SISTER SYLVESTER is a New York and Istanbul based company which uses documentary techniques in parallel with fiction to explore relationships of power. Sister Sylvester invite disruption into both the performance and the process, and look for dissonance and difficulty in text, image and sound.
Kathryn Hamilton is a performance maker based in New York and Istanbul. She is the founder and director of the New York-based company Sister Sylvester. Recent productions include They Are Gone at The Public Theater for Under The Radar's Incoming! series; Welcome at Alt Bomonti gallery in Istanbul; The Maids’ The Maids at Abrons Arts Center; The Fall at The Park Avenue Armory, as part of the Under Construction Series; Dead Behind These Eyes (NYT critic’s pick) at Sing Sing Karaoke; Science Fiction at Köşe. Her work has been reviewed by New York Times, New Yorker, Time Out, Village Voice, American Theater Magazine, Performance Art Journal, Hyperallergic, Culturebot, among other publications. She has received grants from LMCC, BAC, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and has been a resident at The Public Theater's Devised Theater Working Group; Salem Art Works; Park Avenue Armory; Flux Factory, Queens; and Spread Art, Detroit, among others. She is currently a part of Lift Festival's Urban Heat program for social practice artists. She has taught or mentored students at Columbia University, NYU and Boğaziçi, Istanbul; and she spent the years 2011-13 in disguise as a french diplomat in New York.
Jeremy M. Barker (dramaturg, managing director) is a contemporary performance critic based in New York City. He iserves on the advisory board of the Institute of Social Choreography (Frankfurt). The editor of Chance magazine and the former editor of Culturebot.org, his work has appeared online and in print in American Theater magazine, Theater magazine, Hyperallergic, and Bellyflop, among others. With Culturebot, he was commissioned to produce supplementary public programming around contemporary art by On the Boards (Seattle) and the Fusebox Festival (Austin), and has been a guest lecturer and/or speaker at the New School, CUNY, and elsewhere. In 2013-2014, he produced No Ideas But In Things, an experiment in embedded criticism with the Seattle performance group zoe | juniper, funded in part by a grant from the Princess Grace Foundation. DeeplyFascinating.org
Bruce Steinberg (designer): Having designed for venues ranging from a Soho laundromat to Italian concert halls, and even an occasional theatre, Steinberg is core member of Sister Sylvester. Previous work with the company include The Maids’ The Maids, Werner Herzog on Wrestlemania, Ventriloquist Circle, The Box Man, Play America, The Screens, and One Fat Day in Babylon. He received his MFA from NYU TSOA, Department of Design for Stage & Film. Currently he serves as resident lighting designer for National Sawdust. BruceSteinbergLD.com
Juan Betancurth (design) is a Colombian born artist who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Betancurth’s mixed media works use themes from his own experiences to depict scenes, be it literal or figurative, that have been of significance in his life. Family traditions, power and submission are among the most common threads in his work. These subjects come together as a symbolic language used to create a distinctive personal mythology that is dark, tender and satirical. In his most recent work he creates sculptures that can be categorized as devices that have a functional aspect. His interest lies in the interaction between human beings and his sculptures and the potential of a live being form becoming an utilitarian object. He creates spontaneous situations where this interaction gives form to his performance and video work.
ASSOCIATE ARTISTS (Present & Past)
Brandt Adams (performer ) is a Brooklyn-based theater artist. With Sister Sylvester: The Screens, Play America, Look Back In and Dead Behind These Eyes. Other credits include The Maiden (LaMaMa, The Nerve Tank), Dispatches from (A)mended America (Epic Theatre Ensemble), All God’s Chillun Got Wings (Civic Ensemble), Love in the Time of Channukah (Ars Nova), Faustus (Fault Line Theatre). In 2012, his play, Dispatches from (A)mended America, co-written with Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., was produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. He is, along with Simmons, a co-founder of Above the Fold, an investigative theater collaboration devoted to confronting issues of race and identity in the United States. He has been a visiting artist at Cornell University, and has led middle and high school students throughout New York City in creating and performing plays addressing ethical and social issues
Ngozi Anyanwu (Performer) is an actress/writer/producer/director and overall Renaissance Woman. She has performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Mark Taper Forum, and appeared in the TV shows, Limitless, The Affair, The Mysteries of Laura and Happyish. She also serves as Co-Artistic Director of Now Africa: Playwrights Festival. She directed She Gon Learn, by Lisa Strum, for the Emerging Arts Festival and the United Solo Festival in fall 2015. Anyanwu is the author of stage plays Good Grief and Victory is Ours. She is also an upcoming recipient of the internationally recognized Djerassi Artist Residency.
Laudiceia Calixto (Housekeeper) is from Sao Paolo, Brazil. She comes from a family of musicians and began studying music at the age of 10. In Brazil she worked at the state bank as a clerk and as a teacher in night school. In 1996 she came to Queens, New York City, and began working as a housekeeper. When her son was 16 he came to New York to join her, and they now live in Westchester. Lau continues her interest in music, singing in her church choir and with a Brazilian opera. She likes to dance and to travel.
