Long time, no update. Happy 2015! Hope your New Year is off to a great start.
I’ve had a lot of personal challenges the past few months and have been hard at work on finishing Sell/Buy/Date, my first new evening-length play since Bridge & Tunnel. I wanted to catch up and share what I’ve been up to since you heard from me last, and where I’m headed.
But first, a HUGE thank you! The Sell/Buy/Date workshops at the Nuyorican Poets Café last Fall were so helpful to my writing process—I appreciate all you friends, family and supporters who joined me.
In keeping with my goal of trying untested material as though I’m in my own living room (but with more space and without my having to clean up after everybody goes home J) I’ve continued to bring a few characters and elements from Sell/Buy/Date to select audiences as the final piece develops. Many thanks to Pamela Shifman and the Novo Foundation for its major support of my process, to dramaturg Antonia Grilikhes-Lasky for her great work, and to the TED organizers and community, as well as Creative Time for being part of the Sell/Buy/Date living room! Next up,
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland
My characters will be taking the stage to share their perspectives on this breathtakingly challenging (and potentially transformative) moment in global history for the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos next week. It's a gathering of many of the world's politicians, business leaders, academics...and Ms. Lady will likely be the sole representative of the homeless community. But she's promised to keep an open mind, and I'm looking forward to joining other participating artists (including Angelique Kidjo, Will i Am and Pharrell Williams) for an exciting week.
But first, a look back—besides working on my play I also got the chance to perform, host, or otherwise share ideas and stages with artists and organizations I admire throughout last year. Here are a few highlights…
Ciudad de Las Ideas in Puebla
I traveled to Puebla, Mexico to participate in La Ciudad de las Ideas (The City of Ideas), an annual festival that gathers, artists, scientists, inventors and thinkers from around the world to share ideas and spark conversations. My characters decided it was a great time to improv… in Spanish, and I was nerviosa, but it turned out to be una idea muy buena. Thanks fellow participant David Kwong for the audience shot!
NPR's TED Radio Hour
I also participated in TED Radio Hour, NPR’s weekly podcast based on well-received TED talks (aww, thanks TEDizens, nice to be well-received!). I sat down with Guy Raz to talk about stereotypes, celebrating cultures, and the line between those two. In case you missed it, you can hear my segment here:
New York's New Abolitionists
I had the honor of being included in New York’s New Abolitionists, a photographic campaign against human trafficking shot by renowned photographer Lynn Savarese. To learn more (and see the photos of my fellow participants, who range from Tina Fey to playwright Lynn Nottage to activist Taina Bien-Aime and filmmaker Byron Hurt) and join this fight to end human trafficking I hope you'll check out the campaign.
Caring Across Generations at the Apollo
I had the multi-generational pleasure of hosting the finale concert of Caring Across Generations’ ThrowbackSummer series in honor of Grandparents Day. Along with special guest Esperanza Spalding and acclaimed dancer Lil Buck, the characters and I joined people of all ages at the Apollo Theater. Lorraine Levine really enjoyed being part of the target demographic, and kvelled to be with such talented youngsters. (Thanks to Caring Across Generations co-director Ai-jen Poo and retroactive shout out for her MacArthur Genius Award!)