Calling: a dance with faith is a documentary dance theater piece exploring the lives of two Muslim women as they wrestle with their call to dance and their call to faith. Their religious and artistic journeys intersect, as both Muslims and dancers, in this rich and perceptive performance of movement and storytelling. Expanding upon Ping Chong + Company’s traditional interview-based theater process of talking with local individuals, who are not performers, about questions of culture, identity and belonging.
Cast & Creative Team
Directed by Jesca Prudencio Lighting Design by Cecilia Durbin Sound Design & Composition by Fan Zhang Stage Managed by Kristina Varshavskaya Executive Director: Bruce Allardice
Performers Hala Shah & Samar Aafiya
About the Artists
Ping Chong + Company creates theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. The New York City-based company was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media, and technology in the modern world. pingchong.org / @pingchongco on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Jesca Prudencio (Director) is a director focused on creating highly physical productions of new plays, musicals, and documentary theater nationally, and internationally. Favorite credits include Anna Moench’s Man of God (East West Players), Will Snider's How To Use a Knife (Mixed Blood), Ben Fisher's Mobile Happiness Bazaar (La Jolla Playhouse's Wow Festival), Calling (Ping Chong + Company), and FAN: stories from the brothels of Bangkok (Thailand). Her critically acclaimed productions of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone and Anna Ziegler’s Actually at San Diego Repertory Theatre received numerous Craig Noel nominations including Outstanding Director. She is a recipient of The Drama League Fellowship, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship. Jesca is Artistic Director/Founder of People Of Interest, which is dedicated to creating documentary dance theater works. She is currently Head of Directing at San Diego State University and has been a proud company member of Ping Chong + Company since 2008, collaborating on numerous productions. BFA: NYU Tisch, MFA: UC San Diego. Upcoming: The Great Leap (Steppenwolf) jescaprudencio.com
Cecilia Durbin (Lighting Design) Recent Designs: A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Actor’s Theatre Louisville); Sense & Sensibility, Love Alone (Playmakers Rep); Selkie (Dutch Kills Theater Co.), South Pacific (Triad Stage); Disgraced (Portland Stage, Hangar Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew(Chautauqua Theatre); Bernie & Mikey’s Trip to the Moon (Strangemen Theatre Company, 59E59); The Little Red Fish, This is Sadie (NYC Children’s Theatre);Birthday Candles, Marie & Rosetta, Murder Ballad (Detroit Public Theatre); Amy Surratt's First & Last (Show),Hyena (also Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo [Best Lighting]) (La MaMa); In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymore nom]); Numb (Goat in the Road Productions, JACK); Little Women, Camelot,All Shook Up, On Golden Pond (New London Barn Playhouse). Assistant Professor of Lighting Design Montclair State University; MFA from NYU; member USA829. www.durbinlighting.com
Fan Zhang (sound designer and composer) Off-Broadway: Behind the Sheet (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Trail of the Catonsville Nine (Transport Group), Beautiful Day Without you (West End Theatre), Scissoring (INTAR). NYC: Suicide Forest ( Ma-Yi & Bushwick Starr). Three Girls Never Learnt the Way Home (Cherry Lane Theatre), Tania In the Gateway Van (New Georges), The Mecca's Tale (The Sheen Center), The Ideal Obituary (The Tank), Interstate (Theatre Row). Regional: Seven Guitars at Yale Repertory Theatre (CT Critics Circle, Outstanding Sound Design), Redeem (Cincinnati Ballet), Revolutionist (Pittsburgh City Theatre), Red Maple (Capital Repertory Theatre). Member of Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. Training: MFA, Sound Design, Yale School of Drama. fanzhangsound.com
Kristina Varshavskaya (Stage Manager) was born in Russia but raised in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York! Kristina earned her B.A.in Theater from Brooklyn College, and is passionate about working with non-profit + education organizations and well as film production. She is a Company Manager for Ping Chong + Company and has stage managed a number of their productions for the past 10 years including Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity, Say My Name Say My Name in collaboration with BreakOUT in New Orleans, LA, Secret Histories (Lincoln Center Education), Brooklyn ’63, Cry For Peace: Voices from Congo, Inside/Out, and many more. Her recent works include: Bad Ass Beauty: The Rock Opera (NYMF 2018), HEAR THEM ROAR: The Fight For Women’s Rights (NYU), Miracle Worker (NYU), Tales of the Lost Formicans (NYU). This is her third collaboration with Jesca and she is honored to be working with a group of amazingly talented and powerful women!