Global Forms Theater Festival
Presented in partnership with New York Theatre Salon.
This one-of-a-kind festival is dedicated to showcasing the work of international and immigrant theater artists living in the United States and abroad. Through workshop presentations of new works, panel discussions, and knowledge-sharing sessions, GFTF explores humanity, freedom, home, and isolationism, this year with the theme of Green Theater. All events are free to attend and open to the public.
JUNE 1-11, 2023
Click the links below to learn about this year's offerings!
From the artist: The Discarded, by Tianding He (China) is a thought-provoking, experimental, work-in-progress performance that combines live theater, object performance, and multimedia installations to shed light on the impact of waste and migration on individuals and communities. Inspired by the themes of George Büchner’s Woyzeck, The Discarded presents a poetic and experimental performance that explores the intertwined journey of a piece of garbage used by a New Yorker and sold to developing Asian countries to become new products, and an Asian immigrant who immigrated to New York and eventually becomes a garbage collector. Both of them travel across the globe, experiencing deconstruction, ambition, self-doubt, and revelation. These two stories seem unrelated at first, but as the journey goes on, their trajectories begin to overlap. The performance invites the audience to engage with the characters on a deeper, more personal level, as they confront the realities of waste, migration, and the human condition.
The Sacrifice of Cassamba Becker
From the artist: Conceived during the global coronavirus pandemic, The Sacrifice of Cassamba Becker is a monologue written and performed by João Victor Toledo (Brazil). The play, whose central character is Cassamba Becker, the grande dame of Brazilian theater that made a dump on some beach in Brazil her home, discusses urgent issues such as poverty, consumerism, global warming, and political crisis. The Sacrifice of Cassamba Becker is at heart a political-marginal imagination that wants to rethink the present moment to envision something broader and sexier, in order to transform the garbage of the world into housing, sacrifice into freedom, and thus imagine a place where it is finally worth living.
From the artist: Steppe by Masha Makutonina (Ukraine) is a one-act play that tells an intergenerational story of an unexpected friendship against the backdrop of an ecological disaster. The story is inspired by the effects of war in Ukraine on the Chalk Flora Nature Reserve and the unexpected revelations that appear in places of purgatory. In a lobby of an administrative government office, partially under reconstruction, two people wait. Dmytro is a 50-year-old environmentalist who has been taking care of Kreidova Flora Nature Reserve in Ukraine before the war forced him to leave. Daryna is an economics student who is here to obtain her indefinite stay. Over the course of three brief visits to the government center, they strike an unexpected friendship..
Global Learn is a series of three virtual Knowledge-Sharing Sessions curated around this year's GFTF theme, Green Theater. Presented over Zoom, these educational workshops will be delivered by a range of immigrant artists from all over the world, exploring the intersections of design, movement, and healing through a climate lens. Curated by immigrant artist and producer James Clements (Scotland), these workshops are designed to inform, excite, and connect.
Hosted by Song Ravinan
June 6th 7pm EST via Zoom
Dance heals! This workshop will explore working with movement, metaphor, and meaning through Daria Halprin’s exercises. The workshop asks how to use our expressive bodies in life, art, and therapy. The participants will navigate the breath and its relation to the Earth, our emotions, and how it affects our movement. The discovery in mirroring the life force and acknowledging our needs and wants through the elements of nature. (Suggested: participants should wear attires that are comfortable for them to move in)
Sustainable Set Design
June 7th 11am EST via Zoom
Hosted by Derya Celikkol
In this workshop, actor and production designer Derya Celikkol will talk about what artists can do to create a sustainable set design for both the stage and film. The workshop will cover resources for second hand sourcing, DIY props/sets from recycled/found materials and how to sustainably donate/sell/reuse materials when a project is finished. Celikkol will ask artists to prepare in real/imaginary projects in order to implement what they have learned into practical terms in real time.
Decolonizing the Costume Process
Hosted by Hahnji Jang
June 11th 11am EST via Zoom
Working with designer and activist Hahnji Jang, learn how to approach costume design and costume making with sustainability, intersectional identity and decolonization in mind. Local sustainable costume resources will be covered in addition to broader costume strategies to affirm the individuals & characters you are dressing.
Global Gab is a virtual, cross-cultural conversation series. Currently in its 3rd season at Rattlestick, Global Gab continues to bring relevant and thought-provoking conversations to the immigrant artist community. This series is curated and hosted by Jody Doo (Singapore.)
