The Petri DISH Episode 2: Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez, Ellpetha Tsivicos & Ema Zivkovic

In episode 2 of the Petri DISH, Ema Zivkovic interviews artistic team Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos on their project RUMORS OF WAR, a new multi media project that explores the harsh realities of war juxtaposed against the beauty of homeland.

To turn on video captions, click the button marked “CC.” For the full interview transcript please read below.

Ema: Okay. Hello everyone. Welcome. So let’s start. My name is Ema and I’m interviewing y’all. How about you tell me about you and how you started working with the TEAM? How you started working together. Yeah, go ahead.

Camilo: My name is Camilo.

Ellpetha: My name’s Ellpetha.

Camilo: We started working with the TEAM on Primer for a Failed Superpower. Ellpetha was working as a producer on the project.

Ellpetha: I was the associate producer.

I oversaw, there were a bunch of interviews with activists that played as videos. I was coordinating all of those and the team wanted a documentary made of the entire project. So I hired Camilo to do that and he made the documentary, but that’s not how we met.

Camilo: No.

Ellpetha: Or started working together.

Camilo: Working together long before that.

Ellpetha: Yeah. In college, I guess.

Ema: Cool.

Ellpetha: Yeah. We both wanted to leave housing and we weren’t friends at all. Everyone in my acting class was very theater-y and I didn’t really want to talk to anyone, but everyone liked talking to me. Camilo was sitting in the back of the room, not speaking to anyone, but making funny jokes. I was like, I’m going to go talk to that person. Which was like, “Hey, do you want to move into an apartment? I really have to get out of housing.” And he was like, “Yeah, my roommate really smells, and our beds don’t fit in the room.” It was much cheaper to live in an apartment than it was to live in the stupid dorms.

Camilo: And 12 years later, here we are!

Ellpetha: It’s 12 years later and we still live together.

Camilo: Yeah.

Ellpetha: So we are artists in residence, always.

Camilo: Always.

Ema: Wow. I love that. That’s incredible. Wow. I want to be in your pocket and see what happens.

Ellpetha: You can come be in our living room whenever you want.

Ema: That’s probably better than a pocket

Camilo: More spacious, but only slightly.

Ema: Yes. Okay. Amazing. It’s funny because, as I’ve been moving, I’ve been telling people, “I do theater, but I’m not loud.” I don’t talk all the time. I swear, I don’t. Anyway.

Back to the point. Amazing. So always artists and residents. Do you want to tell me about your project? You can start wherever you want.

Ellpetha: It’s called, right now, Rumors of War. You can talk.

Camilo: It’s still very much an exploration. We’re working a lot with the script that we worked on our senior year at NYU. So real throwback. Which kind of touched on a lot out of the traumas of war and the residual traumas that come with being from a war-torn country, and having family that are refugees. So we wanted to dip back into that and start interviewing, particularly, our fathers, who both came to the United States, because of very traumatic and violent situations in their home countries of Mexico and from Cyprus. And start to research and explore that, and find a way to talk about it in a way that wasn’t so dark and heavy, but used elements of our culture, like of music and poetry and these things that we’ve always used to move beyond these things, to explore a really difficult topic.

Ellpetha: Yeah. It’s part of both of our identities so much, and a lot of our work is very celebratory and joyous and colorful. These things are not separated from those aesthetics. The thread is very difficult to find and articulate. It’s touching on a lot, lot of different topics of a Western saviorism of the wars, or the conflicts in our countries and how there’s this ideology that they need to be solved by people other than gay, indigenous people of those regions. This idea that the trauma needs to be taken off of us, but that’s ours. It’s not necessarily a miserable thing. How to separate those things and mold them into something that would not be unpleasant to watch.

People love going to Mexico. People love going to Cyprus. It’s beautiful in both of those places. It’s incredible. The people are amazing. The culture is amazing. The food is amazing. And everything that led up in our history to the current moment is factored into those things. But there are very, very ugly parts of the past. It’s figuring out how to hold space for those things, but also share them.

I don’t want to go see theater that makes me feel terrible, because life is very hard. I think there’s a place for those things and it’s totally okay if you make work like that. Everyone does something different, but for me, the arts have been a way to heal or explore healing and joy and imagination. I don’t want to make something that is miserable, but I can’t…

Camilo: Sugarcoat.

Ellpetha: I can’t sugarcoat violent wars.

Camilo: How do we have interviews with people who experience these things firsthand without pushing them deeper into any kind of trauma that they’ve already have worked so hard to move past? How do we do it in a way that’s healing, not just for whatever audience is experiencing it, but for the interviewees themselves?

