FAILSAFE FESTIVAL 2017
Workshop: Unmasking: Stories and Truth
Monday, August 14 6pm - 8pm
The Conciliation Project
The Conciliation Project presents Unmasking: Stories and Truth, a workshop infused with the principles and practices of its signature Ritual Poetic Drama methodology. Unmasking: Stories and Truth will present an excerpt of our original production Uncle Tom Deconstructed followed by a facilitated dialogue . The workshop examines how "uncle tom " is used as a weapon of both racially motivated respectability politics and dehumanization of black bodies. Media images, stereotypes and grotesque representations shape our ideas of race, class and culture. We all have a story.
The Conciliation Project (TCP) has an 11-year history of facilitating difficult conversations around race and racism through the use of theatre. Artistic Director and founder Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates leads TCP to partner with organizations and communities to engage in the long process of healing our nation’s historic past. The Conciliation Project exists with its own history, pulling from energy developed in Seattle, Washington in 2001.The Conciliation Project makes its NYC debut here at the Failsafe Festival and is dedicated and committed as a company and as individual members to courageously embrace our nation’s past in order to build a future together that dreams of the immeasurable possibility of what true and uncompromised conciliation would add to the quality of all of our lives. We acknowledge the enormous capacity we have as people, citizens and artists to transform lives through a common-unity of purpose.
Thursday, August 17 @ 8pm
Friday, August 18 @ 10pm
Sunday, August 20 @ 1pm
The Popup Chair
The Popup Chair is an interactive theatre project that stimulates audiences' imagination using inanimate objects. TPC presents a three-part exploration of Arthur Koestler's Bisocation Theory on the anatomy of Creativity, it's erection (teehee), and most importantly, it's ability to be learned.
The Popup Chair is a multi-media art production company that centers around a blow-up chair.
We often collaborate with contributing artists and place great emphasis on interacting
creatively with our audiences.
Our divisions include:
Words and Stories
Anchored by Arthur Koestler's Bisociation Theory, The Popup Chair believes that inner genius and
creativity come from the practice of imagining, recreating, confusing, and combining your
environment and the way you view it.
Genius is something that can be cultivated.
It is accessible to everyone willing to open their minds and try.
In the Wake
Wednesday, August 16 @ 7pm
Friday, August 18 @ 8pm
Sunday, August 20 @ 8pm
Mary-Anne Wright/ Unbounded Lioness Creations
In the Wake is a play with music (haunting acapella melodies and rhythms) which explores the themes of holding onto elements of those we have loved and lost; how we carry them with us. These themes are explored through the content of the story as well as through physical theater and movement exploration. In the Wake is rich in metaphorical imagery and exploration. The skeleton/ framework of the production follows a romantic couple's journey on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
Mary-Anne Elizabeth Wright is a South African born Actress, Writer and Singer. Born to International Business Man John Collin Wright and Dr. Frances Ray Wright. She grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She received her BA (Dramatic Arts) from the University of Witwatersrand. She moved to New York City in 2012 where she attended a Musical Theatre Conservatory. Mary-Anne has appeared in various productions, TV spots, films and commercials both in New York and South Africa. In addition to In The Wake she has also written and directed her own plays Once Upon a Boundary Line and Things Unseen. Mary-Anne is the founder of Unbounded Lioness Creations; an initiative dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless.
Unbounded Lioness Creations is an arts initiative headed by Mary-Anne Wright. The mission of this arts initiative is to create a forum where taboo or uncomfortable issues can be openly addressed and discussed. This is done in the hopes to bring comfort, illumination and a feeling of shared histories and communities. Ultimately Unbounded Lioness Creations is a humanitarian art initiative wanting to bring awareness and support through the gift of storytelling.
Too Naked Too Soon
Wednesday, August 16 @ 5pm
Thursday, August 17 @ 2pm
Friday, August 18 @ 11pm
Too Naked Too Soon is a vaudeville inspired new musical about two recently dumped New Yorkers who’ve decided to bounce back with bold new personas: she’s going to try to become a feckless pick-up artist, and he's going to get drunk in a bar and catch up on his reading.
