Mabou Mines' New Suite/Space Performance Initiative Returns For A Second Season

Mabou Mines' New Suite/Space Performance Initiative Returns For A Second Season

Four women of color breaking boundaries at Mabou Mines as part of the 2019 SUITE/Space program - Cinthia Chen, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Cristina Pitter and Edisa Weeks.

Mabou Mines (122 Community Center, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009).

January 31-February 6, 2019 at 7pm and 8:30pm each night (no performances on Sunday).

From January 31st to February 6th, Mabou Mines proudly presents the work of the four 2019 SUITE/Space Artists for two shows per night in a festival-like setting at Mabou Mines' new state-of-the-art theater in the East Village.

Mabou Mines' performance initiative SUITE/Space provides artistic advisement, rehearsal space and public performances in the company's 99-seat theater. SUITE/Space hosts the work of artists who reflect NYC's rich cultural landscape and share Mabou Mines' commitment to breaking new ground in form and content.

This program is supported, in part, by The New York Community Trust from the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

For 2019, the SUITE/Space artists were selected through nominations and a public RFP process. The program selection committee and Artist Advisors are Mabou Mines Co-Artistic Director Karen Kandel, and newly appointed Mabou Mines Associate Artist Carl Hancock Rux.

Performances by the 2019 SUITE/Space artists will take place January 31 - February 6, 2019 at Mabou Mines (150 First Avenue, Manhattan). Regular tickets, priced at $15, are on sale now and can be purchased at maboumines.org or by calling 212-352-0255. $10 Student/Senior tickets are also available. Volunteer to usher and see the show for free by emailing tickets@maboumines.org.

About the 2019 SUITE/Space Artists

"Anna May Wong, The Actress Who Died A Thousand Deaths" | Cinthia Chen

January 31 at 7pm, February 1 at 8:30pm, February 2 at 7pm

It is 1938. Hollywood star Anna May Wong has just returned to the US after a discouraging tour in China. Drinking herself into a stupor, Wong's dreams transport her back to her time on the film set of "Daughter of the Dragon," grappling with the constrictions placed upon her because of her race and sex. There, memories entwine with imagination, as she relives moments with key figures in her life. This dreamscape is an exploration of the tensions and unease of making it big as a Chinatown girl amidst a world not made to accommodate her.

"The Actress Who Died a Thousand Deaths" utilizes 'live cinema theater' to both recreate and reimagine moments from Wong's films and life; to subvert type-casted and Orientalist tropes of the original and offer a 're-framing' on stage.

Cinematography & Live Editing by Ben Taylor, Assistant Film Design by Sanae Ohno, Lighting Design by Cha See, Assistant Lighting by Mia Cain, Set and Props by Claire DeLiso, Costume Design by Sophia Choi, Wig Design by Matt Armentrout, Sound Design by Sasha Hawkins, Stage Management by Margaret Gleberman, Produced by Alexandra Cadena and Eli Loyd.

Cinthia Chen is a Taiwanese American interdisciplinary artist, working mainly in film and theater. In film, she has worked extensively in production design, editing, and has been involved in projects with Five Sisters Productions and ARRI China. In theater, she has worked as a stage manager, assistant director, and props designer. Recent works include: V O I D (HERE Arts Center), The End of Mermaids (Corkscrew Festival), The Caribbean Queen (Keen Company), Normal Boys (Playwrights Horizon) and Speaking as Then (Columbia Stages). Chen has also trained in kunqu opera under the London Jing Kun Opera Association, and Japanese noh theater through the Kyoto Arts Center with the Kanze School of Noh.

"Liberian Girl in Brooklyn" | Marcelle Davies-Lashley

January 31 at 8:30pm, February 1 at 7pm, February 2 at 8:30pm *All performances followed by a Q&A*

Using dance, music and drama, "Liberian Girl in Brooklyn" is a snapshot of Marcelle's family history. She starts her exploration with the experiences of her grandmother - an American missionary in Liberia, West Africa. The piece continues, telling the story of Marcelle's mother who was born on the mission in Liberia. Songs and movement of American and West African influences are interwoven to shape this piece.

