A CRITIC REMINISCES
If you want to walk on the edge, there is no better guide than Chris Danowski.
The founder of Theater in My Basement, the Valley’s most out-there theater company, lives so far out of the box I’m not sure he even knows there is a box.
Chris is a remarkable artist. He is a radical thinker who expresses his thoughts, feelings and observations through poetry, playwriting, directing, acting, performance art, lectures and teaching.
You never know what to expect from the man. Well, yes, you do, actually. You can expect to be taken on a journey into time, reality, ethic considerations, the bizarre, the provocative, the frightening … in simple terms, he will stimulate your thinking in ways you never thought possible.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of Chris to Valley theater. He took the work of edgy alternative theaters like Planet Earth to the next dimension. He gave Phoenix a theater of the mind, the first of its kind here and still the only pure example of the art to be found on local stages.
I have to be honest. I didn’t always understand what he was doing. Even now, when I read his Facebook posts, I sometimes sit back and say “Whoa! What was that … ” There is beauty in his words, but there are so many levels of meaning, you can dig for days and still not glean it all.
For a time, Chris was a mainstay of downtown alternative theater, participating in First Fridays and fringe festivals and attracting the intellectually curious to Modified Arts and other galleries and performance art spaces.
He is moving on. He recently founded Howl Theatre Project, which made its debut in May, 2014 at Space 55 with his latest script, endofplay/7.
The only thing that hasn’t changed is that you won’t find endofplay/7 silly or easy to dismiss. Chris Danowski still ponders the imponderable as someone once said of Stephen Hawking. Like Theater in My Basement, Howl Theatre Project will take you to the edge.
What you do when you get there is entirely up to you. Chris Danowski is a tour guide, not a hand holder.
The cast for endoplay/7 includes: Jake Jack Hylton, Jamie Haas Hendricks, Steven Matthew Kaas, Heather Lee Harper, Liana O’Boyle and Beth May.
They spoke to Connor Descheemaker of the Phoenix New Times who wrote on May 30, 2014:
Those with a more keen eye on the Valley’s theatre scene over the years might recognize (Chris) Danowski’s name under the moniker Theater in My Basement, his underground theater outfit which has presented original, avant-garde theater works in various literal living spaces for nearly a decade. However, following the production of Monsters of the Sea (II), Danowski and his cohorts felt the need for a change.
“We’ve been doing this work with Chris, and we all felt that it’s really important, and we can’t just keep doing it in Chris’s living room for a total of 30 people to see it,” notes Hendricks. “The stuff is just too good…”
“Deserves 50,” quips Kass.
“And a backstage,” continues Harper.
So, yes, it’s all a little out of the ordinary. But for a group of actors, writers, and directors (all company members juggle multiple production duties) so entrenched in the experimental, the entire group could not be more excited to work together and share that work with the public.
“We found a really good energy among us,” says Danowski in explaining the group’s formation. “The threads of what we had [in Monsters of the Sea (II)] were the things that would start to carry us forward.”
Though they all met and first worked together in various theatrical circumstances, there was a clear shared desire to produce something collaboratively among the troupe members, and in the process develop a new means of producing work.
“Creatively, we all find a line that we can walk on together and in that is finding people who are good at what they do that you can work alongside. . . and find one cohesive outlet,” Hylton says of the experience of producing this work.
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Playwright Luke Krueger on Facebook: Chris kicked my ass as a writer. He didn’t let me get away with anything. He was also the first person who explained Beckett to me without ever explaining him. One of my great memories of Chris, was sitting at a bar, having a drink, and I was complaining about getting a rejection letter. Chris, mid-bite, nodded and said, “I like getting rejections.” This floored me. He continued, “It means I’m doing my job. I’m putting my work out there.” I’ve never complained about rejection letters since. Thank you, Chris.
MY ARTICLE IN THE AUG. 25, 2005 ARIZONA REPUBLIC
When I was a kid, I knew all about putting on a show.
I would round up my neighborhood pals, any parents who were free, a few dogs and the occasional pet turtle and it was “Hi-ho, Silver, away!”
It was all so … well, primitive comes to mind.
