Artistic / Executive Director, Art2Action
Andrea Assaf is a writer, performer, director and cultural organizer. She’s the founding Artistic and Executive Director of Art2Action Inc., and the National Coordinator of the National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation (an Art2Action collaboration with Pangea World Theater). She is currently Artist-in-Residence and guest faculty at the School of Theatre & Dance, University of South Florida (Tampa). Andrea has served as a consultant with Equity Quotient (EQ), Alternate ROOTS, the Arts & Democracy Project, and more. 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. She currently serves on the Board of CAATA (Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists), and is a voting board member of Alternate ROOTS. She served on the International Management Committee of WPI (Women Playwrights International, 2012-15), and is a member of RAWI (Radius of Arab American Writers).
Andrea’s original, full-length theater works include: DRONE, a new work in development, recipient of a FY2020 National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund commission and a 2019 New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theatre Project award. Eleven Reflections on September (Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of the 5th National Asian American Theatre Festival by CAATA, 2016; La MaMa ETC, The Apollo “Women of the World” (WOW) Festival in collaboration with Hi-ARTS, and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage as part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, 2015; Arab American National Museum, and University of South Florida 2014; Pangea World Theater’s Alternate Visions Festival, The Carpetbag Theatre, and Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 2011; 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, the Bowery Poetry Club, 2007, and more). 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). 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 and Dramaturgy credits include: Speed Killed My Cousin by Linda Parris-Bailey and The Carpetbag Theatre (El Centro Su Teatro 2017; ASU Gammage Performing Arts Center, 2016; Orlando Museum of Art as part of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival in partnership with Alternate ROOTS 2015; The Carver San Antonio, South Dallas Cultural Center, MECA Houston 2014; Junebug Productions as part of the New Orleans Fringe Festival 2013; and CBT as part of the NET Micro-Fest: Knoxville, TN 2012). 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). Parang Sabil: The Ballad of the Kris by Potri Ranka Manis/Kinding Sindaw, National Asian American Theater Festival/Beckett Theatre, NYC, 2007. And many more community-based devised works.
As a poet and Spoken Word artist, Andrea was a 2017 Finalist for the Split This Rock “Freedom Plow Award for Poetry and Activism.” She 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, Traveling, and Crystalization with essay “Coming Out Arab” (Mizna: Arab American Literary Journal, 2012, 2013 and 2015); 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). Full translations of Eleven Reflections on September are forthcoming in Arabic and Polish.