NEW YORK CITY: The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center has announced its spring 2015 season of free public programs, featuring contemporary theatre and performing artists from around the world, including the annual 3-day PEN World Voices International Play Festival and retrospectives of the work of formidable American avant-garde artists Lee Breuer and Richard Foreman.
The series kicks off on March 9 with an evening with experimental Japanese auteur Takeshi Kawamura, previously artistic director of the companies Daisan Erotica and T Factory. Kawamura will present his new work Four, directed by John Jesurun and translated by Philip Flavin. A performance of Japanese chamber music will precede the evening.
On March 16, Armenian-American playwright Leslie Ayvazian will present a reading of her new play 15/15, as part of a centennial commemoration of the Armenian genocide. The evening is copresented with New York’s Play Company.
A retrospective of films by Mabou Mines cofounder Lee Breuer is next on March 30, screening all day from morning till evening. They include Mabou Mines Dollhouse and many more.
Then, on April 6, playwright Sibyl Kempson will launch her own performance company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co., with a day of readings.
Pulitzer winner Ayad Akhtar will next offer a reading (April 13), after which he will join in conversation with Neilesh Bose of St. John’s University and Maha Chehlaoui of Noor Theatre. The evening is copresented with GC CUNY’s Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC).
Next, Bertie Feldman will lead a conversation about trends in “Urban Dramaturgy” with dramaturgs Mallory Catlett, Peter Eckersall, Andrew Kircher and Jeff Stark. The evening is copresented with the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA).
On April 28, there will be a celebration and discussion of a new anthology, Four Millennial Plays from Belgium, which will include Belgian plays that focus on race, intercontinental marriage, privilege, the resurgence of the extreme right and creative ways of juggling love relationships. On hand will be Belgian playwrights Jacques De Decker, Serge Goriely and Pascal Vrebos, as well as editor/translator and Belgian theatre specialist David Willinger.
The PEN World Voices International Play Festival will be held May 4–5 and May 11, featuring new work by playwrights from Afghanistan, France, Indonesia, Uganda, Argentina, Cuba, Kenya, Germany and the U.K., including renowned German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig.
Finally, on May 18, the center will host the very first retrospective of films by Ontological-Hysteric Theater founder Richard Foreman, followed by a panel discussion. One of the films on the list is Once Every Day, which was shot in just six days—and edited over a year and a half.
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is a nonprofit center for theatre, dance and film affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theatre.