Invited Participant- Contributor: ArtChangeUS REMAP: Twin Cities will culminate in a forum, on equitable, sustainable arts-driven change, featuring a roundtable and small group conversations based on ArtChangeUS Cultural Community Benefits. This roundtable will feature organizers, artists and grant makers from the Twin Cities and around the US. Participants include artists, organizers, educators, change makers, led by stellar artists who are innovating methodologies at the nexus of art making and social change.
Directing at the United Nations:Collaborating with singer/songwriter Yasmine Van Wilt on a new short musical to address Global Depression for World Health Day at the United Nations: Depression: Let’s Talk. “Art has the power to unite us across divides and create a global approach – strategies to issues that affect us all”.
Panelist moderator and curator at Joe’s Pub, The Public Theatre for the post-show discussion addressing the immigration crisis for the production UNDOCUMENTED, produced by Engarde Arts.
PEN AMERICA: Resist and Reimagine festival, Breakout: Voices from the Inside 2018. Highlighting the voices of incarcerated writers, a reading of award-winning writing from the PEN Prison Writing program archives. Almazan performed the poem “Longings” by Parrish Chase. Read by writers who also commit to the real, difficult, everyday work involved in creating a more equitable and just world. @ Dixon Place Theater. Alejo Da’wud Rodriguez, Liza Jessie Peterson, Donna Hylton, Asha Bandele, Demian Vitanza, Robert Pollock, Julia Steele Allen and Mitchell Jackson.
Panelist and performer for the #MeToo Theatre Women, National Action Network’s 2018 Largest Civil Rights Convention. Almazan performs an updated version of her piece “The Virgin Stripper”. #METOO: FROM TESTIMONY TO PREVENTION. NYC
Panelist for the Discussion: Writers on the Storm, at the Dramatists Guild of America National Conference. As the oceans rise and grow warmer, more and more of us find ourselves in the path of lethal storms. How do playwrights respond to hurricanes (and by extension all natural / man-made disasters), be it as artists, first responders, educators, or political activists? What is the playwright’s responsibility and what impact does the playwright’s response have?
Participants: Raquel Almazan, Rob Florence, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Arthur Jolly, Tere Martinez, Dewey Davis Thompson and Gary Garrison.
La Paloma Prisoner (Impacted Women Series)
LPP – IWS – funded by the Arthur J. Harris Award – Columbia University, combines women who have experienced the criminal justice system alongside performers to engage with audiences with the themes of mass incarceration. On June 1st 2017 excerpts of the play were performed at Greenhope Services for Women as well Queensboro Correctional Facility in New York City; in collaboration with impacted women. Co – produced with Mightee Shero Productions. These unique readings were directed by Laura Gomez (recurring on Orange is the New Black).
Almazan participates as a panelist for the Mayors office (Department to Combat Domestic Violence) where she performed excerpts from La Paloma Prisoner and spoke to the process of working with survivors of domestic violence and being a survivor herself. In collaboration with Gibney Dance, Raquel also facilitated a break out session on the use of theatre, collage to create transformative solutions to domestic violence.
Aspen Institute Panelist alongside Theresa Rebeck on La Migra Taco Truck and the journey of being a playwright. Colorado
Aspen Institute Panelist alongside Andrew Leynse (Artistic Director Primary Stages) Robert LuPone (Artistic Director MCC Theatre) on Dar a Luz and the landscape of American Playwriting.
Playwright participant for Here to be Seen: Women and Justice- Seven Stories Inspired by Women in the System, paired with formerly incarcerated women to create an original piece for personnel in the criminal justice system. In association with the Brooklyn Kings County District Attorney’s Re- Entry task force office. Produced by Mightee Shero Productions.
Art Monster: A Series of Roundtables for the Columbia University School of the Arts community. The Queer and the Norm. Almazan spoke to her experience writing about queer themes and communities, producing outside the norm of the dominate race and gender that controls the field. Fielded questions from the student body
Panelist alongside Morgan Jenness for the pre-show discussion of the Public Theatre’s production of Party People, addressing the creation of political theatre for an undergraduate audience of Hampshire College. Public Theatre, NYC.
Panelist for The Every 28 Hours plays addressing racism and police brutality produced by Labyrinth Theater Company, The New Group and Working Theatre, Bank Street Theatre, NYC.
Post show facilitation for community engagement for Engarde Arts production of Harbored addressing Ellis Island history and the current immigration crisis.
Lecture performance of excerpts from Almazan’s Latin is America Play Cycle- CAFÉ, La Paloma Prisoner and La Negra at Bridgewater State University addressing the topics of race, gender, sexuality, globalization and indigenous rights. Facilitated workshops with Latin American studies and theatre students on creating work from personal and political narratives. Funded by Diversity Grant with the Latin American & Caribbean studies, Women’s and Gender Study, Theatre and Social Justice Departments.
Panelist for Open Spectrum: Navigating Privilege at New York Live Arts, a conversation on how to expand cultural diversity narrative through creative works, addressing social inequity and injustice head on. Through creative activism, cultural organizing, and provocative and reflective artworks, art makers are tackling tough issues despite the obstacles before them. This iteration of Open Spectrum encourages panelists and audience members to participate in a dialog about confronting privilege, social hierarchies, and their pursuits of cultural equity through art making. Participants are asked to consider their own unearned social advantages and disadvantages, and how it is used in their creative process. Alongside Fury Young, Morley, Kyoung H. Park and Rasu Jilani.