Ellpetha: Yeah. Yeah. A lot of them haven’t had the opportunity to heal, or maybe they have band-aids all over their psyche from it. Offering them this experience as a way to heal and documenting all these different perspectives and making this catalog of information that we can then utilize to make a multimedia project. It’s been interesting because it’s the first time we want to work on a project for several years and develop it before we want to share it. I don’t know about years. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before it’s something.

I’ll say we’ve been wanting to focus a lot on the narratives of women because we think of war and we literally think of a male soldier. The women were there for the whole thing too and experiencing war and fighting. I’m sure in very, very interesting ways. Making sure that, that’s very much a part of this storytelling.

Ema: Yes, absolutely. I am so psyched about all of that. I’m very interested in all that myself as well. Well, that sounds layered in a really tough process, but joyful as well.

Speaking of process, do you have a favorite part of the process so far, or is there something that you’re planning that you’re really psyched about? Whether that’s interviews with specific people, or something that’s not interviews? Do you have anything that you’ve done that you’re really like, “Oh, this has really worked. We want to do more of that.” Or something like that?

Ellpetha: I think one thing was connecting it with this script that we had written in college after we had had the Petri meeting and everything. We were like, “Whoa, that script is innately attached to this narrative.” Okay. We were 22, but a 22 year old wrote it. I wonder what it would be like to integrate parts of that script. Use that as a beginning place or just use it as something. That was a really exciting thought.

Camilo: Yeah, definitely.

Ellpetha: We’re going to spend two weeks devoted to just working on this project, with the funding from the Petri project. I have 20 jobs and I’m never doing just one thing.

Camilo: Getting to focus is really exciting.

Ellpetha: I don’t even know what that would be like, cause I literally never had the opportunity to just do one thing. That’s going to be a big exercise with this. That is our job for two weeks exclusively. That might not yield anything. It could be like, wow, that didn’t work for us. We’re better when we’re doing 20 things, or it could just make a really strong foundation. So we’re excited about that.

Camilo: Yeah.

Ema: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I’m terrified myself. I’m like, “Can I even do that?” Word, word. When are you planning on taking up those two weeks? Are you planning on spring, or before the new year? What are your plans with that?

Ellpetha: I think sometime in the darkness of winter, we’re planning to do this.

Ema: Good. Good.

Ellpetha: Yeah. Yeah. Sometime in the winter, we’re figuring it out. Some point between December and March.

Camilo: Yeah.

Ema: We love a winter. Winter hibernation slash art making.

Ellpetha: Yeah.

Ema: Good stuff.

Ellpetha: Good, good.

Camilo: Seems like a good time.

Ellpetha: To have a purpose.

Camilo: Yeah.

Ellpetha: You know?

Ema: Oh yeah. Oh definitely. I think we’re almost at time. It’s been lovely talking to you. I’m super excited about whatever you end up coming up with in two weeks and the future of this project. I think it’s super important. What you’re talking about as far as joy and joy in theater, that also has some heavy stuff behind it.

Well, thank you. I don’t really know how to wrap things up, but thank you for talking to me.

Camilo: Thank you.

Ellpetha: Thank you for interviewing us.

Camilo: Yeah.

Ema: Anytime, can’t wait to come to your living room.

Ellpetha: There’s currently a three-foot by three-foot papier mache skull in the living room. So there truly is always something…

Camilo: Something going on.

Ellpetha: Something going on here.

Ema: Thank God.

Camilo: Yeah, it’s quite large.

Ellpetha: The skull.

Camilo: The skull is large, not the apartment.

Ellpetha: Not our living room.

Ema: All right.

Ellpetha: Okay. Bye!

Camilo: Bye.

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The Petri DISH Episode 1: Marika Kent & James Harrison Monaco

Introducing the Petri Dish, our new series featuring 1-1 artist interviews about the incredible works featured in the TEAM’s Petri Projects Program. In episode 1, artist Marika Kent interviews James Harrison Monaco about his new multi-disciplinary work, Travels.

To turn on video captions, click the button marked “CC.” For the full interview transcript please read below.

Marika: All right, so we will begin. So hi James.

James: Hi Marika.

Marika: How’s it going?

James: It’s going, I’d say well, all things considered. How is it going with you?

Marika: You know, good. It’s a sunny day.

James: It’s so beautiful today.

Marika: So I thought a great place to start would just be to introduce yourself to the world who may or may not know you and require an introduction or reintroduction. So who are you and how are you connected to the TEAM?

James: I’m James Harrison Monaco. I’m a writer, composer, storyteller, musician, performer, translator, and with the TEAM, I’ve been a fan for a long time and a friend and a collaborator with various TEAM members on non-TEAM projects. And then came on the same time you did, well offer the same project RECONSTRUCTION. Maybe we entered at different times. I don’t recall.

