La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

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International Symposium for Directors

15th Annual International Symposium for Directors/

Theatre-makers: Theatre for Social Change and Community Engagement

Approaching theatre for social change from a variety of perspectives, the Program brings together master artists who focus on the practical application of theatre practices as a means for involving communities in social and political issues.

Session One: June 30 – July 14, 2014

Session Two: July 16 – July 30, 2014

Teaching Artists: Chen Alon (Israel), Enrico Casagrande & Daniela Nicolo (Italy), Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn (Bolivia/Germany), Belarus Free Theatre (Belarus), Jessica Litwak (USA), Dijana Milosevic (Serbia), Roberto G. Varea (Argentina)


Click Here for Registration Form. Deadline: May 15, 2014. Limited spaces available

The International Symposium for Directors/Theatre-makers, sponsored by La MaMa Umbria is a training program for professional directors, choreographers, actors and others. Internationally renowned theatre artists conduct workshops and lecture/demonstrations. During the Symposium, participants will travel to Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Perugia  or Assisi to get a taste of Umbrian art and culture. Performances at local arts festivals and community fairs are also included.  In addition, participating directors may conduct their own workshops to share insights and techniques with their colleagues.

Participants will be exposed to a variety of theatrical perspectives during the Symposium, from instructors who will expand their sense of what is possible in the theatre. Directors attending the Symposium see how prominent artists on the international scene create their unique productions. The workshops are participatory, and it is expected that all attendees will engage actively in the processes of the various teaching artists.

Each year LaMaMa invites renowned theatre artists to participate as teaching artists during the Symposium. This summer, we will host the following artists:


Session One

Teaching Artists: Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn, Dijana Milosevic,

Natalia Koliada, Nicolai Khalezin, Vladimir Shcherban (Belarus Free Theatre)



Workshop Descriptions:

Theatre of the Oppressed & Playback Theatre (Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn)

The Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre are two of the most engaging, participatory and forward-looking theatrical methods in the 21st century. Founded in Brazil and the United States of America, respectively, TO and PT aim at creating opportunities for the democratisation of the theatre by handing over the theatrical means of production to the people with the aim to make a contribution to the peaceful transformation of our oppressive realities.

In TO and PT, every human being is theatre in the sense of all of us being both the main actors and spectators of our own lives. At the same time, the word “to act” is seen in a more comprehensive manner: to act on stage and to take action in real life. Action that will help unleash our untapped creative potential. Action that will transform fear into friendship, disappointment into hope, knowledge into understanding, hesitation into action and individual efforts into collective power for the purpose of building a peaceful, just and democratic society.

Concretely, during the individual sessions participants will familiarise themselves with the theory and practice of both the Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre. Combining different techniques of TO such as Image Theatre, Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire with the different artistic PT forms, the participants will take away a great deal of artistic and socio-political inspiration that will enrich their theatre practice while also providing ample opportunities for human development.


From Personal To Collective History (Dijana Milosevic)

A Workshop for Directors and Actors conducted by experienced director and founder of DAH Theatre, Dijana Milošević. The workshop is designed for professionals offering each the choice to work as director or actor. The starting point is to work with different skills and techniques, which help in the formation of the actor’s physical and vocal training. This leads to the creation of material that can be used for a performance. The central theme to be explored in the workshop is connection of the history that we all share in relation to the personal history of each participant.


Artist’s Own Experience  (Belarus Free Theatre)

Central to our creative method of Total Immersion is the artist’s experience of their own in-depth examination of personal and social taboos; psychologically, locally and globally. Therefore the theatrical material is made from the first-hand experience of its creators. The Total Immersion method is central to BFT’s artistic interpretation of the classical texts through contemporary material. It is also a key to the development of BFT’s creative language of combining contemporary documentary and classical material.

