NEW YORK CITY | The struggle is to re-invent. The work is to be re-seen. We live today in a world where if you are an artist, people want to fix you. The world wants to put you in a cubbyhole. They want to fix you in a spot. They want to see through you so that in the end they might ignore you, or they might move on.
Every moment counts. Time plays a role in the formation of our identities. If you are young, every one of our action forms a history. A track record. A path. An identity. At some point, these actions accrete. Hopefully, you find happiness. But sometimes you will need to reinvent yourself. You will need to re-form your identity. And you will need to be re-framed. Unfortunately, our American culture makes that process difficult. It is political. It is economic. It is cultural. It is also deeply personal. You will be lucky to change your voice.
“Re/Forming Identities: The Artist’s Voice” is a conference at New York University. Organized by Michael Dinwiddie, a professor, it explores the ways in which playwrights, directors and screenwriters use their talents to challenge assumptions of who they are individually as well as the deeply ingrained shibboleths of American culture.
February 6-9, 2013
Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
The four-day conference will feature staged play readings, film screenings and roundtables with such distinguished artists as Awam Amkpa, Nora Cole, Kia Corthron, Kristoffer Diaz, John Shévin Foster, David Henry Hwang, Andrew Levitas, Dael Orlandersmith, Mikell Pinkney, Artisia Greene, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Ron Simons and a host of other featured artists.
“Re/Forming Identities” is made possible by support from the Humanities Initiative at New York University, the Africana Studies Program, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center at NYU, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Black Theatre Network, the Gallatin Cinema Society and the Black History Month Committee.
Wednesday, February 6
Welcome – Michael Dinwiddie
Screening– Gun Hill Road
Talkback with Gun Hill Road Director Rashaad Ernesto Green & Producer Ron Simons
Black N Blue Boys / Broken Men by Dael Orlandersmith (concert reading)
Respondent: Dr. Neda Hajizadeh
Thursday, February 7
Roundtable Discussion: Dramatizing History featuring Andrew Levitas
Friday, February 8
Nora Cole, Kia Corthron, Kristoffer Diaz, John Shévin Foster, David Henry Hwang
Moderator: Michael Dinwiddie
Rebecca in Four Stanzas by Awam Amkpa (staged reading)
Respondent: Frankie Edozien
Saturday, February 9
A Theatre of New Possibilities
Present Perspectives for Artistic Re/Formation by Mikell Pinkney
Respondent: Artisia Green