Marika: Yeah, maybe.

James: Wait, I have a formal question about all of this, which I should have asked before this interview started. Are we interviewing each other or are you interviewing me?

Marika: I’m interviewing you.

James: Oh, okay. Well, all the questions that I prepared for you, I’ll ask you some other time then.

Marika: You might be interviewing someone else.

James: Oh, okay. Great, good information. We can hold for edit.

Marika: Oh we can do that.

James: Sorry, go ahead.

Marika: No, but that was my first question. And you answered it and then sort of rolling off of that. If you will introduce your project and what it’s called and maybe just the elevator pitch.

James: The project right now is called TRAVELS, though maybe it’ll be called TRAVELERS or maybe it’ll be called something else. It’s in the early stages. The idea it’s for live performance combines music and storytelling, as my work pretty much always does. And the idea is it’s kind of a collection of short stories and in that kind of format, but one evening lengths work, a character based largely on me is the narrator of these stories and is a first-person narrator. And there’s stories that involve travel, either that narrator based largely on my stories that that narrator has picked up or heard from other people while traveling, or just stories that he has learned or researched that involve travel or heard from other people about their travels, all combined with dance, music and synthesizers and drum machines. Yeah. That’s the elevator pitch.

Marika: That’s a good one. And that makes me want to ask you, are you drawing from places like personal experience where you’ve traveled or, is a lot drawn from the imagination?

James: I feel like a lot of it is drawn from personal experience and from research. Some projects, like the PIANO TALES, project that you, me, JJJJJerome and, Andrew Scoville made. There’s some elements that come from personal experience, but it’s a lot of stories pulled from history or just kind of made up. These I think are a little bit more rooted in contemporary research and current events. Yeah, and I would say a lot of the stories have kind of a surface-level element and then a deeper kind of darker is maybe too simplistic of a word and not a word I love like a raw element.

For instance, one story is about that I’m working on right now is kind of based on a trip `I took to Guanajuato in Mexico. And on the surface of it, it’s kind of a bar crawl with these friends that I made there, but underneath it discussion of narco-trafficking violence, kind of kept coming up. But in these subtle ways that I think the people I was traveling with didn’t really want to talk to me about in a performative way. Didn’t want it to be oh, the American comes here and hears about the greedy reality of central Mexico. But at the same time, it was there. So I think that story is kind of interrogating what is my role in these things that are seemingly distant from me. But in fact, a very present part of all of our realities. That’s how I would try to phrase it.

Marika: Yeah. Fascinating. I realize I don’t know, are you working with a collaborator or are you doing your own compositions in music?

James: Right now, the composing is mostly me and the arranging of it is all me or pretty much all me. Some of the music is right now that I’ve been using is music that JJJJJerome and I, JJJJJerome Ellis and I made together. And that I’m now kind of rearranging or shifting around or bringing in experimenting with other musicians to see what happens. But for sure his compositions are alive in it. And then other sections are a 100% composed by me.

Marika: I just imagined this version of reality, which you can confirm or deny wherein you guys just have this sort of world of music and sound ideas that…

James: Hours and hours and hours and hours and hours.

Marika: In and out Of whatever you make

James: Many, many, many, many gigabytes of Dropbox orders. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marika: So you’re not necessarily always, composing for that piece? There’s sort of maybe a…

James: Yeah. I’m careful not to speak for JJJJJerome. So I’ll make that caveat, but were just talking the other day, maybe yesterday or something we’re in residency at BAM right now making and recording music for who knows what for kind of this purpose. But we were joking about how, as long as we don’t tell directors that we didn’t make this music explicitly for them, they won’t know. But that many directors need to believe that you started with a blank page and you were like, this is for that director. So by that, I mean, I hate starting from scratch, the blank page in any form really terrifies me.

So often I’ll just have on my iTunes, a playlist of music I’ve made during the pandemic and then some, it includes also some music JJJJJerome and I made together during the pandemic. And it’s 30 hours long maybe. And I’ll just have it on shuffle so that if I hear something and I’m like, oh, a story could go with this or, I want to dig at this. I can open it up or I can make note of it or improvise over it, but I kind of just have it going in my house semi-regularly.

Marika: I love knowing this. Is that sort of scratching and mining, is that how this piece started?

James: Yeah, exactly. So during COVID, there was nothing to do for so long of it. So I bought a bunch of music equipment and I just started experimenting and recording a bunch of just total improvisations with drum machines and synthesizers and samples. And then that for a while, JJJJJerome and I got together at The Brick in Williamsburg, and we recorded a bunch of stuff that ideas we’d both been working on jams, just from scratch. And yeah, I guess it was, I think it was like listening to those things and when not being able to travel, I was thinking a lot about these travel stories. And so then I think I would just hear a musical idea and I would be like, this sounds like the emotional reality of that night in Guanajuato or this sounds like the emotional reality of that story my friend from Shiraz and Tehran told me about his coming here or, yeah.

