The Future of The Performing Arts
Tara Willis (USA), Elayce Ismail (UK), Yuenhung Lei (Hong Kong), Rucera Seethal (South Africa), Miguel Oyarzun (Spain)
We are living in unprecedented and unpredictable times for the arts. Join us for a conversation about the future of the performing arts with an international panel of artists, curators, producers and directors from around the world. The panel will be moderated by Co-Artistic Directors of Physical Theater Festival, Alice da Cunha & Marc Frost.
Follow Their Work
Tara Aisha Wills: MCA The Commons Online - Chicago, USA
Rucera Seethal: Virtual National Arts Festival - Makhanda, South Africa
Miguel Oyarzun: Be Festival, Birmingham UK & FIT, Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro- Cadiz, Spain from Oct 23 to Nov 8
Tara Aisha Willis, Dancer & Associate Curator of Performance MCA Chicago, USA
Tara Aisha Willis is a dancer and PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University, where she writes about contemporary black experimentation in dance. She is Associate Curator in Performance & Public Practice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and formerly worked at Movement Research advising on programming and diversity initiatives. Willis held a Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship in the Dance Theater Workshop archives; she is an editorial collective member and former performance reviews editor for Women & Performance, former co-managing editor for TDR/The Drama Review, and co-editor with Thomas F. DeFrantz a special issue of The Black Scholar. Other writings appear in Movement Research Performance Journal; the Brooklyn Rail; Magazin im August; Voices from the Bush; Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance, Performance Research; and Performa Magazine. Willis recently performed in a touring collaboration between choreographer Will Rawls and poet Claudia Rankine, in works by Kim Brandt, Megan Byrne, Anna Sperber, and Yanira Castro, and in the 2016 "Bessie" award-winning performance by The Skeleton Architecture. She is a member of the working group for the COVID-19 response document, "Creating New Futures: Working Guidelines for Ethics & Equity in Presenting Dance & Performance," and co-curator/editor of an ongoing performance and publishing project with Jaime Shearn Coan, in partnership with Wendy's Subway and Mount Tremper Arts.
Elayce Ismail, Theater and Opera Director, UK
Elayce Ismail works in the UK and internationally as a theatremaker, opera director and dramaturg. Alongside her freelance work, she has been an Associate Director at Northern Stage in Newcastle; a Resident Director at the National Theatre in London - as the recipient of the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors; and a Jerwood Assistant Director at the Young Vic. She trained at LISPA.
Direction includes: Omeros (Gate Theatre - adaptation/direction); They Whisper Don’t Gaze at the Stars… (ENO), If Not Now, When? (NT); Nanjing (Royal Court/Shakespeare’s Globe); Under Milk Wood, The War of the Worlds (Northern Stage); Girls (HighTide Festival/Soho Theatre - selected for British Council Edinburgh Showcase); The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Chorus, Spooky Action at a Distance (Gate Theatre); The Lost Ring (Deutsches Theater Berlin); Stay Another Song (Young Vic).
Recent opera as revival/associate director includes: 4:48 Psychosis (Opéra national du Rhin/Royal Opera House); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier); The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera House).
In lockdown, she has created two digital projects: she wrote and directed AMAZON, a music/stop motion video made with composer Alex Ho for the HOMEMAKERS project at HOME Manchester; and Essential Business, a mini-opera she directed as part of the online #operaharmony project.
Yuenhung Lei, Theater Producer, Hong Kong
Lei is an Independent Producer from Hong Kong. She works with arts organizations and various artists of multidisciplinary arts both locally and internationally.
She has previously worked with The Hong Kong Arts Festival as Deputy Producer and Project Manager, producing over fifteen theatre, dance and chamber opera productions.
Later-on, she developed as an Independent Producer, with a focus on organising tours and cultural exchange opportunities. She is currently the Producer of a Hong Kong artist Ata Wong Chun Tat and his company Théâtre de la Feuille. She has managed eight touring productions which performed on different global stages upon invitations for over 200 times, including US, France, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.
Rucera Seethal, Artistic Sirector of the multi-disciplinary National Arts Festival, Makhanda, South Africa.
Starting this role in January this year, as baptism of fire the festival has just completed its
46 th iteration as an online festival. Previously programme manager at the Swiss Arts Council, Pro
Helvetia Johannesburg, responsible for the performing arts portfolio across Switzerland and the
Southern African region, and for co-adjudicating its Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
regional grant programme. She was art director and production manager at Chimurenga, the award-
winning arts, culture and politics magazine, between 2004 to 2011.
Miguel Oyarzun, actor, director, playwright and Artistic Director of FIT- Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro, Spain
Miguel Oyarzun is co-founder and co-director of BE FESTIVAL (Birmingham European Festival) with Isla Aguilar. Recently they directed the Centro Conde Duque in Madrid, a 58.000m2 venue where they programmed and produced performing arts, visual arts and music. In 2020, Miguel and Isla have been appointed artistic directors of the 35th edition of FIT (Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro) in Cádiz.
Miguel is a director, playwright and actor, and leads workshops internationally. His career as an actor includes numerous theatre, film and TV titles in Spain and England. Miguel is artistic director of the Madrid based theatre company Mirage Teatro, founded in 2009. In recent years, the company has developed mid-scale and large scale community projects.
He graduated in Acting at the RESAD, Madrid. In 2006 he moved to London to finish his training at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). Later he graduated in "Performing Arts Leadership".