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Indigenous Excellence

Indigenous Excellence

2021-05-0301:01:26

This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by a talented group of Bay Area Native and Indigenous theatre artists: director/"artivist" Shannon Davis, multidisciplinary artist Steven Flores, and rapper, beatboxer, actor Carlos Aguirre aka Infinite, who appeared in Aurora's Tell Tale Hearts hip hop theatre cabarets. We'll play the music video "Indigenous Excellence" that our guests recently collaborated on, and discuss how the video came about and what the reaction to it has been. We'll also hear from our guests about some of the challenges and opportunities for indigenous artists, historically and right now, and about their various upcoming projects.
The Bluest Eye Cast

The Bluest Eye Cast

2021-05-0357:56

This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn will be discussing our upcoming production of Toni Morrison's THE BLUEST EYE, which Dawn directed. Josh and Dawn will discuss the novel and the adaptation, we'll play some promo video clips with the actors, as well as some audio teasers of production. We'll also play a few select clips from Sunday's Center Stage Salon with the cast.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by  Director Community Partnerships and Casting Director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Jeffrey Lo; Chicago-based theatre director and adapter, Lavina Jadhwani; and Bay Area casting director, director, and instructor, Dena Martinez. We'll get to know our guests and learn about their experience as casting directors in the local and national theatre scene. We'll discuss some pitfalls and best practices of casting, and also examine casting through a racial justice lens.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by director Barbara Damashek and actor Ed Gonzalez Moreno for a friendly discussion about the merits (or lack thereof) of musical theatre. After we get to know our guests, we'll discuss the origin of musical theatre and its evolution over time, and what we love or hate about musical theatre. We'll explore why musical theatre is so divisive, what makes some people love it and some people hate it, and we'll discuss why Aurora has generally avoided musicals
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Ely Sonny Orquiza, Director of New Works and Development at Gritty City Repertory and creator of the BIPOC Living Doc; Z Space Patron & Community Engagement Manager Jordan Battle; and Rose Oser, Associate AD at Z Space. We'll learn more about the BIPOC Living Doc from Ely, including what made him create the document and what has happened with the document since then. We'll also discuss what is happening with CDO work in the Bay Area theatre community, individually and at institutions, what folks want to see, and what lessons are being taught and learned.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Chance Theater Artistic Director Oanh Nguyen, actor Trieu Tran, and equity, diversity, and inclusion professional Linda Do Nguyen. Oanh to tell us a little about COLONIALISM IS TERRIBLE, BUT PHO IS DELICIOUS, a reading he will be directing that is a co-production between Aurora and Chance Theater later this month. We'll explore themes from PHO while getting to know our guests and learning about their varied experiences growing up as Vietnamese Americans.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Aurora's Technical Director since 2013, scuba diver, pizza chef, and man who can build ANYTHING, Cameron Swartzell. We'll learn about how Cam found his way to theatre and technical direction, about the duties of a TD, and we'll discuss some of his favorite sets that he's built. Cam will also take us on an exclusive backstage tour at our theatre.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by costume designers Ulises Alcala (Bull in a China Shop, Actually), Amy Bobeda (Wigs: The Importance of Being Earnest), and Callie Floor (Everything Is Illuminated, Widowers' Houses, The Heir Apparent). We'll learn how our designers found their way to theatre and to costume/wig design, and we'll have them take us through the process of designing a show. We'll also discuss the designers' favorite Aurora shows they've worked on and how they're keeping busy during the theatre shutdown.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Bay Area theatre and hip-hop artists Carlos Aguirre, Alicia Piemme Nelson, Dan Wolf, and Phil Wong, in advance of the final iteration of TELL TALE HEARTS: An Evening of Hip Hop Theatre coming to Aurora on November 28. We'll learn about the Bay Area Theatre Cypher and how it got started, and learn more about "8 Bars For The Reckoning" and other BATC projects. We'll talk about how hip hop and theatre inform each other, about what we can learn from hip hop, and we'll discuss TELL TALE HEARTS from start to finis
