En Garde Arts Launches UNDOCUMENTED At Joe's Pub, 11/19

En Garde Arts Launches UNDOCUMENTED At Joe's Pub, 11/19

En Garde Arts, the company behind acclaimed recent works including Wilderness and Basetrack Live, is pleased to announce its timely new project, Undocumented. En Garde has commissionedChilean/Costa Rican-American playwright Andrea Thome, Puerto Rican director José Zayas, and Mexican composer Sinuhé Padilla Isunza to create the production, which features an ensemble of acclaimed actors performing, verbatim, the stories of the undocumented and will premiere as a series of one-night-only events throughout 2018. The first of these developmental readings will take place Sunday, November 19, 2pm, at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003).

Undocumented asks: What is it like for the people who have settled here, yet often must keep their status hidden? Partneringwith community organizations that serve undocumented immigrants, En Garde hopes to go beyond the limited narrative that is too often presented by our media and politicians. Undocumented delves into the human stories that can help us understand what it feels like to risk everything to escape from poverty, permanently separate from loved ones and family, and live in secrecy with fear of deportation for oneself and one's family. With DACA under attack, ICE separating families, and profiling of minorities at an all-time high, En Garde and the Undocumented team of artists bring a human face to these issues.

The actors performing at Joe's Pub include Laura Gomez ("Orange is the New Black"), Andres Munar (The Box, WHATABLOODCLOT!!!), Jose Joaquin Perez (My Manana Comes, The Hairy Ape, "I, Robot"), Emma Ramos (the web series "BUTS"), Cesar J. Rosado (Dolphins & Sharks), and Rosanny Zayas (A Midsummer Night's Dream).

The performance will be followed by a panel moderated by playwright, performer, and community activist Raquel Almazan and including Father Julian Jagudilla (OFM of The Migrant Center at St. Francis Church), Murat Köprülü of the American Immigrant Society, and Miguel Medrano, immigration lawyer at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS).

The Undocumented creative team is continuing to interview the undocumented. As they gather them, En Garde will continue to welcome the public into the work's development process, encouraging feedback through our post-performance community engagement programming. The audience's responses will be incorporated into the work.

About the Undocumented Creative Team

Andrea Thome (Playwright) is a Chilean/Costa Rican-American playwright whose family migrated north and south and back again. Her first language was Spanish, and she grew up navigating the multiple landscapes and languages that inhabit her plays. Thome's play Pinkolandia, about the children of Chilean exiles in the Midwest, was awarded the Lark Play Development Center's Launching New Plays program fellowship and received a rolling world premiere in 2013-14 at INTAR Theater in New York, Austin's Salvage Vanguard Theater, Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, and Chicago's 16th Street Theater. For The Public Theater, Thome created the community-based play Troy in collaboration with director Laurie Woolery and Public Works' ACTivate Ensemble, and she is currently 'translating' Shakespeare's Cymbeline into modern English for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Thome's other plays include Undone (Whitman Award for best unproduced play; Kilroys list 2014; Queens College Theater, Victory Gardens' Ignition Festival, INTAR New Works lab, Lark BareBones), Worm Girl (Cherry Red Productions, Washington DC), various short plays and many collaborative projects. Thome co-directs FULANA, a New York-based, all-Latina satire collective that creates political and cultural parodies online and beyond. Her play translations (including Guillermo Calderón's Neva) have been produced by The Public Theater, CTG, La Jolla Playhouse and others. Thome co-created and has directed the Lark's Mexico-U.S. Playwright Exchange Program since 2006, and has taught at various universities. Residencies include Blue Mountain Center, MacDowell Colony (where she received the Thornton Wilder Fellowship), and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She is a member of the Keen Company's 2017 Playwrights Lab, and was a New Dramatists resident playwright from 2009-2016.

José Zayas (Director) has directed over 100 productions in New York, as well as regionally and internationally. Recent credits include Wedding Dress, The Island of Lonely Man (Teatro Espressivo, Costa Rica), The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (BAM, Mass MoCa, US and European Tour), A Nonesuch Celebration (BAM), Blind Spot, In The Name of Salome, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Burundanga, The House of the Spirits, Your Name Will Follow You Home, La Nena Se Casa, Love in the Time of Cholera, In the Time of the Butterflies, Madre (el drama padre), Besame Mucho, Nowhere on the Border, and Barcelo on the Rocks (Repertorio Español); Corazon Eterno (Mixed Blood), Southern Promises, and Strom Thurmond is not a Racist (PS 122, Brick), Useless (IRT), Pinkolandia (INTAR and Two River Theatre), Father of Lies and Vengeance Can Wait (PS122); P.S. Jones and the Frozen City, Feeder: A Love Story (TerraNOVA Collective); Okay, Mrs. Jones and the Man From Dixieland (EST), The Idea of Me (Cherry Lane Theatre), The Queen Bees (Queens Theatre in the Park), Manuel Vs. The Statue of Liberty and Children of Salt (NYMF), and Cancun, Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gala Theatre, DC). He has premiered work by Caridad Svich, Rob Askins, Thomas Bradshaw, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Taylor Mac, Andrea Thome, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Saviana Stanescu, Carlos Murillo, Rob Urbinati, Kristina Poe, Catherine Filloux, James Carter, Gerardo Cardenas, and Jordi Galceran. He was assistant director for Talk Radio, directed by Robert Falls; Regrets Only, directed by Christopher Ashley; and Come Back Little Sheba, directed by Michael Pressman. In 2007, Zayas was selected as one of nytheater.com's People of the Year. He is also a Drama League Fellow, an alumnus of Lincoln Center's Director's Lab and the Soho Rep Writers/Director's Lab, participated in the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors, and is a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Born in Puerto Rico, Zayas graduated from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon Universities.

