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Devised Theater Working Group

The Devised Theater Working Group (DTWG) is an artist resource group designed for live arts-makers of all disciplines. Formed as a complementary program to the Under the Radar Festival in 2014, DTWG creates an infrastructure to support collaborative collectives and other untraditional originators as they forge new theater. Alumni of the Devised Theater Working Group include Ty Defoe, Daniel Fish, Ryan J. Haddad, Daniel Koren, New Saloon, Aya Ogawa, River L. Ramirez, and Whitney White. 

DTWG is a component of the Devised Theater Initiative at The Public, one of the first of its kind in the U.S., which provides support and resources to the next generation of independent artists and ensembles. Born from iconic productions like HAIR, for colored girls…, and A Chorus Line, The Public Theater has always been a strong supporter of the devised theater movement and has helped promote the work of prominent and emerging devised theater-makers.

2023-24 COHORT.

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Amara Janae Brady

(she/her/hers) is a generative artist and cultural dramaturg hailing from the Windy City, Chicago. Her artistic goals are to show the humanity and divinity of Black women and connect underserved communities with experiences that mirror their own. She is a current fellow of WP Theater’s Playwriting Lab (2022-2024) and The Public Theater’s Devised Working Group (2023-2024). Favorite credits:  “my dick is david duke” or… (Ars Nova’s ANTFest; actor, writer, producer), This is Where We Go (MCC; actor, writer),  and Jillian Walker’s SKiNFoLK (New York Times’ Critic’s Pick; The Bushwick Starr; assistant producer). Her YouTube series is “‘Skinny & White’ Aren’t Character Traits.” She is a proud member of Joe Iconis & Family and frequently collaborates with Dominique Rider and Xander Browne. She currently resides somewhere between Brooklyn and Chicago, where she spends her days playing Just Dance, perfecting her coq au vin recipe, and hanging out with her Grandma. All Power to all people. Ashé. linktr.ee/ajbrady

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Dahlak Brathwaite

is an award-winning dramatic auteur: playwright, composer, performer, director, and filmmaker. His work has been presented at The Smithsonian, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, REDCAT, MCA Chicago, Ars Nova, The Public Theater, The Apollo, SXSW, by Creative Time, and on HBO’s last two seasons of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Dahlak’s trilogy of works—Spiritrials (solo play), Try/Step/Trip (musical), and Adapting History (documentary film)—take a personal look into the criminal justice system and the relationship between Black American music and Black American subjugation. Development of the work has been supported by CalArts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Victory Gardens, and Montalvo Arts Center. Dahlak has received awards and support from NEFA, the Doris Duke Foundation, the U.S. State Department, NYU Tisch, and MAP Fund. He was a Creative Capital finalist and a United States Artist nominee. He is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where he was awarded the Dean’s Full-Tuition Fellowship, and served as the assistant director for the national tour of the Tony-winning revival of Oklahoma!

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Jaime Cepero

(they/he) is an Afro-Latino, queer, non-binary actor, writer, and award-winning activist. As a composer, their musical Francois & The Rebels (a punk rock telling of the 1791 Haitian Revolution) was showcased in The Musicals Of Tomorrow for Broadway Podcast Network, the Joe’s Pub: In Concert series, the 4x15 Workshop series at MTFmusicals, and New York Theater Barn’s Choreography Lab at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Cepero was a 2021 Write It Out! playwriting cohort with National Queer Theater, and a two-time Gold Anthem Award recipient for their work in community organizing and political activism. TV/film performance credits include “Smash” (NBC), “Connecting…” (NBC), “Mess” (HereTV/Amazon), Daddy, Dating My Mother, Jess, I Am Michael, and The Game Plan. Theater performance credits include Porgy & Bess 75th Anniversary national tour; Night Of The Living Dead! The Musical!; HAIR (Dallas Theater Center); Godspell (ACT Connecticut); Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL (Alliance Theater Company); You Will Neva Enter Our High Holy Land of Blackness (Long Wharf Theater); and Choir Boy (Geffen Playhouse). Twitter: @JaimeCepero. Insta: @Papimagic.