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by sound designer for THE FLATS, Elton Bradman. We'll learn more about Elton, his background, how he got started in music, and what continues to inspire him. We'll discuss some of his favorite shows he's worked on, and learn how the pandemic has affected his work.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Melissa Hillman of arts and culture blog Bitter Gertrude. She is also a former Artistic Director of Impact Theatre, which Josh founded in the 1990s. We'll discuss Josh, Dawn, and Melissa's history at Impact Theatre and learn more about what made that company so special. We'll also learn more about Melissa's blog Bitter Gertrude and more about her work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant.
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by magician Christian Cagigal. He is a magician at Speakeasy Magick at the McKittrick Hotel in NYC, Co-Producer for Odd Salon NYC, Owner of the San Francisco Ghost Hunt, and Co-Founder of Fog City Magic Fest. He's also a five-time winner of the Best Magician of the Bay Award by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. We'll learn more about Christian, his background, how he got started in magic, and what continues to inspire him. We'll also learn how the pandemic has affected his work, and more about a show he'll be doing at Aurora in the near future.
This week on AURORA CONNECTS, we will be celebrating the opening of our World Premiere Audio Drama THE FLATS! We'll play highlights from the Three Playwrights episode which featured Lauren Gunderson (THE BOOK OF WILL, THE WICKHAMS), Cleavon Smith (THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI), and Jonathan Spector (EUREKA DAY), as well as audio trailers from THE FLATS with a discussion about each. We'll end the episode with a toast. It's sure to be an exciting kickoff to the release of Aurora's first audio drama. 
This week on Aurora Connects Josh and Dawn are joined by bay area father and son theatre critics Rob Hurwuit and Sam Hurwuit.
Rulan Tangen's work explores movement as an evolving language of global Indigenous relation building,  rooted in inclusion of diverse cosmologies from her own experience and those of the artists with whom  she creates. Her contemporary dance practice strives to serve as functional ritual for transformation and healing, animating of decolonizing process, integrating concurrent universes of ancient futurities in the moment of now, expressing energetic connection with all relations – human and beyond.As Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer of DANCING EARTH, she has passionately cultivated successive generations of Indigenous contemporary performing artists as cultural ambassadors and conduits for social change.As  we approach Indigenous Peoples Day, as a woman of Kampampangan/Norweigian and mixed heritage, she considers  how to be a helpful ally to local Native land stewards. Thus, she will be donating her honoraria for this event to  Sogorea Te' Land Trust - an urban Indigenous women-led land trust that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people by  requesting an optional land tax of Bay Area residents. www.sogoreate-landtrust.orgFor more information on these artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnects
Josh and Dawn are joined by Bay Area actor Michael J. Asberry (Exit Strategy, Satellites). We'll get to know Michael, a little about his background and how he became an actor, and talk about the Aurora shows he's been in. Since Michael is our most frequent commenter on Aurora Connects episodes, we'll learn what engages him so much about the show, and discuss what he's doing and how he's making art during the pandemic.For more information on these artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnectsTo Donate please go to https://bit.ly/SupportAuroraTheatreCo... or email Development Coordinator Kendra Johnson, kjohnson@auroratheatre.orgFor Technical Support please email techsupport@auroratheatre.orgSend us questions to answer or topics to discuss in future episodes, or ideas for what we can do. connects@auroratheatre.org