Too Naked Too Soon follows these two strivers on a gleeful musical romp through a night of New York City dating douchebagery.
Composer and Director:
Harrison is a New York based composer, performer, and stage director. He has worked on projects for Broadway, off-Broadway and television. His original songs will be featured later in August in a new network television project on ABC, and his orchestrations for the Hispanic Heritage Awards were just broadcast nationwide on PBS last fall. He was the music director for Ma Yi Theater's new rock adaptation of "Peer Gynt,” and music assistant on Kander and Ebb's "The Visit" on Broadway with music director David Loud. Other recent productions include: 'South Pacific' (Allenberry Playhouse), 'A Song At Twilight' (Portland Stage), 'That Beautiful Laugh' (La Mama ETC), and concerts and collaborations with Wayne Barker, John O'Neil, and Dan Kluger.
As a stage director, Harrison engages audiences with productions that put story-telling first. He most recently directed a production of J.M. Barrie's magical play "Dear Brutus" for the Alpha NYC Theater in New York.
Graduate of New York University's Tisch School of Drama. More at www.harrisonmbeck.com
her, him, prince, michael & marvin (aka Love is Love is Love)
Wednesday, August 16 @ 8pm
Saturday, August 19 @ 8pm & Midnite
Sunday, August 20 @ 3pm
This play/meditation was birthed out of April, 21, 2016 and the passing of the Purple One. After MJ in 2009 I was shocked how I was impacted by the transition of men I had never met and wouldn't know me if I passed them on the street. This piece explores how 3 artists prince,michael and marvin have impacted me and brought me closer or helped to heal the pieces that have seeemd disparate but are part of me.
Mia Y. Anderson is an actress, director and bourgeoning writer. A native of New York, she was born and raised in the Republic of Brooklyn. She spent over 10 years in Boston, where she founded, directed and produced the all-female cabaret troupe Drag Kings, Sluts & Goddesses, which ran for a decade and was profiled in the Boston Globe, Color of Change, Bay Windows and the winner of the Fresh Fruit Festival Audience Favorite in New York. In Boston as an actress , she performed with companies like RadioDisney, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Boston Theatre Works, Boston Playwrights Theater and Theater Offensive. Since returning to New York, she has been featured in several award-winning films likeSleep and Production. As a director she has worked with several theater companies including Rising Sun Company, Construct Theater , Culture Project and she was a directing fellow with New Perspectives Theater and an alum of the 2015 Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab. As an actress, she has performed as Lady in Yellow in Colored Girls, Tatiana inMidsummer’s Night Dream, Porter in Macbeth among others. As a writer, she has shared at the Nuyorican Poets Café, New York Public Library, Fresh Fruit Festival Poetry Night and The New American Theatre and has published essays in the Lambda Literary award nominee Pinned Down by Pronouns and Bi Any Other Name. Check her outwww.miayandersonchannel.com
Books and Music
Friday, August 18 @ 4pm
Saturday, August 19 @ 4pm
Sunday, August 20 @ 6pm
Barbara Ann Michaels
Audience-Interactive Physical Theater about the difference between passion and intimacy, and the wild heart, mind, and body journey to attaining and sharing both. The main character learns passion but not intimacy from her family, then goes out on her life-path learning intimacy, with diversely odd and just-like-everybody-else ups and downs, crashes and celebrations. She ultimately brings intimacy home.
A funny work about a serious thing, this show aims to also evoke desire for family connection, deeper authenticity, more outrageous expression, and immense self-love in the audience, as they, too, unite in love and creativity.
