Desire Line Sessions

Connecting people, celebrating collaboration and dialogue in and across the arts ~

Matt Ross – September 29, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Urs Schönebaum – October 15, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Okwui Opokwasili + Peter Born – October 22, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Dr. Bertie Ferdman – October 29, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Yiannis Christofides – November 5, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Marsha Ginsberg – November 19, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Open to all SCA students, the Desire Line Sessions brings together creative practitioners from across the performing arts for engaged yet informal conversation, organized by Assistant Professor Erika Latta for CA 250: Acting III: Composing through Materials class for the fall 2020 term.

In an urban space or landscape, a desire line is a pathway made through popular use, typically one other than the proscribed, already established sidewalks, paths, and trails of a site. In the spirit of collaboration and interdisciplinarity, a desire line in the arts is one that moves out of and across disciplinary boundaries and conventions, exploring new pathways inspired by shared creative interest and experimentation.

All interested SCA students, faculty, and staff can RSVP online HERE (requires login with SFU email account)

Matt Ross

September 29, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Matt Ross is an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He wrote and directed the feature film Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, for which he won the Prix de la Mise en Scène (the Best Director prize) at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. His first feature, 28 Hotel Rooms, also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Ross has also made seven short films, including the award-winning The Language of Love.

As an actor, Ross’s roles have included Gavin Belson in the HBO series Silicon Valley, Alby Grant in the HBO series Big Love, Glenn Odekirk in The Aviator, and Luis Carruthers in American Psycho

Urs Schönebaum

October 15, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Urs Schönebaum Studied photography in Munich. Worked from 1995 until 1998 with Max Keller as a part of the lighting department of Münchner Kammerspiele. After being assistant director for productions at Grand Theatre de Genève, Lincoln Center New York and Münchner Kammerspiele, he started in 2000 to work as a lighting designer for opera, theater, dance, art installations and performances. He participated in over 150 productions at major theaters, including Covent Garden London; Opéra Bastille, Opera Garnier, La Comédie Française and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; La Monnaie Bruxelles; Opera de Lyon; Metropolitan Opera New York; Staatsoper unter den Linden, Schaubühne and Deutsches Theater in Berlin; Bayerische Staatsoper and Residenztheater in Munich; Dramaten Stockholm; Det Norske Teatret Oslo; Teatro dell’Opera Roma; Festival d’Avignon; Teatro Real Madrid; Festival d'Aix en Provence; Bolshoi Theater Moscow; Salzburger Festspiele; NCPA and Poly Theater Beijing; Sydney Opera House; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; La Scala, Milano; New National Opera Tokio; Salzburger Festspiele, Bayreuth Festival and Wiener Festwochen. He works with stage directors like Thomas Ostermeier, La Fura dels Baus, William Kentridge, Pierre Audi, Michael Haneke, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sasha Waltz and was a long time collaborator of Robert Wilson. His work includes lighting designs for art projects with Vanessa Beecroft, Anselm Kiefer, Dan Graham, Taryn Simon and Marina Abramović. He also designed works for installations in Karkow, Munich, Salzburg and New York. Since 2012 he works as a set designer and stage director. He designed and directed the two Operas Jetzt and What Next? and Happy Happy, composed by Mathis Nitschke, at the Opera National de Montpellier, and created the set and lighting design for the production Bomarzo at the Teatro Real in Madrid. In 2019 he designed set and lighting for the 15 hour Stockhausen cycle Aus Licht for the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.

Okwui Opokwasili + Peter Born

October 22, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn-basedm Igbo-Nigerian performance maker. Her work includes two Bessie Award winning productions Pent-Up: a revenge dance and Bronx Gothic. Other productions include Poor People’s TV Room and Adaku’s Revolt. Okpokwasili’s recently co-curated the Danspace Project Platform “Utterances From the Chorus”. Her commissions, residencies and awards include a 10th Annual Berlin Biennale Commission, 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award in Contemporary Dance, 2018 USA Artist Fellow, 2018 Princeton Hodder Fellow, 2018 Herb Alpert Award in Dance, LMCC’s Extended Life Program (2013 – 2016, 2019), The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Artist Grant in Dance (2014), and residencies at MOMA, The Young Vic, and Tate Modern. She is also known for her role in the music video for JAY-Z's album 4:44, created by TNEG, a production company founded by Arthur Jafa. In April 2017, she performed a site-specific dance at Mass MOCA in response to Nick Cave's installation, Until. Okpokwasili is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.

