Dominic Taylor is a scholar of African-American theater and a writer-director whose work has been seen across the country. He is the former associate artistic director of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minn., one of the premiere African-American theaters in the country. There he utilized his unique culturally specific play development process called OKRA.
Since his arrival at UCLA TFT, Taylor has reshaped the school's curriculum for African American theater with a cycle of courses that begin in 1619 and go through contemporary African American life. He is on the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and was a guest speaker at the "UCLA Institute of American Cultures Film Festival: Celebrating 50 Years of Ethnic Stories." In UCLA TFT's 2018-19 Theater Season, he directed Paula Vogel's play The Long Christmas Ride Home.
His essay, "Don't Call African-American Theatre Black Theatre: It's Like Calling a Dog a Cat" was published by Massachusetts Review in September 2019.
Early in 2015, Taylor directed Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind at Augsburg College in St. Paul. In 2014, he re-envisioned and directed a classic of the Harlem Renaissance, The Purple Flower, at Boston's Factory Theatre, and incorporated shadow puppets as his characters. His directing projects have been as varied as the opera Fresh Faust at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; The Negroes Burial Ground at The Kitchen in New York City; Destiny and Uppa Creek at Manhattan's Dixon Place; Ride the Rhythm in the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C., and The Wiz at the University of Minnesota's Rarig Center in Minneapolis. He also reimagined and restaged the Black Nativity for Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, and directed Complicated Fun, a musical about the 1980s music scene in Minneapolis. His next directing project will be a commercial musical, Selassie, which he will also write.
The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop have all commissioned Taylor as a writer. His play, I Wish You Love, premiered at Penumbra Theatre, and was produced at both The Kennedy Center and at Hartford Stage in 2012. His play Hype Hero was developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Conn., and was produced at Brown University in Fall 2014. His written work includes Wedding Dance and Personal History, both produced at the Kennedy Center by the African Continuum Theatre. His play Upcity Service(s) is included in the anthology Seven More Different Plays, edited by Mac Wellman (Broadway Play Publishing).
As a scholar, Taylor's training began under the tutelage of George Houston Bass and his Research to Performance Method (RPM) at Brown's Rites and Reasons Theatre. In the summer of 2014, Taylor was part of the Consortium on African-American Aesthetics at Emory University. Nearly 20 years ago, he was part of the original group of artists and scholars gathered at August Wilson's "The National Black Theatre Summit: On Golden Pond." Taylor was part of the cohort that presented a paper on aesthetics.
Previously, Taylor was an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He has also taught at Bard College and City University in New York; Columbia College of Chicago; Bennington College and Brown University.
Taylor received his bachelor's and master of fine arts degree from Brown University and is an alumnus member of New Dramatists. He is also a member of the Dramatists Guild, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; a board member of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature; and an associate artistic director of America-in-Play.
> Purnima Mankekar
Feminist Media Studies, Post-9/11Public Cultures, Affect Thoeries, Outsourcing and Information Technology, Transnational Cultural Studies; South Asian America, South Asia
Los Angeles-based Gina Kim is one of the few South Korean filmmakers to produce works in Hollywood and her home country. Her award-winning films reimagine cinematic storytelling across different genres and platforms, developing a unique transnational perspective centered on female protagonists. Her five feature-length films and works of video art have screened at more than 150 prestigious international film festivals and venues including Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Sundance, as well as such arts venues as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Her work has been theatrically released to critical acclaim in Europe, Asia and the United States. According to Variety, "Kim's highly sensitive camera turns the film into a chamber-piece hushed eroticism and surprising narrative grip." Le Figaro said, "Kim is a fearless feminist who conceals an extreme sensitivity." In 2018, The Hollywood Reporter selected Kim as one of “5 South Korean Talents to Watch” noting Kim’s pioneering efforts in Asian cinema.
Invisible Light (2003), hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a "deeply introspective and accomplished art film," was selected by Film Comment as one of the 10 best films of 2003.