Art is love. Love is Art. Barbara Ann Michaels, Jester of the Peace, makes a career of the interplay of love, art, and comedy. She creates audience-participatory environments and performances, usually funny takes on serious things, which can inspire connection transformation. Recent projects include #IVote4U, voting for people to be President of anything, which toured the US in 2017 funded in part by Participatory Safety, Inc; AND NOW: WOMAN, a living room salon series for women, also on tour in 2017; the Love Letter Lounge annual writing event; and work themed for life milestones, like marrying your self, and current events, like the Olympics. Ms. Michaels has been presented at The Miami Project, Barcelona's NauART, Glasshouse ArtLifeLab, The New York Clown Theatre Festival, San Francisco Fringe Festival, Unarthodox, Museum of Fine Arts Boston Art in Bloom, Boston Museum of Science, and many festivals. She has been seen on The Learning Channel’s Four Weddings, in the New York Times, Boston Globe, New York Daily News, New York Magazine, on CNN, in The Guardian and the Huffington Post. She also is an award-winning wedding officiant in New York City, specializing in creative ceremonies, inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame. She chooses to believe she was conceived on Valentine's Day, as her birthday falls exactly nine months later, landing on November 14th each year. Ms. Michaels was born to make art and love.
good girl/bad part of town
Saturday, August 19 @ Noon
Saturday, August 19 @ 2pm
Saturday, August 19 @ 6pm
A collection of spoken word and hip-hop pieces on topics ranging from gentrification and womanism to interracial dating and natural hair
Star J is a lyricist, composer and performance artist hailing from Washington, DC. She has written and composed music for How to Quit Your Day Job (Feinstein’s/54 Below, New York Musical Festival) and Flattops and F Words (Kennedy Center), mixing traditional musical theatre melodies with hip hop, soul and r&b. She has performed at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Busboys and Poets, Resist: A Counter Cabaret and Mi Tierra, and her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper and the DCist. Star is committed to creating socio-political art that sparks conversation and provides opportunities for artists of color.
5: A Celebration of the Senses
Thursday, August 17 @ 4pm
Friday, August 18 @ 6pm
Saturday, August 19 @ 10pm
Stefano Di Lorenzo
(Image by Federico Portacci)
"5: A Celebration of the Senses - The Living Movie” takes on an idea that is generally two-dimensional and distant, that of a movie, and makes it come to life among its audience. In this immersive show, dance, cuisine, film, lighting, photography, and performance art converge in a storyline inspired by the cycle of life and lead by music. The result is a dreamlike experience that blurs the line between art and reality, and within the confines of a theater room, takes the audience on a surreal journey summoning the whole of existence.
By integrating strict compositional techniques, extemporaneous action, and thought-provoking imagery, Stefano Di Lorenzo creates multiform soundscapes, mixed-media artworks, and total theatrical scenarios which flow freely within a newly constructed language. His output aims at investigating the border within concept pairs such as the realistic and abstract, the current and permanent, the rational and irrational. Concurrently with his efforts toward 5: A Celebration of the Senses, he is also working on a song cycle for the online multimedia project “Napoli Nuova Luce” commissioned by Italian photographers presente infinito.
Italian, b. 1982 Torino, Italy, based in New York, New York.
Friday, August 18 @ 9pm
Saturday, August 19 @ 1pm
Sunday, August 20 @ 11am
Arc Welding, an acoustic, a cappella new music/stage improvisation trio, will create a spontaneous work on the subject of theft. We do not take a position about whether theft is good or bad--we present it. Cheap glitter-purses will play a role. Our music, entirely original and of our time, will connect to Schönberg's "Raub" ("Theft") from "Pierrot Lunaire".
Constance Cooper founded the avant-garde, acoustic, a cappella improvisation trio Arc Welding in 2012.