Belarus Free Theatre offers a model of training previously tried out with students of The Young Vic Theatre and Almeida Theatre, London, the Nottingham Playhouse – UK; ENSATT, Lyon – France; Brown University, New-York University, California Institute of Arts , CalArts – USA; European Humanitarian University, Vilnius – Lithuania and the School of Arts DasArts, Amsterdam – the Netherlands. This model combines individual and collective work, ensuring maximum involvement in the learning process for each student.

One of the foundations of the training is the work with documentary material, when the student researches first hand information and presents it to the group for them to work on it throughout the devising process. During a cycle of work, the student develops their abilities in various roles: a journalist, playwright, actor, artist, and producer.

Subjects from the developed material are chosen on the first two days of the course, when students, together in a group, determine the pressing current zones and the sore points of the region, or a specific group of people. As a result of this work individual segments of each student will be singled out to participate in a collective project. This experience will enable students in the future to proceed expeditiously with the analysis of actual fields in the creation of products.

The parallel courses of individual and collective work allow students to get interested in different models of interaction – along the lines of “the playwright-actor”, “actor-director” and “actor-actor “. With the workshop it will be possible only to touch base on what is usually achieved within a monthly workshop, when the result of the work is presented in a performance, a film, and an exhibition. The practices learnt in this workshop will become one of the building blocks that with further training allow the students to build the best model for relationships while working on the show, based on documentary material including personal and society taboo zones.


Session Two

Teaching Artists: Chen Alon, Roberto Varea, Jessica Litwak,

Enrico Casagrande & Daniela Nicolo (Motus)


Workshop Descriptions.

The Polarized Theatre of the Oppressed (Chen Alon)

The workshop offers a set of tools for a “Polarized Theatre of the Oppressed Model” that integrates theatrical and social work processes between two polar (actual and imagined) communities. The theory and practice of a polarized Theatre of the Oppressed has relevance for every polarized society or community, and the fieldworkers working with them.

By challenging the homogenous models of social theatre and the Theatre of the Oppressed, the workshop proposes alternative ways of thinking and acting together. The Polarized Model posits that the use of theatre is fundamental for an understanding of the creation, development, and preservation of the social power relations between polar groups; and that the representation of both individuals and their “Rainbow of Identities”, materializes and enables an actual visibility of the power relations, and enhances the transformative potential of the two sides. The workshop offers an examination, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the social relationships as power relations, by means of a theatrical process that considers the unique political connections and context of specific communities. The workshop aims to examine the potential inherent in the theatrical processes and events for development of a dialogue on non-violence, while establishing political-activist alliances, with the aim of acting to change the reality.

The Polarized Model was developed in the last decade in projects that Chen documented and comprehended as the task of Joker-as-ethnographer (in addition to theatre artist and director, facilitator, teacher, political leader) with polarized groups from a variety of Israeli and Palestinian sectors, with prisoners, drug addicts, homeless people, as well as in additional conflict zones around the world.


Cartographies for Socially Engaged Performance (Roberto Varea)

This studio workshop will focus on techniques developed to engage social issues, and/or work with vulnerable/marginalized populations, in the making of a performance piece. Students will compose tableaus, vignettes, and short scenes with one another, using tools and exercises based on collective creation principles ranging from how to make a space safe for the expression of the unsafe, to dialogical processes that challenge the notion of individual creative ownership. Together, students will define territory of social engagement, draw their own maps,cross borders, and chart a generative journey that honors personal and collective imagination, discovery, and praxis.


Working with H.E.A.T., Performance For Personal and Social Change (Jessica Litwak)

H.E.A.T. is an acronym for Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre, it is a method of theatre work with include techniques from Drama Therapy (healing) Applied Theatre (education) Performance and Peacebuilding (activism) and Three Paradigm Acting (theatre). This workshop is a dynamic group exploration of the theories and the practices that appertain to performance for personal and social change.  In this workshop we will explore how devised, classical, contemporary, and ritual forms of performance can support communities and individuals in conflict.  We will examine the theoretical aspects of the work including Moral Imagination, Paradoxical Curiosity, Art of Inquiry, and Conflict Transformation.We will learn tools and theories for work with specific populations. We will learn practice the Voice Progression ( a vibrant and effective vocal and physical warm up) Creative Voicing (performative writing) Character Development, and Puppetry. We will build short solo and group pieces: useful, generous, and provocative art that serves.