Marika: Nice. You also mentioned earlier that some of your stories come from, or some of the material working with comes from research. Is there any research that you’re particularly obsessed with for this piece or on this day or?

James: Maybe One big one is there in the 13 hundreds, there was this Moroccan traveler named Ibn Battuta from, I think Tangier. And he was sort of just a normal with the equivalent, I think of a middle-class guy or slightly upper-middle-class guy. Would’ve been at that time. And he spent 27 years just traveling all over the world and he didn’t intend to, he started traveling and he just couldn’t stop and was in Indonesia and China and debated how many of these places he actually went to. But he certainly traveled a lot was in India, was in Spain. And then he ended up dictating his memories of this to somebody else. And it made this five-volume book, the travels of Ibn Battuta and unlike the writings of Marco Polo from a similar time, which feel kind of beautiful, but dated and medieval, these are very human they’re kind of funny, they’re interesting, they feel not that different from travel writing now.

And I’ve been researching them just to think about what is travel writing, and what are the responsibilities of it, what are the missteps of it. So that’s one piece of research and then I’m also researching, I’ve been researching the history of Guanojuato City in that region as well, or kind of the two right now, because that’s where my head is.

Marika: As you’re talking about it, I’m realizing that I haven’t read a whole lot of travel writing. It’s a whole genre of… I started and didn’t finish ON THE ROAD probably.

James: Sure. I mean…

Marika: Yeah. And INVISIBLE CITIES, I think.

James: If you count, I mean that’s like imaginary travel writing. But based on the writings of Marco Polo, so riffing on that genre.

Marika: Yeah. That was another one. I’m not sure if we finished.

James: Totally. That one, I mean it’s a favorite of mine, but I also think honestly to me, a lot of these travel books, what I’m interested in is I don’t know that you need to finish them or I don’t, I think a lot of them aren’t written now.

Marika: Are they like recipe book where you aren’t…

James: Kind of think they’re made to dive in. Who would ever want to sit down with someone and be like, tell me about every trip you’ve ever taken right now would be a nightmare. And yet, here a little bit of a time. Yeah, I don’t know. There’s something about that. And maybe it’s where the dance music element and this piece comes in, as I’m curious also about permission for the audience to disengage mentally and just bounce with it or dance with it or go on a corner or you need your own traveling when reading about it or hearing about it.

Marika: Fascinating. Well, maybe a good final question would be as someone who maybe has read more travel writing than me, do you have a top two or three that you could recommend it?

James: This Ibn Battuta guy. I know it’s insane to be well this 14th-century Moroccan travel writer, but he’s…

Marika: No, it’s not a thing. Also, say that after PIANO TALES, I bought a copy of RUBAIYAT

James: Yeah. Oh, so good. Well, that’s been a big one for me, for sure. They’re not travel writings, but in that strict sense, but Roberto Bolaño’s short stories, which is in a collection called LAST EVENINGS ON EARTH, translated by Chris Andrews. There’s something about those stories that have a lot of them have kind of a shared narrator. Who’s sort of just seemingly, supposed to be a fictional version of Bolaño and some of them take place in Chile or his time in Mexico or his time in Spain or in Germany or in Belgium or in France. There’s something interesting to me about those two. They’re pretty problematic and kind of thorny and interesting as all his writing is. Joan Didion’s just I don’t know that you would call them travel writings, but just all her writings about California to me would be another big inspiration to me.

Marika: Solid. Well, all right. Thank you for hanging out with me and answering.

James: Thanks so much. Thanks for asking and prepping them.

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Introducing the RECONSTRUCTION Writers/Scholars

Last year, we made the commitment to commission 3 Writers/Scholars to witness Reconstruction‘s process and analyze our work with an eye towards internal accountability with the plan to publish this work publicly. We are pleased to share that we have selected our 3 Writers/Scholars. Scroll down to learn more about these fabulous humans.


Melanie George is the founder and director of Jazz Is… Dance Project and an Associate Curator and Director of Artist Initiatives at Jacob’s Pillow. As a dramaturg, she has contributed to projects by David Neumann & Marcella Murray (on the Obie Award-winning Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed), Raja Feather Kelly, Ephrat Asherie, Susan Marshall & Company, Machine Dazzle, Kimberly Bartosik/daela, and Urban Bush Women, among others. Melanie is featured in the documentary UpRooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance, and founded the global advocacy website Publications include Imbed/In Bed: Two Perspectives on Dance and Collaboration” for Working Together in Qualitative Research (Sense Publishers) and chapters in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches and the forthcoming Rooted Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in the Twenty-First Century (University Press of Florida).  She is the former Dance Program Director at American University and has guest lectured at Harvard University, the Yale School of Drama, and The Juilliard School. 


Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D. Professor of Acting and Directing Pedagogy at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Co-Artistic Director & Founder of The Conciliation Lab, a non-profit social justice theatre company Dr.T is a playwright, director, actor, poet, and writer. She has appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Broadway production of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the rainbow is enuf performing in both the national and international touring companies.  Her television, film, industrial, voice-over, and commercial credits are extensive. Favorite directing projects include “uncle tom: deconstructed” for The Conciliation Project,  PASSING STRANGE for Firehouse Theatre, “The Niceties” for The Conciliation LAB, and FENCES for the Virginia Rep all to critical acclaim. Fun fact: She’s featured voice talent for the video game HALO. She’s a featured scholar in Black Acting Methods: critical approaches, a best seller on Amazon. Recently her chapter “The Conciliation Project as a Social Experiment: Behind the Mask of Uncle Tom-ism and the Performance of Blackness” was featured in an anthology titled, African American Arts, Activism, Aesthetics, and Futurity, edited by Dr. Sharrell D. Luckett.  Dr.T is a columnist for Urban Views Weekly, other articles, presentations and workshops can be found at


Nia Ostrow Witherspoon is a Black Queer theatre-maker, vocalist and composer, and cultural worker investigating the metaphysics of Black liberation, desire, and diaspora, in the context of sacred ecologies.  Described as “especially fascinating” by Backstage Magazine, and featured by NPR for her curation of BlackARTSMatter, Witherspoon is NEFA/NTP recipient, a Creative Capital Awardee, a Jerome New Artist Fellow, an artist in residence at HERE Arts Center and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and was a 2017-18 2050 Playwriting/Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. Her works, MESSIAH, YOU MINE, THE DARK GIRL CHRONICLES, and PRIESTESS OF TWERK have been or will be featured by The Shed, JACK, La Mama ETC, Playwright’s Realm, BRIC, HERE, National Black Theatre, BAAD, Movement Research, BAX, Dixon Place, Painted Bride, 651 Arts, and elsewhere. Witherspoon has been recognized by the Mellon Foundation, NYFA, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Lambda Literary, and Theatre Bay Area, and most recently NEFA/NTP. She holds a BA from Smith College and a PhD from Stanford University in Theatre and Performance Studies, and her writing is published in the Journal of Popular Culture; Imagined Theatres; Women, Collective Creation, and Devised Performance; and IMANIMAN: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands.   Witherspoon has held tenure-track professorships at Florida State University and Arizona State University taught at Fordham and University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and is currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled NATION IN THE DARK: A Black femme spell for justice. 

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LIVE FROM MOUNT OLYMPUS Renewed for Season 2

We’re so excited to share that Live From Mount Olympus, our Greek Myth Podcast created in partnership with Onassis Foundation, has been renewed for Season 2. The new season will premiere in early 2022 so in the meantime, we’ll be releasing monthly “Mythlets” to tide fans over. Listen to the first mythlet, which focuses on Adamantine’s Sword here.

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We’re Hiring!

The TEAM is looking for a new part-time Assistant Producer to join our administrative team. Information is below. Please apply by July 23, 2021.

Assistant Producer
Status: Hourly, Part-Time
Location: Brooklyn
Start Date: mid-September, 2021
Reports To: Producing Director
Salary: $20 per hour; 16 hours per week
Benefits: $200 per month health insurance contribution
Schedule: Weekly schedule is flexible in consultation with the Producing Director and workload ebbs and flows with our programming.

The TEAM seeks a dynamic and motivated individual for a part-time Assistant Producer. The Assistant Producer will work in partnership with the TEAM’s Producing Director and Producing Manager. In this role, the Associate Producer will help advance the company’s mission to create new work about the experience of living in the United States today.


The TEAM is a 16-year-old internationally recognized theatre company. Our mission is to collaboratively create new works about the experience of living in the United States today. Combining aggressive athleticism with emotional performances and intellectual rigor, our work crashes characters from history and mythology into modern stories, drawing unexpected connections across time to touch the raw nerves of the current moment. Our work is rooted in place-based research, and by returning to the places we visit with the finished work, we hope to create a genuine exchange between different communities in America. Led by Tony-award winning Artistic Director Rachel Chavkin, we have created and toured 11 works, including Mission Drift, RoosevElvis, and Primer for a Failed Superpower.

