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Press Release: Digital Premiere of Eleven Reflections + San Antonio Residency 2021

Updated: Jul 28, 2021


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT:

Teresa Vásquez-Romero, 210-207-8761, teresa.vasquez-romero@sanantonio.gov

Yasmin Tamar, (407) 497-0042, marketing@art2action.org

Eleven Reflections on September

Exploring Arab American Experiences


The Carver Community Cultural Center is excited to present the virtual premiere of Eleven Reflections on September. This performance is co-produced with Art2Action, Inc. and appears as part of the yearlong residency with artist and founder Andrea Assaf, as part of their new “Eleven Reflections on the Nation” initiative, which the Carver is excited to partner on, making San Antonio the first city in the national series.


Originally written and presented as a live theatrical experience, this performance was initially scheduled to be presented live on stage at the Carver in May of 2020, but due to the pandemic had to be rescheduled twice.


Now, Eleven Reflections on September has been re-imagined into a beautifully rendered, digital version, written, directed and performed by Andrea Assaf. The work also features music by vocalist Lubana Al Quntar, violinist Eylem Basaldi, percussion and oud player April Centrone; movement by Dora Arreola; and an all-new digital media design by Eva Auster, with sound engineering by Matt Eaton.


Through poetry, spoken word and music, Eleven Reflections on September explores Arab American experience, wars on/of terror, and “the constant rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world. Based on a series of poems written by Andrea Assaf since 2001, Eleven Reflections explores the disintegration of language in the face of violence, prejudice and unspeakable horror; as such they progress from lyrical to abstract to fractured, with the annual witnessing of autumn leaves becoming a metaphor for the fallen.


In addition to the performance, the San Antonio community has an opportunity to converse with the cast featured in this virtual theater experience. Poet and director Andrea Assaf, internationally renowned vocalist Lubana Al Quntar, violinist Eylem Basaldi, percussionist April Centrone and movement artist Dora Arreola will be available for a post-performance dialogue during Reflection Session #9: Meet the Ensemble!, Tuesday, May 11, 6-7:30pm (CDT). Assaf states, “This production features an extraordinary ensemble of incredibly talented artists, with diverse roots in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Mexico, and the U.S., bringing truly global perspectives and aesthetics to this collaboration. It’s an honor to create with them, and I’m excited for the opportunity to bring artists and communities together for this very special Reflection Session.”


This post show dialogue is one of several community discussions and engagement opportunities Assaf has planned for local artists and community members. Assaf invites Arab American, Middle Eastern/North African (MENA), Southwest/Central Asian, Muslim and allied artists and community members to share lived experiences related to themes in her work. In Fall 2021, Assaf will select a team of collaborators, and direct Eleven Reflections: San Antonio exploring post-9/11 stories and experiences in our city. Free creative workshops are forthcoming this Summer and Fall, hosted by the Carver. “We invite and encourage all to share stories and experiences. Let’s make San Antonio the national example of this great initiative,“ states Carver Executive Director, Cassandra Parker-Nowicki. Artists and community members are encouraged to share stories, videos and creative submissions for this project through and online submission form hosted by the Arab American National Museum.


Tickets to Virtual Performance

Call the Carver Box Office for Tickets: (210) 207-2234

View-on-demand: available online through Tuesday, May 11, 11:59 PM

$5 - $25 (Pay-What-You-Can)


Register for Reflections Session #9: Meet the Ensemble!

Tuesday, May 11, 6-7:30 PM CDT / 7-8:30 PM EDT


Call for Artists & Community Stories: SUBMIT YOUR STORY OR CREATIVE WORK HERE!




Originally commissioned and premiered by Pangea World Theatre as part of their 2011 Alternate Visions Festival, with support from the Princess Grace Foundation USA, Eleven Reflections on September had its New York City premiere in 2015 co-presented by the historic La Mama theatre and Hi-ARTS, both located in Manhattan. Other notable performances include The Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) as part of the 2016 National Asian American Theatre Festival produced by Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA), and international presentations in Mexico and Poland.


This digital production is further made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program and the Ford Foundation.


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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City of San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov


Photo Credits: Kacey Anisa



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