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

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.

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.

Screening & Talk: Dimitris Papaioannou

Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 9:00 AM (PDT) | ZOOM | RSVP

Join us for a special screening of Dimitris Papaiannou’s The Great Tamer, followed by a Live Q&A via Zoom, moderated by Ivan Talijančić, with a panel of MFA John Wells Directing Fellows and the SCA's Erika Latta (Assistant Professor of Theater & Performance).

This work is brought to the The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry by Ivan Talijančić (Contemporary Performance Practices and Special Visiting Faculty in the School of Drama John Wells Directing Program), with support from the 2022-2023 Sylvia & David Steiner Speaker Series, and in collaboration with Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts.

More HERE ~

Screening & Talk: Katie Mitchell

Sunday, November 6, 2022 | 9:00 AM (PDT) | ZOOM | RSVP

Please join us for a special screening of Fraulein Julie followed by a hybrid lecture with Katie Mitchell, live from New York City. This screening and lecture was curated by Special Visiting Professor of Directing Ivan Talijančić (John Wells Directing Program – CMU Drama) as part of his Contemporary Performance Practices series, with support from the 2022-2023 Sylvia & David Steiner Speaker Series, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

More HERE ~

Screening & Talk: Sasha Waltz

Sunday, October 2, 2022 | 9:00 AM (PDT) | ZOOM | RSVP

Join us for a special screening of Körper by Sasha Waltz & Guests production company, followed by a hybrid lecture with Sasha Waltz. This screening and lecture was curated by Special Visiting Professor of Directing, Ivan Talijančić (John Wells Directing Program – CMU Drama), as part of his Contemporary Performance Practices series, with support from the 2022-2023 Sylvia & David Steiner Speaker Series, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

Following the screening of Körper, filmed during its world premiere at the Schaubühne Berlin (Germany,) Ms. Waltz will join us via Zoom for a Q&A moderated by Prof. Talijancic, along with a panel of MFA John Wells Directing Fellows and Professor Erika Latta (Assistant Professor of Theater Performance, School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.)

Desire Line Sessions 2022

Karin Holmström – January 28, 2022 | 5:00 PM
Jay Scheib – February 1, 2022 | 2:45 PM
Aïda Mashaka Croal – February 4, 2022 | 5:00 PM

Open to all SCA students. Please email Erika Latta if you'd like to attend a session.  

Karin Holmström
January 28, 2022 | 5:00 PM
4th Floor Lounge | SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Karin Holström is the artistic director and co-founder of the internationally acclaimed company Begat Theater, created in 1992 in New York and based in France since 1994. Trained as an architect, her innovative site-specific work creates a place for contemporary texts in an urban setting while proposing emotionally-engaged immersive experiences for the audience members. Her work has been awarded numerous grants and has been presented in 27 countries. She has given talks at theater forums in Paris, Brussels, New York and Sydney, and since 2014 serves on several boards in France that award grants to performing artists.

Jay Scheib
February 1, 2022 | 2:45 PM | ZOOM   

Internationally known for genre-defying works of daring physicality and the integration of new (and used) technologies in live performance, Scheib’s upcoming productions include Richard Wagner’s Parsifal, for the Bayreuth Festspiele and the Philip K. Dick inspired opera by Tod Machover, Valis, to premiere at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Named Best New York Theater Director by Time Out New York in 2009, and one of the 25 theater artists shaping the next 25 years of American theater by American Theater Magazine, Scheib is a recipient of the MIT Edgerton Award, The Richard Sherwood Award, a National Endowment for the Arts/TCG fellowship, an OBIE Award for Best Direction, and the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a Professor for Music and Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches in the Program for Theater Arts — classes include: Motion Theater, Live Cinema Performance, Directing, Performance Media, and Performance Scenography.

