And Some Are Hidden in Plain Sight

During a residency at Duke University I created And Some Are Hidden in Plain Sight along with a professor and group of 15 first-year students.  Through exploring our own relationships to Failure, we identified an imbalance: that some failures are celebrated in society today as the engine of creativity while others we feel we must…

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All Change Festival

All Change Festival was a free, boundary busting performance festival animating outdoor and indoor spaces with accessible and innovative contemporary performance. The 2014 iteration of this festival included simultaneous events in five international cities (Reykjavik, Augsburg, London, New York and New Orleans), with forty-five performance events at the UK site (Lyric Hammersmith) alone.  I established,…

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One Hundred Questions

Stopping someone in a public place, I began with a story describing a touching and poetic experience in which I listened to a person wondering aloud about the things in life that were and what could have been.  After telling this story, I then asked the stranger what questions run around in their minds on…

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The Drum Major Project

What does it mean to be “first?”  Is being “first” about getting the most for oneself, or are there other powerful ways of leading that enhance the collective good?  It is a short step from these timely questions to the feet of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his sermon and self-eulogy, The Drum Major…

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The Other Side of the Door

From 2012-2015, I created a project entitled The Other Side of the Door in partnership with Lt. Jack Cambria the then head of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, to develop an arts-based resiliency building program for police officers.  After securing funding from the Dan and Joanna Rose Foundation, we developed a program that used storytelling…

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I Confess

I Confess is a performance experience exploring empathy and intimacy in a structured improvisational and participatory performance. Through the experience, the roles of performer and audience, truth and fiction, and public and private spaces are subverted and explored. How it works: A confessional is situated in a public space with a sign and a person…

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Opera in the Shower

A commission from Works on Water, Opera in the Shower is a playful meditation on the use of water in our daily lives. A shower appears in the park.   From within, an opera singer, dressed in an old fashioned bathing suit, shower cap and with a scrub brush, sings from her repertoire in an outdoor…

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The Superjohn Project

The Superjohn Project, a product of a Big Idea Workshop on Belief, is a multilayered, social practice project exploring the power of imagination in dealing with adversity. Inspired by a true story and made in collaboration with patients, families and medical practitioners at the Whittington Hospital Pediatric Oncology unit, outcomes of the project included a…

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London Eyes America

This project explored the dialogic nature of identity and the value of being a cultural and racial ‘border dweller’ whose identity alludes definition. The work began with an English person posing a question to Londoners in public spaces. “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Americans?’ After photographing the…

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Controlled Explosions

A Laboratory of Failure led by Rachel Parish and Cristina Catalina. The International Failure Institute’s [IFI] launched Controlled Explosions, part of a worldwide search for what failure means for us today. A day-long participatory workshop at The Shop Front Theatre in Coventry included crafting ideas, debating and researching, playing and wildly speculating, and daring to fail…

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Careful: A meditation on forgiveness

Commissioned by the Museum of Broken Relationships in London, Careful was a performance installation interrogating memories of love, loss and forgiveness. The one-to-one experience unfolded as follows: You enter a warm, comfortable room.  The walls are covered with stories and memorabilia from previous participants. Inside this room is a single performer. You sit down and…

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StoryStation

A set of headsets, a voice recorder and an array of cards are arranged in a public space. A sign welcomes members of the public to sit, put on the headset, and open and read aloud one card at a time. On each card is a statement. These statements are phrased to spark memories for…

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Food Project

Working with the Ideas for Creative Exploration Research Institute at the University of Georgia and Georgia College and State University, I developed The Food Project in 2012.  Over a course of three weeks, I worked with a collaborator to engage communities of people throughout Georgia with questions around their relationship to food. Through story gathering…

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The Big Idea Workshop

The Big Idea Workshop is a performance workshop for small groups of artists and non-artists to deeply explore a big idea in contemporary life as a prompt for creating new performance work.  The workshop investigates a set subject through discussion, devising and developing dramatic ideas.  We do not aim to solve any questions through the…

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Firesides

Firesides are pop up art salons for artists and non-artists to engage in non-hierarchical creative exchange. Using the format of a regularly held dinner gatherings, participants enjoy food, culture, conversation, and collaboration. The evening begins with a welcome and invitation to grab a plate and a conversation partner whom you’ve never met before. A host…

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Tesseract

Tesseract was an intergenerational story-sharing project designed to find innovative ways of enhancing memory function in elderly people with dementia and to provide resiliency-building experiences for vulnerable girls aged 7-11 through the arts.  The initial project, in Macon, Georgia, connected two groups of people from different parts of a deeply segregated community, using reciprocity and…

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Bread and Roses

“Hearts starve as well as bodies. Give us bread but give us roses too.” – J. Oppenheim   Bread and Roses Summer Camp was a three year arts-based resilience promotion program for vulnerable children (children whose lives are impacted by behavioural/emotional challenges and/or parental mental illness, incarceration, and/or substance abuse). Led by a team of professional artists,…

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The Stella Project

The Stella Project was a series of interconnected socially engaged performance events, designed to unlock value in the creative process for both artists and publics.  The project was framed with the goal of devising a new version of a classic text to present as a professional production in London. For the process, I assembled partnerships…

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Be Here Now

By Deborah Zoe Laufer At the Aurora Theatre, Directed By Rachel Parish Bari is in a perpetual funk, biding her time at a mind-numbing job shipping Tibetan-themed tchotchkes. Cheerful co-workers Patty and Luanne try to see past her cynical exterior through their Prozac-colored glasses. Will Bari ever leave her parents’ house in provincial upstate New York?…

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The Silents

An experimental piece of ensemble-based theatre, The Silents traverses the stories of three people at a crossroads, exploring the power of internal fantasies and the price of forging your own path. Through their interlocking narratives, audiences traverse a path blending past and present, reality and fantasy, comedy and imminent tragedy. Central to the development of…

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Soon Until Forever

SOON UNTIL FOREVER is a tiny little jewel of a play. Poetic and honest and nuanced and beautifully directed and acted at the 503. –Simon Stephens Directed by Rachel Parish. Written by Shireen Mula. Developed with Liz Boag & Nadia Malik. Performed by Jennifer Jackson, Soon Until Forever premiered at Theatre503 in April 2013. Jamie and Emily…

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Hellscreen

A sensual, exciting & terrifying production fusing film, music, immersive design and theatre, Hellscreen follows an artist, his daughter & a collector on their descent into hellish greed & obsession. by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Rachel Parish Inspired by a classic Japanese horror story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, set in the contemporary London art world, and…

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The Alchemist

What do you desire? What do you dream of? How much are you willing to believe? The rich have left their homes and deserted the city. Three fabulously unsavory characters join forces to pose as modern-day alchemists. Ben Jonson’s classic masterpiece takes a ruthless and hilarious look at the tendency in us all to believe…

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Elevator and the Romanian Season

Two teenagers. A jammed lift. No mobile signal.  ‘Listen. Listen…days ago, I had this idea. I just couldn’t make it clear in my mind. But now I can.’ ★★★★ CRITIC’S CHOICE Time Out Inspired by a true story, Gabriel Pintilei’s moving two-hander explores human dynamics in an extreme environment as it follows two youngsters journey through…

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Writing

As a collaborative theatre-maker, I have authored or co-authored the scripts for many staged productions.  These include I Confess, Manifesting Destiny, Superjohn, Hellscreen, The Museum of Our Forgotten Selves, The Journey, Stella, and The Alchemist. The cross-disciplinary nature of my practice has also forged interesting relationships that have application in a number of fields.  One…

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