The DREAM Act Union is a collective of theater artists, educators and activists working to raise awareness about the challenges faced by immigrant youth and the DREAM Act through the creation of theatrical events and partnerships that connect artists and audiences to the broader social movement.
In Dream Acts, five undocumented students from Nigeria, Mexico, Ukraine, Korea, and Jordan relate stories of their extraordinary challenges in living ordinary lives under the Homeland Security radar. Each story is moving and urgent; some are funny, others are tragic, and through their experiences, we learn about the DREAM Act and the secret lives led by undocumented students.
Saviana Stanescu (Director/Playwright) is an award-winning global playwright and ARTivist based in New York/Ithaca. Her plays include Aliens with extraordinary skills, Ants (both published by Samuel French), Lenin’s Shoe, Useless, Toys, Bechnya, Hurt, Hobo-Jungle, Waxing West (2007 NY Innovative Theatre Award), What Happens Next, developed/produced at Women’s Project, La MaMa, New York Theatre Workshop, EST, HERE, New Georges, Lark, Cherry, Teatro La Capilla, etc. Saviana holds an MA in Performance Studies and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. She teaches Playwriting and Contemporary Theatre/Performance at Ithaca College and is the founder of Immigrant Artists and Scholars in New York. (www.saviana.com)
Oghenero Gbaje (Actor) is a New York based actor born and raised in Brooklyn. He attended LaGuardia High school and continued his acting training at Ithaca College where he received his B.F.A in Acting. He made his professional stage debut at The Powerhouse Theater as Massive in Downtown Race Riot by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld directed by Scott Elliott. His Most recent role at Ithaca College wasYasha in Blitzstien’s The Cradle Will Rock. In October he’ll be staring in the film Blood Conscious Written and Directed by Timothy Covell, his first film role post Graduation
Angela Griggs (Stage Manager) is a recent graduate of Ithaca College with a BA in theatre studies. She is currently a production assistant for the off-broadway production "Stuffed" by Lisa Lampanelli. Past credits include production assistant for the Transport Group's productions of "Picnic" and "Come Back, Little Sheba" by William Inge
Jessica Litwak (Playwright/Panelist) is an Internationally recognized theatre educator, playwright, director, performer, puppet builder and drama therapist. Her work is published by No Passport Press, Smith & Krause, Applause Books and The New York Times. Litwak is the Artistic Director of both The H.E.A.T. Collective and Artists Rise Up New York, a core member of Theatre Without Borders, a PhD in Theatre For Social Change, and a Fulbright Scholar
Ashton Muñiz (Actor) is an actor, artist, and activist based in NYC. Select recent credits include False Stars(The Pack Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This(The Movement Theatre Company), Esai’s Table(Cherry Lane), Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music(St. Ann's Warehouse/Pomegranate Arts). Ashton has recently danced with various artists including Rihanna(MTV VMAs), Gypija Q (Jack Fuller), & Miles Francis. Former resident actor at the Flea Theatre. Training: Ithaca College, Moscow Arts Theatre School. Currently seeking representation. For more information check out @arshton on Instagram/Twitter.
Andrea Thome (Playwright) is a Chilean/Costa Rican-American playwright whose work navigates multiple languages and landscapes. She’s working in collaboration with undocumented community members to create UNDOCUMENTED for En Garde Arts. Recent plays include PINKOLANDIA (rolling US premmiere; translated into Russian) and TROY (with Public Theater’s ACTivate Ensemble). In development: THE NECKLACE OF THE DOVE (Mabou Mines, New Georges), a ‘translation’ of Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE (OSF), and an EST/Sloan commission. Andrea has translated plays by Guillermo Calderón, Rodrigo García, Ximena Escalante, David Gaitán. She directs The Lark's México-US Playwright Exchange program, co-directs satire collective FULANA (www.fulana.org) and was a New Dramatists resident playwright.
Chiori Miyagawa (Playwright) is a Japan- born, American AF, US playwright based in NYC. She teaches playwriting at Bard College where she was fortunate to encounter Ann Marie Dorr who included Dream Acts in this festival. Chiori produced the original production of the play with director Kristin Horton at HERE, also with the help of Ann Marie.chiorimiyagawa.info
Sergio Rodriguez Camarena (Panel) is an undocumented immigrant from Sayula, Jalisco, Mexico whose family made a new home in Santa Ana, California and he is now working at the Immigrant Justice Corps as a Community Fellow to increase access to quality legal representation in New York City