Kids today are more sophisticated. When Tom Leveen and his friends founded Is What It Is Theatre in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood, they used Leveen’s back yard as a stage, but there were sound, lights, costumes, a script by Shakespeare … it really was a work of art.
Chris Danowski wasn’t quite so elaborate, but his productions for Theater in My Basement in Minneapolis were strikingly original, even avant garde, and the location represented a step up from grass stains and bug bites.
Both troupes have grown. Is What It Is now operates out of the Studio One Performing Arts Center on East Thomas Road and specializes in the classics and experimental work. Danowski, who moved his company to the Valley in 2001, has found a home at Modified Arts in the Roosevelt Street area of downtown Phoenix, where he raises the bar with pieces that blend the spoken word with visual and aural technologies.
Talk to the two men, though, and you still hear the echo of Mickey Rooney exhorting Judy Garland and the rest of the MGM gang to “Come on, kids, let’s put on a show.”
This week, the two theaters are involved in projects that are relatively rare in the Valley: They’re mounting new works by local playwrights. Is What It Is is staging Michael Peck’s Black, White & Read All Over, the story of a man struggling to raise the son of his murdered fiancee. Theater in My Basement is producing a staged reading of Danowski’s Cerdadote/Pig Priest, which recasts the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in contemporary terms.
Peck, scenic designer of Is What It Is since 1998, says there is a certain amount of autobiography in Black, White & Read All Over, although the details are fictional.
“I wrote the play with no conscious intention of having it produced,” he says. “It was really my way of dealing with some unfinished personal business and reflecting upon my relationship with my own step-father, who adopted me when I was 15.”
Leveen thought Peck’s first draft was ready to be showcased. During rehearsals, only a few changes were made, but one took the work to a new level: Mat Weddle was brought in to compose a musical score, the first time the company has used that technique. Peck was so impressed with Weddle’s music that he came up with a new character. The Guy Around the Corner is a street musician who plays the score live as an ironic counterpart to the hero’s struggles.
“At first, I just felt we owed it to ourselves and our audience to do things that challenge us on new levels,” the playwright says, “but I’ve fallen in love with the use of the music. I wouldn’t want to put this show up any other way.”
Danowski, too, is treading new ground, although he says Cerdadote is “not as complicated as some of my work” — then breaks into laughter.
“Well, it does operate on multiple levels of reality, as a metaphor of Internet online shopping infused with myth and multimedia — and puppets, too,” Danowski says — as if his public might have expected anything different.
Cerdadote is “a word I made up,” he continues. “The Spanish for ‘pig’ is cerdo and for ‘priest’ is sacerdote. The reason I was interested is that, to me, a pig is a symbol of excessive consumption and a priest is an intermediary for us between this world and the next. In my play, the cerdadote, or pig priest, ties together the online shoppers with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice and his struggle to save her from the underworld.”
“I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately about javelinas,” he says. (You never know whether he’s kidding.) “I’ve started a lot of projects having to do with pigs and abandoned them. This is the first one that’s come to fruition.”
If the connection between pigs, online shopping and Greek myth seems tenuous, Danowski says he’s using the play to “ask a lot of questions.”
“I’ve been thinking about the idea of consumption, the way we buy things — actually, the way I buy things. I’m concerned about how I’m spending my money.”
It’s possible, he concludes, that, like Eurydice, online shoppers may need to be rescued.
These are good times for Theater in My Basement.
“I’m not sure what’s happened,” Danowski says, “but things really have taken off for us. The word on the street seems to be that we’re a pretty good place to find interesting theater.”
The past few years haven’t been as good for Is What It Is, which only now is emerging from a fiscal crisis that almost destroyed it. Leveen left the company in 2003, feeling that it required a better businessman at the helm. In his absence, the company struggled, and the doors finally closed last year.
But the company’s staunch supporters wouldn’t accept that. After a “dark” period of eight months, a group of Is What It Is veterans mounted a production of The Boys Next Door and persuaded Leveen to return.
“We really did it just for old time’s sake, but we had a degree of success, so we’ve continued to stage some plays and produce a film festival,” Leveen says.
