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Livestreamed on this page on Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020.

United States
Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020

Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company

Conversations and workshops about labor ethics and project finance reform, design and technology, education, accessibility, and equity and diversity from story selection and development to casting.

Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020

FoolsFURY Theater Company presented its national convening of ensemble theater makers BUILD from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020.

Schedule below.

FoolsFURY Theater Company is proud to announce the program for its national convening of ensemble theater makers. BUILD from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater is a call to action, featuring artists and activists in conversations and workshops about labor ethics and project finance reform, design and technology, education, accessibility, and equity and diversity from story selection and development to casting.

Among the invited guests is Kristina Wong, a performance artist, comedian and writer. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Wong currently resides in Los Angeles where she serves as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-District 5 Neighborhood Council. A frequent guest on late night talk shows on Comedy Central and FX, and an actor in film and TV, Wong has earned praise for her “offcolor” humor about “the ways race plays out in America today” (The New York Times). She’s created viral web series like How Not to Pick Up Asian Chicks, and she just launched the second season of the award-winning Radical Cram School. Wong will give BUILD’s keynote speech on Saturday 12 September.

Pamela Capalad, a CPA and co-founder of Brunch & Budget in Brooklyn, NY, will join Amy Smith, former executive director of Headlong Dance Theatre in Philadelphia and currently a financial well-being trainer, and Daniel Park, co-founder of the worker-cooperative Obvious Agency and the Project Coordinator with the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. They will participate in a panel exploring concrete ways to break the “nonprofit industrial complex,” sharing history, new models and ways to work within organizations to open doors to new ideas.

Capalad will join her Brunch & Budget co-founder Dyalekt aka Brian Kushner, in a workshop titled “The New Common Sense'' exploring the intersection of art, media and the racial wealth divide. With a background in theater and the law, Dyalekt has earned wide recognition as both a rapper and an educator. He has performed on the stage of the Bowery Ballroom and Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as classrooms from Harlem to St. Croix.

One of foolsFURY’s producing partners in BUILD is the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), a national advocacy organization for ensemble theater makers. NET Board Member Alison De La Cruz will host a conversation about the value of aesthetic equity in ensemble theater – “the foundation is racial justice.” How will aesthetic equity practices affect casting, ensembles, boards, how artists tell stories and with whom?

Additional conversations will be hosted by Theatre Bay Area, Calling Up Justice, and other membership based organizations. BUILD from Here will also feature a cohort of artists who had originally been scheduled to participate in the 2020 FURY Factory Festival, canceled due to the global pandemic.

Sprinkled throughout the schedule will be several short excerpts of live performances and presentations. Invited artists include Lacresha Berry, based in Queens, NY, performing an excerpt from Tubman, a play about the American abolitionist and political activist reimagined as a young woman in today’s Harlem. Dyalekt will present a passage from The Museum of Dead Words, an interactive hip hop experience that analyzes the comments sections of various online articles circa 2016.

Zac Jaffee, Zahydé Pietri and Jerry Soto are members of Téatro Theatre Group in New York. They will present an excerpt from their play Mission San Raphael (Casa Manaña) about a talkative AirBnB guest who conjures ghosts from the Old West, as well as Puerto Rico and Italy. Yvonne Montoya is the founding director of Safos Dance Theatre based in Tucson, AZ. Her Stories from Home centers Latinx bodies, aesthetics and experiences from the American Southwest, taking inspiration from oral histories collected from Montoya’s older female family members.

Pratik Motwani, originally from Mumbai, India, currently teaches at the Dell’Arte International School in Blue Lake, CA. He combines puppetry, movement and storytelling in an excerpt from The Long Way, a work about immigration, assimilation and belonging. And San Francisco-based playwright Julius Rea will show an excerpt from Ether, a devised, episodic series of interconnected stories inspired by interviews with real people during the COVID-19 quarantine.

“Ensemble theater is a particularly resilient and innovative wing of the American theater,” said foolsFURY Co-Artistic Director Debórah Eliezer. “It’s up to us to use our tremendous ingenuity and talent to reconstruct a more equitable world for Black artists and all artists of color in the theater we make, in the world in which we want to live and to hold each other accountable for our actions. How do we create safer environments based on aesthetic equity and racial justice? How will technology play a role in theatrical liveness? How and where will theater occur? I’m excited to see how we answer these questions and what we’ll build together.”

“In crisis comes opportunity,” said Claudia Alick, executive producer of Calling Up Justice and BUILD’s guest festival director. “We are in the midst of a pandemic, climate crisis and an inspiring uprising for racial justice. Our theater field has been fundamentally shaken, economically and logistically. The ways we connect, communicate and collaborate must change. How will we share physical space with safety? How do we build a new foundation for our field built on justice? We do this by gathering and allowing the artists to script the new future we will create in.”

Saturday 12 September

Digital Lounge
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Previews of upcoming events from our partners, curated music to listen to from Make it Balance, and other relevant info.