Sinuhé Padilla Isunza (Composer) is a Mexican musicologist, producer, composer, and artistic director. He has led multiple compelling artistic and social projects around the world. His initiative champions traditional and contemporary Afro-Amerindian music and culture from Central and South America, but his true passion is rooted in his love for Mexico, Nahuatl cosmogony, sacred Aztec music, and dance. Padilla Isunza's journey as a performing multi-instrumentalist has allowed him to share the stage and tour with Grammy Award-winning artists like Lila Downs. As Founder of Jarana Records, a Production Company and record label in New York City, he has released productions for artists including Sonia de los Santos, Adela y Lupita, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Mireya Ramos, Shae Fiol, ILana Martin, Johanna Rodriguez, Mario Espinoza, Veronica Valerio, Sonando Sur, Bilingual Birdies, and Jarana Beat. He has also produced extraordinary emerging artists such as John Benitez and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. He has directed several musical quests, including Jarana Beat, winner of Best Folk Contemporary Band at the Mexican Music Awards 2015 and recognition by the City of New York for his contribution to Latin culture in the same year. For years his band has aimed to share the relatively scarce spread folk sounds of Mexico and has become a training ground for many musicians in New York City looking to learn and break into the Afro-Amerindian Mexican music scene. His journey championing and strengthening the Mexican music scene in New York has led him to direct projects likeMéxico Beyond Mariachi, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, and Bilingual Birdies, to name a few. He has served as music writer and producer for National Geographic, Mundo (Firmes), Storyhunter TV, and The United Nations; and as lecturer in conferences and Master Classes for The New School University, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics (NYU), Berklee College of Music, Dutchess Community College, New Mexico State University, and the CUNY Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

About En Garde Arts

En Garde Arts creates and producing theatre from the ground up that marries content with community and inspires dialogue and debate about the salient social issues of our time. En Garde Arts develops theatrical productions from the inception of an idea through to opening night, assembling diverse and interdisciplinary artistic teams. In parallel with the creative development of a project, En Garde Arts develops relationships with non-arts partners to ensure that the company's messages reach across boundaries to spark conversation and build community. Exploring the changing dynamic of 21st century forms of storytelling is at the center of all of En Garde's work, whether through non-traditional performance locales or through the innovative use of media and design.

Originally founded in 1985 by visionary producer Anne Hamburger, En Garde continues to build upon its globally-recognized history of creative excellence. Hamburger serves as a fierce advocate of both established and emerging voices-artists who use theatre as a means to bring together people who are not normally in conversation, and to catalyze social change. Hamburger has received the Edwin Booth, Lee Reynolds, and Exceptional Merit in Media (EMMA) awards, and was named a Person to Watch in 2015 by The Wall Street Journal. En Garde Arts has been honored with six OBIEs, two Drama Desk Awards, and an Outer Critics Circle Special Awards. The New York Times has proclaimed the organization "an invigorating urban presence."

Recent En Garde credits include Albert Camus's The Fall, a sold-out one-night event performed by television and stage star Ronald Guttman at Hudson Social in Dobbs Ferry; Harbored, in which a cast of 60 performing a piece about the history of immigration as part of the River to River Festival; Wilderness, which tells the stories of six families who turn to the wilderness in a search for connection. Wilderness premiered in New York at Abrons Arts Center, was a New York Times Critic's Pick, and recently played at the Kennedy Center in D.C, and at OZ Arts Nashville. Basetrack Live, a theatrical experience that illuminates the long-term impact of war on veterans and their families, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) in 2014, where The New York Times deemed it one of the top ten theatrical experiences of the year, and traveled to 40 cities. En Garde Arts was honored to be invited to bring BASETRACK Live to Fort Hood by the Commanding General in January 2017. En Garde Arts is currently developing a new musical with Mama Foundation for the Arts, based on the lives of the teenagers who have taken part in their Teen Gospel Choir.

For more information, please visit engardearts.org.

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