Lena Chen MFA ’22 and Petra Floyd MFA ’22 Awarded Freshworks Residencies

MFA candidates Lena Chen and Petra Floyd were each awarded a Freshworks residency from the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh to develop performance works. The Freshworks program provides artists with studio space, production staff, lighting and sound design, professional development, and encouragement for creative risk taking. Due to COVID-19, selected artists will develop performances for video, which will be broadcast through the theater’s crowdcast platform. Details about both projects are below:

Petra Floyd and NaTasha Thompson (Drama, MFA ’21)
Friday, March 5, 7:00 PM
Floyd and Thompson will continue developing “Lavender Terrace,” a speculative movement response to Marita Bonner’s play “The Purple Flower.” This iteration will create an experimental, hybrid, physical, and digital space for all people committed to Black liberation.

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Lena Chen and Maggie Oates (Fourth-year PhD student in Societal Computing)
Friday, April 2, 7:00 PM
“OnlyBans” is a digital performance work, taking the form of a non-linear game that critically examines the policing of marginalized bodies and sexual labor to empathetically teach people about discrimination faced by sex workers on the Internet. The residency will build upon a prototype Chen developed with Violeta Mezeklieva (a data literacy specialist from Open Data Institute) during a data policy residency with Polis180 that she did Fall 2020.

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