NIA FARRELL (she/hers)
Nia Farrell is a creator, performer, and Mundane Afrofuturist who focuses on developing new work that celebrates the dreams and stories of Black communities. Her favorite artistic spaces are community-conscious and community-driven as they are opportunities to explore identity and belonging. Recent credits include Dreams in Black Major (creator; Theatertreffen Stückemarkt 2021, Ars Nova ANT Fest 2019). Nia is a finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farm’s Creative Residency 2020 and is a member of the 2019-21 Soho Rep Writer / Director Lab where she and her artistic soulmate, Talia Paulette Oliveras, are developing their sophomore project, A Map To Nowhere (things are). When Nia’s not dreaming and scheming new Afro-futures, she is the Development Associate for Nine Muses Entertainment, founded by Bryce Dallas Howard, and the Interactive Social Media Manager for National Black Theatre. Learn more at niafarrell.com
HARSHINI KARUNARATNE (she/hers)
Harshini J. Karunaratne is a Sri Lankan-Peruvian photographer and projection designer currently based in Abu Dhabi. She is passionate about the intersection of film and theater, having graduated in Film & New Media and Theater from New York University Abu Dhabi in 2018. For thesis, Harshini created a projection-based performance titled “Afterlife: an audiovisual performance,” which attempted to reimagine the magic lantern phantasmagoria shows of the 18th century using contemporary VJ techniques. Her research focused on the ways in which immersive performances can be created that are as cinematic as they are theatrical, to create a performance that reimagined the story of Hades and the Underworld through Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Harshini has had her work shown in Italy, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, as well as at FILE Festival in Brazil and at Burning Man in the United States. She is constantly experimenting with new forms and mediums, but behind every exploration is a passion for performance. Whether it is web design or illustration, performance and the involvement of the audience are at the core of her practice. Learn more at harshinijk.com
MENGXI ALTHEA RAO (she/hers)
Althea Rao is a multiform conceptual artist with a social practice. Her works focus on revealing institutionalized disempowerment, facilitating radical community healing, and designing systems for intrinsic accountability. Her works exist as codes of conduct, performative interventions, multimedia installations and their documentation. She performs absurd interpretations of ethical values and negotiates idealism within a fully diverse society, while knowingly exhibits a willingness to count on human agency to see change for the better. Rao is currently an Engaging Artist Fellow at More Art and a recipient of the MAP Fund. She was an artist-in-residence at Artspace New Haven, a Fellow of Flaherty Film Seminar, and a Social Impact Fellow at Halcyon Arts Lab. Rao has lived and worked in China, Japan and the US. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Journalism from Fudan University. Learn more at altheamrao.myportfolio.com.
Project: El Otro Lado Del Destino
A supernatural play about a family of espiritistas navigating old magic in contemporary life.
CINTHIA CHEN (she/hers)
Project: Waters of Oblivion
An exploration of memory through the figure of Meng Po, the Lady of Forgetfulness in Chinese mythology. She feeds souls a special brew of 迷魂湯 (’waters of oblivion’) to make them forget their previous lives before their next reincarnation.
JUDE ĀTMAN (he/they)
Project: untitled exploration of cancel culture and healing
Cancel culture is used as an inter-community weapon of exile, encouraging binary thinking. We become preoccupied with what kind of people we are; whether we are “good” or “bad” people. How can we imagine beyond the binary?