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Livestreamed on this page Tuesday 20 October through Thursday 29 October 2020.

New York City
Tuesday 20 October to Friday 30 October 2020

Prelude 2020: Sites of Revolution

Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Tuesday 20 October to Friday 30 October 2020

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City presented the Prelude Festival 2020: Sites of Revolution livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Tuesday 20 October to Friday 30 October 2020.

The festival will bring together artists, critics, activists, and producers from New York City and beyond to explore the many ways in which revolutions are taking place today. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life. At the same time, widespread protests—spearheaded by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—are challenging centuries-old white supremacy, white fragility and settler colonialism. Against the backdrop of this collision between rapid change and obdurate inequity, the repertoire of revolution plays out daily in the streets, on screens, inside classrooms, between loved ones, and in our minds and processes. In tandem, artists have adapted their work in innovative ways, redrawing the boundaries of their art forms and rethinking previously fundamental concepts such as “theatre,” “performance,” “live,” and “time-based.”

In concert with this season of upheavals, Sites of Revolution will offer audiences a free online platform to experience genre-bending productions inspired by this moment of revolution and reckoning. The festival will feature a wide array of new multimedia work created by artists at the forefront of contemporary theatre and performance, as well as a series of panels and other events that put artistic practice in conversation with critical discourse.

The artist lineup for the 2020 Prelude Festival was previously announced but a full schedule including further information about each piece and the artists involved can be found below.

Co-Curated by David Bruin and Miranda Haymon, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (Frank Hentschker, Executive Director).

Livestream Schedule and Archive


Tuesday 20 October 2020
3:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 11:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1)

Franky Award: Tonya Pinkins

Join us in honoring Tonya Pinkins for her long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theatre and performance in New York City. Virtual toasts by special guests.


Wednesday 21 October 2020
3:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 11:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1)

Revolutionary Partnerships

A conversation about how theatre and performance institutions are forging partnerships with local, grassroots organizations in an effort to help build more equitable, just, and beautiful
communities. The participants will discuss their ongoing collaborations, share what they have learned, and dream about what comes next. Featuring Jordana De La Cruz (JACK), Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel (People’s Theatre Project), Sam Johnson (We Keep Us Safe Abolitionist Network), Alexander Santiago-Jirau (New York Theatre Workshop), and Gaven D. Trinidad (New York Theatre Workshop).


Thursday 22 October 2020
5 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

Cut Woman

Written, produced, and performed by Dena Igusti, directed by Ray Jordan Achan

A choreopoem based on Dena Igusti’s poetry about an Indonesian Muslim survivor of female genital mutilation navigating the loss of her people, body, and inevitable demise. She uses her body’s ghost, the internet, and webcams to realize what stays in a world shaped by what is and will be lost.

Archive video to be made available at a later date.


Friday 23 October 2020
2:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 5:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1)


Written, edited, and sound/projection design by Zachariah Ezer, directed by Dominique Rider, with performances by Imani Russell, Namakula, Brandon Bogle, Ethan Fox, and camerawork by Elizaveta Kravchenko.

In a fantasy kingdom, a princess and her captor's magical lackey dream of social change, the overthrow of the local crime boss, and rescue from an overall-clad hero. Speedrun explores the idea that social movements are built on Black bodies who are then excluded when those movements reach the mainstream.

Archive video to be made available at a later date.

Tuesday 27 October 2020
2:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 5:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9:30 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0)

Striking the Balance: A Conversation with MENASA Theatre Artists Working in Non-Traditional Styles

A panel featuring Avi Amon, Mariam Bazeed, Kareem Fahmy, and Moe Yousuf.

It is only in the last few years that the term "Middle Eastern American theatre" has come to exist. To come to this meant reconciling a lot of internal differences within our community. For example: do we own the term "Middle Eastern" despite its colonial history? Who exactly do we include in the community? How do we define our relationship to race? As a result of these long-gestating conversations, our ability to come together and speak with a united voice in the industry has been painstakingly slow. And in the meantime our stories have been co-opted, bastardized, and mishandled. Much of the work our community has done of late has functioned as a corrective: here's a more accurate depiction, here's some more nuance, and here's the history through our lens. But in this noble attempt to engender empathy and understanding, what's to be done with the artists whose interests lie in the experimental, in the avant-garde, in the genre-bending? These creators are often hamstrung by the reality that so many audiences, producers, curators, and funders have had few, if any, opportunities to get to know the work of Middle Eastern artists. This panel convenes four artists who are working at the intersection of traditional narrative with performance art and puts them in conversation about the past, present, and future of non-traditional Middle Eastern American storytelling. We are leaving space open in our imagining of this panel/conversation to see if our individual impulses as artists lead to a collaboratively authored creative expression, eg. panel as performance.

Archive video to be made available at a later date.

Tuesday 27 October 2020
4 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 11 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0)

Una niña, una familia, un pueblo

Directed and video designed by Stefania Bulbarella with performances by Eugenia Diaz Cosentino, Delfina Kavulakian, Dominique Melhem, Flow Gateño, and Camila Taleisnik

Una niña, una familia, un pueblo is a developmental work in progress based on the memoir of María Melizza. Focusing on her memories as a child this piece explores her journey as an immigrant from Italy arriving in Argentina after escaping the Second World War. In the midst of devastation, “cuando no hay patria ni enemigos, vencedores ni vencidos,” we are left with each other in order to survive.

Based on the memoir of Maria Isabella Melizza: Una niña, una familia, un pueblo.

Archive video to be made available at a later date.

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Panel: Black Imagination
2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0)

Zhailon Levingston leads an open conversation focusing on radical imagination with 3 dynamic artists about the ways in which they are visioning their work in the future without the white gaze.



Get Rid of the Gala!: Artists and Arts Workers Reimagine What Could Take Its Place
3:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10:30 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0)

Most nonprofits host an annual fundraising Gala, an event that seems to amplify every aspect of the field’s inequity: Attendance is overwhelmingly white and rich, and artists often perform for little or no money. This gathering of artists and arts workers seeks to reimagine the Gala and how it can reflect the shared values of everyone who makes the work on stage possible. A panel featuring Cynthia Flowers and Seonjae Kim, additional panelists TBA.

Thursday 29 October 2020
2:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 5:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9:30 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0)

Upheavals in Language: Four Critics on the Words They Never Want to See Again

This panel will explore the changes taking place in criticism today by reckoning with especially useless, misunderstood, or noxious words. After a series of brief presentations, the participants will launch out on a lively discussion about the roles and responsibilities of criticism in this revolutionary moment. A panel featuring Soyica Diggs Colbert, Miriam Felton-Dansky, Brain Eugenio Herrera, and Diep Tran.


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.

Find all of our upcoming events here.

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