Never Forever (2007), starring Jung-woo Ha and Vera Farmiga, was the first co-production between the United States and South Korea. Kim was subsequently nominated in the Best New Director category at the Motion Picture Association of Korea’s Daejong Film Awards (the Korean equivalent of the Academy Awards) and was awarded the Jury prize at the 2007 Deauville American Film Festival.
Faces of Seoul (2009) premiered at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival, where Kim also served as a jury member. In 2018, Kim and L’Atelier des Cahiers published Seoul, Visages d’une Ville, a trilingual multimedia photo book essay based on the documentary.
In 2016, Final Recipe was wide-released in China in more than 3,240 theaters. The Hollywood Reporter noted how the director "conjures a non-exotic piece out of a territory-trotting narrative, where every place is made to seem like home." Prior to its release, Final Recipe was selected as the opening film in the Culinary Cinema sections of the Berlin and San Sebastian international film festivals.
Kim's latest works include a virtual reality trilogy about the issue of U.S. military camp towns in South Korea. The first of the trilogy, Bloodless, (2017) transforms the controversial issue of crimes by U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea into a personal and emotional experience. Bloodless received Best VR awards at Venice International Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Bogotá Short Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine featured Bloodless as the Best VR Storytelling of 2017. The second part of the trilogy Tearless (2020) premiered at the Venice Film Festival accompanied by metaverse of “Monkey House,” a medical prison that detained U.S. comfort women who were suspected to have STDs.
Kim is widely recognized as an innovative instructor who uses media for social justice. She has taught at Harvard University as the first Asian woman at her department and was awarded a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2014. In 2018, Variety listed Kim as one of the “Top Teachers in Film, TV” noting Kim’s “keen understanding of the future of entertainment technology.”
> Erkki Huhtamo
Erkki Huhtamo is an internationally renowned media historian and theorist, and also a specialist in the history and aesthetics of media arts. He is one of the founders of an emerging approach to media studies known as media archaeology.
Huhtamo has published extensively, lectured worldwide and given multimedia stage performances using both modern and original 19th-century media technology such as magic lanterns. With the artists Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, in 2005 he developed and performed Musings on Hands: Media Archaeology Meets New Media Performance at Waseda University’s Ono Memorial Hall in Tokyo, Japan and at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria the following year. His most recent magic lantern show, From Dole to the Pole, or Professor Huhtamo’s Daring Adventures, featuring musicians and foley sound effect artists, was performed at Los Angeles’ Velaslavasay Panorama cultural center in 2012. The multimedia performance Mareorama Resurrected has thus far been seen in Los Angeles, Chicago and Pittsburgh (an edited version can be watched on the Internet). The lecture-performance Panoramas in Motion: Reflections on Moving Image Spectacles Before Film was presented at Germany’s 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2014.
Huhtamo has curated numerous exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Australia. He created the major international exhibition “Outoäly/Alien Intelligence” for KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland in 2000, and has curated retrospective exhibitions of the work of Toshio Iwai, Perry Hoberman, Paul DeMarinis and Bernie Lubell. In 1994, he was the quest director and curator of Sydney’s Australian International Video Festival. In 2000, Helsinki, Finland’s Museum of Cultures presented Phantasmagoria. Time Travelling in the Moving Image, which featured Huhtamo’s own extensive collection of antique magic lanterns, peepshow boxes, animation devices and other media archaeological artifacts. Parts of it have since been shown at UCLA and the Hammer Museum.
Huhtamo’s most recent books are Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (ed. with Jussi Parikka, University of California Press, 2011) and Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (The MIT Press, 2013). His first Italian and Japanese language single-authored works were published in 2014 and 2015. Recent research articles have discussed topics such as the history of media displays in public outdoor spaces; “peep media,” a notion Huhtamo coined; the trottoir roulant, or the moving walkway at Paris’ Universal Exposition of 1900; astronomical demonstration instruments as a challenge to “screenology,” another concept he coined; the history of the Spirograph, a forgotten device that presents microcinematographed moving pictures from spinning discs; the invention and early reception of the Kaleidoscope; interactive museum displays as a contribution to what he calls “exhibition anthropology”; and the archaeological tradition in media arts.
