Explore the Playbill
About the Show
At one point last year there were 30,000 new people a day arriving in Munich. They huddled under tents that the city provided (more suited to picnics and outdoor school functions than housing) and slept on top of plastic bags full of everything that they could bring with them from home. All that was left of their lives in Syria, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Eritrea, or Mali, folded, rolled and hidden in makeshift luggage. They followed cellphone signals and rumors, smugglers and stories.
The New York Times reports that there are more displaced people scattered throughout the globe now, than at any time in recorded history.
For each person the journey to find a place to lay ones head is just the beginning of a longer journey to discover oneself and define one’s place in a world of ever shifting borders and ceaseless conflicts. In their work with children who migrated to Munich on their own, artists Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers found that cartography and storytelling provided the young people a framework from which to unpack the complexities of their maps both internal and geographic.
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Creative and Production Team
Conceived and Created by Kaneza Schaal & Christopher Myers Created in Collaboration with Performers Noor Hamdi, Victoria Nassif, Janice Amaya Directed by Kaneza Schaal Written & Designed by Christopher Myers Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann ArKtype Managing Producer J.J. El-Far ArKtype Company Manager Iyvon Edebiri Lighting & Production Management Chelsie McPhilimy Interactive Video Design Joshue Ott (US) with Pierre Depaz, Grace Huang, Andrija Klaric, and Mateo Juvera Molina (NYU Abu Dhabi) Technical Direction Cheyanne Williams Stage Management Kendall Allen Producing Consultancy Jane Jung
About the Artists
Kaneza Schaal (Co-Creator) is a New York City based theater artist. Her recent work JACK & showed in BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and with its co-commissioners Walker Arts Center, REDCAT, On The Boards, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Schaal received a 2019 United States Artists Fellowship, SOROS Art Migration & Public Space Fellowship, 2018 Ford Foundation Art For Justice Bearing Witness Award, 2017 MAP Fund Award, 2016 Creative Capital Award, and was an Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. Her last project, Go Forth, premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT. Schaal’s piece Cartography premiered at The Kennedy Center and will remount at New Victory Theater, NY; Abu Dhabi Arts Center, UAE; Ubumuntu Festival, Rwanda; Playhouse Square, OH; and PhillyLiveArts, PA. Her recent commission by The Shed, MAZE, was a collaboration with Reggie Gray and FLEXN. Most recently, Schaal directed Bryce Dessner’s Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), which premiered at LA Philharmonic, The Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI, and showed at BAM Opera House and The Holland Festival. Schaal’s work has also been supported by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Theater Communications Group, and a Princess Grace George C. Wolfe Award. Her work with The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, Jim Findlay, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, The Whitney Museum, and MoMA.
Christopher Myers (Co-Creator) is an artist and writer living in New York. While he is widely acclaimed for his work with literature for young people, he is also an accomplished fine artist who has lectured and exhibited internationally. His practice can be divided into two categories, interventions in historical narratives and work crafted with artisans from around the globe. Christopher’s work has been exhibited at PS1/MoMA, and included as part of Greater New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Prospect Biennial in New Orleans and Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Myers has curated shows in Vietnam, designed theater that has travelled from PS122 in NYC to the Genocide Memorial Theater in Kigali, Rwanda and collaborated with Hank Willis Thomas on a short film Am I Going Too Fast which premiered at Sundance. Myers participated in the Whitney Independent Studio Program and recently opened his solo exhibition “Let the Mermaids flirt with me” at Fort Gansevoort Gallery in Manhattan.
ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann (Producer) specializes in new work development and touring worldwide. His past work includes projects with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Brook, Victoria ThiérréeChaplin, Yael Farber, Peter Sellars, Julie Taymor and Tony Taccone. Recent premieres include Bryce Dessner’s Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), John Cameron Mitchell’s The Origin of Love, Kaneza Schaal & Christopher Myers’ Cartography, Sam Green & Kronos Quartet’s A Thousand Thoughts, Big Dance Theater / Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Man in a Case, and Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater’s Not By Bread Alone. Ongoing collaborations include Ashley Fure, 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Big Dance Theater, Josh Fox, Rude Mechs, Adrien M. & Clare B. and Compagnia T.P.O. Upcoming premieres include Scott Shepherd’s This Ignorant Present w/Malthouse and Nora Chipaumire’s Nehanda V. The Queen. More info at arktype.org.
