“A defiant reminder that our stories are important and part of a larger queer history… represents, for me, the best of what theatre and performance can do… I urge you to go see Squirts for yourself.”
– John-Stuart Fauquet, The Huffington Post
Check out an interview with Dan Fishback about this year’s SQUIRTS in Next Magazine
La MaMa’s Squirts: New Voices in Queer Performance, gathers some of the most exciting new voices from NYC’s queer performance world, accompanied each night by a Guest of Honor — an established legend of their form! Come celebrate the legacy of community theatrics, multiple generations of queer genius, and the precocious audacity of the millennial mind.
“By inviting the great artists of our day to join new talents who have only just begun to craft their voices, I hope to take a snapshot of the city, and a pot shot at the barriers – generational and otherwise – that keep us from enriching each other’s lives.
– Dan Fishback, Curator’s Statement
Aye Nako | DarkMatter | Joe Castle Baker | Kia LaBeija | Taja Lindley
Friday, January 16th:
Guest of Honor – LINDA SIMPSON
Guest Squirts – CHARLENE & YAYA MCKOY
Guest Organizer – VERONICA BAYETTI FLORES of STREETWISE & SAFE
Friday, January 23rd:
Guest of Honor – JENNIFER MILLER
Guest Squirts – LEAH JAMES and MARS HOBRECKER & SABINA IBARROLA
Guest Organizer – DOMINICK of THE RED UMBRELLA PROJECT
Saturday, January 17th:
Guest of Honor – RENO
Guest Squirts – JES TOM & MORGAN M PAGE
Guest Organizer – MICIA MOSELY of FIERCE
Saturday, January 24th:
Guest of Honor – ISHMAEL HOUSTON-JONES
Guest Squirts – SPARKLEZ & TINKER COALESCING
Guest Organizer – LOURDES ASHLEY HUNTER of THE TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR COLLECTIVE
Sunday, January 18th:
Guest of Honor – PAMELA SNEED
Guest Squirts – AUDREY ZEE WHITESIDES & J MASE III
Guest Organizer – CARA PAGE of THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT
Sunday, January 25th:
Guest of Honor – OVERALL FATHER DERRICK “POP DIP” LABEIJA
Guest Squirts – KIYAN WILLIAMS & MARCOS DURAN
Guest Organizer – SASHA ALEXANDER of THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT
FREE After Party!
Sunday, January 25th: 8:30pm at Dixon Place (161 Chrystie Street, NYC)
The Helix Queer Performance Network is a collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, seeking to nurture emerging queer performers, unite diverse queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in New York City. Director – Dan Fishback
Postcard Design by Lauren Denitzio
ABOUT THE ARTISTS & GUESTS
DAN FISHBACK (Curator, Host)
Dan Fishback has been making theater and music in New York City since 2003. As director of the Helix Queer Performance Network, he organizes public events, teaches workshops, and curates various performance festivals. His musical “The Material World” was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2012 by Time Out New York. Other works include “thirtynothing” (2011) and “You Will Experience Silence” (2009). As a singer-songwriter, Fishback has released five albums, both solo and with his band Cheese On Bread, with whom he has toured Europe and North America. He has received grants from the Franklin Furnace Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust and the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, and has been a resident artist at Kelly Writers House, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Dixon Place, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Find him at @dangerfishback and www.danfishback.com
Aye Nako is a 4-piece musical collaboration made up of Mars Dixon, Angie Boylan, Jade Payne, and Joe McCann. Mixing roots in self-tought audio and visual practice, the result is an ever changing infusion of desire and impulse dedicated to untangling histories of abuse, race, trauma, family, love, gender, and a misrepresentation of identity. Ostensibly, it is also a dissonant and melodic punk band carving out a space to co-exist in the fold between music, art, and politics in New York City. Formed in Brooklyn during the summer of 2010, Aye Nako has performed at basements, clubs, barns, museums, and schools all over the country. As an update to their sound heard on Unleash Yourself, their first, self-released album, they are currently toiling away on a new EP.
