The TEAM’s Petri Projects program was launched in 2017 and its goal is to foster a pipeline of inquiry and development into new work led by artists in our community. This program provides funding, rehearsal space, and producing support to seedlings of new plays. In 2019, we expanded the program by inviting project proposals from our wider artistic community, and by establishing a new project selection process that features an artist-led panel rooted in participatory budget models. We have planned seven incredible Petri Projects for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons. This inaugural “Petri Cohort” includes: Jessica Almasy, Frank Boyd, Jerome Ellis, Sanaz Ghajar, Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, Orion Johnstone, Libby King, Zhailon Levingston, Liliana Padilla, Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez, and Ellpetha Tsivicos. Read more about their projects below.
P_T _ND V_NN_ (pat and vanna): led by Jessica Almasy & Sanaz Ghajar
Disrupting the narrative of America’s game, Simone de Beauvoir, Pat Sajak, + Vanna White shelter in place in the middle of Palm Springs in this new musical. Formal experiments in memoir, scientific method, and the art and sadism of games were held in February 2020, with Libby King, Chad Raines, + Dito Van Reigersberg closing with an intimate open rehearsal. Work continues.
Quince from The Chicano Cycle: led by Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez & Ellpetha Tsivicos
Quince, is an immersive theatre experience that invites the audience to attend a Quinceañera, however, this isn’t your standard 15th birthday party as the honoree is not only Mexican but queer, and she’s going to use this occasion to let her family know that she can be both of those things. The TEAM supported Quince with a week-long workshop in August 2020 at the People’s Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn. We presented 4 work-in-progress performances to a diverse group of audience members. You can find the program to that performance and learn more about the artists involved here. The event featured live music, custom Quinceañera themed masks, and all COVID-19 safety precautions integrated into the work to adapt to the current climate. This piece is part of a larger series of scripts and performances entitled, The Chicano Cycle which is rooted in Camilo’s experience as a member of the Chicano community in LA and brought to life by Ellpetha’s sense of Hellenic mysticism, tradition, and experience being a member of an immigrant community.
Live from Lodge #274: Holiday Raffle: led by Frank Boyd
Live from Lodge #274: Holiday Raffle, led by Frank Boyd, is a new live-streamed performance centered around the personal items donated by members of a mid-Michigan Elks Club for their annual holiday raffle. This piece served as a funny, earnest and quietly elegiac tribute to 2020. We supported a two-week residency in November and December for this piece, followed by awork-in-progress showing on December 22.
Clearings: led by JJJJJerome Ellis
Clearings is a piece of music theater that builds on the work JJJJJerome has been doing with sound baths to explore if listening and experiencing live music together can be a civic act. Can this act help us heal from forms of temporal violence that the black race is subjected to in present-day America? Can music be used to produce time? At the heart of the composition is the issue of dominant and alternative temporalities: how can this piece of music, and the performance of it, illustrate new temporalities that will help us approach time more creatively in our daily life in America, and in the world? Jerome will be exploring this as part of our 2020-2021 season.
Mercedes: led by Modesto “Flako” Jimenez
In this multi-disciplinary work, Flako explores themes such as the matriarchy, ancestors, familial bonds, and inherited trauma and their relationship to one’s mental health. Inspired by his grandmother, her legacy, and his observation of dementia affecting many in the Latinx community, this work asks, “If an entire community is pushed to the side, do they have the capacity to address their mental health and well-being?” We supported two weeks of development for this piece in early January 2021 followed by a work-in-progress showing in February.
The Jesus Project: led by Liliana Padilla & Orion Johnstone
Liliana and Orion are co-creating a musical for an all Queer cast of 13 people, where everyone plays Jesus at some point. They compost, remix and reclaim the narratives they grew up on and under, asking how the stories of this anti-capitalist immigrant sing with our collective liberation and the urgent fractures we are living with. They seek to create a ritual of belonging, healing and love in action. This work will have a week-long residency as part of the 2020-2021 season.
Untitled Amelia Earhart Project: led by Libby King & Zhailon Levingston
Amelia Earhart is in the wild. She did not disappear, she left us to become W I L D. She’s been there a long time and she’s having a fucking blast. And. DJ Amelia is broadcasting about it but only the animals and aliens can hear her (until now). We supported a week of development for this project in early January 2021 and will continue development this Spring.
Support for the Petri Projects Program is provided by the Axe-Houghton Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Read more about past projects here.
P_T _ND V_NN_ (pat and vanna) photos by Ben Holbrook
QUINCE photos by Catharine Krebs