The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents

PRELUDE: Riotous Excursions

October 3, 4, and 5, 2019 

at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York,
curated by David Bruin & Sanaz Ghajar in with collaboration with Frank Hentschker,
produced by Sami Pyne

Prelude Curators Sanaz Ghajar and David Bruin. Photo by Thomas Kater


PRELUDE 2019: Riotous Excursions asks what does it mean to break the rules during a time in which the rule of law is under threat? What role can the iconoclast play in a society in which members of Congress regularly attack vital cultural and civic institutions? In this highly contested historical moment, PRELUDE 2019 seeks to reimagine what it means for the artist to take on the role of rebel, provocateur, and outcast. By putting creative practice in conversation with critical perspectives, Riotous Excursions ventures to the forefront of contemporary theatre and performance in order to explore the intersections of artistic innovation, political subversion, and social consciousness. The three-day festival includes performances, presentations, panels, and a party. As always at the Segal Center, all presentations are free and open to the public—first come, first served.

Artists for PRELUDE 2019: Riotous Excursions include:
M. Lamar, The Foundry Theatre, Theater Mitu, Whitney White, Melis Aker, Kate Benson and Jessica AlmasynicHi Douglass, Deepali Gupta, Nile Harris, Michael + Patrick, Ming Peiffer, Ashley Tata, Elinor T. and Drew Vanderburg, Bailey Williams and Derek Smith, Moe Yousuf, and more to be announced.

PRELUDE 2019’s closing night party will be held on Saturday, October 5th.



David Bruin is a dramaturg, producer, editor, and critic. As a dramaturg, he has collaborated with Robert Woodruff, Liz Diamond, Lars Jan, Jeff Augustin, and Matthew-Lee Erlbach. Upcoming projects include work by Jeremy O. Harris and Asa Horvitz. He is the founding artistic director of un sphinx incompris, a New York-based company, which has produced new work by Erin Markey and Jeremy O. Harris. The company is currently developing projects by Lex Brown, Mkhululi Mabija, and Jesse Rasmussen. He is the co-editor of A Moment on the Clock of the World (Haymarket Books, forthcoming), an anthology of new writing inspired by the Foundry Theatre. He co-edited a special issue of Yale’s Theater magazine, titled “Scenes of Suffering,” which features contributions from M. Lamar, Ann Liv Young, and others. His writing has appeared in Theater, The Brooklyn Rail, TDF Stages, and HowlRound. He is currently a doctoral candidate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at Yale School of Drama, where his dissertation project analyzes the role of abjection on the contemporary American stage.

Sanaz Ghajar is an Iranian-American director, writer, and DJ whose work has been described as “ambitiously subversive” and “unapologetically experimental” (Time Out NY). She is the Artistic Director of the award-winning company Built for Collapse, with whom she wrote and directed Nuclear Love Affair, which played to sold out houses in NYC, Prague, Rome, and Krakow. Recently, Sanaz wrote and performed in Talk Back for the Exponential Festival. Before that, she developed and directed Danger Signals, a unique collaboration with British playwright Nina Segal and pop musician Jen Goma. Described as ”visually arresting” (ONE Magazine) and “a deluge of subtle and delicate metaphors” (Culturebot), it received its world premiere in New York City last spring as part of the Archive Residency program, a partnership between the New Ohio Theatre and IRT. Sanaz has developed work with New York Theatre Workshop, Mabou Mines, Civilians, BRIC Arts | Media, 3LD, Ars Nova, Red House Center for Culture & Debate in Bulgaria, Prague Film & Theater Center, and others. She is an alumni of the Drama League Directors Project, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellowship, Mabou Mines SUITE/Space Initiative, and is a NYTW Usual Suspect.

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