Land guage: A workshop on Documentary Theatre (Enrico Casagrande & Daniela Nicolo (Motus))

Stories happen only to those who are able to tell them, someone once said. In the same way, perhaps, experiences present themselves only to those who are able to have them. (Paul Auster)

What characterizes our theatre practice is the continuous attempt to combine on stage classical texts, like Sophocles’s Antigone (rewritten by B. Brecht) or W. Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with topics, questions and compelling needs from the sociopolitical reality of our time. How do you find the right balance? What does research on the field for a documentary mean and imply? How do you transform materials collected from encounters, video and audio interviews, and soundscapes into alive elements for the stage? How do you create a dramaturgy of the present? What is Documentary Theatre? These are the topics that we would like to approach and develop with the directors and actors taking part in the workshop… It is our intention to divide the work in two parts. The first will be more theoretical; with the help of video materials, fragments of scripts and photos, we will introduce our poetics and, analyzing parts of our artistic path, we will develop a conversation on contemporary theatre and its effective possibilities of interacting with reality and giving a voice to those who do not have one… A second part of the workshop will be dedicated to a series of individual or collective actions in Spoleto: interviews, maps, psychogeographic drifts, small actions in public areas, encounters with “defining characters” living the streets of Spoleto which, we are sure, will surprise us. Our initial inspiration will be provided by Paul Auster and his extraordinary and philosophical descriptions of his characters’ long walks, as well as by Sophie Calle and Paul Auster’s Gotham Handbook, on which we are currently working at La Manufacture, the High Level school for actors in Lausanne.



While most of the time will be spent in workshops at La MaMa Umbria, at least one day has been set aside for excursions to nearby cities. We will attend at least one performance event at a local arts festival, which may include Umbria Jazz in Perugia, Spoleto Estate, Todiarte Festival in Todi, etc. There may also be opportunities to see additional performances on an ad hoc basis.

The group will visit nearby towns such as Perugia, Umbria’s capital, Deruta, where world-famous ceramics are still painted by hand or Assisi, where the famous Cathedral of St. Francis has reopened after extensive renovation and reconstruction.

In addition, we will share an old fashioned Italian tradition, a sagra, or community celebration dedicated to celebrating the specialties produced by small Umbrian villages (such as truffles, olive oil and wine.) Sagras typically include an abundance of locally prepared specialty foods, local wines, entertainment, costumes and games.


In addition to our internationally renowned guest teaching artists, there will be an opportunity for you and your colleagues to share exercises and techniques with each other in late night sessions.

You may propose a special workshop to offer in one of the late (after dinner) sessions. Use the space on the registration form to describe what you would share. Not all proposals will be accepted based on time and space availability.


The La MaMa International Symposium is accredited through Sarah Lawrence College. While the Symposium is geared for working professionals, some slots may be filled by university students, who may get credit (2 credits for one session of the Symposium and 1 credit for the Retreat) for their participation through an arrangement with Sarah Lawrence College. For more information, please contact La MaMa at (212) 254-6468.


The fee is $2,700 for 2 weeks (one session) and $5,200 for 4 weeks (both sessions). Fee includes all workshops, housing and meals, ground transportation from the Rome airport to and from La MaMa Umbria, excursions by bus, van or car, including one ticket to a performance at local festival (see above), entrance fees to museums and other points of interest.

Airfare is not included in the price. Round trip airfare at special rates may be available through our recommended travel agent. Call for more information.


Space is limited. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants must fill out the Registration Form. Space is secured with a deposit of $1,000 due with the registration form by May 15, 2014. $100 of the deposit is a non-refundable processing fee (unless the Symposium is already full when we receive your registration.)

All fees should be paid in US dollars in the form of checks or money orders payable to La MaMa ETC. In the case that a participant cannot attend the Symposium after having paid, 50% of the fee will be refunded if the participant cancels by June 20, 2014. After this date, the fee will not be refundable.

READ! “At La MaMa UMBRIA, SPACE AND SYNCHRONICITY Directors learn to draw from their surroundings – and from chance”. An article published in AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE, (January 2002), by Rebecca Engle. Ms Engle was a participant in the 2nd Annual International Symposium for Directors.

Click here to read Participants’ Comments from previous Symposia.

Symposium Coordinators

David Diamond

Mia B. Yoo

For additional information contact:

Mia Yoo, Symposium Coordinator


74A East 4th Street

New York, NY 10003

(212) 254-6468

David Diamond, Symposium Coordinator

(212) 620-0703

Chen Alon

is a theatre activist, actor and director, who wrote his Ph.D. on the Palestinian-Israeli Polarized Model of Theatre of the Oppressed, in the Theatre Department at Tel-Aviv University. As a Major (res.) in the Israeli army he co-founded “Courage to Refuse”, a movement of officers and combatant soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories, an action for which he was sentenced to prison. Chen is also a co-founder of “Combatants for Peace”, a movement of Palestinian and Israeli combatants who have abandoned the way of violence and struggle together non-violently against the occupation. Activism in the complicated reality in Israel/Palestine led him as a professional actor and director, from the repertory theatre, to search and create new forms of political activism, in the Israeli-Palestinian theatre to resist the occupation.


Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò (MOTUS)

Motus was founded in 1991 by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò. Right from the start of this artistic adventure the personal lives of Daniela and Enrico have been inseparable from their theatre activities, sharing all the phases of the creative process with the actors of the various “theatre bands” set up.

Motus has always sculpted its projects by action and reaction with regard to everyday facts large and small, like litmus paper, feeding on the contradictions of the contemporary, translating them and making them active material for reflection and provocation. It indipendently produced numerous theatre shows and space-specific events/happenings conceived for unusual venues.

With the productions Occhio Belva (1994), Catrame (1996), O.F ovvero Orlando furioso (1998) and Orpheus Glance (2000) Motus’s theatre in perpetual transformation gained considerable fame at home and abroad. The video of Orlando Furioso won the production prize at the 1999 Riccione TTV Festival. In the same year the company was awarded both the Special Ubu Prize (“For the obstinate and creative coherency of a visionary research into redesigning spaces and filtering myths”) and the Young Talents prize, put up by the magazine Lo straniero, editor Goffredo Fofi.

In November 2000 the Ubu Prizes judges awarded the company the Special Prize for Project Prototype. In connection with this experience Daniela and Enrico contributed a section to the book Certi Prototipi di Teatro. Storie, poetiche, sogni di quattro gruppi teatrali, edited by Renata Molinari and Cristina Ventrucci for Ubulibri. Still in the same year the show Visio gloriosa, which debuted at the Teatro Argentina in Rome, won the competition “Seven Shows for a New Italian Theatre in 2000”.

In 2001 the idea of the theatre project Rooms was developed, on the theme of hotel rooms. The show Twin Rooms was an important co-production with the Venice Theatre Biennale and the international network Temps d’Image of Paris. In this case the stage became an actual film set, intermingling theatre and cinema narration.

In May 2002, again in the context of the Rooms project, the company premiered Splendid’s, based on Jean Genet’s play. To crown two years of intense work the company was awarded the Special Ubu Prize “For the play of doubling images and story in the evolution of the Rooms project”. Splendid’s was a finalist in the most prestigious category “Play of the Year”. Twin Rooms won the prize for best foreign show in Montreal, Canada.

In 2003-2004 Motus began a new journey, through the words and images of Pier Paolo Pasolini, with the creation of the shows Come un cane senza padrone [Like a Dog without a Master] (presented as part of the project Petrolio, organised by Mario Martone in Naples) and L’Ospite [The Guest], produced with the Théâtre Nationale de Bretagne in Rennes. The following year the publisher UBU Libri brought out, in its “I libri quadrati” series, Io vivo nelle cose. Appunti di viaggio da “Rooms” a Pasolini, by Daniela Nicolò and Enrico Casagrande.