Janice Amaya (Performer) is a Salvadoran-American actor and oral historian based in New York City. She is a founding member of The Hummm, a theater collective whose aim is to democratize the experimental. Recent theater credits: Tell Them I’m Still Young (American Theater Group), Bloodworks (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Matchstick Series (Pipeline Theater Company), The Prizefighter of P.S. 217 (New Victory Theater), Your Hair Looked Great (Abrons Arts Center), A Good Farmer (American Theater Group). Film: Patriot’s Day (Lionsgate, Dir. Peter Berg). She holds an MFA from the Moscow Art Theater and Harvard University.
Noor Hamdi (Performer) is a New York-based actor originally from Chicago, and he’s absolutely thrilled and honored to be part of Cartography. He’s a recent graduate of the William Esper Studio and has participated in various projects in New York since moving here, most recently having performed at Signature Theater in “Between Fire and Smoke” as Rivin. Particularly, Noor loves involving himself in work that focuses on Middle Eastern people and their diaspora, being the son of Syrian immigrants and feeling very attached to his cultural background. In addition to acting, Noor is also an aerial silks artist, ESL teacher, and proud polyglot.
Victoria Nassif (Performer) feels so lucky to be a part of this work. New York: Bullet Catchers (Judson Memorial Church), Measure for Measure (New York Classical Theatre), Artaud/Artaud (New Plays Now @ Signature). Regional: Kiss (Yale Rep), R&J Damascus (TheatreSquared), Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Doctor’s Dilemma (American Players Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); King Lear (Great River Shakespeare Festival). BFA Southern Methodist University. Love and thanks to her ever supportive family and friends.
Check out the companion exhibition to Cartography, titled Vidas Suspendidas/ Suspended Lives, which will be on view at Cherry Street Pier, Christ Church Neighborhood House, and FringeArts from September 5–22.
Join us at 4pm on Saturday, September 14 at Cherry Street Pier for a community conversation about the paths immigrants and refugees have taken to the United States with the Cartography team, joined by Ari Gutierrez-Sanchez from Puentes de Salud, and moderated by Ahmet Selim from CAIR PA.
Very Special Thanks to International Jugend Bibliothek, Dr. Christiane Raabe, and especially Tanja Leuthe and the young people we met there; Kim Peter Kovac and Deirdre Lavrakas; Robert Van Leer, David Kilpatrick, Harry Poster, Elizabeth Schildkret and the wonderful team at Kennedy Center; Daniel Hahn and Cleveland Playhouse; Mary Rose Lloyd and the New Victory Team; Allen MacInnis; Phillip Bither, Nisa Mackie, Molly Hanse, Julia Anderson and the Walker Art Center; Bill Bragin, Linsey Bostwick, Christopher Pye and The Arts Centre at NYUAD Team; Sarah Curran, Fiona Coffey and the Wesleyan Center for the Arts; Eden Zane, Shanta Thake, Ken Cerniglia, Elizabeth Williamson, Christine Holt, Beth Given, Matthew Covey and Covey Law.
Cartography was made possible by the generous support of The Joyce Foundation, and developed as part of New Victory Lab Works at The New Victory Theater in New York City, and at The Performing Garage as part of The Performing Garage Presents Residency Program. This play was workshopped and presented as a rehearsed reading in April 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of New Visions/New Voices 2018..
Commissioned by John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, Playhouse Square, Cleveland; Wesleyan Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, CT; and with development support provided by Young People’s Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Developed as part of New Victory Lab Works at The New Victory Theater in New York City.
Part of the SPARK: Fringe for Young Audiences series of family-friendly programming. The SPARK Series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation.
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