The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics Announces THE GATHERING 2022

The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics (The Lab) will present the return of The Gathering, a 4-day theater festival on Georgetown University’s campus.

As part of The Lab’s mission to humanize politics through performance, this year’s festival will gather over 400 leading artists, thought-leaders, policymakers, activists, scholars, and the next generation of change-makers both in-person and virtually from 40 different countries . Attendees will be inspired by productions and pop-up performances by International Artists, and partake in vibrant discussions, forums, and workshops all addressing critical global issues in hopes of sparking transformation and change.

Launched in 2019 as a biennial festival, this year’s festival marks the first since the pandemic postponed 2021’s event. The Gathering will offer diverse programming centered around the contributions of its Global Lab Fellows including productions, readings, discussions and workshops, with comprehensive live-streaming for all of The Lab’s community through an interactive portal.

Public performances from visiting artists around the world will explore topics ranging from missing Native Americans, to the arrest of gay men in Egypt, to a multi-media, multi-continental conversation about the collective memories during the pandemic lockdown, and much more.

The Lab’s Global Lab Fellows will also present performances on topics including undocumented low-wage factory workers, to the criminal justice system, to the shameful history of colonial white people treating black bodies as a “different species.”

Workshops will also be held during the 4-day festival exploring Hip Hop culture, climate chaos, rhythm, movement and more.

While some events are reserved for festival invitees, the public is welcome to attend the following performances and workshops for free with registration. Registration will open Thursday, April 14.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BY LAB FELLOWS & COLLABORATORS

May 4, 5pm, FREE workshop production

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

This work explores the ways Native American people have, and continue, to “go missing” both physically and through lack of representation in the United States. How We Go Missing is comprised of two works, one solo performance, and one ensemble performance. In the one-woman show, we follow Lucy (an incarcerated Native American woman on death row) as she seeks connection in her final moments of her. With a lot to get off her chest in a short amount of time, she discusses topics from love to her identity. Boxed in by beliefs, society, and the self. Do we make these boxes, or do the boxes make us? The ensemble work, done via the Indigenous dramaturgical practice of story weaving, plays off these same themes. This piece examines the erasure of Native peoples and explores the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives and the impact on those left behind.

May 4, 8pm, FREE with reservation

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

Woven from ancestral myths, personal anecdotes, and traditional music, Andares brings together the lives and stories of three characters of indigenous origins: Mayan, Muxe and Wixarika. The play shines a light on a range of realities faced by indigenous peoples in Mexico-land usurpation, widespread violence, community resistance-all at the crossroads of old and new ways of life. Meaning “pathways,” Andares is a sincere, revelatory, and intimate close-up on some of Mexico’s most remote corners and the astonishing stories of its extraordinary people. Conceived by Héctor Flores Komatsu after a year-long search in Mexico, Andares is both a deeply touching and fierce denunciation against a present that seems intent upon destroying what was once held as sacred.

Disposable from Global Lab Fellow, Jasmin Cardenas

Thursday, May 5, 1:30pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

What guarantees do working people in America have today? Do parallels exist between low wage temp workers/day laborers and career professionals? Over the course of two years, actor and activist Jasmin Cardenas interviewed blue and white collar working people in a variety of fields to consider some of these questions. Voices of undocumented low-wage factory workers and educated professionals are brought to life in this Documentary theatre/Verbatim theater solo play.

Jasmin Cardenas – Playwright & Performer; Raquel Torre González – Director

Zandezi from Mitambo Theater and Global Lab Fellow, Lloyd Nyikadzino of Zimbabwe

Thursday, May 5, 3:30pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

ZANDEZI is a provocative, daring and award-winning physical theater piece that uses story and physicality to interrogate and tackle criminal justice systems, from the point of view of those within it. It focuses on Philani who was wrongfully accused of a crime that he did not commit. Through him we weigh prison vs. society, asking “is Prison a rehabilitation centre, or does it actually create more hardcore criminals from innocent people?”

Ronald Sigeca – Deviser and Actor; Cadrick Msongelwa – Deviser and Actor; Lloyd Nyikadzino – Director

May 5, 7:30pm, FREE with reservation

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

It is May 2001 in Cairo. Moody, Khalid, and their servant Taha are on the Queen Boat, a gay nightclub docked on the Nile. When an unexpected police raid results in the arrest and public humiliation of the attendees, the lives of these young men are altered forever. Adam Ashraf Elsayigh’s debut production weaves budding romances, class differences, and familial expectations into a loving portrait of three men who all struggle to rebuild their lives against all odds.