As an organization, we acknowledge that collective liberation is not a state, but an ongoing struggle to do better, be more just, interrogate our practices and assumptions, and be willing to make regular changes to how we do things in the face of what we find we’re doing well or poorly. With our project Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside), we’ve been experimenting with putting these values into practice and endeavoring to create a space that is not only anti-racist but actively pro-Black, through strategies like hiring an anti-racism facilitator to lead workshops and act as a “process chaplain” while embedded full-time in the rehearsal room, having a team comprised equally of Black/BIPOC identifying artists and white-identifying artists, engaging in daily constituency groups, and participating in rituals of healing and mourning. We are currently working with our board and community of artists to reflect these commitments at all levels of our institution; click here to learn more about our ongoing commitments and work.


The Assistant Producer will work in close collaboration with the Producing Director, Artistic Director and Producing Manager in handling the day-to-day operations of the TEAM, an internationally-renowned devised theatre company. The position will have responsibilities in the areas of fundraising, marketing, line producing, company management, and general administration. This position is geared primarily towards early career producers who are looking for an opportunity to strengthen their line producing, general management and fundraising skills through hands-on working experience.

Current TEAM programming includes but is not limited to: the development of our newest mainstage work Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Insides) which includes a writing team of 23 artists, 14 of whom are artists of Color and 9 of whom are white-identifying; The Petri Project’s Program, an artist-driven new work development lab; the recording and distribution of Live From Mount Olympus, a Greek-Myth Podcast aimed for audiences aged 9-13; Devising within a Democracy Workshops to emerging and mid-career artists; and the touring of existing TEAM repertoire. The Associate Producer will be a key employee within our small institution and the position will allow for extensive skills-building and learning in many different areas of not-for-profit producing, as well as the opportunity to build relationships with industry stakeholders across the globe. We seek a thought partner to help the company innovate with regard to program delivery, as we endeavor to serve our artists and community.

The position is part-time, but will allow the Associate Producer to take leadership roles on various projects, and to receive one-on-one mentorship from the Producing Director, Artistic Director, Producing Manager and TEAM Board.

As art makers and as an organization, we want to center historically underrepresented voices, in particular communities of Color, people from working class backgrounds, LGBTQ+ people, and the differently abled. We strongly encourage applications from people from these or other historically underrepresented communities. The TEAM was founded by white artists and our current staff members are all white-identifying. However, we are working in partnership with facilitators rooted in anti-oppression work to disrupt white-supremacist and colonial structures within our institution. This includes meetings with our Reconstruction Process Chaplain to dream about new structures for our institution, as we have abolished our ensemble structure.  Additionally, TEAM staff, including this role, will be supported by monthly meetings with facilitators focusing on anti-oppression practices.


Development & Fundraising Support

  • Manage day to day individual and institutional fundraising records
  • Assist in grant applications and reports for institutional funders
  • Help design individual fundraising campaign, such as an annual end of calendar year campaign, with a focus on visual design
  • Coordinate logistics for fundraising events such as volunteer sign-ups, scheduling, décor, catering drop-offs, etc.


  • Create design collateral for workshops, fundraising campaigns, Petri Projects, and TEAM mainstage work
  • Collaborate with Producing Manager to execute social media tasks for the TEAM, including the planning and creation of content

Line Producing

  • Lead Produce a selection of Petri Projects (budgets ranging from $5-10k) through our Petri Projects Program
  • Attend virtual recording sessions and coordinate logistics for the Live from Mount Olympus podcast
  • Help with company management tasks for mainstage development work including employee paperwork, rehearsal and travel logistics, etc.

Office Management

  • Order supplies, marketing collateral, and office equipment as needed
  • Training, Data entry and support of Salesforce database


  • You are curious, creative, and adaptable.
  • You can manage deadlines and prioritize for yourself and others.
  • You can see the big picture and the details simultaneously and keep a close eye on both.
  • You’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to make mistakes. You are willing to try anyway.
  • A strong team player.
  • A commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression principles and practices.
  • Social media savvy with experience working across social media and communications platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Mailchimp or other e-blast services
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • This job is executed on the following platforms: Microsoft Excel, Word, Zoom, Dropbox, Quickbooks, Salesforce etc. Experience with these platforms is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge of design platforms, such as InDesign, Canva, Adobe Spark, etc. is also a plus

This position has the flexibility to work at the TEAM’s office at ART/NY’s South Oxford Space in Fort Greene or virtually.

TO APPLY: Send cover letter and resume with two references to Alexandra Lalonde, Producing Director at, by July 23, 2021.

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Updates on our Petri Project: Untitled Amelia Earhart Project

“Somewhere in Nebraska. More Specifically. A payphone in Dansbury, NE. Amelia is sitting on the back of a pickup truck smoking…” Check out some #BTS pictures from development work on Libby King and Zhailon Levingston’s Petri Project. We supported a few writing residencies for them to flush out their script that features Amelia Earhart, Radio DJs, and Golf Ball Size hail.

