Featuring Gaven Trinidad, Alexander Santiago-Jirau, Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel, Sam Johnson, and Jordana De La Cruz. A conversation about how theatre and performance institutions are forging partnerships with local, grassroots organizations in an effort to help build more equitable, just, and beautiful communities. The participants will discuss their ongoing collaborations, share what they have learned, and dream about what comes next.
Gaven Trinidad (he/him) is the Community Engagement Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. He is a first generation queer Filipinx American dramaturg-director from the East Village. He believes that theatre is a transformative tool for underrepresented communities to imagine and create radically new inclusive worlds. He’s had the privilege to work with folx at places such as The Juilliard Drama Division, Musical Theatre Factory, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and National Queer Theater. B.A. American Studies, Dickinson College; M.F.A. Dramaturgy, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Proud former public school teacher. Currently resides with his 9-year-old dog Ripley (named after Sigourney Weaver in Alien). www.gaventrinidadtheatre.com
Alexander Santiago-Jirau is Director of Education at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) where he oversees all of NYTW’s Education Initiatives, including the Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop, the Youth Artistic Instigators program, student matinees, in-school teaching artist residencies, masterclasses, administrative fellowships, and public and community engagement programs. A Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner who studied and worked with Augusto Boal, Alex has facilitated many applied theatre projects throughout his career, particularly with youth, educators, and diverse immigrant communities. He is also on the faculty for the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Alex holds a BS in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University.
Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel, born in Mexico and raised in Greece, is a Latina theatre artist and educator. As a performer, she has developed work with European ensembles including the Troubleyn/Jan Fabre company in Belgium. As an educator, she piloted a program with the Department of Education in Athens that brought theatre to schools across the city. She is the Artistic Director at People’s Theatre Project (PTP) where she oversees the development and management of the PTP Company and the PTP Academy. She is a member of the 2020 cohort of New York Foundation for the Arts Emerging Leaders Program. Directing Credits: People’s Theatre Project – Somos Más (2019), Las Mariposas (2018); Beton 7: Macbeth (Asst. Dir, 2013). US Performance Credits: Dell’Arte International Company – State of Jefferson (Anemone, 2017). International Performance Credits: Theatre Festival of Epidaurus – War Manifesto (Chorus, 2014); Argo Theatre Elengo, Pitsibourgo (2012). BS, Political Science and Public Administration, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Acting, Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun; MFA, Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International.
Sam Johnson is a Black Identified queer POC organizer who believes in true liberation, struggle, and love for black and brown folx. Sam’s journey to build power against state-sanctioned violence began during her childhood in NY and Georgia, working as a Director at multiple community centers and after-school programs within Brooklyn NYCHA housing developments and the teachings from her elders within her organizing family. They believe in the practice of community care and political education must be developed and protected by the people and intentional relationships have to be seeded and watered to grow. Meeting people “where they are” and advocating for intentional spaces for youth and families Sam Johnson understands the power of connections and works daily to provide access to a multitude of services for survival. As an organizer, Sam strongly believes that there are no limits to what a person should have access to, and is determined to break the limits and make liberation a reality. “If my people want it then, let’s get it!” Sam Johnson is presently the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Center for Independence of the Disabled NY.
Jordana De La Cruz (she/they) is a stage director, theater maker, and Co-Director of JACK, an Obie-Award winning performance venue meets civic space in Brooklyn, New York. She creates performances, gatherings, and public programs that question what it means to be free and more urgently, how we are helping each other achieve this freedom. Her practice sparks cross-cultural dialogue and expands the concept of community. Before joining JACK, Jordana served as Program Manager at Park Avenue Armory, where she was instrumental in the creation of the institution’s Public Programs Series. She is a proud member of Theatre Communications Group’s Rising Leaders of Color Cohort 19′, and most recently directed the world premiere of TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever by James Ijames at JACK. Jordana De La Cruz’s “electrifying production”(NYTimes), was chosen as a New York Times Critics Pick.