Huhtamo, who is also a professor in UCLA’s Department of Design and Media Arts, is currently working on two books, a new monograph on the history of mechanical theaters and a volume tentatively titled Media Archaeology as Topos Study.
He received his Ph.D. in cultural history from Finland’s University of Turku.
- Phone: 310-825-8292
Sean Metzger is a scholar who works at the intersections of several fields: visual culture (art, fashion, film, theater) as well as Asian American, Caribbean, Chinese, film, performance and sexuality studies. He has written two books. Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race (Indiana University Press, 2014) demonstrates how aesthetics, gender, politics, economics and race are interwoven through particular forms of dress in what Metzger calls the Sino/American interface from the late 19th through early 21st centuries. The Chinese Atlantic: Seascapes and the Theatricality of Globalization (Indiana University Press, 2020) complicates discourses of globalization through an examination of aesthetic objects and practices situated in cities from Shanghai to Cape Town. The Chinese Atlantic won the 2022 Association for Asian American Studies Book Award for Humanities & Cultural Studies: Interdisciplinary/Media Studies and the 2021 John W. Frick Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society for best book on theater and performance of/in the Americas. Metzger has published more than 75 articles and reviews in various print and online venues.
He has worked extensively to increase collaboration among thinkers and artists from different disciplines and has co-edited numerous interdisciplinary collections of essays in this vein: Embodying Asian/American Sexualities with Gina Masequesmay (Lexington, 2009); Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures with Olivia Khoo (Intellect, 2009); Race, Space, Place: The Making and Unmaking of Freedoms in the Atlantic World with Michaeline Crichlow (Cultural Dynamics, 2009); Islands, Images, Imaginaries with Francisco J. Hernández Adrián and Michaeline Crichlow (Third Text, 2014); Expressions of Asian Caribbeanness with Andil Gosine and Patricia Mohamed (Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, 2019); and Transient Performance with Kimberly Chantal Welch (Cultural Dynamics, 2020). He is co-editor with Roberta Mock of The Methuen Drama Handbook to Theatre and Gender (forthcoming). With John Clum, he edited an anthology of plays called Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing Up Gay (Cambria, 2015). He has been an associate editor of Cultural Dynamics for several years and and is currently the editor of Theatre Journal for which he curated special issues entitled Minor Asias (2020), AI (2021), Installation (2022) and Refugee Processing (forthcoming 2023).
Metzger also strives to create educational and scholarly networks from the local to the global. He served on the Executive Board of Performance Studies international for six years, serving as the organization’s president from 2016-2020. He then co-convened PSi’s inaugural Committee on Anti-Racist Actions and Practices (2020-2021). In 2014, he taught for the UC Education Abroad Program at Fudan University (China). He travels often, giving guest lectures in the U.S. and abroad. He was a fellow at the Asian American Studies Center at UNC-Chapel Hill (2021-2022). He worked for nine years as a UCLA Faculty-in-Residence, where he worked to engage students with Los Angeles as a global media capital. He consults for major entertainment companies.
Before his arrival at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 2012, Metzger was an assistant professor of English, theater studies, and Asian & Middle Eastern studies at Duke University. He was named the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in North American Society and Culture at Concordia University (Canada) in 2008 and a Framing the Global fellow with Indiana University and Indiana University Press (2011-2018). At the beginning of his academic career, he served as adjunct faculty at Antioch University, Loyola Marymount University and the USC School of Dramatic Arts. In addition to his academic work, he spent three years in social services at the L.A. LGBT Center and as an independent consultant to school districts and other non-profit institutions.
Metzger holds a Ph.D. in theater (twentieth century performance and culture), an M.A. in comparative literature and a B.A. summa cum laude in humanities and psychology.
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- Phone: 310-205-0429