NYU Steinhardt will host the NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2018: Performance as Activism—a three-day event featuring conversations, presentations, workshops, and performances.

Keynote speaker Deborah Hunt

NYU Steinhardt will host the NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2018: Performance as Activism—a three-day event featuring conversations, presentations, workshops, and performances bringing together scholars and artists exploring how performance can spark dialogue and promote social change (April 19-21).

The forum will feature presentations from 12 different countries investigating how activists—through performance—can redefine political ideologies, embrace emerging racial identities, and subvert dominant social narratives against myriad global challenges. Programming will kick-off Thursday, April 19 with a keynote presentation by Ping Chong, National Medal of Arts recipient and current Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, discussing the complicated role of the artist as an agent of social change.

Keynote presenter Joanna Sherman, founder and Artistic Director of Bond Street Theater, will provide an overview of her global work initiating and directing theatre projects for social improvement in post­war, refugee, and disadvantaged communities, collaborating with local artists, and applying the arts to the peace-building process. Deborah Hunt will discuss her 45-year global career as a performance artist and will report on innovative theatrical work being done in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Plenary panels throughout the three-day event include ‘Youth, Theatre, and Activism’, a conversation about the role of young people in arts-based activism and ‘Performance as Activism’, featuring artists, educators, and performers across the spectrum of activism. A plenary performance by viBe Theater Experience—a program empowering underserved teenage girls to write and perform original theater—will present play excerpts to spark discussion about protests and riots within our communities, using the Crown Heights Riots of 1991 as a catalyst.

Other highlights include presentations on how disabled actors worked collaboratively to produce a cabaret, protest techniques for the occupation of public spaces, a project addressing slut-shaming and providing creative outlets for girls to be heard, a documentary theater play challenging the age of criminal responsibility through personal testimonies and narratives, and performance excerpts from Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter.

The Forum will take place April 19-21 at NYU Steinhardt’s Frederick Loewe Theatre (35 West 4th Street), Pless Hall (82 Washington Square East), Education Building (35 West 4th Street), and Provincetown Playhouse (133 Macdougal Street).

For more information about the Forum and to register, please see the website. Reporters wishing to attend should contact Sarah Binney at 212.998.6829 or sarah.binney@nyu.edu.

Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, established in 1925, instructs over 1,600 students majoring in music and performing arts programs. MPAP serves as NYU’s “school” of music and is a major research and practice center in music technology, music business, music composition, film scoring, songwriting, music performance practices, performing arts therapies, and the performing arts-in-education (music, dance, and drama). Prominent alumni include: jazz great Wayne Shorter, music theatre composer and songwriter Cy Coleman, lyricist Betty Comden, film composer Elmer Bernstein, Tony Award, Oscar and playwright and film writer John Patrick Shanley, and Ian Axel and Chad King of A Great Big World. Visit MPAP at steinhardt.nyu.edu/music.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (@nyusteinhardt)
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

Press Contact

Sarah Binney
Sarah Binney
(212) 998-6829