For nearly seven years now, I have been leading TE’A and progressively developing it as a platform for the collaborative design and creation of Insight theatre. Some of you reading this blog have been with me for the entire journey, and those of you who have will know that TE’A and Intersections have collaborated in one way or another every step of the way. We are pleased to inform you that TE’A and Intersections are now opening a new and inventive chapter in our ongoing collaboration.
In 2009 I launched TE’A as an initiative of Radha Productions, and Intersections stepped up as a founding partner, providing critical support and encouragement as I gathered and trained the original Company of TE’A Actors, with whom I worked collaboratively to create Under the Veil: Being Muslim (and Non-Muslim) in New York, post-9/11. We performed the piece dozens of times, in six states, to thousands of audience members.
In 2012, I produced a sold-out, site-specific, Equity showcase of Cadence: Home in midtown Manhattan - again in collaboration with Intersections - and on the strength of this success, TE’A and Intersections decided to collaborate in a more formal way. We worked out a merger agreement, and in 2013 I became a member of the staff, tasked with directing TE’A and Insight Initiatives for Intersections International.
This second chapter in our collaboration enabled us to produce Cadence: Home at the Straz Center for the performing arts in Tampa. And I am proud to say that over the past two years, my work at Intersections has led both to the creation of Uniform Justice – currently playing to full houses and terrific reviews at the New York Fringe Theatre Festival – and to the incubation and development of There’s Something About America – TE’A’s most socially and aesthetically ambitious work to date. It will premier in November and December as an Equity workshop at the Irondale Ensemble Project in Brooklyn.
Now, TE’A and Intersections have decided to open a new chapter in our relationship – a chapter in which I will no longer be working with Intersections as an employee and TE’A will no longer be a program within Intersections. With a number of other longstanding colleagues and collaborators, I am launching a new venture (our working name for it is Insight, Inc.) which will enable me on the one hand to continue to work with Intersections in service of its mission on a contract basis: notably by helping Intersections to develop TE’A projects focused on community-police relations and the crisis in the rule of law in Montclair, New Jersey, and in New York City. On the other hand, this new chapter will give me the professional and artistic freedom to continue to create and push the aesthetic horizon of Insight theatre.
I am excited at the prospect of opening this new chapter with Intersections and grateful for the one that is closing. I know my colleagues at Intersections feel the same way. Thanks to TE’A, Intersections is now an organization known and admired for its cutting edge efforts in using theatre to advance its mission. And thanks to Intersections, I have a vision for TE’A and for the development of Insight theatre that was unimaginable for me seven years ago. I look forward to the next seven.