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GC Event: Raising Social Awareness and Activating Change Through Theatre
An in-depth conversation with five inspiring theatre practitioners working to effect social justice locally and globally. Panelists explore the complexities of creating theatre that challenges the status quo both in subject matter as well as theatrical format, and the barriers they encounter within each of their societies. Produced by Katrin Hilbe; moderated by Catherine Filloux.
Panelists: Maya Zbib (GCITA 2014 and 2020 Finalist – Lebanon), Mallika Sarabhai (Nobel Prize and GC Award nominee – India), Dominique Morisseau (Playwright, MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow -U.S.), Anne Hamburger (OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winner – U.S.), Mihaela Drăgan (GCITA Special Citation recipient – Romania)
Katrin Hilbe (Producer) is a director, dramaturg, writer, producer of Liechtenstein-Kansas origin, working both in opera and theatre, in the US and in Europe. She functions as the Executive Vice President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, the President of IG Kunst und Kultur in Liechtenstein, is a regular contributor to EUROPEAN STAGES, a publication of the Martin E. Segal Center and a member of SDC, TRU, DG and the Playwright Directors Unit of The Actors Studio. Katrin has an MA in Philosophy, Musicology, English/American Literature from the University of Berne (Switzerland) and speaks English, German, Italian and French. Her production company Many Tracks Inc. has presented work in New York, Edinburgh, Rome, the theatres Konstanz and Liechtenstein, and at the Dublin Gay International Theatre Festival, where the production of Julia Pascal´s St Joan won the Hilton Edwards Award for best direction and adaptation.
Catherine Filloux (Moderator) is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her plays have been produced around the U.S. and internationally, and have been widely published and anthologized. . Filloux has been honored with the 2019 Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship; the 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre; and the 2015 Planet Activist Award. She received her M.F.A. at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program and her French Baccalaureate in Philosophy, with Honors, in Toulon, France. She is a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders; and the first Art & Peacebuilding Scholar at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego; as well as an alumna of New Dramatists. Filloux has taught playwriting at many universities and colleges including and has served as a speaker/panelist at playwriting, human rights conferences and organizations around the world.
Mihaela Drăgan is an actress and playwright who lives and works in Bucharest. Her performances focus on the connection between theatre, Roma identity and social justice. Mihaela founded Giuvlipen Theatre Company with other Roma actresses, creating performances which include: Sara Kali: The Dark Madonna (invocation of the Roma saint against anti-gypsyist hate speech) and Gadjo Dildo (about the hypersexualization of Roma women and sexuality issues in Roma communities). Mihaela is a two-time nominee for the The Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award and rec eived a special citation for the 2020 GCITA Program. In the past five years, Ms. Drăgan’s work has expanded both in point of thematic scope (by exploring new territories pertaining to questions of gender and sexual politics) and aesthetic means (by experimenting with new performative styles and formats). In 2018, Mihaela was a resident artist in Hong Kong at Para Site Contemporary Art Center where she developed Roma Furturism – a new art movement that lies at the intersection of Roma culture with technology and witchcraft.
Anne Hamburger founded En Garde Arts in 1985 and has been responsible for pioneering site-specific theatre in New York, using its streets and historic landmarks as her stage. Hamburger produced the work of artists that are now internationally renowned: Anne Bogart, Charles L. Mee, Tina Landau, Jonathan Larson and Reza Abdoh, with large scale predominantly outdoor work. In 1999 she went on to launch and Executive Produce Creative Entertainment, a global division for Disney where she brought the finest theatre artists into the parks for the first time in their history. She then returned to NYC and re-launched En Garde Arts in 2014. In its second incarnation, En Garde is developing theatre that has social change at its core, assembling some of the finest most visionary artists working in the theatre today. For her work, she has won 6 Obies, 2 Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lee Reynolds Award and the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from The National Political Women’s Caucus.
Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the TONY nominated book writer on the new Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre). Dominique is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless” (3 seasons). Additional awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award (2), Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18, and a recent MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow.
Mallika Sarabhai, a trained classical dancer in the Indian styles of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, and lead actress of Peter Brook’s magnum opus, The Mahabharata, has been using dance, theatre, music, puppetry, video and martial arts to draw attention to issues relating to women, violence, human rights and the environment for four decades. As a performer she tours the world with her pieces, the latest, a US tour with her post MeToo piece, The Colours Of Her Heart. She also trains artists and runs ground level projects in schools, colleges and villages to empower women through art. Her artist expression has been recognized nationally and internationally with many acclaimed awards, ranging from India’s highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, the French Palme D’Or to a Nobel peace prize nomination. Her life and works were treated in the documentary films Pride of India and Mallika Sarabhai directed by Aruna Raje Patil.