Join Toshi Reagon on May 22nd starting at 6PM EDT for the Pre and Post Show Conversations for Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower: A Concert Experience. Guest speakers are listed below. The Pre and Post Show Conversations will be ASL interpreted and the concert will be closed captioned.
Panel: Making and presenting Octavia E. Butler's The Parable of the Sower: The Concert Experience
David Dower joined ArtsEmerson as director of artistic programs in 2012. He is also co-founder and a contributing editor to HowlRound. Prior, he served as associate artistic director of Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.); and founded and served as artistic director of The Z Space Studio and co-founded and served as co-artistic director of The Z Collective (San Francisco, CA). With ArtsEmerson he directed Guillermo Calderón's Kiss, Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy and Breath and Imagination, Melinda Lopez’s Mala, Baritones UnBound, and Maurice Hines’s Tappin’ Through Life. Dower earned the Inclusive Excellence Award (Emerson College); was a Gerbode Fellow (Gerbode Foundation); was named “MVP of Bay Area Theater” (San Francisco Chronicle); and was a Policy Fellow (National Endowment for the Arts). He studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, American University (Washington, D.C.) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Originally from Westerly, RI, David resides in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
Meiyin Wang is a producer and curator of live performance based in the Bay Area. She is currently the Director of La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival.
Shanta Thake is the Senior Director of Artistic Programs at The Public Theater, overseeing the growth and development of Public Works, Mobile Unit, Under the Radar, Joe’s Pub, The Shakespeare Initiative and Public Forum. Previously, she spent 10 years as the Director of Joe’s Pub, the intimate cabaret venue which hosts over 700 shows annually and is consistently hailed as one of New York City’s most prestigious venues for both emerging and established artists. In addition, Ms. Thake is the co-director of GlobalFEST, North America’s world music festival and non-profit organization whose mission is to foster cultural exchange and to increase the presence of world music in diverse communities nationwide, and in this role received the William Dawson award for Programmatic Excellence. Thake has served as the co-chair for The Association of Performing Arts Professionals conference in 2019 and 2020. Ms. Thake received a BA in theater as well as a degree in management from Indiana University and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Panel: Parable Path Boston
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond is an advocate for ecological & social justice, youth engagement, and Spirit-filled organizing. Rev. Mariama is the founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester. New Roots is a multi-racial, multi-class community that is innovating new ways of being a church. Rev. Mariama is active in secular and interfaith justice efforts. In particular, she uses an intersectional lens in her ecological work, challenging folks to see the connections between immigration and climate change or the relationship between energy policy and economic justice. She is a fellow with the Green Justice Coalition which brings together 8 social/environmental justice groups from around Massachusetts. She speaks throughout the country and was the MC for both the 2017 Boston Women’s March and Boston People’s Climate Mobilization. As the former director of Project HIP-HOP, she used the arts as a tool to raise awareness for social issues. Rev. Mariama has received numerous awards including the Barr Fellowship, the Celtics Heroes Among Us, The Roxbury Founders Day Award and the Boston NAACP Image award. She was selected as one of the Grist 50 Fixers for 2019 and Sojourners 11 Women Shaping the Church.
Letta Neely is an Earthling; she is also a Black Dyke, an Artist and Activist, a Feminist, and a Mother. In addition to Juba and Here, Letta is the author of the chapbooks When We Were Mud and gawd and alluh huh sistuhs. Her plays: “Hamartia Blues", "Last Rites", and “Shackles & Sugar” have been produced in Boston, Philly, and Los Angeles. She believes in the interconnectedness of both the struggle and the liberation. Her newest project: Geographies of Power will be available in October 2020.
Ngoc-Tran Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American interdisciplinary artist and organizer whose socially engaged work draws from her experience as a cultural organizer, trainer, and healer. Tran threads her social practice through photography, painting, sculpture and audio so that her art can resonate and engage audience with intentionality. Born in Vietnam, Tran came to the United States with her family as political refugees and grew up in Boston's Dorchester and South Boston working-class neighborhoods. Tran works across borders and is based in the Dorchester community.
@TranVuArts | Twitter | IG | FB
Post-Show Discussion with the cast and audience Q&A
Eric Ting is an Obie Award-winning director and Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater. Recent projects include: BETWEEN TWO KNEES (Oregon Shakespeare Festival world premiere) and GLORIA (ACT). Ting is a proud board member of SDC.
Morley weaves the threads of jazz, soul, and folk traditions into a singular tapestry of vocal and acoustic splendor — the sound wave of a life lived with uncommon devotion to human rights and environmental justice. Radiating from Morley’s music is a clarion call not for mere tolerance, not even for peace, but for something far more expansive — the buoyant conviction that we are bound to one another by a shared belonging as sojourner's of kindness and a universal responsibility as stewards of this fragile, beautiful, irreplaceable planet.
Multidisciplinary performer and writer Karma Mayet’s newest play, Race Card, was deemed 'powerful, political theater' by the New York Times. She is composer/librettist of Indigo, a Blues opera. As creator of the Rootsong™ practice, she facilitates somatic improvisation as a healing practice for organizations and individuals. Parable is the third opera helmed by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon (Temptation of St. Anthony, Zinnias) Karma has had the honor of experiencing as a member of the cast.
Signe V. Harriday is a director, multidisciplinary artist, and activist using theatre as a catalyst to ask questions about who we are and who we are in relation to others. She is co-founder of MaMa mOsAiC, a women of color theater company whose mission is to evoke positive social change through female centered work. She is also co-founder of Million Artist Movement a collective of artists committed to Black liberation and co-founder of the Subversive Sirens an award winning synchronized swimming team committed to Black liberation, queer visibility, equity in aquatics, and radical body acceptance. She is an Associate Company Member of Pillsbury House Theatre.