Marcelle Davies-Lashley is a Brooklyn native of West African decent and has toured five of seven continents. Davies-Lashley played the Queen of Sheba in the national and international tour of Robert Wilson's opera "The Temptation of Saint Anthony." She is also a percussionist, mesmerizing listeners with her tambourine skills. Davies-Lashley has sung background for Macy Gray, Bono, Angelique Kidjo, BeBe and Cece Winans, Dr. Dog, Johnathan Nelson, Karen Clark-Sheard, and Liz Wright. In 2014, she released her first solo EP called "Easy to Love" on CD Baby and iTunes.

Marcelle was the featured soloist for the 2017 Shakespeare in the Park performance of The Public Theater's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by Lear deBessonet, where the score written by composer Justin Levine was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Davies-Lashley performed in the Apollo Theater's "How I Got Over" in addition to being the featured soloist for the 2017 MLK Day celebration and the mistress of ceremony for the 2012 Jazz Foundation of America's Gala. Sharing the stage with the legends Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon or Mama Funk herself Nona Hendrix is one of Marcelle's greatest honors.

"decolonizing my vagina" | Cristina Pitter

February 4-6 at 8:30pm

"decolonizing my vagina" is a ritual performance piece that explores the relationship to self-love and self-worth as seen through the experiences of a queer fat woman of color who has dated primarily white men. Weaving together music, poetry, and storytelling, these complex intersections of intimacies are brought to life.

Cristina Pitter is a queer fat babe interdisciplinary artist, sex educator, activist, and founder of The Ashè Collective, a group which focuses on storytelling inspired by ancestral roots and identities while also engaging in community outreach. She also has the best laugh ever. SERIOUSLY. You might have seen her work at The Metropolitan Opera, 59E59 Theaters, Ars Nova, Classic Stage, New Ohio Theatre, Joe's Pub, The PIT, The Tank, The Flea Theater, JACK, Dixon Place, Bizarre Bushwick, or three separate but specific bathtubs. Her show decolonizing my vagina will next be explored with a new performance art piece, "decolonizing the color of queerness" with her residency at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Feel free to follow her antics on Twitter @isisgypsy and Instagram @lavidabrujeria.

"THREE RITES: Liberty" | Edisa Weeks/Delirious Dances

February 4-6 at 7pm

Connected like a puppet to objects that have informed the Black experience in America, multi-media artist Edisa Weeks alternates between black face, white face storytelling and visceral dance to dig into the foundations of Liberty in America. As our nation grapples with confederate monuments, Black Lives Matter, fake news and economic stratification; THREE RITES: Liberty humorously and poignantly insists on a reckoning with our past and present.

"THREE RITES: Liberty" is part of a trilogy on Life, Liberty and Happiness. "THREE RITES" integrates live music, dance and two visual installations to examine how life, liberty and happiness are guaranteed and pursued in America; and how these rights manifest in the body.

Edisa Weeks is a Brooklyn, NY based choreographer, educator and founder of Delirious Dances. She creates multi-media interdisciplinary work, that merges theater with dance to explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and sweetest dreams. Her work has been performed at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Emory University, Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Harlem Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, Materials for the Arts, The Mermaid Parade, The National Black Arts Festival, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Summerstages Dance Festival, as well as swimming pools, storefront windows, senior centers, sidewalks and living rooms. She grew up in Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Brooklyn, NY. She has a BA from Brown University, and received a full fellowship to attend New York University's TISCH School of the Arts where she obtained an MFA in choreography. She has had the pleasure of performing with Annie-B Parsons Big Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Dance Brazil, Jane Comfort, Jon Kinzel, Muna Tseng, Reggie Wilson Fist & Heel Performance Group, Sally Silvers, Spencer/Colton Dance, among others. She is an Associate Professor of Dance at Queens College. www.deliriousdances.com

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