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Request for Proposals from Scholars, Poets, Thinkers, Analyzers and Examiners to Observe and Write about the TEAM’s “Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside)”

The TEAM is commissioning 3 independent writers (scholars and/or creative) who identify as Black, Mixed-Race, or as a Person of the Global Majority, to witness, analyze and critique the process of creating our production Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside), including our attempts to create a pro-Black space within a white-led institution, and to decolonize our practice and create a genuinely organic, “horizontal”, and creatively verdant room comprised of Artists of Color and white-identifying artists.

Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside) is a new theatrical work with a live musical score about different forms of intimacy — including but not limited to interracial intimacy between Black-identifying and white-identifying individuals, self-intimacy, and Black interiority — within the historical and present-day context of a violently anti-Black United States. Our goal is to make and tour a work that is as useful to racially diverse audiences as the process has been to us as individuals and as a company.

Making Reconstruction

Inspired by Hortense Spillers’ statement “Without freedom, love and intimacy don’t matter,” Reconstruction will look at attempts for genuine INTIMACY in the United States, particularly between Black peoples, between white peoples, and within relationships that seek to bridge the binary. Reconstruction will unfold in a series of interlocking chapters, each focused on a different question of intimacy in the context of different relationships: It will also ask whether Black and white individuals can share true intimacy in the USA? If so, how? Should that even be a goal?

This work is being built by 23 artists aged 27-96, 14 of whom are artists of Color and 9 of whom are white-identifying. It is being co-directed by Rachel Chavkin and Zhailon Levingston and collectively edited by a self-selected “Weaver Committee” of 8 artists (6 POC artists and 2 white-identifying). We are creating Reconstruction via our consensus-driven, horizontal writing process that involves group research and the generation of material via improvisation and writing, with creative prompts offered by any member of the ensemble. We began development in March 2018 with an “Undoing Racism” workshop facilitated by Milta Vega-Cardona from the People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond. We have since contracted Milta as our Process Chaplain, and she has been integral in helping us create a room rooted in anti-racist and anti-colonial practices. She works to ensure that the artists of Color leave the room as whole as when they entered it, and helps us form daily rituals, such as ending everyday with constituency groups.

We plan to premiere the work at the Round House Theatre in Fall 2022, pending the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want the work to be moving, funny and provocative. We also want it to be useful to racially diverse audiences in thinking about intimacy through the lens of racial analysis. We plan, in partnership with presenters and our Process Chaplain, to facilitate anti-racism workshops and town halls alongside the presentation of the work.

For more information on the process of creating Reconstruction, we invite writers to watch this video conversation “Finding Intimacy in the Reconstruction Room: The role of our Process Chaplain”.

What are we looking for?

Three writers who identify as Black, Mixed-Race, or as a Person of the Global Majority, including at least one writer who identifies as part of the African Diaspora, to track our progress from here forward in creating a verdant, horizontal, and pro-Black development process and subsequent production. Together with the writers, we would work to ensure their independence in witnessing, analyzing, and critiquing both what is successful and unsuccessful about our attempts to de-colonize ourselves and our institution. While the racial makeup of the artistic company of Reconstruction is majority Black and Artists of Color, it is important to note that the organization of the TEAM is still largely white-led. We will make the writers’ work available to the wider field by partnering with relevant publications, with the goal that it will be of use to other institutions and ensembles, as well as provide value in our continued work. Our primary interest is in partnering with publications accessible to the majority of theatre practitioners (e.g. American Theatre and HowlRound) but are also interested in collaborating with academic journals beyond the theatrical field. We believe that our experiences – successes and challenges – might have implications and applications beyond our field, as historically white-dominant institutions across disciplines seek to create more inclusive environments at a minimum and beyond that to work seriously to center the voices of Black and Indigenous Americans, and People of the Global Majority.

We would like the writers to observe full-company development on Reconstruction moving forward. This will include residencies in the New York City area, as well as other cities such as Santa Monica, CA; Chapel Hill, NC; and Washington DC. Full company development is currently virtual with plans for work in Montgomery, AL in November 2021. Ideally, all writers would observe all or part of all residencies and future stages of the project, but with flexibility to account for scheduling challenges. The TEAM has partnered with the COVID-19 Theater Think Tank to create rigorous safety and testing protocols to ensure safe work during the pandemic.

The TEAM is looking for writers whose research and/or creative interests may include but are not limited to:

  • African American Literature, Film and Cultural History
  • Slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction
  • Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies
  • Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Studies
  • Critical Racialization
  • Race, Class, and Gender
  • American History
  • Cultural Anthropology

Writers will each create a journal-style piece that explores the successes and failures of our process, to be published at a date to align with the premiere of Reconstruction (tentatively scheduled for fall, 2022).


When observing the work of the Reconstruction ensemble, the TEAM offers a weekly salary of $800, on a most-favored-nations basis with the rest of the ensemble.

For the work of writing a critical analysis of the TEAM’s process in creating Reconstruction, we offer a fee of $3,000.

About the TEAM

The TEAM is a 16-year-old internationally recognized Brooklyn-based theatre ensemble. Our mission is to collaboratively create new work about the experience of living in the USA today. Combining aggressive athleticism with emotional performances and intellectual rigor, our work crashes characters from history and mythology into modern stories, drawing unexpected connections across time to touch the raw nerve of the current moment. This process has often brought us to different parts of the US, from post-housing crash Las Vegas in 2010 to politically divided Southern Appalachia in 2016. For Reconstruction, we’ll travel to Montgomery, AL for a residency at Alabama Shakespeare Festival where we’ll work and meet with the Equal Justice Initiative. 

Though we are led by Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Rachel Chavkin, we have been slowly working towards a model where authority is decentralized and our resources are invested into Collective Visioning. This has led to the abolishment of our “membership” structure: we are in thrilling new territory as a (re)emerging collective led by a mixture of founding artists and new TEAM artists from the Reconstruction company. We are dreaming about care committees, family-based structures, and other models to question how power is distributed and equity maintained throughout our institution and programming. This process has been intentionally slow, as we convene meetings facilitated by facilitators, including Reconstruction Process Chaplain, Milta Vega-Cardona.

FOR INTERESTED WRITERS: Send letter of interest and curriculum vitae or resume to Alexandra Lalonde, Producing Director at by July 23, 2021.

Posted by in Reconstruction | Comments Off on Request for Proposals from Scholars, Poets, Thinkers, Analyzers and Examiners to Observe and Write about the TEAM’s “Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside)”

Reconstruction REVEAL Series at the Broad Stage

Photo by: Alon Koppel Photography

The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California is one of Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside)’s commissioning partners. As part of this partnership, they’re hosting a REVEAL series to give audiences an inside look into Reconstruction’s creative process. This three-episode event featured conversations about Primer for a Failed Superpower, the role of a Process Chaplain, and how our artists are collaboratively writing the work.  Learn more about REVEAL here.

Episode 1: How Primer for a Failed Superpower primed the TEAM for Reconstruction
Watch Episode 1 here.

Episode 2: Finding Intimacy in the Reconstruction Room: The role of our Process Chaplain
Watch Episode 2 here.

Episode 3: Creating Reconstruction: “How We Make Is As Important As What We Make”
Watch Episode 3 here.

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Upcoming Spring Workshops

We’ve got four exciting workshops coming up this Spring to help you learn all about the TEAM’s Creative Process and how to self-produce and get your work seen. Registration links below!

Wednesday, May 19th, 7:00-9:00pm EST
Self-Producing for Artists & Ensembles: Individual Fundraising
Led by TEAM Producing Director & Anna Frenkel
Register here

Saturday, May 22nd, 3:00pm-6:00pm EST
Devising Within a Democracy: Cultivating Design
Led by TEAM artists Kate Freer & Marika Kent
Register here.

Wednesday, June 2nd, 7:00-9:00pm EST
Self-Producing for Artists & Ensembles: Working with Your Board
Led by TEAM Producing Director & Matt Ross
Register here.

Wednesday, June 9th, 7:00-9:00pm EST
Self-Producing for Artists & Ensembles: Fundraising Events
Led by TEAM Producing Director & Alexandra Panzer and Jeff Wood
Register here.

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Live from Mount Olympus in the Press

“Between the rivalries and the affairs, it’s everything tweens catch between the morning bell and sixth period, with the added bonus of fantastical landscapes and magical happenings. But there is also heft to these stories, which represent a belief system and vision of the world that no longer exists as a reality for a community of people, but nevertheless survives.” New York Times

Actors André De Shields and Divine Garland sit down with Allison Stewart in All of It WNYC to discuss their work on Live from Mount Olympus. All of It WNYC

Wired ranks Live from Mount Olympus Top 12 Best Podcast for Kids

The National Herald features Live from Mount Olympus. “It has been such a gift to, within these COVID times of isolation, still be able to visit worlds new and old through the prevailing gift of the imagination and the willingness of everyone to bring their most optimistic and joyful selves to the project,” said Zhailon Levingston, Co-Director. “I hope it touches every young listener who hears it.”

Deadline and Playbill announce Live from Mount Olympus‘ launch!

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