Stars (New Queer Works)! 6 works + 6 artists! 

A series dedicated to LGBTQ+ and feminist new works curated by Pioneers Go East Collective!

Where: Vital Joint in Bushwick

When:  June 28, 2018; January 25 & 26, 2019

artists line up!

Amy Surratt!

Thirst by Beth Graczyk!

Cowboy(s) by Daniel Diaz / Mike Cotayo/ Lo Forte & Pioneers Go East Collective!

 DON'T COME ANY CLOSER by Julia Dobner-Pereira!

LQQK by Jose' Rivera Jr.!

Ndingumzimba Owufihlayo by Kirsten Flores-Davis w/ Rina Espiritu! 

About the artists and their work (in order of appearance): 

Amy R. Surratt (Writer/Performer) is a collaborative theatre maker specializing in directing and developing original queer and experimental works. Her work has been featured at La MaMa, Access Theater, TheatreLAB-RVA, the New York International Fringe Festival, Dixon Place, and in collaboration with Split Britches, David Neumann, and Mabou Mines. In 2016 Surratt co-produced Hyena at La MaMa and at its presentation at the 2016 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Most recently, she premiered Amy Surratt’s FIRST AND LAST (show), which was received most kindly by Culturebot as “wild and raw, subversively crafty and exquisitely crafted,” and deemed “a hard-hitting phenomena of a production.” MFA, Sarah Lawrence College, 2012.  

Thirst (2018) by Beth Graczyk

Thirst (2018). In Thirst, Penelope Penelopinski, a shape-shifting femme queer, works to vivify the necessity of her own body through circuitous and sometimes dangerous paths. Attempting to conjure the sensations of a rebellious body through the nostalgia of punk and an overt sensual and scientific attention to domestic plants, Thirst unfolds as a physical narrative of a being who grapples between the desire to participate and the desire to seek refuge in an overgrown, overused, over-stimulated world. 

Beth Graczyk is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer and a scientist. Graczyk has performed throughout the United States and internationally in Japan, Ecuador, France and India for the past 17 years. Concurrently, she has contributed to 11 science publications in the field of cancer research. She co-directed the performance company, Salt Horse with collaborators Corrie Befort & Angelina Baldoz (2008-2016). In 2016, Graczyk launched a solo performance project calledDesire Motor. The inaugural soloBeast, was produced by Gibney’s Work Up 3.0 program, and presented through Movement Research, CPR's Spring Movement Festival, Greenspace and toured to the Harrisburg Dance Festival (PA) and Corridor Festival (WA). Her most recent work,One of You Is Fake was presented by La MaMa Moves Festival in 2017, Marble House Project (VT), NAP program (PA), Oye Group’s Avant-Garde night and their One Catches Light Festival at Jack, andMovement Research at the Judson Church. Graczyk has most recently danced for Raja Kelly, Sara Shelton Mann, Mark Haim, K.J. Holmes, and works part-time as a Research Specialist at Rockefeller University.

LQQK by Jose’ Rivera Jr.

Jose’ Rivera Jr. is a vocalist, choreographer, and video artist. He is creating his first visual EP entitled "LQQK," which will have components for both stage and screen. José is Company Manager to Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble. www.joseishere.com

DON'T COME ANY CLOSER by Julia Dobner-Pereira

Written, performed by Julia Dobner-Pereira / Directed at NYU in 2017 by Jenny Velarde / Co-Directed in 2018 by Lo Forte. 

The piece performed tonight is a selection of a 40-minute one-woman show Don't Come Any Closer, which chronicles Julia's experience as a drama therapy intern on a forensic psychiatric unit, focusing largely on her individual sessions with one client. The play is based on Julia's Drama Therapy MA Thesis - The Subversive Therapist: Using Queer Theory, DvT Theory, and Role Theory to Examine and Inform Therapeutic Relationship on a Forensic Psychiatric Unit. How can these connected theories be utilized to examine our experience as clinicians in relationship with our clients within rigid structures of power and discipline, engaging in a deep reflexive practice?

Julia Dobner-Pereira (Writer and Performer) is passionate about bringing play into the therapeutic space, disrupting rigid and oppressive systems, singing, and neuroscience (among many other things). Julia graduated from the NYU Drama Therapy Master’s Program in May 2017 and is currently a Doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at James Madison University. Julia’s first original play, Imposter, was performed at La MaMa ETC in June 2016 and NYU in September 2016. Julia performed Don't Come Any Closer at NYU in May 2017. Recent NYC Performance Credits: Don't Come Any Closer (NYU), Gemini Stars (PGEC: Triskelion Arts Center, The Bushwick Starr). Recent NYC Writing Credits: Scorpio Stars (Pioneers Go East Collective at La MaMa). Thank you to everyone at NYU and La MaMa for the support in creating this piece! 

Ndingumzimba Owufihlayo (working title) by Kirsten Flores-Davis

Performers: Kirsten Flores-Davis and Rina Espiritu

This new work in progress entitled, “Ndingumzimba Owufihlayo”, deals with the fragmentation of the spirit/soul to survive as black, queer, and trans. This work uses original text to speak to the decentralization of the physical black queer body as a means of continuity.  In a world that has made living dangerous for the othered, coping means adapting to our environments. We have become what we have needed to become to stay as close to subsistence as possible.  We all survive differently.  Some of our bodies have learned to stop asking for what they need and take what is given.  Other bodies are trained daily to joyfully amass the denigration.  Still others rupture wholeness to ensure the beating is only consumed by a sample of their entirety.  I am the body that hides.

Kirsten Flores-Davis, a New Jersey native, earned their BA in dance from Hunter College. Their choreographic work is inspired by an interest in the erasure of the fourth wall in an effort to make the audience as much a part of the performance as the “traditional dancer”. Their improvisational curiosities are deeply rooted in the guidance of spirit and energy with the belief that bodies are vessels to speak and be spoken to through the freedom of movement and voice. Davis’ most recent works compile a series that question the creation and extinguishment of collective suffering.  This series seeks to expose and dismantle the spaces that reject the afflicted while celebrating fictitious joy.  These works, including ‘Many Pass Few Remember’, ‘The Absence of Sweat and Psalm’ and their most recent work in progress ‘Ndingumzimba Owufihlayo’, have found life across the country being performed in Pieter Performance Art Dance Space, FAB Dance Block, and La MaMa Moves among others. Davis has spent the last four years as a company member of The NWA Project based in New York and Los Angeles under the direction of company founder and choreographer, Ni’Ja Whitson. Recently, Davis also performed with choreographers Maura Donohue, Ursula Eagly, Chafin Seymour of the Seymour:Dance Collective.