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Bindlestiff Studio
San Francisco, CA
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Staged reading directed by Desdemona Chiang

Saturday, February 15, 3PM
Sunday, February 16, 5PM

Bindlestiff Studio presents the staged reading of Aimee Suzara's A HISTORY OF THE BODY, an artist-in-residency culminating in two public performancesSaturday, February 15, 2014, at 3:00 PM, and Sunday, February 16, 2014, at 5:00 PM. Featuring Rinabeth Apostol, Carina Lastimosa Salazar, Michelle Talgarow, and Deedra Wong (Ms. Apostol appears under special arrangement with Actors Equity Association). Desdemona Chiang directs. The performances will take place at Bindlestiff Studio (185 Sixth Street; San Francisco, CA; 94103). ADMISSION IS FREE. Talkback after each performance with the playwright, the director, Bindlestiff Studio Artistic Director Alan S. Quismorio, and cast.

A HISTORY OF THE BODY is a multidisciplinary piece fusing dance, theater, poetry and visual art to explore the impacts of colonization and the media on the body. In its story of two womenformer friends with divergent ambitions and body politics - the work examines the modern-day attitudes towards lighter skin tone for Filipina women and women of color, the global rise in cosmetic whitening product use, as well as the historical events and stereotypes perpetuated at the turn of the century: specifically the portrayal of Filipinos as "dark" savages during the display of Filipinos at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

A HISTORY OF THE BODY first emerged from Suzara's original dance-text collaboration with Frances Sedayao at CounterPULSE's Emerging Performance Festival in 2009. In 2009, the work was featured in two artist panels, "Immigration Politics and the Body" (co-curated by Suzara with Shaping SF at CounterPULSE), and Kularts' "Indigenizing the Filipino Aesthetic." A work-in-progress segment of its theatrical adaptation emerged in 2010 during Suzara's artist-in-residency with Kularts, the premiere presenter of Filipino indigenous, tribal and contemporary art. In its most recent iterations, workshop productions of selected scenes, featuring choreography, visual design and music were directed by Pamela Wu Kochiyama in April-May 2013 at the World Theater in Monterey, CA and commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundation at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center as part of the United States of Asian America Festival. Engaging with audiences along the way, Suzara and her collaborative team have offered workshops, talks and presentations. Video clips and a promotional trailer are available by request and at
The February staged reading will be the first public presentation of A HISTORY OF THE BODY as a full evening-length script and represent the culmination of Suzara's artist in residency at Bindlestiff Studio.

Funding for the artist-in-residency performances is made possible through a grant from the Zellerbach Family Foundation. The performance have also been made possible in part through a gift by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts through the YBCAway program.

AIMEE SUZARA is a poet, playwright and performer based in Oakland, CA. Her mission is to create, and help others create, poetic and theatrical work to provoke dialogue and social change. Her poetry book, SOUVENIR, has just been published (WordTech Editions 2014).  Suzara was recently granted a YBCAway award for the 2013-2014 season.  A member of the PlayGround writer's pool, a participant of the ATLAS (Theater Bay Area) program, and selected for Bay Area festivals the One Minute Play Festival, APAture, the United States of Asian America and CounterPULSE's Emerging Performance Festival, her theatrical work has been staged at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Thick House, CounterPULSE, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, the World Theater of CSU Monterey, and Bindlestiff Studios.  Her current work in progress, A History of the Body, has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program and commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundations.  In 2008-2011, she collaborated as a lead writer and performer with Amara Tabor Smith and Deep Waters Dance Theater for the dance theater piece, Our Daily Bread. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies including Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Poets and Emcees (LitNoire Press), Kartika Review and the Lantern Review, as well as two chapbooks, Finding the Bones and the space between (Finishing Line Press). She's been a featured performer at colleges and festivals nationally, including the Utah Arts Festival and USpeaks and O Miami! at the University of Miami.  She is a creative writing lecturer at CA State University Monterey Bay.  

DESDEMONA CHIANG is a stage director based in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Co-Founder of Azeotrope (Seattle). Recent directing credits include: Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Azeotrope, Impact Theatre, FringeNYC, Playwrights Foundation, Golden Thread Productions, Washington Ensemble Theatre, SF One Minute Play Festival, Unicycle Collective, SIS Productions, Ohio Northern University, University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts, among others. New play development / assistantships / dramaturgy / education credits include: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Intiman Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Company, A Contemporary Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, among others. Intersection for the Arts Triangle Lab Artist-Investigator. Alumnus: SDC Sir John Gilgeud Directing Fellow, Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG Young Leader of Color, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and Directors Lab West. 2012 Gregory Award Recipent for Outstanding Direction. Member: Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). BA, Integrative Biology and Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies: University of California at Berkeley. MFA Directing: University of Washington.

FRANCES SEDAYAO is a Philippine native whose dance and martial arts training began at CSU, Hayward.  She has danced and performed since throughout the Bay Area, studied at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, and toured locally and nationally with Pilipino composer and recording artist, Joey Ayala and Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians. Her background includes works with NUBA Dance Theatre, Dandelion Dancetheater, Veronica Combs' Liquid Fire Project, Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers, Laura Ellis, Robert Henry Johnson, Paufve Dance, Nina Haft & Company, Purple Moon Dance Project, Facing East Dance & Music, among others.  Also an independent artist, Frances has presented original works in several SF/ Bay Area venues as well as Vancouver BC.  She is a Serpent Source Foundation grant recipient and was honored as The Dance Featured Artist for the 2003 APAture in San Francisco. Frances recently co-founded and co-produced Vortex Collective, a dance/theatre collective that launched its first San Francisco premiere December, 2003.

BINDLESTIFF STUDIO is a non-profit artistic hub that provides an affordable, professional, small performing arts venue where new and veteran artists can take creative risks. Anchored by the Filipino American community, Bindlestiff Studio endeavors to educate the public about Filipino American culture and the arts through theatrical presentations, public workshops, concerts, readings, and other events. As the first Filipino American Theater in the nation, Bindlestiff Studio continues to be at the vanguard through the efforts of its artists and community that supports it. Visit Bindlestiff Studio at



Bindlestiff Studio (View)
185 Sixth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States

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Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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