International Symposium for Directors 2019 – Session One

Session One: July 17 – July 31, 2019

For the 20th year of the Directors’ Symposium, July 17 – August 16, 2019, La MaMa Umbria is offering unique opportunities to learn from the world’s finest directors, designers and theatre-makers. Please join us. Keep an eye on this page for continuing updates on visiting artists, workshops and other events.
Support for East African Directors’ attendance was provided, in part, by Sundance Institute Theatre Program’s Post-Lab Support Funds

Session One: 
Anne Bogart (USA)
Akiko Aizawa (USA)
Annie-B Parson (USA)
Maya Zbib (Lebanon)


July 17 – July 31, 2019

Viewpoints on Viewpoints by Anne Bogart & Akiko Aizaw In preparation for Anne’s new book Viewpoints on Viewpoints, Bogart and Aizawa will focus on new and traditional methods of working with the Viewpoints when approaching a text.  Beginning with an introduction to the Viewpoints as both directors work with them, the workshop will then explore the application of the Viewpoints in relation to a chosen text. The work will invite participants to discover new methods for mining material, collaborating spontaneously and intuitively, and generating bold, theatrical work.


Anne Bogart is a Co-Artistic Director of the ensemble-based SITI Company, head of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University, and author of five books:  A Director PreparesThe Viewpoints BookAnd Then You ActConversations with Anne and What’s the Story.  With SITI, Bogart has directed more than 30 works in venues around the world, including The BacchaeChess Match No. 5Steel HammerThe Theater is a Blank PagePersiansA RiteCafé Variations, Radio MacbethAmerican Documentbobrauschenbergamerica and Hotel Cassiopeia.  Recent opera works include Handel’s Alcina, Dvorak’s Dimitrij, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, Verdi’s Macbeth, Bellini’s Norma and Bizet’s Carmen. Her many awards and fellowships include three honorary doctorates (Cornish School of the Arts, Bard College and Skidmore College), A Duke Artist Fellowship, A United States Artists Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller/Bellagio Fellowship and a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency Fellowship. 

Akiko Aizawa joined The SITI company in 1997 and has appeared in 25 shows including; The Bacchae (BAM), Steel Hammer (music by Julia Wolfe), A Rite (with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), American Document (with Martha Graham Dance Company), the theater is a blank page (with Ann Hamilton), Trojan Women(Getty Villa), bobrauschenbergamerica (American Repertory Theatre), Radio Macbeth (Public Theater) and Culture of Desire (NYTW), all directed by Anne Bogart; Hanjo (Japan Society) directed by Leon Ingulsrud. Other credits; Suicide Forest (dir. Aya Ogawa), Sleep (dir. Rachel Dickstein); The Trojan Women, Three Sisters andDionysus (as a member of Suzuki Company of Toga, dir. Tadashi Suzuki). She is one of SITI’s core faculty members leading Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints training for 22 years. Akiko is originally from Akita, Japan.


How Political Is The Personal? A Practical Experimentation On Devising, Dramaturgy And Collective Creation by Maya Zbib

Maya will share some of the processes of collectively devising theatre within Zoukak, a theatre company she co-founded in 2006. She will propose tools of creating content, building narratives and instigating actions by a layering of personal stories, mythology and political events; making use of iconography and cliché. She will introduce her method of directing that is deeply connected to writing for the stage and dramaturgy.

 Maya Zbib is a theatre director, performer, writer and founding member of Zoukak Theatre Company. She studied theatre at the Institute of Fine Arts, the Lebanese University (2003) and pursued her MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths, University of London (2007). In 2011 she obtained a postgraduate degree in International Cultural Cooperation and Management from IL3, the University of Barcelona. Her work including The Music Box and Silk Thread has been shown at international festivals and venues in the Middle East, Europe, the United States, South America, Africa and South Asia (Williams College, MUCEM museum, New York Public Library, Queen Mary University, MASSMoCA, Southbank Center…).

Since 2008, Maya leads psychosocial interventions with Zoukak in marginalized contexts in different Lebanese regions. She facilitates collaborations, artistic residencies and events with international artists in the company’s studio where she co-curates since 2013 Zoukak Sidewalks, an international performance platform. She has given talks and workshops and taught at universities and in non-academic contexts, in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and Africa. Zbib is a Chevening/KRSF Alumni (2007), a Cultural Leadership International Alumni (2010), a fellowship recipient of ISPA, New York (2010), was selected as the protégé of Peter Sellars, American theatre, opera and festival director, as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (2011), and she’s a finalist nominee in the Gilder/Coigner International Theatre Award, New York (2014).

Direction as Choreography by Annie-B Parson

This workshop looks at a formal approach to creating movement phrases and movement events; students will work with ideas that include: pure movement, dynamics, the borrowing of theatrical devices, the use of found text and appropriation of historical materials. Students will be hyper-generative, making piles of movement phrases and theatrical events over the course of five days including such trademarks of postmodernism as appropriation, rubric driven structures, and blending the boundaries of what is generally proscribed as theater and dance.

Annie-B Parson co-founded Big Dance Theater in 1991. She has choreographed and co-created over 20 works for the company, ranging from pure dance pieces, to adaptations of found text, plays, and literature, to original works combining wildly disparate materials. Her work with Big Dance has been commissioned by Les Subsistances in Lyon, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The National Theater of Paris/Chaillot, The Japan Society, The Walker Art Center, and many others.

Outside of Big Dance, Ms. Parson has created choreography for operas, pop stars, television, movies, theater, ballet and symphonies. Her awards include the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), an Olivier Award nomination in choreography (2015), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2014), USA Artists Grant in theater (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two BESSIE awards (2010, 2002), and three NYFA Choreography Fellowships (2013, 2006 and 2000). BDT received an OBIE (2000) and the first Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award (2007). Parson has been nominated for the CalArts/Alpert Award seven times and has received three Lucille Lortel nominations (2014, 2012, 2011). She was a YCC choreographer at The American Dance Festival.

Since 1993 Parson has been an instructor of choreography at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing. She was featured in BOMB magazine, and has written articles for Ballet Review, Movement Research Journal, and drawing for The Brooklyn Rail, as well as a piece for Dance USA on the state of dance/theater in the U.S. and given a talk on the use of Poetic Forms in adapting text at the Poetry Center. As an artist curator, she has curated shows including: Merce Cunningham’s memorial We Give Ourselves Away at Every Moment, Dancer Crush at NYLA and Sourcing Stravinsky at DTW. Parson tours a lecture on abstraction called The Virtuosity of Structure to universities and for audience development. Her recent book, Dance by Letter, is published by 53rd State Press. 


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