Recent productions include the VR staging Sei Siegfried, as part of Der Ring des Nibelungen — Diskurs Ring 20.21 for the Bayreuth Festspiele. Other productions include the West End musical Bat Out of Hell after the album by Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf at the London Coliseum/English National Opera and a new opera based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona, which was produced by Beth Morrison Projects and premiered at National Sawdust in New York, followed by performances at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston and with LA Opera at RedCat in 2017. Scheib's recent mashup of Heiner Goebbels' Surrogate Cities with Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung played the Wuppertal Opera House in Germany. Other recent works include the world premiere opera by Israeli composer Na’ama Zisser, Mamzer/Bastard at the Royal Opera House in London/Hackney Empire, the multi-platform Platonov, or the Disinherited, which premiered as part of the Without Walls Festival at La Jolla Playhouse, followed by performances at The Kitchen in New York City. Conceived as a 100 minute single-take feature film, Scheib’s adaptation of Chekhov’s play was broadcast live from The Kitchen to the AMC Empire 25 Cinema in Times Square and to BAM Rose Cinema in Brooklyn.

Yet more recent works include Luigi Nono’s No hay camino hay que caminar as ouverture to Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse under the title Odyssee at the Staatstheater Darmstadt in Germany. Scheib’s staging of Thomas Adès’ opera Powder her Face was part of the final season of New York City Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Powder her Face went on to play Festival d’Opéra de Québec in Canada. Other recent works for the stage have included a new contemporary ballet collaboration with choreographer Yin Mei and the Hong Kong Dance Company titled Seven Sages, which premiered in March 2012; a new staging of Fassbinder’s controversial play Garbage, the City and Death with the Norwegian Theater Academy in Oslo, Norway; and Scheib’s own original Fassbinder adaptation World of Wires, which premiered at The Kitchen in New York City, for which Scheib was awarded a 2012 OBIE Award for Best Direction. Subsequent performances of World of Wires included presentations in Krakow, Poland, as part of the KRT Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Lieu Unique in Nantes, and Festival d’Automne in Paris, France, at the Maison des Arts Cretéil (MAC). Also having toured in France and Boston was the recent adaptation of Samuel R. Delany’s novel Dhalgren, titled Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, which played the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the MAC Exit Festival in Paris, following its New York City premiere at the Kitchen. As a frequent director of operas and works for music theater, Scheib staged Evan Ziporyn’s A House in Bali, as part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival 2010; Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Saarländisches Staatstheater; and an original collaboration with punk band World Inferno Friendship Society titled Addicted to Bad Ideas, which toured eight cities internationally.


Aïda Mashaka Croal
February 4, 2022 | 5:00 PM | Zoom

Aïda Mashaka Croal was born in Vancouver, B.C. and raised in Surrey and Georgetown, Guyana. The Guyanese-Canadian playwright and screenwriter received her BA in Cultural Studies & Creative Writing from Stanford University and her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her plays have been staged in New York, Los Angeles and Italy.

In television, she won a Daytime Emmy while writing on her first TV show: ABC’s “One Life to Live.” She has since written for Syfy (“Sanctuary”), Cartoon Network (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), AMC (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”), Netflix (Marvel’s Luke Cage; season 2 of Marvel’s Jessica Jones). In addition, she has won a Saturn Award and been nominated for a Peabody Award for her work on Marvel’s Luke Cage. She was an EP for FX Networks pilot, “Y”, based on Brian K. Vaughn’s award-winning comic book series, “Y: The Last Man.” On top of scripting a pair of feature projects, Aïda is currently creating a drama series for HBO based on Nnedi Okorafor’s novel, “Who Fears Death.”  

Desire Line Sessions 2020

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

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. Before that, Ross made seven short films, including The Language of Love, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

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. He was also Eddie Scott in the 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. He also directed the feature film 28 Hotel Rooms, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2011 and 2015, he played Charles Montgomery in the first and fifth seasons of FX's anthology series American Horror Story.

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.


Desire Line Sessions

Find out more about the SCA's Theatre Performance area HERE.