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First Friday January 5, 2018 at 8PM
The Maze
A Performance Organized by Lana Abdo
Image by Jeffrey C Hawkins

Please join us for a performance organized by Lana Abdo this Friday!

The Maze

2017 has been one hell of a year without a doubt. Besides the political upheavals, the Weinstein scandal has sparked a national conversation about sexual misconduct and prompted many to come forward with accusations ranging from groping to rape against prominent men. This scandal wave, along with the #MeToo movement that followed, has given the birth to Lana Abdo’ theatrical dance piece, The Maze, which is, first and foremost, a cry out for women, as well as men, to speak up and overcome their fears and uncertainties. The performers, including Lana Abdo, Brissae Valdez, and Christopher Odom, take us into the journey of a woman in the modern-day dating world which puts into question the myth, or reality, of what is becoming more and more of a norm for people to try to live happily on their own, and not settle before they meet someone they really love and want to spend the rest of their lives with.

Lana Abdo is a cross-disciplinary, US based Lebanese artist with two Master degrees: one in English Language and Literature from Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, and another in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University. She is involved in different arrays of theatrical work ranging from playwriting, directing, producing, to performing. She is also a professor of Speech at Berkeley College, Montclair State University, and City University of New York. Lana performed at Robert Whitman’s world premiere Swim, was assistant director at the Off-Broadway production of She Stoops to Conquer, fall 2016, at The Actors Company Theatre in New York City, and starred in the film documentary King’s Highway: The Story of Malcolm Fairfield  directed by Boris Tsessarky which premiered at the Indie Film Festival in New York City, Spring 2016.

Lana has also a particular interest in modern/contemporary dance and incorporates this facet in her shows to tell her stories through words as well as movement and dance. Her recent play, Enough, is a theatrical dance piece that taps on many humanitarian issues: abuse in all its forms, effects of war and oppression, women’s right to stand up for their rights, women’s distorted self-image as a result of abuse, and the very compelling question women find themselves confronted with when trying to free themselves from the iron grip of abuse and fear: ‘my kids or my soul?’

Her piece, A Breath, which is part of Kaimera Productions’ Living Altar workshop, brings to the audience a theatrical experience that touches a nerve in them in undefined ways, making them reflect on the essence of human life and its worth in a world that seems to be swept by chaos. Lana describes her interest in the Living Altar project as an authentic and optimistic view towards life. She values the way the project reflects on death and casualties in a world where a deceased person has turned into a number. Even more, the inequality we encounter not just in life, but also in death, has gained Lana’s interest in the project. “The way the project gives value to the lives of the deceased is a novel perspective on the question of equality not only for the living, but for the dead as well” –Lana Abdo.

Lana strongly believes that “art is the bridge when walls of fear keep us insulated and reactive” –Karen Finley

Brissae Valdes is an actor from Union City, New Jersey. She is currently a Junior in the BFA Acting program at Montclair State University. Her passion is acting, movement, and dance. Her stage credits include Matsukaze, Aida, In The Heights and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She is beyond excited to collaborate and perform in The Maze, she can only thank her peers for this opportunity.

Christopher Odoms is a Sophomore at Montclair State University. He began his dance training at Hillside High School March 2014 with Karen Love. He also danced with The New Jersey Dance theater Ensemble directed by Nancy Turano where he’s performed in The Nutcracker and several modern reprepitory by Elizabeth Roxas, Kate Skarpetowska, Belinda McGuire. Chris also performed works by Earl Mosley, Camille Brown, Christian Von Howard, Matthew Rushing, Alrick Thomas and Patrick Coker.

The Maze
January 5, 2018 @ 8:00 pm
January 5, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
Vox Populi
319 N 11th Street, Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107 United States