“We’ve gone back to how it used to be. We do a play whenever we feel like it, instead of having an annual season and all the pressures that go with that. We’re enjoying the process again and sharing it with the audience. It’s working for us. Based on advance reservations for Black, White & Read All Over, we’ll soon be in good financial shape again. You haven’t heard the last of us.”
HOWL THEATRE MANIFESTO
“The hour between dog and wolf, that is, dusk, when the two can’t be distinguished from each other, suggests a lot of other things besides the time of day…The hour in which…every being becomes his own shadow, and thus something other than himself. The hour of metamorphoses, when people half hope, half fear that a dog will become a wolf. The hour that comes down to us from at least as far back as the early Middle Ages, when country people believed that transformation might happen at any moment.” –Jean Genet
When there is a certain alchemy at work, where social and historical forces are caught in a dangerous tango, our sensibilities are being manipulated by machines that we didn’t create ourselves, in a time of technologies our grandparents couldn’t even dream of, and we find ourselves burning with an energy, a certain tangible energy, in the company of like-minded, like-spirited individuals who, when working together sense a common spark of LIFE, it is time to create something new. To gather together and create something new, and move with the flow of this alchemical reaction. And so. We have THIS. HOWL THEATRE PROJECT.
The birthday is today, this 30th of March, 2014, although our real origins come long before this and, like all origins, is impossible to pinpoint because by nature we avoid being caught in any kind of cross hairs.
For YEARS NOW, we have been playing in sandboxes of experimental art, performance art, and almost every kind of manifestation of theatre one could imagine. Furiously resistant to mechanical and politically empty forms, we have discovered that we all love and miss one thing: the primacy of our own animal natures, and our capacity to form meaningful connections. And we found ourselves occasionally in love with these moments when the connection was made visible through an art form we love utterly. Once, we all thought we would throw off all the mantles of theatre in order to create something new, but found these forms to be insufficient. They made us wonder and desire and experiment, but they left us unsatisfied, and at the end of every day we went to bed HUNGRY.
The most abhorrent things about theatre today (the artifice, the pretense, the lack of conviction) are very new, and the most transformative things about theatre today (the ritual, the animal connection, the stories of how it is to live and love inside a body with a pulse) are very old. So we are taking back those old mantles, though in truth, they never went away, they just hid in the shadows, sometimes watching us and sometimes possessing us.
Every artist is a manifestation of all the ancestors in the blood line, and all blood lines go back to where we are obviously and completely and unavoidably connected. And so, like all artists must do if they are to create the work they were born to do, we recognize our connections, to each other, to the living, to those not yet born, and those who live in our blood. That is, we recognize our DEAD, and we make work that speaks directly to them. We are all PHANTOMS, and we tell you the stories that our ancestors told to us, in new forms, for a world that is absolutely modern. We are animal ghosts, and so are you.
Mental work and intellectual work can speak to our ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE, because, as thinking animals, we know when something is true. But the work that places the intellectual mind above the animal mind will always replicate the same mistakes the lead to every bloody revolution: the head is cut from the body, and we forget that we are not controlled by, but are hard wired to live in accordance with natural forces. Our own HUNGER, our cycles of DESIRE, and our capacities for compassion, laughter, and joy. And the phases of the MOON, the TIDES, and the play between LIGHT AND SHADOW.
So. HOWL is an urgent response to an urgent impulse to make noises after dark, to tell the stories that we recognize not with our split selves (split from our animal natures) but through the rabbit holes in time and space that lead us back to the whole, where the head and the heart and the belly speak the same lost language. It is a theatre based in DESIRE, a celebration of our ANIMAL INSTINCTS, and a WAKING UP to natural magic, an alchemy that invites you inside.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCE CREDITS
(Chris performed as well as directed most of these.)
- Monsters of the Sea III: endofplay/7
- Space 55, Phoenix
- (3rd of 5 performance works from 2013-2016 as part of a PhD in Art and New Media from the Transart Institute/Plymouth University (Berlin/UK)
- Monsters of the Sea II: romeo & juliet / VOID
- Monsters of the Sea I: How I Lost Your Mother in the Underworld
- Theater in My Basement, Phoenix
- endofplay (reading)
- Orange Theatre, Phoenix
- Desiring Flight
- Orange Theatre and Bragg’s Pie Factory, Phoenix
- ASU West Gallery & Deus Ex
- Cast: Grace Daniels, Rianna Marie, Portia Beacham, Jonathan Hernandez, Wilana White Coyote, Stephen Christensen.