Peter Clough (Visual Artist) http://peterclough.net
Jennifer Gustavson (Designer): Jennifer Gustavson is a visual artist living and working in Brooklyn. Works with Sister Sylvester include Werner Herzog in Wrestlemania and They Are Gone But Here Must I Remain. www.jennifergustavson.com
Dan Kublick (performer) has appeared in new works by Ashlin Halfnight, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Eric Bland, Tracy Bersley, Jeremy Pickard, Jenny Connell Davis, Mikhael Tara Garver, Sister Sylvester and art.party.theater.company. Most recently he appeared in Toshiki Okada's Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise with the Play Company. He is a graduate of The Studio/New York and Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn. Work with SIster Sylvester includes Look Back In and Dead Behind These Eyes.
Kelsea Martin (Performer): A performance artist from Texas, Martin studied art history at Cornell University. Her last solo piece was built on a frozen pond in winter. Work with Sister Sylvester includes They Are Gone But Here Must I Remain.
Cyrus Moshrefi (Performer, Video Editor): A filmmaker and long-time Sister Sylvester collaborator, Moshrefi’s most recent film is SPACE: A First Perspective, in collaboration with Brooklyn artist Laura Cullie, which will be presented shortly in Paris at the Centquatre. Works with Sister Sylvester include Werner Herzog in Wrestlemania and They Are Gone But Here Must I Remain. Cyrusmoshrefi.space
Brian Oh (Filmmaker) was born in Illinois, USA, raised in South Korea, and spent time living in Germany as a teenager. Dropping out of college in South Korea, he moved to Chicago to pursue his film studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Soon after graduating from the school, he moved to New York City and has worked on several short films, documentary, music videos and multi-media projects and shown his works to several screenings, exhibitions and public press. Works with Sister Sylvester include Dead Behind These Eyes, The Maids’ The Maids, Make Like It’s Yours, and What's Yours Is Mine (On a Beach At Night Alone). DeepRootFilm
Rita Oliveira (Nanny) is a nanny from Caldas, Brazil. In 1997 she came to New York and has since worked in the city and lived in Westchester. In Brazil she worked as a 'cigar girl' in a casino. She has a love for astrology, dancing and playing cards.
Sofia Ortega (Performer, Academic) is an Argentinian actor and academic. Her work encompasses writing, directing, video, and live performance. Currently she is developing an archival series of original lo-fi retro-classic experimental videos.
Lori E. Parquet (performer) is an actor and playwright from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her acting credits include Macbeth (Off-Broadway), Dispatches From (A)mended America (Off-Broadway), Dog Act, Ajax in Iraq, Honey Fist (Flux Theatre Ensemble), and Murder In the Cathedral, Baal, Republic (Hoi Polloi). She made her international debut performing in Pillars of Society at Teater Ibsen in Skien, Norway. As a playwright, Lori was selected as one of six featured playwrights for season five of the Fire This Time Festival in January 2014.Work with Sister Sylvester includes Dead Behind These Eyes.
Damon Pelletier (Performer, Designer) is a designer, builder, and musician based out of Brooklyn, NY. He has been with the performance group Sister Sylvester for many years where he has designed sets, lights, and projections, in addition to performing as an actor and musician. Damon was on the design team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, working on sets for the opening ceremony. He worked as a design assistant for the Broadway shows “American Idiot” and “Spiderman, Turn off the Dark”. Damon recently co-founded a stop motion animation where he creates sets and characters for short films and commercial spots (most recently a Vine spot for Intel).
They Are Gone:
▪ American Theatre review
▪ Culturebot.org review
▪ AXS review
▪ New York Times review
▪ HuffPo interview
▪ Brooklyn Paper interview
The Maids' The Maids
One of "14 Theatrical Plans to Change the World," American Theatre
"Engaging and frustrating, imaginative and jumbled, original and derivative” –Alexis Soloski, The New York Times
“The refreshing result (half-documentary, half-Genet) is chaotic, but it’s also productive and genuinely subversive; Hamilton gives us the kind of mess you learn from making.” –Helen Shaw, TimeOut New York
“[A] dramatic seed blossoms late in the production when the otherwise goofy Isabel Sanchez delivers a sedating monologue on the real-life implications of the Papin sisters’ brutal act,” –Tara Sheena, Hyperallergic.com
“[A]s intentionally messy as the stage floor after the performers have spit Fritos all over it.” –Tom Sellar, the Village Voice
“To flood a small space with emotion is not an easy feat. I hope, upon entering the space, to see reflections of the artist’s emulated interests. I hope to enter into a place that is somewhat secret, forbidden, and where words and reason are non-essential. That space can be a memory, it can be triggered by the exclusivity of language, it can be a hotel room in LA, or a theater at Abrons Arts Center. But when those spaces collide, and when you realize that the unifying factor is the story of unheard stories, you know you’ve found something worth experiencing. And then you clean it off.” –Georgina Escobar, Culturebot
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