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Clarissa Marie Ligon

is a director, stage manager, and self-proclaimed renaissance woman. She makes art because she believes it can change the world. When she isn’t running a show, you can find Ligon on the stage singing, dancing, or producing as her burlesque persona Chubbi Bunni Sinclair.

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Eli Nixon

(they/them) builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don’t yet exist, or exist but call for creative intervention. They are a settler-descended transqueer clown, a cardboard constructionist, and a maker of plays, puppets, pageants, parades, suitcase theaters, and low-tech public spectaculah. Nixon collaborates with artists, activists, schools, mental health and recovery centers, libraries, and the more-than-human world to expand imaginative capacity and build muscles for collective liberation. They are an enthusiast and practitioner of naturedrag, amateur flag dancing, and DIY festoonery. Nixon is proposing a new holiday in homage to horseshoe crabs. Their illustrated manual for celebrating the holiday, Bloodtide, is available through The 3rd Thing Press. Nixon is a member of the New Georges’ Jam and brotherdykes unlimited, an organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice–R.I., and a parent of a teenager, among other contained multitudes. elinixon.com

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One Whale's Tale

is a multidisciplinary production company that creates, fosters, and generates new independent work with an appreciation for magic and the preservation of culture. One Whale’s Tale creates community centered work that reflects the experiences of immigrants, first-generation Americans, and people of color. They are guided by Magical Urbanism, an aesthetic One Whale’s Tale has developed, which examines how the ancient traditions of our company members and collaborators exist within a modern urban landscape. One Whale’s Tale’s performances are inspired by cultural festivals and ceremonies which incorporate live music, food, and participatory elements for the audience. They create dialogues with the communities they work within. The company has partnered with organizations such as The People’s Garden, the Gowanus Dredgers, the Street Vendor Project, los Tecuanes Quetzalcoátl, Make the Road NY, Hunter College Theatre Department, Bulla en el Barrio, Maraca Bruja, Rehabilitation Through the Arts, After Incarceration, Art and Resistance Through Education, Solo Homies Car Club, and the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations. One Whale’s Tale’s vision establishes a holistic approach to annual programming which involves their audience and community from creation to performance, giving them full access and a deeper connection to One Whale’s Tale’s work and resources. onewhalestale.com @onewhalestale

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Camilo Quiroz-Vázquez

is a Chicano theater artist, filmmaker, and visual artist from Los Angeles, California. He began his artistic journey at community arts center, Plaza de La Raza, which empowered him to study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, Camilo co-founded multimedia production company One Whale’s Tale. His credits include QUINCE workshop (the TEAM’s Petri Projects; writer, co-creator, producer), QUINCE (The Bushwick Starr; writer, co-creator, producer), QUINCE en la Plaza (Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City; co-creator, producer), Leonora’s World (Double Edge Theatre; designer, performer), Persou (the cell theatre; writer, co-creator, producer), Night Descends on Svalbard (Exponential Festival; writer, co-creator), and Dolores (Portland Short Film Festival; co-writer). Quiroz-Vázquez crafts worlds inspired by the family, spirits, and ancestors who intimately shared the spaces of his childhood. @camiloooo

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Ellpetha Tsivicos

is a multidisciplinary Cypriot-American artist whose work celebrates culture, music, and dialogue. She graduated from NYU in 2011 with a BFA in Drama, and a minor in Art and Public Policy that focused on Dialogical Art. In 2012, she co-founded multimedia production company, One Whale's Tale. Tsivicos’s work includes a workshop of QUINCE (the TEAM’s Petri Projects; director, co-creator, producer), QUINCE (Bushwick Starr; director, co-creator, producer), QUINCE en la Plaza (Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City; director, co-creator, producer), Night Descends on Svalbard (Exponential Festival; director, performer), Persou (the cell theatre; director, co-creator, performer), Leonora’s World (Double Edge Theatre; designer, performer), the Art in Embassies Gala (producer, performer), MoMa PS1 Gala with Mariah Robertson (producer, performer), and a series of award-winning short films, documentaries, and music videos. Her book, A Life Into Lands, is published in English and Cypriot. Tsivicos believes art can change the world. @ellpetha