DarkMatter is an interruption. DarkMatter is a trans south asian art and activist collaboration comprised of janani and alok. using poetry & polemic, tweet & tirade, DarkMatter is committed to an art practice of gender self(ie) determination, racial justice, and movement building. their work grapples with questions of race, diaspora, desire, trauma, empire, microflora, and the future. collectively, they’ve been published in The New Inquiry, New York Times, MTV, Black Girl Dangerous, Racialicious, Model View Culture, MSNBC, Colorlines, Upworthy, Autostraddle, and TEDx. alok currently works with the Audre Lorde Project in NYC. DarkMatter has been invited to share their work with social movements across the world. you can follow their antics at www.darkmatterrage.com or @darkmatterrage.
JOE CASTLE BAKER
Joe Castle Baker is a performer and writer from Los Angeles. He has presented work at the New Ohio, La MaMa, Ars Nova, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, the PIT, UCB, and other venues. You can also see him perform as his alter ego, Michelle Brunch, both on video and in person. In 2013 his devised theater work was toured in Los Angeles and New York. He graduated from NYU’s Gallatin school where he studied psychoanalysis. He is a member of the bicoastal artist community, Almost Holden Collective. Follow him on twitter @joecastlebaker and on instagram @jcastlebaker. joecastlebaker.com
Kia LaBeija (Kia Michelle Benbow) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in photography, performance and installation. A native New Yorker, she is an alumni of the Juilliard School and the Ailey School, where she trained in music and dance at a young age. Kia is a member of the Iconic House of LaBeija, a platform in which she uses to continue her love of the intersections of performance, fantasy, nightlife and community. As an activist her work is focused on raising awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS -specifically in relation to youth- by educating, and creating space for new conversations through her artistic practices. Currently, Kia is finishing her degree at The New School University
I am a courageous truth-telling creatress. An unapologetically proud Black queer femme feminist woman. Daughter of a single mother. Eldest of three sisters. Committed to the wellness, creativity and reproductive justice of women and girls of color. I am an artist, doula, writer and founder of Colored Girls Hustle (www.ColoredGirlsHustle.com). Through the performing arts I explore healing, wellness, pleasure, sex and sexuality, bodily autonomy, freedom and reproductive justice. For myself. For women and girls of color. For my community. On the street and stages. In theaters and classrooms. At conferences, cabarets and homes.
Ishmael Houston-Jones’ improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. He was the choreographer for Nayland Blake’s Hare Follies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1995-2000 Houston-Jones was part of the improvisational trio “Unsafe/ Unsuited” with Keith Hennessy and Patrick Scully. He and author Dennis Cooper created The Undead for the Los Angeles Festival of the Arts. In 2011 he and Cooper won a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie Award” for the reimagining of THEM, their 1986 collaboration with composer Chris Cochrane.
Jennifer Miller is a playwright, performer and the director and founder of Circus Amok. She has been working with alternative circus forms, theater, and dance, and for over twenty years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Ethyl Eichelberger Award. Her work with Circus Amok was awarded a “Bessie” (a New York Dance and Performance Award) in 1995 and an OBIE in 2000. Circus Amok is the subject of a French documentary film, “Un Cirque a New York” 2002 and Brazilian documentary, “Juggling Politics” 2004. As a dancer she has performed with Cathy Weis, Jeff Weis, Jenny Monson, John Jasperse, Johanna Boyce, Doug Elkins, and They Won’t Shut-up among others. She had a seven year stint at Coney Island Sideshow by the Seashore. She toured her solo shows Morphadyke and Free Toasters Everyday here and abroad. She is the author of Cracked Ice or The Jewels of the Forbidden Skates and The Golden Racket. She is an associate professor of performance at Pratt Institute.