- Pravus, Phoenix; The Fixx, Tempe.
- Cast: Kristina Serna, Stephen Christensen, Gavin Russom, Wilana White Coyote.
- Cast: Stephen Christensen, Wrara Plesoiu.
- Performed at Teatro Caliente, Pravus Gallery Phoenix.
- Also performed 200-2010 as part of a cycle of four media and performance works based on the Kongolese 4 Movements of the Sun at Teatro Caliente and Theater in My Basement, Phoenix.
- Cast: Jonathan Hernandez, Xchel Hernandez, Wilana White Coyote, others.
- Narcissus’ 4th Dream.
- Cast: Iris Mexico, Eva Hamilton, Eva Petric, Caitlyn Conlin.
- Performances: Theater in My Basement, The Chocolate Factory for Phoenix Fringe and Tanzfabrik, Berlin.
- Theater in My Basement and Space 55, 7 Minutes in Heaven Showcase.
- FEBRUARY 2009
- The Mirror
- Theater in My Basement and X-Fest, Phoenix.
- Manchamos, We Stain Each Other (Because We Care)
- Cast: Jenny Cohen.
- Teatro Caliente, PhiX Gallery and Space 55.
- Coyote Love
- The Trunk Space, Phoenix; Theater in My Basement; reading at Notewood, Theatre of Note, Hollywood, California.
- Cast: Eva Hamilton.
- Theater in My Basement and the Phoenix Fringe Festival.
- Teatro Caliente, Theater in my Basement and X-Fest, Paradise Valley Community College.
- My Love is the Sea
- Perihelion, Phoenix.
- Cast: Natalia Jaeger.
- Performed at Paper Heart, Phoenix; X-Fest, Phoenix, Teatro Caliente.
- Cast: Natalia Jaeger.
- Performed at Paper Heart, Phoenix; No Passport Conference, CUNY, New York; Hotel Trinidad Galeria, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico; Voces Convergentes Conference, ASU.
- Performed at X Festival, Paradise Valley Community College; Teatro Caliente and Theater in My Basement.
- Online Collaboration with Caridad Svich.
- Performed at Theater in My Basement and Theatre Against War, The Tank @ Chasama, New York City (reading).
- Dad Dead Tree
- Theater in My Basement
- Staged Reading.
- No Ocean Between us.
- Performed at UADY, Yucatan; American Anthropological Association Conference, Atlanta; Theater in My Basement; Cesar Chavez Park, Phoenix.
- Sopa Americana, Paper Heart, Phoenix; Phoenix Art Museum; Teatro Caliente, Phoenix; Samuel Beckett Theater, Trinity College, Dublin; Theater in My Basement, Phoenix; General College, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Bryant-Lake Bow, Minneapolis; Prism Multicultural Theatre, Tempe; Multi-Ethnic Film Class, Gus Edwards, ASU; Cabaret Theatre, University of Washington, Seattle.
- Gilgamesh Meets the Popul Vuh (segment)
- Collaboration with La Pocha Nostra and Lance Gharavi
- Arizona State University
- Teatro Caliente, Phoenix
- UnderFlood (with Cherri Macht)
- Theater In My Basement/SW Annex, Phoenix and Minneapolis
- 2003, 2001
- Theater In My Basement/SW Annex, Phoenix and 2001, Stark Raving Theatre, Portland
- 2003, 1999
- 13 Generations (Written on the Body)
- Moving Arts, Los Angeles (public reading); and 1999, Theater In My Basement, Minneapolis
- Lightning in the Blood (Staged reading)
- Actors Theatre at the Herberger Center, Phoenix
- Theater In My Basement/SW and Perehelion, Dark Art and Books, Phoenix.
- IM/UR (with Lance Gharavi)
- ISA, Tempe
- 911: Operation My Big Hands
- Theater in My Basement, Phoenix (reading)
- Public Action for Not In Our Name
- Coalition of artists and intellectuals in opposition to the war on Iraq Simultaneous readings in Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix
- I Never Betrayed the Revolution
- Public reading
- Ethereal Mutt Productions, Seattle; 1997, Ethereal Mutt Productions, Chandler.