Welcome + Opening Remarks
9:15 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11:15 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12:15 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Debórah Eliezer and Claudia Alick welcome us to our shared digital space. They'll introduce us to BUILD from Here, and give some remarks on why we're gathering today and how we can imagine the future of ensemble theater.

Keynote: Kristina Wong
10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

How can we use art and humor at the heart of civic practice? As a comedian, playwright and elected member of council for her neighborhood in Koreatown in Los Angeles, Kristina Wong uses her dynamic skills to serve the community across multiple civic platforms. At the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, Wong instigated the Auntie Sewing Squad. Today, more than 300 “aunties” are still making free masks, (70,000 and counting) with a focus on helping vulnerable communities such as migrant workers, day laborers, people being released from prison and Native Americans who live in isolated areas.

Art Share I
10:20 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12:20 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1:20 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort .
Artists TBD

Strength Through Alliance: Culturally-Specific Organizations
1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

How does the work of culturally specific membership organizations and alliances support the field by supporting BIPOC Community? We will hear from a selection of artists and organizations on how they're working to create greater visibility for their community.

Panelists:
Armando Huipe (LTC), Daphne Sicre (LTC), Jeremy Aluma (AJT), Kaisha S. Johnson (WOCA), Alison T. Mcneil (WOCA), Quanice G. Floyd (AAC), Elena Chang (CAATA)

Art Share II
2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort.
Artists TBD

Aesthetic Equity in Ensemble Theater: A Foundation of Racial Justice
2:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

An interactive roll-up-your-sleeves discussion bringing together the entire field of ensemble theater to envision ways to implement long term systemic change. How will aesthetic equity practices affect casting, our ensembles, our boards, how we tell stories and with whom?
Hosted by the Network of Ensemble Theaters
Facilitated by Claudia Alick and Alison "DeLa" Cruz

Art Share III
3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort.
Artists TBD
 

Sunday 13 September

Digital Lounge
9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Previews of upcoming events from our partners, curated music to listen to from Make it Balance, and other relevant info.

Opening Remarks
9:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11:30 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Continuing the conversation from the day beore, Debórah Eliezer and Claudia Alick welcome us back to our shared digital space.

Art Share IV
9:40 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11:40 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12:40 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort.
Artists TBD

Labor Ethics & Finance Reform in a New Era
10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Are we beyond the nonprofit industrial complex? How about co-ops? And What about new types of unions? The new world we envision requires new systems for how we understand and distribute power through wealth. Our panelists will share history, new models and ways to work within our organizations to open doors to new ideas.

Panelists:
Pamela Capalad of Brunch & Budget
Amy Smith
Daniel Park

Art Share V
12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort.
Artists TBD

Producing in Pandemic: Transmedia & Ensemble Creation
2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)
Leaders using anti-racist and decolonized models in both digital and physically embodied artistic production spaces. 
How is technology being used as a collective space for decolonization? Panel of folks who are using the digital landscape to transform the industry of theater / ensemble theater to make it not only accessible, but an alternative theatrical space for BIPOC narratives.

Panelists:
Khouloud Sawaf
Rulan Tagen
Ian Garrett
Tracy Francis

Art Share VI
3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-7)

Featured snippets and performances from our BUILD artist cohort.
Artists TBD

ABOUT BUILD FROM HERE
Under the new leadership of Artistic Director, Debórah Eliezer, and alongside Guest Director Claudia Alick of Calling Up Justice, foolsFURY Theater is gathering the field of ensemble theater makers in a digital convening. True systemic change takes all of us. Let’s change our field at its foundational core. Let’s consider how real change takes time, resilience and iterative, long-term commitment: all characteristics exemplified in ensemble theater practice. BUILD From Here is a two-day event featuring workshops, artistic presentations, and panels designed for artists, activists, culture workers, educators, theater professionals, and anyone interested in building effective and long-lasting systemic change. Each session offers tools, resources, and participatory dialogues centering racial justice, labor and finance reform, design and technology, education, and seldom-told stories.

ABOUT FOOLSFURY THEATER COMPANY
Founded in 1998, foolsFURY Theater Company is a physically oriented theater ensemble based in San Francisco. FoolsFURY has been hailed as San Francisco’s “Best Theater Company” (SF Weekly), “One of the brightest stars of the San Francisco experimental theater scene” (SF/Arts), and it was awarded the GOLDIE award for theater by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. FoolsFURY is committed to revitalizing the American theater by creating groundbreaking visceral performances that inspire audiences and artists to reconsider and reconnect with the world around them, emphasizing qualities of the theater that can only be experienced live, and advancing artistic dialogue through training, research and presentation. FoolsFURY serves as the West Coast hub of the national ensemble theater movement, producing FURY Factory, a festival of ensemble and devised theater presenting works from companies across the U.S. and beyond.

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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