Panelist participant for the “Hands on Arts for Immigrant Rights” at the National Immigrant Integration Conference Dec. 2015. In the workshop she lead participants through an image theatre exercise from the Theatre of the Oppressed, where physicalized images with the body were used to represent xenophobia.
National Performance Network Conference- Open Discourse: National Check-in for Artist of Color and Marginalized Artists. Facilitated a physiological process to respond to the current climate alongside Octavio Campos. Artists are invited into a conversation and report-back about the national landscape for artists of color. Is your region moving towards equitable representation of people of color and marginalized communities? What are the challenges artists face nationally and locally, and what is useful to recognize when we’re touring our work. In order to break into white institutions, is it always dependent on our race when we enter these spaces?
Panel participant at HERE Arts Center on Performers who create their own work in conjunction with Soomi Kim’s production Chang(e). NYC
Panel participant at Theatre Lab for Liz Stanton’s solo work The Woman Who was Me ,discussion on representations of women: Women’s Voices, Women’s Choices. Convergence Theatre Collective. NYC
Director for October Rise Up! No More Stolen Lives, Say Their Names A Public Reading and Remembrance: A Demand for Justice. Public rally of over 30 families of people killed by police to tell their stories, accompanied by prominent voices of conscience such as Quentin Tarantino, Eve Ensler and Gina Belafonte who read the names of just some of the 1000s of lives stolen. NYC
Panel participant for Conscious Language IN PRACTICE: Exploring varying definitions of what it means to be a conscious artist, the Conscious Language IN PRACTICE evening asks “what- if any- responsibilities do we have to the greater community?” Alongside panel participants Rasu Jilani, Kyoung Park, Mums, Lauren Whitehead and Liza Jessie Peterson, produced by Poetic Theatre Productions NYC 2015.
Excerpts of Café selected to participate at the Bodies In Transit Articulating the Americas and Beyond with the Hemispheric Institute Conference. Collaborated and presented with a panel of Latin American scholars, addressing the role of performance, text and media in communicating political topics of Latin America. NYC
One of five playwrights selected for World Theatre Day: Performing Gender and Violence in Contemporary National and Transnational Contexts Conference in Rome, Italy. Partnered with scholar Alessandro Clericuzio who presented an examination of violence against women and its transformation, in the text La Paloma Prisoner. Meetings with translation students for the Italian publication of The Hopefulness.
Participated in Belarus Free Theatre Body Bag Theatrical Protest in front of NYC Court House to raise awareness of executed bodies to be returned to family members in Belarus.
To Those With Ears and Conscious: A Protest Play Script Dramaturgy by Raquel Almazan and Lauren Whitehead Made possible by The Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund. Performance as Protest Stop Mass Incarceration Network NYC. Performed as street theatre adjacent to downtown NYC Court House.
La Paloma Prisoner text selected for Women’s Playwrights International Conference- Stockholm, Sweden. Conducted a Q & A session on the developmental process of the play and the issues of female incarceration.
Rising Circle Theatre Collective INKtank panelist: the challenges to writers of color navigating the American playwriting landscape. New York City.
Panelist at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival post White Alligator screening addressing stereotypical representation of Latinas in media. NYC
National Association of Latin Independent Producers Conference. Selected to participate in story development TV/Film pitch sessions with Harrison Reiner. Los Angeles, California.
Attended the annual beauty pageant and parade of prisoners, in Buen Pastor Prison in Bogota, Colombia for development of La Paloma Prisoner. Conducted interviews with female inmates and video recorded the process of the international event.
Death of the Doll short film selected to be screened at the 6th annual National Association of Latin Independent Producers conference. Huntington Beach, CA.
Alternate Roots Conference: Resources for Social Change, selected to perform excerpts of Glossy Page Pimps and as the (male pimp Chamuco in Fronteras Desviadas centered on prostitution in Tijuana). Particpated in Q & A session for feedback and to address the issues of female exploitation in prostitution and hip hop media, North Carolina.
Alternate Roots Conference: Weaving the Threads of Connection, selected to perform excerpts of She Wolves solo show. Integrating arts and activism, Anti-Oppressive Collaborative Creativity workshops, North Carolina.
Convergence of Artists, Educators and Organizers. Revolutionary Theatre Workshop.Performed excerpts of She Wolves and participated in Revolutionary Theatre Workshops towards culture-jamming and Theatrical Activism. New Orleans
Saint Thomas University’s Women’s Fair with Women for Human Rights 1st and 2nd annual conference. Performed Virgin Stripper Monologue from She Wolves and conducted Q & A with college students on transforming rape culture. Miami
Selected to perform She Wolves at The National Women’s Studies Conference at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Conducted Q & A on the feminist aspects of the play and it’s development with communities of women.
Los Angeles Scope Conference: Challenging the notion of what an art fair is. Performed excerpts from She Wolves for various fair events, including the Art of Performance Panel. She Wolves experimental films screened at the Hotel gallery exhibitions at The Standard, Hollywood California.
FAWE- Florida Association for Women in Education Conference. Performed Warrior excerpt from She Wolves and lead a Q & A session with female educators on re-associating ancient women’s contribution to history and advancement. Miami