+ Design,Bard College,Carnegie Mellon. His webserial SHADOWLAND can be seen on Vimeo. Recent work includes Shadowland Live at La Mama and a production of PHILOKTETES by Teatro LOT in Lima, Peru. Future projects include new episodes of SHADOWLAND and CHANG IN A VOID MOON, a collaborations with Juliette Mapp and Japanese playwright/director Takeshi Kawamura. johnjesurun.googlpages.com
Bonnie Marranca is founding publisher and editor of the Obie-Award winning PAJ Publications and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, which celebrates its 40th year in 2016. Her essays are collected in Performance Histories, Ecologies of Theatre, and Theatrewritings. In addition, she has also edited several anthologies, including New Europe: plays from the continent, Conversations on Art and Performance, Interculturalism and Performance, Plays for the End of the Century, and The Theatre of Images. Her most recent book is Conversations with Meredith Monk. A Guggenheim Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar, she has taught and lectured in many universities here and abroad, including Princeton, Duke, Columbia, NYU, UC-San Diego, Free University (Berlin), Autonomous University (Barcelona), University of Bucharest, University of Rio de Janeiro. She is also a recipient of the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at Queen Mary/University of London. In 2011, she received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Excellence in Editing Award for Sustained Achievement. Bonnie Marranca is Professor of Theatre at The New School for Liberal Arts/Eugene Lang College.
Maude Mitchell is an actor, dramaturge and teacher. She graduated from Oberlin College and attended The Neighborhood Playhouse – studying with the great acting teacher and theoretician, Sanford Meisner. She has lent a Meisner oriented approach to workshops conducted in America, Europe and Asia and was a recipient of a US – Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission to be the first western acting teacher at the Far Eastern Acting Academy in Vladivostok. Maude’s dramaturgy credits include, Un tramway nommé désir (for The Comédie-Française), Mabou Mines DollHouse, and The Laramie Project.
Maude is best known for playing Nora in, and co-adapting Mabou Mines DollHouse with Lee Breuer. She performed Nora in Mabou Mines DollHouse to critical acclaim in thirty cities on five continents, and for her performance Maude was awarded a Village Voice OBIE, Drama League Nomination, Backstage West Garland and an Elliot Norton award. Maude has been invited often to speak on Ibsen in performance including at the International Ibsen Conference in Oslo, Norway, The Edinburgh Festival, and the Festival Iberoamericano in Bogotá, Colombia.
Annie-B Parson co-founded the OBIE award winning Big Dance Theater in 1991 with Molly Hickok; the company most recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary at the Kitchen, performed at the Menil Collection, BAM, Berlin, and was honored by PS122. Parson has also made dances for the work of: Mikhail Baryshnikov, David Byrne, David Bowie, St. Vincent, Laurie Anderson, Salt ‘n Pepa, Jonathan Demme, Ivo van Hove, Sarah Ruhl, Lucas Hnath, Wendy Whelan, David Lang and Nico Muhly. Her awards include two Bessies, Guggenheim Fellowship, Duke Artist Award, Franky Award, USA Artist Award, Foundation for Contemporary Art, and an Olivier nomination.
Theodora Skipitares is an interdisciplinary artist and theater director based in NewYork. Trained as a sculptor and theater designer, she began creating personal solo performances in the late 1970’s, which revolved around the use of handmade objects that were worn on her body. Gradually she moved away from autobiography to explore social and historical themes. She introduced small 3-dimensional representations of herself into these performances, which she understood (later) to be puppets. She has created 25 works featuring as many as 300 puppet figures, live music, film, video and documentary texts. These projects include UNDER THE KNIFE, a site-specific history of medicine which took an audience to twelve different theater environments, and BODY OF CRIME, a history of women in prison. More recently, she created three plays about the Trojan War: HELEN, ODYSSEY, and IPHIGENIA. In 2014, she devised THE CHAIRS, a take-off on Ionesco’s absurdist classic, and in 2016, she created SIX CHARACTERS, a response to Pirandello’s play.