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Berkeley Artistic Directors Khalia Davis of Bay Area Children's Theatre, Patrick Dooley of Shotgun Players, and Johanna Pfaelzer of Berkeley Repertory Theatre. We'll get to know the ADs, their backgrounds, and more about their jobs, including how they select projects, how they spend their days, and how they balance their artistic vision with hard realities. We'll also learn what each company is doing to dismantle racism and systems of oppression, and how each is handling the pandemic.For more information on artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnectsTo Donate please go to https://bit.ly/SupportAuroraTheatreCo... or email Development Coordinator Kendra Johnson, kjohnson@auroratheatre.orgFor Technical Support please email techsupport@auroratheatre.orgSend us questions to answer or topics to discuss in future episodes, or ideas for what we can do. connects@auroratheatre.orgAurora Theatre Company Staff: Josh Costello, Julie Saltzman Kellner, Dawn Monique Williams, Dayna Kalakau, Cameron Swartzell, Amanda Mason, Betsy Ruck, Dave Shultz, Katherine Sanderlin, Kendra Johnson, Molly Conway
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Brad Erickson, Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area (TBA), one of the nation’s largest regional performing arts service organizations. We'll learn more about TBA, the services it offers and who it serves, and how the organization has been helping the theatre community through the pandemic. We'll also learn more about Brad, what brought him to TBA, and what kept him busy during the pandemic.For more information on artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnectsTo Donate please go to https://bit.ly/SupportAuroraTheatreCo... or email Development Coordinator Kendra Johnson, kjohnson@auroratheatre.orgFor Technical Support please email techsupport@auroratheatre.orgSend us questions to answer or topics to discuss in future episodes, or ideas for what we can do. connects@auroratheatre.orgAurora Theatre Company Staff: Josh Costello, Julie Saltzman Kellner, Dawn Monique Williams, Dayna Kalakau, Cameron Swartzell, Amanda Mason, Betsy Ruck, Dave Shultz, Katherine Sanderlin, Kendra Johnson, Molly Conway
This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Courtney Flores (The Royale, Detroit '67), Craig (The Shape of Things, Fifth of July) and Jeanette Marker, Marissa Keltie Muterspaugh (Everything Is Illuminated), and Jasmine Milan Williams (Bull In A China Shop), all of whom are Bay Area artists and veterans of the theatre program at Cal State East Bay. Some of them are all also -- along with Dawn -- alumni of Impact Theatre, which Josh co-founded in 1996. We'll talk about their time at Cal State Hayward/East Bay, how they've kept in touch since then, the school's theatre department, and what makes it so strong. We'll also discuss our guests' favorite projects they've done together at and since school, as well as some of their favorite Aurora shows.For more information on these artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnectsTo Donate please go to https://bit.ly/SupportAuroraTheatreCo... or email Development Coordinator Kendra Johnson, kjohnson@auroratheatre.orgFor Technical Support please email techsupport@auroratheatre.orgSend us questions to answer or topics to discuss in future episodes, or ideas for what we can do. connects@auroratheatre.orgFor more information on artists: https://auroratheatre.org/auroraconnectsAurora Theatre Company Staff: Josh Costello, Julie Saltzman Kellner, Dawn Monique Williams, Dayna Kalakau, Cameron Swartzell, Amanda Mason, Betsy Ruck, Dave Shultz, Katherine Sanderlin, Kendra Johnson, Molly Conway
This week on Aurora Connects Josh and Dawn are joined by Bay Area actor Michael Torres (The Importance of Being Earnest) and students Alejandro Navarro, and Storm White from the Fusion Theatre Project (FTP) at Laney College. We'll catch up with Michael and his students, learn more about Laney's theatre program, and how the FTP brings to the stage the history and story of Oakland and its people.To Donate please go to https://bit.ly/SupportAuroraTheatreCo... or email Development Coordinator Kendra Johnson, kjohnson@auroratheatre.orgFor Technical Support please email techsupport@auroratheatre.orgSend us questions to answer or topics to discuss in future episodes, or ideas for what we can do. connects@auroratheatre.orgAurora Theatre Company Staff: Josh Costello, Julie Saltzman Kellner, Dawn Monique Williams, Dayna Kalakau, Cameron Swartzell, Amanda Mason, Betsy Ruck, Dave Shultz, Katherine Sanderlin, Kendra Johnson, Molly Conway
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