In Spring 2005 Motus began to tackle the Anti-theatre of Rainer Werner Fassbinder with the creation of Piccoli Episodi di fascismo quotidiano [Little Episodes of Everyday Fascism], inspired by Pre-Paradise Sorry Now, and the disturbing Rumore Rosa [Pink Noise], freely adapted from The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant.

In 2007 the company set out on a specific, almost documentary exploration of adolescence, subdivided in the project X(ics) Racconti crudeli della giovinezza [X(ics) Cruel Tales of Youth] into four shows, a film and eclectic moments of performance. Focus was thus shifted to the outer cities and today’s youth, disoriented and dispersed in the metropolitan scenario, in order to grasp and give voice to those forms of anomalous resistance among adolescents in the French, German and Italian banlieues.

In the same year the Rimini Municipal Administration awarded Daniela and Enrico the prestigious “Sigismondo d’oro”.

The project Syrma Antigónes, begun in 2008, grew out of the idea of analysing the relationship/conflict between generations, taking the tragic figure of Antigone as archetype of struggle and resistance. Silvia Calderoni, who has been with the company since 2005, is the intelligent and tireless protagonist. She won the 2009 Ubu Prize for best actress under 30. The project has resulted in three contests – Let the Sunshine In (antigone) contest#1, Too late! (antigone) contest#2 and Iovadovia (antigone) contest#3 and the show Alexis. Una tragedia greca [Alexis. A Greek Tragedy] premiered in Fall 2010. Jury of the Association of Theatre Critics of Quebec (A.Q.C.T.) has awarded to Motus’s Alexis. the price for Best Foreign Performance for the season 2011-12.

In 2010 Enrico Casagrande, on behalf of the whole company, was artistic director of the 40th Santarcangelo Festival, part of a three year project that envisages across the board collaboration with another two theatre companies in the region: Societas Raffaello Sanzio of Cesena (2009) and Teatro delle Albe of Ravenna (2011).

In Summer 2011, Motus has opened a broader and visionary front of observation to “collect” figurative projections of the “Tomorrow that makes everybody tremble”, darting into the intricate panorama of revolutionary artists, writers, philosophers, comics artists and architects who have imagined (and still try to imagine) the Upcoming Near Future.

2011>2068 AnimalePolitico Project a new itinerary that through public actions, workshops, residencies. The plot is the revolution, the first opening-encounter of that new project, took place at the Teatro Petrella in Longiano as part of the Santarcangelo Festival 2011, an event that saw the meeting of two “Antigones”, Judith Malina of the Living Theatre and Silvia Calderoni: a dialogue between different generations, experiences, voices and physicalities that leads us to go on believing in theatre as a possibility of influencing the present.

For almost two years, Motus navigated throught injuries, conflicts from today and hallucinated visions of tomorrow, between utopias – distopiae and a little adrift between ages, reading Huxley, DeLillo, Ballard, Dick, London, Thoreau… During the journey the fuse was finaly found : Shakespeare’s The Tempest, play-within-the-play, and, amazed and irreverent, Motus’ directors decided to mangle it to go even deeper into that urge overflowing from each character: the desire of freedom. NELLA TEMPESTA, the new theatre production was premiered at Festival TransAmériques in Montréal (Canada) from 24th to 27th May 2013.

All Daniela and Enrico’s artistic work goes hand in hand with an intense programme of public meetings, lectures and master classes at Italian and foreign universities, precisely in connection with the company’s complex theatrical and videographic projects.

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn

is a German-Bolivian theatre maker, facilitator, script writer and director who uses different forms of interactive, participatory theatre to work with communities in conflict and create possibilities for bottom-up dialogue and a search for grassroots solutions.