Constance Cooper, composer, vocal/keyboards improviser and actress/performance artist, began improvising in the 1990s with the FirstAvenue Ensemble at Merkin Hall, The Kitchen, and Princeton University. She received first prize in the 2002 Gustav Mahler Competition (Austria) for her Acrobat, a double concerto with improvised solo violin and cello parts. She received her PhD in composition from Princeton in 2003. She has received financial support from the American Composers Forum and has been a resident at OMI International Arts Center, where she completed her improvisatory cycle for organ, synthesizer, and bass Repaying Sin-Driven Senators by Not Thinking About Them. CDs of her music are available on the Princeton University, Cadence/Quixotic (Coming From Us), and No-Frills Music labels (Laugh, It's Raining). This spring she plays Lady Bracknell in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in site-specific performances at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house. She is in two web series by Crizlassic Productions, In Our Backyard and Looking Through the Windows. Stacey Larkins's brief documentary about her in performance is at
The internationally acclaimed soprano Beth Griffith’s virtuosity and amazing repertoire are nothing short of astounding. Griffith has collaborated with composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Mauricio Kagel and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Her recording of Feldman’s Three Voices won the German Record Critics Prize. Peter Korfmacher writes: "Ms. Griffith performs with such intensity and tenderness that while listening the goose-bumps run up and down the one’s spine over and over again." This year she is performing at the Medicine Show Theater, Clubbed Thumb Wild Project, HERE Arts, New Georges 3LD Festival, and with Vox Novus; in Rachel Kauder Nalebuff's Quarter Century at 59E59th Theater, and Victor Vauban's TRUTH at the Huntington Free Library.
Lauren Lee, composer/singer/pianist, is a young innovator in a special brand of improvisation she calls “Vocal Instrumentalism”. Her Space Jazz Trio (with Charley Sabatino, bass, and Andy O’Neill, drums) and Velocity Duo (with Charley Sabatino, bass) are on critically acclaimed albums released in 2016 and 2015 respectively and have drawn attention in both American and European markets, each with corresponding touring on two continents. Her newly formed Exploration Ensemble features a rotating cast of musicians playing original compositions with an adventurous, childlike theme; it is currently enjoying success in the New York City area.
My Six Parents
Wednesday, August 16 @11pm
Thursday, August 17 @ 10pm
Friday, August 18 @ 2pm
Back in antiquity, doctors did the best they could with what little knowledge of the body mankind had discovered. To fully heal, wounds would often have to be excised, cutting off infected tissue. Most sickness was "cured" by bloodletting. And aren't we always told to not remove a glass shard lest you want to bleed? The wounds that Grief creates have to be healed in the same way: they must get bigger and carefully cared for in order to properly heal. This is my response, filled with the various waves and experiences that come from grief. But it is also a story of my origin and many parents. Each has left their various marks and shards in me, but not without moments of healing. From adoption to divorce. Hospital visits to marriage. Doggy kisses to unwanted adult gazes. And even from one death to the other, the ironic and morbid sense of humor that life has never ceases to amaze me. I have two birth parents whom I've never met. I have two parents who adopted me. One stepfather, later legal father. And finally, one step mother who is shattered glass, trying to pick at her shards without bleeding out. This is a story of pain, but mostly of memory and love.
Meg Buckner is an educator, choreographer, and actor. She recently received her MFA in Movement Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University earlier this year. Currently, she at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies to become a certified movement analyst, and the work of Laban heavily influences her work with students. This is especially true when teaching stage combat. While pursuing a career in academia, she continues to do freelance choreographic work, perform, research, and teach.
aka Angry Haitian Woman
Thursday, August 17 @ 6pm
Disparate (Essentially different in kind, not allowing comparison) Human aka "Angry Haitian Woman" is the story of a Haitian-American actress and her experiences as a person of the black diaspora in America. After her performance of a monologue one night, an audience member advises her performance can be improved by playing up the anger in being a black woman. The actress decides to examine this stereotype -- the stereotype has its origins in minstrel shows. How does one break through the one-dimensional role to be full-blooded in art? How many stereotypes need to be shed before she can play a superhero? Or allowed to be vulnerable?
Lunie Jules is from Boston, Massachusetts. She has studied acting extensively at the Barrow Group. Lunie's most recent credits include the role of Monica in Love Letters Made Easy and Caius Lucius in Cymbeline. She also acted in a short film she produced, Gone FiSSion. She played the award winning role of a smart reporter in NY Scourge which premiered at the international 48 hour film festival. Lunie loves to travel and spent two weeks in the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Lunie would like to thank her father, sister, niece, and friends for their love and support.
(image: "In The Wake", Mary-Anne Wright/Unbounded Lioness Creations; photography: Damian Charles)