Traversing New Territory with NoPassport

Jose RiveraThis past weekend, Pasos was one of the proud sponsors of the 5th Annual NoPassport Conference in NYC. Kudos to Caridad Svich, NoPassport, and the Nuyorican Poets Café for presenting the thought-provoking DREAMING THE AMERICAS: GLOBAL CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE, which took place March 4-5 in NYC. The conference tone was set by writer Ms. Svich’s opening remarks and poem The Breath of Change (available for viewing in the Pasos website’s Virtual Museum”), Oscar nominated screenwriter and playwright Jose Rivera’s keynote address on “Culture” (also on the Pasos website), and a stirring Invocation delivered by Chris Wells of The Secret City, a nonprofit that serves the spiritual, social, and human needs of artists.

Panels of distinguished professors, writers, and artists focused on an array of topics to include “Genocide & Political Atrocity in Theater,” and “Activism in Theater.” There was a work session with Sundance Theater Institute—East Africa as well as a screening of the documentary film Acting Together on the World Stage created by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders. The film features exemplary peacebuilding performances by artists balancing their commitment to artistic excellence and socio-political effectiveness. A clip from the documentary is posted on the Pasos website.

Perhaps the most affecting aspect of the conference was the passion of the artists—both presenters and attendees. Love of craft melded with the desire to use one’s insights and talents to create a dialogue leading to change. We already look forward to the 6th installment of this conference.

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