Hjalmar has carried out community-based theatre initiatives in more than a dozen countries on all five continents including in (post-) conflict environments such as Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Timor Leste and Yemen. He is the co-founder of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO;, a community-based theatre platform in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2013 he published ‘Wenn die Burka plötzlich fliegt-Einblicke in die Arbeit mit dem Theater der Unterdrückten in Afghanistan’, a book in German language about his experiences working with theatre in Afghanistan. Besides, his documentary theatre play ‘Infinite Incompleteness’ was recently published and produced in Japan with the support of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). The play was also published in PAJ, A Journal of Performance and Arts.


Natalia Koliada, Nikolai Khalezin and Vladmir Shcherban (Belarus Free Theatre)

Natalia Koliada is a co-artistic director and producer of Belarus Free Theatre alongside her husband Nicolai. Natalia has been detained three times for participation in peaceful political and theatrical activities. She was the first person to be detained at a street protest against enforced disappearances in Belarus. She was convicted for publishing the Monitoring of Human Rights on the Internet. Her father, professor Andrei Kaliada, was dismissed from the Academy of the Arts for cooperation with Belarus Free Theatre and was physically attacked as a result; the criminal investigation case on it was closed down. Natalia has been co-producer with Nicolai Khalezin all BFT productions, including the latest King Lear for the “Globe to Globe” Festival for the Cultural Olympics in London, and Trash Cuisine.

Nicolai Khalezin is a co-artistic director of Belarus Free Theatre, playwright and journalist. Nicolai was arrested four times for participation in peaceful political protest rallies and theatrical activities. He was taken to trial for organising a peaceful political street rally. His plays are forbidden to be staged in Belarus. In summer 2010 he was attacked outside his house. The criminal investigation case on the attack was closed down. Nicolai is the author of 14 plays including Generation Jeans and Here I Am, and has won numerous awards recognizing his contribution to humanitarian theatre. See Natalia’s biography for co-productions under Belarus Free Theatre. Directed and adapted Trash Cuisine, dedicated to the international issue of the death penalty, which sold out at the Young Vic in London in 2013.

Vladimir Shcherban is an associate director and deviser of a majority of BFT shows. He became a director at the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre in 1999 but was dismissed in 2006 for his cooperation with Belarus Free Theatre. Various performances by Shcherban in Belarus have been cancelled and he has been detained for his professional activities. In 2008, together with Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada, he helped found Fortinbras, the only underground arts school in Belarus. Productions directed for Belarus Free Theatre include: 4.48. Psychosis; We.Self-Indentification; We.Belliwood; Technique of Breezing in a Vacuum; Zone of Silence; Being Harold Pinter; A Flower for Pina Bausch; New York ’79; Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker, as well as King Lear for the “Globe to Globe” Festival for the Cultural Olympics in London, premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2012 and brought back for a week’s run in 2013. His production of “Beloved Ones and Siblings” was directed by him for BFT via Skype from London with actors underground in Belarus.

Jessica Litwak

is a Playwright, Drama Therapist, Teacher, and Actor, Jessica Litwak has had an international presence as a theatre artist and teacher in Iraq, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, and London as well as throughout the United States. She has been on the full- time theatre faculty of San Francisco State University and The Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College, heading up the Voice Department at both schools. She has also taught, voice, at Stella Adler Academy and Marymount Manhattan College, she has taught acting and playwriting at Columbia and NYU. She taught in the graduate drama therapy program at Lesley University. Currently, she is directing The Moons Of Jupiter in Boulder, Colorado and is a professor in the Contemporary Performance MFA program at Naropa University.