- mutant (as Emir Santiago)
- Theater in My Basement, Phoenix
- Desconocido Soy
- Actors Theatre of Phoenix’s Spring Training, 10 Minute Play Readings
- My Mouth Is Filled with Babies
- Theater in My Basement at Modified Arts, and the Paper Heart Gallery, Phoenix; 2001, Gus Lucky’s Art Gallery, Minneapolis.
- Red Snow
- Theater In My Basement and, Gus Lucky’s, Minneapolis
- Prism Multicultural Theatre, Tempe
- Angry Bones
- Co-directed with Karen Gruber
- Seattle Fringe Festival, Seattle; 1996, the Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle
- Cornish School of the Arts, Seattle
- A Year’s Dead
- Nippon Kan Theatre, Seattle
- Ritual, Symbol & Rite of Passage in America
- Segment performed as part of Red Eye’s New Works Series, Minneapolis; 1994, New City Theatre’s New Play Festival, Seattle
- Drinking Without Sitting Down
- Pilgrim Center for the Arts, Seattle.
- After the End of the World
- Studio Theatre, ASU.
- Billy’s Iguana (revisited)
- Lyceum, ASU, Tempe.
- Dad’s Legs
- Studio Theatre, ASU.
- Billy’s Iguana
- Lyceum, ASU, Tempe
- Running To
- Black Box, University of Las Vegas
- Rad Art
- Drama City, ASU, Tempe
ADDITIONAL DIRECTING CREDITS
- The Mishumaa
- Staged reading by Greg Romero
- Theater In My Basement, Phoenix
- Passion Fruit (by Laurelann Porter)
- Paper Heart Gallery, Phoenix; also at ASU, Tempe
- Exterminate Your Love (by Bianca Pettis)
- Minnesota Fringe Festival (with a grant from the Playwrights Center)
- Mother Dirt (by Lydia Ramirez)
- Penumbra Theatre, Cornerstone Reading Series, St. Paul, Minnesota.
- A World of His Own (by Barry Levine)
- Dirty Laundry, New York City.
ADDITIONAL ACTING CREDITS
- Haunted When It Rains (Magician)
- Institute for Studies in the Arts, Tempe
- Rent Boy, Strawberry Boy (Pete)
- Minnesota Fringe Festival
- Rashomon (Judge/Bandit)
- Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Cowboy Mouth (Slim)
- Gallery X, Phoenix
- Buried Child (Tilden)
- Lyceum, ASU
- Cinders (Principal)
- Black Box, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- The Adding Machine (Supernumerary)
- Drama City, ASU
- Measure for Measure (Barnardine)
- Lyceum, ASU
INSTALLATIONS / PERFORMANCE ART
The High Priestess & the Hierophant, 2014, The Holiness Project, the Ice House, Phoenix
Prayer to Eurydice, 2013, Urban Garden, First Friday, Phoenix
Exorotic-tic-tic, 2012, Alwun House Exotic Show, Phoenix
(Im)Migration, 2011, Curator, multimedia installation for the Empty Space Theatre, ASU Department of Communication
Love Spell #9-9 (with Simon Donovan), 2010, Screening Room, Tucson
Meditation:35, 2009, Deus Ex Machina JFK Pageant, Phoenix, and Live Art Platform, Tempe
Limpiada for Sweetness, 2009, Tanzfabrik, Berlin
I’m Sorry, 2009, TanzFabrik, Berlin
A Papa See a Mama, 2005, Dark Heart performance art, Paper Heart Gallery, Phoenix
America(s) Gothic (with Lisa Takata), altar for Dia de los Muertos, Burton Barr Public Library, Phoenix, 2005
Coffee with the Dead (with Lisa Takata), altar for Dia de los Muertos, ASU Museum of Anthropology, Tempe, 2005
I See Red People, 2003, Monorchid, Phoenix
MPhi/PhD (Art & Media): 2012-2016 (projected), Transart Institute (low-residency, based in Berlin, accredited through University of Plymouth)
MFA: 1990-1992, Arizona State University, Playwriting and Fiction (M.F.A., double emphasis). Thesis: “Billy’s Iguana (play)”and “A Romance That Forgot Itself (fiction)”
1989-1990, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Playwriting BA
1985-1989, General Theater, Arizona State University.