Peter Born works as a director, composer and scenic and lighting designer of performance and installation work, most recently in collaboration with Okwui Okpokwasili on their piece “Sitting on a Man’s Head” which appeared at the 2019 Counter Current Festival in Houston and at the 2018 Berlin Biennale.  Other collaborations with Okpokwasili include “Adaku’s Revolt” (2019), “At the Anterior Edge” (2018), “Poor People’s TV Room” (2017), “when I return, who will receive me” (2016), “Poor People’s TV Room (SOLO)” (2015), “Bronx Gothic (The Oval)” (2014), “Bronx Gothic” (2013) and “pent up:  a revenge dance” (2009), as well as an album they produced together “day pulls down the sky” (2019).  He collaborated with David Thomson as a director, designer and writer on “The Venus Knot” (2017) and “he his own mythical beast” (2018), and as a set designer for Nora Chipaumire’s “rite/riot” (2014) and “El Capitan Kinglady” (2016).  Three of Peter’s collaborations have garnered New York Dance Performance “Bessie” Awards.  His work as an art director and prop stylist has been featured in video and photo projects with Vogue, Estee Lauder, Barney’s Co-op, Bloomingdales, Old Navy, “25” magazine, The Wall Street Journal and No Strings Puppet Productions. He is a former New York public high school teacher, itinerant floral designer, corporate actor-facilitator, video maker and furniture designer.

Dr. Bertie Ferdman

October 29, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Dr. Bertie Ferdman is associate professor at Borough Manhattan Community College and also teaches at The Graduate Center, CUNY and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her research interests include acting and vulnerability, site-based performance, urban dramaturgies, and curating performance. Recent publications include The Methuen Drama Companion to Performance Art, co-edited with Jovana Stokic (Bloomsbury, 2020), Off Sites: Contemporary Performance beyond Site-Specific (SIU Press, 2018), and a reprint of her chapter “From Content to Context: The Emergence of the Performance Curator” in Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays, and Conversations on Theory and Practice (2019). Her essays have appeared in Theater, TDR, PAJ, HowlRound, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and Performance Research. She was co-editor, along with Tom Sellar, of a Special Issue of Yale’s Theater Magazin, etitled “Performance Curators,” as well as guest editor of a special section of PAJ, titled “Urban Dramaturgies.” From 2000-2010, Ferdman was co-Artistic Director of the physical theatre company Ex.Pgirl, who were artists in residence at HERE arts center in NYC, featured in TDR, and recipients of the Franklin Furnace award in Performance Art. Ferdman holds a BA from Yale University, a masters in Performance Studies from NYU, and a PhD from The Graduate Center. She attended the Jacques Lecoq school of Theatre from 1996-1997. Her book, Curating Dramaturgies, co-edited with Peter Eckersall, will be out with Routledge in 2021.

Yiannis Christofides

November 5, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Yiannis Christofides combines practices in electronic music, soundscape composition, creative sound design and field recording and has a background in media theory, communication and cultural studies. His music and soundscapes for art installations, performance, and curatorial projects have been presented at leading venues and institutions throughout Europe and the U.S including Centre Pompidou (FR), Lincoln Center (US), The Watermill Center (US), The Athens & Epidaurus Festival (GR), La Triennale di Milano (IT), New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (US), Queen Elizabeth Hall | Southbank Centre (UK), Municipal Theatre of Piraeus (GR), Fonoteca Nacional de México (MX), Passerelle Centre d'art Contemporain (FR), Berlin International Sound Art Festival (DE), Cyprus Theatre Organisation (CY), International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama (CY), 3LD Art & Technology Center (US), Irondale Center (US), The Invisible Dog Art Center (US), Point Centre for Contemporary Art (CY), the wulf. (US), The Royal Dockyard Church (UK), Metamatic: The Art Foundation (GR), The Ethnological Museum (CY), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (US), Nicosia Municipal Arts Center (CY). Much of his personal work investigates our experience of place through the use of field recordings as principal material. His particular interest in field recording relates to the contextual aspects of sound and the intersensory experience that it affords. Yiannis is co-founder of PHYSICAL PLASTIC, a Los Angeles based composer-director partnership with actor/director Kestrel Leah focused on the creation of experimental music theater and rooted in theater’s capacity to make immanent issues of universal concern.

Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, coproduced by Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier – Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée in 2020.

Marsha Ginsberg

November 19, 2020 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Marsha Ginsberg is a visual artist and set designer. She studied at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, and The Cooper Union. She works within theatre and music-theatre and installation formats. Opera engagements have led her from New York to Quebec, San Francisco, Bern, Braunschweig, Weimar, Saarbrucken; Bordeaux, Basel, Mannheim, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Ginsberg has worked on live theater/performance projects in New York City and regionally across the United States, as well as in Athens, Paris, Stuttgart, Prague, Jena, Hamburg and Potsdam. For the interactive theatre Installation “Habit” (created with David Levine) she received an Obie Award. She developed “Habit” (as well as Katharina Schmitt’s SAM) in a residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. Her set for Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier was reimagined at Deutsche Oper in 2020. Marsha Ginsberg has taught at various American and international colleges, including Barnard College in New York, UCLA, Wesleyan, TU Berlin. She is currently an Associate Arts Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and a recent recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and is currently working on a music/theater piece to premiere at HKW in Berlin this autumn.