Anthology: Crown Heights — grants and online launch!

Anthology: Crown Heights, the performance project I'm creating with an ensemble of Crown Heights-based artists and in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center, is going up at the end of April! I'm thrilled to have received funding from Brooklyn Arts Council through New York State Council on the Arts, Weeksville Heritage Center through Brooklyn Community Foundation, and a Stanford Young Alumni Arts Grant, and to have rehearsal space donated by the Brooklyn Children's Museum!

We launched online this week: check out our Facebook page and event!

Showing at The Tank on Thursday

I couldn't be more excited to be working with director Ellie Sachs and composer Ryan Hopper to further develop my documentary play Everything You're Told. We're currently working on an autobiographical story for the show about my dad's fall from religion and its effect on me, featuring recorded interviews, reimagined memories, and an original score/soundscape. 

We'll be presenting an excerpt of the show at The Tank on Thursday, February 18th at 7pm for the Spaceworks Showcase. Come check it out! http://thetanknyc.org/theater/479-spaceworks-showcase/

This one gets personal.

Readings, readings! At Ensemble Studio Theatre and more

The reading for Urban Omnibus at Greenlight Bookstore was so fun, and a packed house! Loved getting the opportunity to exercise my Indian accent while reading the winning essay, "The Wandering Women," by Maya Sorabjee, which takes place in Bombay. Check out the stories (recorded and written) here: http://urbanomnibus.net/2016/01/reading-as-seen-on-audio-included/.

I also had a grand old time (and lots of honey mustard pretzels) at Ensemble Studio Theatre's First Brew this month, reading for Jeff Tabnick's new play, "The Problem of Verisimillitude."

Public reading on Wednesday - come!

It's been a busy week! Two days ago, I performed some excerpts from A New Crown Heights, my currently developing work, at Brooklyn's celebration of #WakingtheFeminists on Nollaig na mBan (Women's Christmas in Ireland). We were plugged in the Irish Times!

On Wednesday January 13th, I'll be reading a story at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. The publication Urban Omnibus is hosting the public reading at 7:30pm to celebrate the launch of their newest book "As Seen On [ ]." I'll be reading the winning essay from their 4th Annual Writing Competition. Also featuring actors from The Associates. Come join! https://www.facebook.com/events/1495547807418023/

Creating new work with The Associates, and some violin!

This November and December, I've been rehearsing with the awesome theater company, The Associates. They formed out of the apprentice program at Actors Theatre of Louisville and have put up some really compelling pieces of theater in the past year. The Associates invited me to join them at rehearsals these two months to help them create new work. I've been loving playing with the team!

Check out their website here:
http://www.theassociatestheater.com/.

In the music world, I played violin and sang backup vocals for the newest song from The Year of the Hare (aka Ryan Hopper). The song, "Interiors," was released last month. Listen here: http://theyearofthehare.bandcamp.com.

Mini performance, and teaching at Stanford

 Xandra Clark, Jabari Brisport, and Elizabeth Gray performing at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Anelia Varela.

Xandra Clark, Jabari Brisport, and Elizabeth Gray performing at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Anelia Varela.

This past Thursday, I performed two sneak-peek scenes for the new play Port Cities at the Old Stone House, a historic Dutch home in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Port Cities, written and directed by Talya Chalef, explores the Dutch settlement of Manhattan, the birth of Wall Street, and the legacy of slavery from then to now. I play the archaeologist Katrina who digs up the past and her own complicated history. The projections (by Sofy Yuditskaya) looked beautiful on the old house!

The day after that performance, I flew to sunny California, which is where I am now for the next week. Stanford, my alma mater, has hired me to teach five storytelling/performance workshops -- three for students, two for staff. It's great to be back on the west coast!

Summer happenings

A still from "Drifting in Daylight" in Central Park.

Welcome to my new website! Hope you enjoy checking it out.

Currently, I’m rehearsing as part of the five-person devised ensemble cast for Talya Chalef’s Port Cities, a new play that will go up at the Waterfront Barge Museum in Brooklyn in May. We had a showing at Dixon Place in July.

Earlier this summer, I acted as Selma Blair’s character Cecile from the movie Cruel Intentions as part of Creative Time’s Drifting in Daylight exhibition in Central Park, directed by David Levine. Performances ran May 15-June 20. I also flew to LA to shoot for the feature film Indiscretion, starring Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino and Cary Elwes. I play Riley Evans, a millennial Rachel Maddow type with her own news show.

A still from "Everything You're Told" at Brooklyn College. From left: Oliver Hill, Nolan Green, Kristin Swiat, and Xandra Clark.

In between acting jobs, I’ve also been developing my own play, Everything You’re Told, which uses true stories to explore why we believe what we believe about each other, and how it might be possible to change those beliefs. The stories are told through audio interviews, live storytelling, music, and dance. A public work-in-progress showing was presented in May at Brooklyn College’s TV Center.

And I've been conducting oral history interviews with Crown Heights, Brooklyn, residents for a performance project about the neighborhood in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center. I've met with some awesome local performing artists too, with whom I'll be collaborating. Stay tuned for more soon!