Intersection of Storytelling and Climate Crisis
Monday, 6/5, 7pm ET
Featuring Chantal Bilodeau (Canada), Una Chaudhuri (US), Alex Rugman (UK)
Hosted by Jody Doo
The first Global Gab session of this year's GFTF takes a deep dive into "Green Theater." Are eco-themed productions just a fad or an important tool in combating the climate crisis? Can plays actually blend characters and plot with meaningful messages about our environment? And most importantly, how can productions make lasting impacts, from our local communities to across the globe? Our panelists are passionate about addressing the climate crisis and the crucial role that theater and storytelling can play in this fight.
Creating Sustainable Theater
Wednesday, 6/7, 7pm ET via Zoom
Featuring Tianding He (China), Nana Dakin (Thailand), Alejandro Fajardo (Colombia)
Hosted by Jody Doo
How can theater-makers balance their desire to create show-stopping productions while also minimizing their carbon footprint? What is our responsibility to Mother Earth? And how can we protect our precious resources while doing every story justice. And whose responsibility is it to Create Sustainable Theater then? We have invited theater makers from a plethora of disciplines to tackle this gab-worthy topic together.
Global Share presents a series of artist-made videos that showcase distinctive aspects of their cultures. These videos both celebrate cultural practices and incorporate this year’s environmental theme. Curated by immigrant artist Dorothea Gloria (Philippines), the Global Share videos offer an immersive experience into the fascinating traditions and environmentally conscious practices of different countries. Check them out here!
One of the featured artists is Anna Cherkezishvili from Georgia, whose video explores the world of Organic Georgian Sweets. Join Anna in discovering the delectable culinary heritage of Georgia.
In another captivating video, Gilda Mercado from Mexico takes viewers on a journey through her country's climate and ecosystem diversity. Discover Mexico's breathtaking landscapes and learn about the importance of preserving natural resources for future generations.
Dorothea Gloria from the Philippines shares insights on how to celebrate Christmas while actively contributing to environmental conservation. Explore unique eco-friendly traditions and sustainable practices to make the festive season more sustainable and meaningful.
Giorgia Valenti from Italy provides a step-by-step guide on making authentic Italian caffè at home. Unveil the secrets of crafting a perfect cup of coffee, Italian-style.
Joseph Obel from Kenya introduces the traditional violin called Orutu, showcasing its beauty and uniqueness. Witness the artist's talent as he creates this exceptional instrument using upcycled materials, highlighting the importance of resourcefulness and sustainability.
Hari Bhaskar from India invites viewers to explore the renowned "coir" industry of Kerala. Discover the multifaceted applications of coir in the global arena and gain insights into its cultural significance.
Josh Bromfield Davis from Australia demonstrates the art of making origami koalas using recycled paper. Join Josh in this creative endeavor that combines sustainability and artistic expression.
Annasole Podestà from Italy shares the secrets of a traditional Italian dish called Ribollita, offering a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Italian cuisine.
Masha Makutonina from Ukraine explores the intricate art of Ukrainian embroidery, showcasing the craftsmanship and cultural heritage woven into each stitch.
Maximilian Johnsson from Sweden enlightens viewers about Allemansrätten, the unique Swedish concept of public access to nature. Gain a deeper understanding of the harmonious relationship between Swedes and their natural surroundings.
Join us and celebrate these global traditions by viewing these videos, which will be available on Rattlestick’s facebook during the festival.
About the Festival
The mission of Global Forms Theater Festival is to create opportunities, visibility, and community for international and immigrant artists. This group of artists is drastically underrepresented and underserved in our industry. Since its inception in 2020, the festival has collaborated with 300 artists from over 40 countries.
All of the artists involved in GFTF are paid, and the festival does not ask for any form of payment for participation. The festival is funded solely through sponsorships, grants and donations contributed by government agencies, foundations, organizations, and individuals. This year, the festival will maintain hiring collaborators who are immigrant artists, making this the very first festival with 100% immigrant artists employment.
Global Forms Theater Festival is made possible by the Ford Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. To join them in supporting our immigrant artists, you can donate at the link below.
*by immigrant artists, we mean: artists working under F, J, O, EB, or other forms of eligible Employment-Based Immigrant Visas.
Lead Producer - Yue Liu
Producers - James Clements, Jody Doo, Danilo Gambini, Dorothea Gloria, Salma S. Zohdi
Producing Assistant - Kaya Trefz