Andrea Assaf is a writer, performer, director and cultural organizer. She's the founding Artistic Director of Art2Action Inc., and the National Coordinator of the Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation (an Art2Action collaboration with Pangea World Theater). She's also a consultant with the Arts & Democracy Project, and served as the National Coordinator for the SEIU Artists-in-Residence Program (2012). She is a former Artistic Director of New WORLD Theater (2004-09), and former Program Associate for Animating Democracy (2001-04). Andrea has a Masters degree in Performance Studies and a BFA in acting, both from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Andrea serves on the Board of CAATA (Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists), the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS, and the International Management Committee of WPI (Women Playwrights International). She's a member of RAWI (Radius of Arab American Writers).
Andrea's original, full-length theater works include: Outside the Circle, co-written with Samuel Valdez, 2012 (Morphologies Queer Performance Festival, and NPN tour: Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis/El Centro Su Teatro, Denver/Esperanza Center with Jump-Start Performance Co., San Antonio); Eleven Reflections on September, 2011 (Pangea World Theater's Alternate Visions Festival, Minneapolis/The Carpetbag Theatre, Knoxville/Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, FL; with work-in-progress readings at Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico 2010, the Zero Budget Festival of the Work Center of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, Wroclaw, Poland 2009, and the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC 2007); Fronteras Desviadas/Deviant Borders, in collaboration with Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro, 2005-06 (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico/New WORLD Theater, Amherst/Alternate ROOTS, NC/Teatro Justo Rufino Garay, Managua, Nicaragua/Concordia University and Jane-Jane Productions, Montreal, Canada); and Globalicities, 2003 (NY International Fringe Festival). Directing projects include: Speed Killed My Cousin by Linda Parris-Bailey and The Carpetbag Theatre, 2012 (CBT/NET Micro-Fest: Knoxville, TN); breaking letter(s) by Suheir Hammad, 2008 (NWT's Intersection V conference and festival, Amherst); Sheekadii Walaalo (Sister-Story), a community collaboration with the Walaalo! Somali Sisters Collective, 2008 (NWT); Womb-Words, Thirsting by Lenelle Moise, 2007 (NWT/Smith College); and Parang Sabil: The Ballad of the Kris by Potri Ranka Manis/Kinding Sindaw, 2007 (National Asian American Theater Festival/Beckett Theatre, NYC). As a poet and Spoken Word artist, Andrea has been a featured at the Bowery Poetry Club (NYC 2007 & 2002), Hedgebrook (2007), The People's Poetry Gathering (NYC 2003), Blue Stockings Women's Bookstore (NYC 2002), and on WBAI's Radio Tahrir: Voices of the Arab/Muslim Community (NYC 2006 & 2002). Also in 2002, Andrea was a winner of the annual Urbana Queer Slam in New York City, and performed in an international poetry festival at the Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), Mexico.
Publications include: poems Portrait of a Daf Player, Autumn Stream in Northern Climate, Dreaming on a Jet Plane, this woman this sea, and Traveling (Mizna: Arab American Literary Journal, 2013 & 2012); article "Redefining Innovation: Ensemble in Everything We Do," a case study on Pangea World Theater, commissioned by the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET 2009); poem Steps to Leaving in the Winter 2007 edition of Hedgebrook News (Issue 23); the book Civic Dialogue, Art & Culture, co-authored with Pam Korza and Barbara Schaffer Bacon (Americans for the Arts, 2005), along with numerous articles by Animating Democracy, including "Inroads: The Intersection of Art & Civic Dialogue" and other writings included case study compendiums; "What Happened in New Orleans?: Reflections on the National Convergence of Artists, Educators & Organizers," (Community Arts Network, 2004); excerpts of Globalicites, (Up From the ROOTS, Spring 2003); poems Play, Down, and The Cheetah were published in Spanish translation, in Bitacora (A.6-n.291, 2002) and Alforia XXVI: Revista de Poesía (Mexico, 2003). A full translation of Eleven Reflections on September is forthcoming in Polish (Warsaw, 2014).
Awards & Recognitions
- 2004 Cultural Contact grant (U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Culture) - Residency with Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro