In Conversation with SITI Company & Theatre Mitu

Wednesday, Oct 5, 6pm

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Hosted by NYU Skirball

Join us for a behind-the-scenes conversation on collaboration and ensembles, with members of SITI Company and Theatre Mitu.  SITI Company’s Anne Bogart & Darron West, and Theatre Mitu’s Rubén Polendo & Justin Nestor, will discuss collaboration, ensembles, and the companies’ respective artistic processes, in advance of SITI Company’s NYU Skirball debut.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register below to attend via Zoom

About the Companies

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of theater artists, and a commitment to crossing boundaries.

Driven by a commitment to innovation, Theater Mitu expands the definition of theater through methodical experimentation with its form.

About the Speakers

Anne Bogart is one of the three Co-Artistic Directors of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is a Professor at Columbia University where she runs the Graduate Directing Program. Works with SITI include FALLING & LOVING, The Bacchae, Chess Match No. 5; Lost in the Stars; Persians; Steel Hammer; A Rite; Café Variations; Trojan Women (After Euripides); American Document; Antigone; Under Construction; Freshwater; Who Do You Think You Are; Radio Macbeth; Hotel Cassiopeia; Death and the Ploughman; La Dispute; Score; bobrauschenbergamerica; Room; War of the Worlds–the Radio Play; Cabin Pressure; Alice’s Adventures; Culture of Desire; Bob; Going, Going, Gone; Small Lives/Big Dreams; The Medium; Noel Coward’s Hay Fever and Private Lives; August Strindberg’s Miss Julie; and Charles Mee’s Orestes. Recent operas include The Handmaid’s Tale, Handel’s Alcina, Dvorak’s Dimitrij, Verdi’s Macbeth, Bellini’s Norma and Bizet’s Carmen. She is the author of six books: The Art of Resonance, A Director Prepares; The Viewpoints Book; And Then, You Act; Conversations with Anne; and What’s the Story.

Justin Nestor is a performer, researcher and technologist. His work focuses on narrative archeology, the corporeal archive and technology as performer. Working across disciplines, he creates installations and works for the stage that explore the tension and overlap between performance, visual art and technology. His research interests include confinement, surveillance, and data. These ideas manifest in the composition of “remains” within space and time and the construction of ruins to investigate and reconcile what is there, what is not, what once was, and what now is. The creation of false repositories of memory and experience. This is an investigation into what is at once extremely personal and part of a shared human experience. Justin has collaborated on several works with Theater Mitu including those listed below. Justin is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the arts where he has since returned and taught classes in Theater Mitu’s creation methodology as well as interactive technology for performance. Alongside other company members, Justin has also taught workshops in the USA and abroad at institutions like Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, The Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute, Bringham Young University, The Patravadi Theater (in Bangkok, Thailand), Visthar (in Bangalore, India), Mongolian University of Arts and Culture (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) DUOC Universidad de Chile (in Santiago, Chile), Yala Maya Kendra (in Kathamandu, Nepal), and NYU Abu Dhabi where he worked as a research associate studying, documenting, and training in performance in the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. Justin is the head of Theater Mitu’s international training and research initiatives. His recent artistic work has traveled him to countries including India, Nepal, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Mexico, Chile, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, and others. He is the creator and program director for the company’s South India Artist Intensive. Outside of his work with Theater Mitu he has performed in New York City at theaters such as New York Theater Workshop, The Flea, Incubator Arts Project, The Culture Project, and Galapagos Art Space.

Rubén Polendo is the founding artistic director of the permanent group of collaborators, Theater Mitu! He and his company work towards expanding the definition of theater through rigorous experimentation with its form. Polendo and his company research and investigate global performance as a source for their training, work, and methodologies. This is all driven by what he calls, “Whole Theater,” a theatrical experience that is rigorously visual, aural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual all in the same moment. His practice investigates trans-global performance; interdisciplinary collaborative models; the performativity of non-violence; the geopolitics of objects; contemporary mythology; artist training and education; investigations of the ritual and the sacred. In addition to his scholarly work, Polendo produces theatrical productions that bring these ideas to life. He has directed, curated and/or written a great many of Theater Mitu’s work, which has premiered in theaters Internationally and in the United States. Internationally, these include:  The Cairo Opera House (Cairo, Egypt), Teatro DUOC (Santiago, Chile), Od Nowa (Torun, Poland), Mansion (Beirut, Lebanon), Centro Cultural Paso Del Norte (Mexico), Black Box (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia), Visthar (Bangalore, India), Patravadi Arts Center (Bangkok, Thailand), Manarat al Saadiyat (UAE) and The NYUAD Arts Center (UAE).  In the United States, these include: Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans, LA), Los Angeles Theater Center (Los Angeles, CA), Ignite Arts/CaraMia (Dallas, TX), and Z Space (San Francisco, CA).  Additionally in the United States, Polendo’s work as been seen at Baruch Performing Arts Center, New York Theater Workshop, CSV, The Public, INTAR, Blue Light, Lincoln Center, A.C.T., McCarter, The Perseverance, NAATCO, Mark Taper, Alliance, ETC and South Coast Rep. His Awards and recognitions include the prestigious MAP Fund Grant, the CEC Arts Link Grant, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, NY Cultural Development Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, NEFA’s National Theater Project award, the Rolex Protégé Arts Initiative, Company Residencies at NYUAD Arts Center and at New York Theater Workshop, New York State council for the Arts Grant, The Rosenberg Foundation Grant, Alpert Award, Greenwald Foundation Grant and The Mental Insight Foundation Grant, The Watermill Center Resident Artist, and a Sundance Theater Lab resident artist. Polendo has an MFA in directing from the UCLA School of Theater, an M.A. in non-Western theater from Lancaster University in the U.K., and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Trinity University in Texas.  Currently he is Chair of Undergraduate Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  Based in New York City, he continues to create, develop and present work in the US and Internationally.

Darron L West has been a SITI Company member since 1993 and first collaborated with Anne Bogart in 1990 while resident sound designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His designs have been heard in over 600 productions both nationally and internationally. His accolades include the 2012 TONY Award, The Princess Grace Statue, a 1998 Obie award for SITI’s BOB, the 2000 Princess Grace Award, the Entertainment Design Magazine EDDY, the 2004 and 2005 Henry Hewes Design award and a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. As Director: Kid Simple (2004 Humana Festival), Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Children’s Theater Company, Minneapolis), Big Love (Rude Mechanicals Austin, Texas), Eurydice (Children’s Theatre Company), Three Sisters (Singapore International Arts Festival with SITI, Nelson Chia and Nine Years Theater) and co-director of SITI Company’s War of the Worlds – The Radio Play, Radio Macbeth, and Christmas Carol.