Since joining the ranks of NYC’s drag queens in the late 1980s, Linda Simpson has led a multifaceted career as a nightlife personality, media maven, performer, game-show hostess and drag documentarian. Her slideshow extravaganza, “The Drag Explosion,” is a history of NYC’s drag scene of the 1980s and ‘90s recalled through photos she took during the era. Her debut book, PAGES, featuring photos of her friend Page, was published in 2013. (Check out TheDragExplosion.com). Time Out Magazine’s recent list of “Top 10 Drag Queens,” ranked her sixth (Not first, second, third… But sixth.) She shares her life at LindaSimpson.org.
Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, Bomb, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. She is author of “Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery,” published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG& other works published by Vintage Entity Press 2009 and a chapbook Lincoln(2014). She has performed original works for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM cafe, Central Park Summer Stage and recently Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin. She has headlined the New Work Now festival at Joe’s Pub/Public Theater. She is part time theater faculty at Sarah Lawrence.Her work is included in Essence Magazine, The 100 Best African American Poems edited by Nikki Giovanni and an upcoming issue of Ping Pong Magazine
AUDREY ZEE WHITESIDES
Audrey Zee Whitesides was born in Elizabethtown KY, and now works in Brooklyn. She’s had poems and cultural writing appear in/on Autostraddle, glitterMOB, Birds of Lace, and Bone Bouquet among others, and has authored DIY chapbooks including i’m the POTE and Teen Futures Houseplant. She also leads Brooklyn trans punk band Little Waist and performs solo queer weirdo music as the Normal Gays.
Drag darling Charlene is proud represent Brooklyn this year at Squirts! She’s just a cross-dresser who likes giving shows, and is thrilled that people enjoy watching. She hosts Drag Therapy for Recovering Queers on Tuesdays at This N That, placed in the top 3 in Mrs Williamsburg 2014, and can be found at drag shows in Brooklyn on any given night.
J MASE III
J Mase III is a black/trans/queer poet based in NYC. He is the founder of the first ever trans & queer people of color specific talent agency, awQward and the international performance tour Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement. He has performed across the US, UK & Canada in addition to using his skills as an educator to teach about queering scripture, climate change and dismantling white supremacy in mainstream LGBTQ organizations. An advocate for fierce scars and fiercely honest poems, he can be found on awQward’s site at www.awqwardtalent.com, Facebook.com/jmaseiii or on twitter @jmaseiii
Jes Tom is a stand up comic based in New York City. Jes is a new voice in stand up comedy, gleefully providing the genderqueer Asian American radical separatist perspective that everyone never knew they wanted. A San Francisco native, Jes has performed alongside prominent West Coast personalities Marga Gomez, D’Lo, Jenny Yang, and The Zodiac Killer (he was never caught, so this might be true). Jes performs at an assortment of settings and venues in New York, from mainstream Manhattan comedy clubs to queer cabaret shows. Jes identifies as non-binary and prefers the pronouns they/them.
Born and bred in Newark, Brick City, NJ Kiyán “Kiki” Williams is a Black femme queer shapeshifter, love warrior, and time traveler committed to the power and possibility of storytelling and dance as a means to liberation. Through movement, text, and installation, Kiki explores counterhegomonic, subversive strategies of resilience, survival and self-creation. Kiki has performed at La Mama Experimental Theater Club, SFMOMA and on the streets of NYC.
LEAH JAMES & MARS HOBRECKER
Leah James and Mars Hobrecker are transgender artists who use performance to explore the concepts of family and radical marriage. They incorporate ritual and healing into their works, which take instruments that have historically been used by institutions to dissect and quantify to instead create bonds that will bring queer bodies closer together, and test the limits of the physical form. They are currently learning how to inhabit their bodies and earning their BFAs at the School of Visual Arts.
Marcos Duran is a New York City based choreographer, performer, and teacher. He has improvised with movement pathways for over 15 years has danced across international stages, in site-specific work, and on film. In 2012 he formed Marcos Duran Performance Group and has shared New York City performances at 92nd St Y, 14th St Y, Judson Church through Movement Research, Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion Arts, Greenspace, Brooklyn Rooftop Series,Hatch, WAX and Mascher Co-Op in Philadelphia. He is a 2013/2014 Mellon Resident at Center for Performance Research and continues to create dance theater work while maintaining a private Pilates practice.