Black Circus from Global Lab Fellow Princess Mhlongo and collaborator Albert Ibokwe Khoza, South Africa

Friday, May 6, 1pm & 3pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

Exhibits showcasing artifacts and actual people were popular in the western world during the colonial period. How do we deal with a shameful legacy that echoes into the present? Should we seek to erase it, bury it in the history books, or resurrect and acknowledge this difficult past? This work dwells heavily on the early recorded study of black bodies as a “different species” to the white man. The artists write: “We pay tribute to the spirit of Sarah Baartman and the many Africans whose lives and bodies were turned into a spectacle for white supremacist pleasure. We pay homage to our ancestors who gave up everything for the benefit of the world at large.” .”

Albert Ibokwe Khoza – Creative Director and Performer; Princess Mhlongo – Producer and Director

Risk Lab from Global Lab Fellow Ada Mukhina, of St. Petersburg, Russia
Friday, May 6, 1pm & 3pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

RISK LAB is a series of participatory performances about risk in art and artists at risk. For each performance, Ada Mukhína invites a new guest to the theater via video link. Based on interviews and the lived experiences of artists at risk from all over the world, this piece challenges the role of art in modern society. Look forward to artistic provocations that invite you to think, make decisions and act according to them! The first two episodes of Risk Lab with Abhishek Thapar (India/Netherlands) and Anis Hamdoun (Syria/Germany) premiered in Camden People’s Theater in London in 2018. The third episode with Anna Sagalchik and Tim Tkachev (Belarus/Russia) premiered in Deutsches Theater Berlin in 2021.

New episode created especially for The Gathering 2022, by Ada Mukhina and Elina Kulikova (Russia).

How to Eat Mangoes from Global Lab Fellow Afshan D’souza Lodhi, of Manchester, UK

Friday, May 6, 1pm & 3pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

How To Eat Mangoes is a performative, interactive lecture from our resident Rishta Aunty who sells mangoes by day and matchmakers at night. This sensual piece takes the audience through the intricacies of the mango and unearths the hidden sexual core that sits in the center of our beings. When our hands are enough to rupture skin, do we bring a knife to a mango fight? Are we afraid of getting messy, of truly digging deep inside flesh and tasting honesty? How to Eat Mangoes is a radical antidote to the narratives of destruction and death that we are being fed by the mainstream media.

Performing Dangerously, The Lab’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Friday, May 6, 7:30pm

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

Inspired in part by Azar Nafisi (Lab Associate Artist and best-selling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) and her new book Read Dangerously, this special evening of performances celebrates the courage and resilience of performing artists around the world who are creating courageous art in the context of danger. Participants include many long-time Lab collaborators such as Belarus Free Theatre; Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire); Mélisande Short Colomb with a live excerpt from her celebrated virtual performance of Here I Am; Diaries from Ukraine, featuring youth voices from the war; and more.

Resonant Bodies: Dance Party from Resident Movement Artist and Global Lab core member, Emma Jaster

Friday, May 6, 9:30pm

TBD

Resonant Bodies is an outlet for all that cannot be expressed in words while we celebrate reunions, resilience, and all that is yet to come. Part of an ongoing research project in embodied listening, Resonant Bodies continues the Lab’s tradition of Witnessing Across Difference, In Your Shoes, and Performing One Another, to connect beneath and beyond words. Framing the ongoing work of theater and dance practitioners worldwide as an intentional tool for working across cultures, this project aspires to build empathy and trust through joyous action-replacing analysis with kinesthetic response and sublimating rage in dance. This is a participatory performance celebrating the body as a culture-bearer and its movement as a tool for connection with the otherwise “other.”

Featuring the media genius of Katerina Vitaly and Taylor Verrett, and the physical genius of dancers from around the world.

Theatre, Asylum, and Magic: Devising The Cassette Shop from Inaugural Lab Fellow, Asif Majid

Saturday, May 7, 11:45am

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

Luciar and Alé are two strangers who have an unexpected meeting in the most unlikely of places: a cassette shop. Their first conversation is weird, confusing, and complicated. However, it soon becomes clear that there is much more to their relationship than meets the eye. The Cassette Shop is a mix of testimony, ethnopoetic, devised, and documentary theater created by a group of asylum-seeking Storytellers in Washington, DC. Hailing from Iraq, Indonesia, The Gambia, Venezuela, China, and elsewhere, the group worked for over a year to create a production that is true to the experience of asylum-seeking, while emphasizing the hope and hilarity that is so often central to such journeys. This session, “Theatre, Asylum, and Magic: Devising The Cassette Shop,” offers an excerpted reading of The Cassette Shop, followed by a panel and dialogue with the Storytellers and creative team.

Asif Majid, Lead Designer; Nikoo Mamdoohi, Director; Tameem and Kartika, Performers

Lockdown Memory from Anna Dora Dorno, of the 2019 Artist Residency co-created by The Lab and the European Union National Institutes for Culture
Saturday, May 7, 11:45am

Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

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