Faculty Associate, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Artistic Director/Curator of New Works/Co-Conspirator at Theater In My Basement/SW Annex & 9 Muses (Phoenix & Minneapolis). Founded and continue to run this theater company that specializes in presenting alternative, transcultural performance work.
MORE ON CHRIS’ CAREER
Four Chambers Press, Phoenix Public Market; Featured poet, April, 2014
Balboa House, Tempe; Featured poet, January, 2014
Free Association, Glendale Community College: Featured poet, April, 2013
Caffeine Corridor, Deux Ex Machina Gallery, Phoenix; Featured poet, October, 2012
Practical Art, Phoenix; Featured poet, August, 2012
Corazón de mi corazón, written and performed with Iris México, March, 2009, CIRTRU, Mexico City, D.F.
Mexotica, (directed by Tom Danon), The Danov Brothers, 2004
And Phoebe, screenplay, co-written with Tom Danon, 2003
Parallel Linus, screenplay, co-written with Tom Danon, 2002
The Dead Singing, screenplay, 1994
Aunt Alice’s Groovy Bookstore, screenplay, 1992
The Dance at the End of the World, screenplay, 1991
KMPR/Word of Mouth, May 2001 for Red Snow (interview and segment), Minnesota
KMPR Word of Mouth, March 2001 My Mouth is Filled with Babies (interview and segment), Minnesota
Radio K July 2002 one hour interview on Theater In My Basement, comparing and discussing the group’s work in Phoenix and Minneapolis, speaking about the writing process, Minnesota
Train Wreck in Progress, 2012, podcast on new artists.
Trance Art and Other Possessions, with Dr. Laura González, in Else Art Journal, Spring, 2014
Hearing Ghosts: A Correspondence, with Matthew Wagner, a piece about haunting and technology in my play, UnderFlood, in Text and Performance Quarterly. 25.2, Routledge, 2005
Performing in the Here and Now: An Introduction to Contemporary Theatre, wrote and edited this anthology for introductory university courses in alternative theatre, Kendall-Hunt, August, 2005
911: Operation My Big Hands (play selections) in the Women’s Student Activist Collective’s anthology, Voices of Resistance: Anti-War Art & Words, University of Minnesota, May, 2003
Review (with Tamara Underiner) of Jorge Huerta’s Chicano Drama, Theatre Journal, December, 2002
Angry Bones (full-length play), Original Publications, Los Angeles, 2000
Family Values (one-act play), published in Lucky 13, an anthology of Southwest plays, University of Nevada Press, 1995
“Let’s Begin Again” and “Kind Castrations” (short stories), published in Journal 500, 1993 and 1994
“Walking on Grandmother’s Bones” and “The Day Before I Give My Tie Away” (short stories), published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, 1992 and 1997
“Mexico,” short story, published in West Wind Review, 1994
Arizona State University Tempe:
THE 100: Introduction to Theatre
THE 322: Theatre History & Culture
THE 440: Experimental Theatre and Performance
THP 360: Intermediate Playwriting
THP 428: Theatre & the Future
THP 560: Playwrights’Workshop
THP 561: Scripts in Progress
Arizona State University West,
IAP101: Art, Artists and Culture
IAP102: Foundations I
IAP375: Contemporary Performance
IAP434: Production Lab
IAP441: Movement for Performance
ETH 100: Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Playwriting Tutorial, CLIMB Theatre Inc., Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota, 2000
Hale School, Community Education Program, guest lecturer for Play-Reading discussion class, Minneapolis, MN, 1998
Instructor, Phoenix Theatre and Summit High School, Hip-Hop Performance, October, 2003-May, 2004.
Trance Art and Other Possessions, with Dr. Laura González, at the Trans-What Symposium, Supermarkt, Berlin, July, 2013
Performing Media, at the New Theatre Symposium, Space 55, Phoenix, March, 2008.