Litwak’s work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times. Plays include: Emma Goldman: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs directed by Anne Bogart and produced by The Women’s Project and Productions, Bogart and she also collaborated on Between Wind, a play commissioned by The Music Theatre Group. A Pirate’s Lullaby, which won The Oregon Book Award, was produced in Portland, Oregon at Artists Rep. Theatre, Off Broadway at Rattlestick Theater and in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre. The Promised Land, commissioned by The National Federation of Jewish Culture, was produced in Budapest, Hungary. Secret Agents was produced in Hollywood at The Renberg Theatre, and Victory Dance was produced at the DR2 in New York and also in Los Angeles where it received a Garland Award and an Ovation Award. The Night It Rained was performed at HERE in NYC. Terrible Virtue was developed by The Lark and The Culture Project; GRIM was produced at TBG (The Barrow Group). Wider Than The Sky was developed at The Lark and at UCONN and Epic Theatre. The Snake and The Falcon and Nobody Is Sleeping (the last two parts of the Emma Goldman Trilogy) were developed by the Lark and produced by Serious Play!

As an actress, Litwak has appeared extensively in theatrical productions across the United States, a company member at The Guthrie Theatre and a member of The Actor’s Studio. She received a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. The Founder and Artistic Director of award winning theatre company New Generation Theatre Ensemble, ( NGTE plays Postcards from Canterbury, The Great Journey Home, Verona High and War An American Dream written and directed by Litwak, have been produced in New York and Massachusetts

Litwak is registered drama therapist, and an activist and organizer. Litwak is on the steering committee of Theatre Without Borders, and co leads the Arts and Human Rights initiative for TWB, she is a trainer for Acting Together On The World Stage, a case consultant and co-leader of the Artists In Distress Services Committee for freeDimensional . She teaches courses in NYC and internationally in Theatre for Personal and Social Change, which combine rigorous theatre training with drama therapy and social justice work. She is a co-founder of The Dream Act Union (a collective of five women playwrights writing plays that deal with immigration), Artistic Director of the New Generation Theatre Ensemble (a theatre company and school for at risk youth) and The H.E.A.T. Collective ( an organization dedicated to Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre. She is a PhD candidate at Antioch University in Arts and Social Change.


Dijana Milosevic

is a Serbian director and Director, Co-Founder- DAH Teatar Research Center. She graduated at the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, University of Belgrade; and at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts-Department of Theatre Directing. She tours the world with DAH Theater’s performances while offering workshops and lectures during various residencies.

She was the programmer of INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF NEW AND ALTERNATIVE THEATRE festival and was a member of BITEF (BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL) Festival Jury and is curentlly the President of the BITEF Board. She intesively collaborates with activists groups such as Women in Black and Act Women in Serbia. She has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships including Stars of Belgrade 2013, “Grozdanin kikot” for her contribution to contemporary theater, Fullbright Fellowship, ARTSLINK Fellowships, “Luigi Pirandello” Award, among many others.


Roberto G. Varea

Roberto G. Varea began his career in theater in his native Argentina.  His creative work and writing focuses on live performance as means of resistance and peacebuilding in the context of social conflict and state violence.  Roberto regularly presents on his research and conducts workshops in academic and community forums around the world. His stage work in the United States includes directing premieres of plays by Latin@/Chican@ authors such as Migdalia Cruz, Ariel Dorfman, Cherrié Moraga, and José Rivera.  His socially-engaged practice includes the founding and artistic direction of Soapstone Theatre Company, a collective of male ex-offenders and women survivors of violent crime, El Teatro Jornalero!, a performance company of Latin American immigrant workers, and the performance artist’s  collective Secos & Mojados, which engages with issues of migration, transnationalism, and displacement. Varea is a member of the Steering Committee of Theater Without Borders, and a member of the Distress Services Committee of freeDimensional, an organization that provides aid to artists in grave danger in conflict zones. He is a regular contributor and guest editor to journals in performance, politics, and peacebuilding such as emisférica (NYU – NYC,)Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge – UK,) and Peace Review (Routledge – US,) and is co-editor and co-author of the two-volume anthology Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict (New Village Press, Oakland – NYC). Varea is a founding faculty of the Department of Performing Arts, as well as the Performing Arts and Social Justice Program, and the Critical Diversity Studies Major at the University of San Francisco, where he also serves as co-director of the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA).