International Performance Conference

More than 500 artists, activists, young people, educators, scholars, practitioners and business people from 31 countries, gathered at the All Stars Project headquarters at 543 West 42nd Street for the Performing the World Conference; Can Performance Change the World? from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3.

The All Stars Project and the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy co-sponsored the conference.

The attendees use performance in their work as a new way of relating to, transforming and understanding the world. One hundred presentations over the three-day conference showcased work being done with performance in the fields of health, wellness, education, mental health and theatre.

A plenary session on “Theory and Practice” included Patch Adams, founder and director, Gesundhiet Institute; Andrew Burton, founder and artistic director, Street Spirits, British Columbia; Lois Holzman, co-founder and director, East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy; Woodie King, Jr., founder and producing director, New Federal Theatre; Gabrielle L. Kurlander, president and CEO, All Stars Project; Fernanda Liberali, Catholic University of Sao Paulo and SIAC – Simposio Acao Cidad; and Judith Malina, co-founder and artistic director, The Living Theatre and moderater Dan Friedman, artistic director of the Castillo Theatre. A second plenary session on “The Performance of Blackness” was facilitated by Dr. Lenora Fulani, co-founder, All Stars Project.

Workshop leaders included Huizhu Sun, president of the Shanghai Theatre Academy; Eva Brenner, artistic director of Projekt Theater Studio in Vienna, Austria; Dan Baron Cohen, an advisor to the Secretary of Cultural Citzenship in the Brazilian Ministry of Culture; Miguel Cortez, director of the Fred Newman Social Therapy Center in Juarez, Mexico; Jim Mangia, president and CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles, CA; and Shahid Nadeen, a leading Pakistani playwright and director and founder and playwright in residence for Ajoka Theatre.

Letters of welcome for Performing the World were received from New York Governor David Patterson; Osmar V. Chohfi, consul general of Brazil in New York; Daniel Sullivan, consul general of Canada; Philippe Lalliot, consul general of France; Felix Augustin, consul general of the Republic of Haiti; and Asaf Shariv, consul general of Israel.

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