MORGAN M PAGE / ODOFEMI
Morgan M Page/ODOFEMI is a Montréal-based trans performance artist and writer. Odofemi.com.
Sabina Ibarrola is an artist and budding herbalist. This bruja finds the meat and magia of her work in the natural world and urban ecosystems of Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by a brilliant galaxy of queer femme artists and instigators, she explores themes of love and heartbreak, mixed-race ancestry, apocalypse and faith. Sabina’s collaborations include Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow, EmergeLAB@BAX, and The Femme Show, and she apprentices with Robin Rose Bennett of Wisewoman Healing Ways. Sabina works as a lead facilitator for Digging Deep, Facing Self online writing course.
Sparklez is a versatile singer that can go from Bach to Bjork, from Purcell to original Rap. The merging of genres is where she enjoys being. No putting her into a box! She is originally from Louisville, KY and moved to Brooklyn in late December after living in Philly for 2 years. Sparklez is a Radical Faerie and proud transgender feminist woman who enjoys politics and ranting about dismantling racisms, sexism, classism and patriarchy.
Tinker Coalescing is rad, mad trans lady. She is not a performer, definitely not an entertainer. Mostly, she has been relentlessly photographing queer communities in Brooklyn and NYC for 4 years, and prefers to be behind the lens. If only the world were less fucked up, maybe she could shut her mouth and go back to the safety of hiding behind her camera, but… y’all are fucking up. She stumbled into performing because she believes that certain things aren’t being said, aren’t being heard, not enough, and people deserve to hear. You can find her other work at www.tinkercoalescing.com
Yaya McKoy is a performance artist and poet using the internet, social networks and meme as art mediums. Their current work focuses on the medicalization of depression and the implications of filtering our creations, identities and spiritualities through the white gaze.
STREETWISE AND SAFE
Streetwise and Safe (SAS)is a multi-strategy initiative working to build and share leadership, skills, knowledge and community among LGBTQQ youth of color who experience criminalization, particularly in the context of the policing of poverty, “quality of life” offenses, and involvement or perceived involvement in survival economies. We conduct “know your rights” workshops specifically tailored to LGBTQQ youth of color where we share critical information about rights in the criminal legal system as well as strategies to increase safety and reduce the harms of interactions with police. SAS works to create opportunities for LGBTQQ youth of color to claim a seat at policy discussion tables as full participants, speak out on their own behalf, act collectively to protect and advance their rights, and demand choices that allow them to maximize their safety, self-sufficiency, and self-determination.
FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) is a membership-based organization building the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color in New York City. We develop politically conscious leaders who are invested in improving ourselves and our communities through youth-led campaigns, leadership development programs, and cultural expression through arts and media. FIERCE is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of social justice movement leaders who are dedicated to ending all forms of oppression.
AUDRE LORDE PROJECT
The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, we work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.
RED UMBRELLA PROJECT
The Red Umbrella Project (RedUP) is a small peer-led organization based in Brooklyn, New York, which amplifies the voices of people in the sex trades to take greater control of their lives and livelihoods through sustained and structured peer-mentoring initiatives, multimedia storytelling platforms, and public advocacy skills development programs. We create programming that supports the development of skills, confidence, and political analysis among our members so that they can better navigate social and economic justice issues. About 80% of our program participants self-identify as LGBTQ.
TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR COLLECTIVE
TWOCC is a national organizing collective led by trans women of color. We believe that the voices of those most impacted by structural oppression must be at the forefront of our movement. Our work centers around healing, restoration, fellowship and action. We believe visibility leads to accountability that will create opportunities for us all to thrive unapologetically in their truths.
SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence.
La MaMa's Squirts
The Helix Queer Performance Network gathers some of the most exciting voices from New York City’s queer performance world, across the generations. Over three nights, three curators sculpt the fabric of queer community to pose questions, honor legacies and ignite the present. Join multiple generations of queer performers as we celebrate the legacy of downtown theatrics and the precocious audacity of the millennial mind.