Panel Discussion: Multifacial: The Challenges of Gender Preference and Ethnicity in LA Theatre at Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, May, 2006.
Yoruba Cosmology in Performance-for Dr. Underiner’s Pro Seminar on Theatre and Performance of the Americas, Arizona State University, November, 2005
Cerdadote/PigPriest: Adventures in Tranmediated Transculture—for Pro Seminar, August, 2005
Alternative Theater and the Do-It-Yourself philosophy of artmaking, at the AZ Thespian Workshop, Phoenix, November, 2003
Beckett: Stage and Film, for Dr. Underiner’s Theatre History course, ASU, Spring 2003
Acting workshop using redwhite(blue)blackredyellow as final project and means of learning the Columbian system of Analogies (taught by director Leandro Soto), for Professor Soto’s Theater for Social Change course, October-December 2002
Theater In My Basement: A New Model–Writing for Performance (Leandro Soto, Instructor), Arizona State University, West, Phoenix, September 2002
Theater in Community–Roundtable Discussion, Introduction to Theater (Sonja Kuftinec, moderator), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, April 2001
Yoruba Cosmology in Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman—Play Analysis (Tamara Underiner, Instructor), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, March 2001
Collaboration with History (discussion of 13 Generations)– Intermediate Acting (Natalya Baldyga, Instructor), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, February 2001)
Writing the Southwest–Introduction to Theater (Red Shuttleworth, Instructor), University of Nevada, Las Vegas, November, 1989
Friends of Transart Institute, Berlin & NYC, Scholarship for study (Doctoral), 2013-2016
Phoenix Fringe, 2012, Participation Grant for Theater in My Basement
Friends of Transart Institute, Linz, Austria, Scholarship for study (MFA), 2008-2010
Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Career Development Grant for a Mentorship with Iris México on community performance, media in experimental art, and cultural collaboration, Spring 2009
Theater in My Basement, US-Mexico Initiative, for new performance work in Yucatan, Spring, 2006, Arizona Commission on the Arts
Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Career Development Grant for the UADY conference in Yucatán, May 2005
Theater and Performance of the Americas Travel and Research Grant from the Theatre Department at the Herberger College of Fine Arts for the UADY conference, May 2005
¡Teatro Caliente! and Theater in My Basement, Project Grant from Phoenix Commission on Arts and Culture, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008
¡Teatro Caliente! and Theater in My Basement, Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, 2005, 2006, and 2007
Theater in My Basement, General Operating Support Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007
Performance Artist in Residence at the Phoenix Art Museum, March, 2004
Cherri Macht in UnderFlood listed in the City Pages as one of the top five performances in Minneapolis in 2003
Shortlisted for the Chesterton Screenwriting Competition, for And Phoebe (with Tom Danon), 2003
Theater in My Basement, project grant for intensive scriptwork on IM/UR, withLance Gharavi and Michelle Ceballos, Arizona Commission on the Arts/NEA grant for 2003
Honorable Mention for Desconocido Soy (ten-minute play) in Mesa Community College’s Creative Writing Competition, 2003
Shortlisted for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting Competition for Parallel Linus (with Tom Danon), 2002
Sudden Opportunities Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, to attend the Dublin Conference, 2002
Puffin Foundation grant to “No Ocean Between Us, or Water Happens Get Over It,” 2001
Shortlisted for the O’Neill Center National Playwrights’ Conference for BrandoHead, 2001, and My Mouth Is Filled with Babies, 2000
Semi-finalist for The Playwrights’ Center’s PlayLabs, The Ghost Dreamer, 2001
Diploma from Rafael Tovar, Presidente del Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes como jurado, Generación Cristinia Payan 1995-1999, Mexico City, 2000
Honorable Mention for A Year’s Dead, in Northern Michigan University’s Mildred & Albert Panowski Playwriting Competition, 1998
Guest Reader at the 1997 Swarthout Awards Anniversary Ceremony (creative non-fiction), 1997
Best of the Fest in the New City Theatre’s New Play Festival, for Ritual, Symbol, & Rite of Passage in America, Seattle, 1996
Honorable Mention for Mexico (short story), Swarthout Awards, 1992