NoPassport originally formed in 2002 as a diverse, fifteen-member creative collective of playwrights working in music-theatre experimentation through live and virtual collaborations. Discreet public presentations of this incarnation of NOPE were seen in New York City and Brooklyn at Little Theatre at Tonic, Low Bar and BRIC, and at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis. Archive of virtual papers and collaborations can be found at Hunter College/CUNY's theatre journal edited by Jonathan Kalb www.HotReview.org.
The current incarnation of NoPassport began its life in 2003 while Caridad Svich was a TCG/Pew National Theatre Resident Artist at INTAR in New York City. During her residency she organized and moderated a landmark panel that brought together established and emerging Latina/o playwriting voices entitled "Shaping the Future of the American Voice: A Roundtable on Potentiality, Difference and Community in the New Global Order." Panelists included Eduardo Machado, Jorge Cortinas, Oliver Mayer, Karen Zacarias, Aravind Adyanthaya, Nilaja Sun, Michael John Garces, Luis Santeiro, Elaine Romero, Amparo Garcia-Crow, Alberto Sandoval, Alejandro Morales, Candido Tirado, Carmen Rivera, Migdalia Cruz, and Ricardo Bracho.
Edited transcription of this panel and a subsequent cyber-transcript following up on issues from this panel were published in a special issue centred on Latina/o theatre and performance of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre co-edited by Caridad Svich and Maria M. Delgado Volume 16, No.3, Fall 2004.
NoPassport and INTAR co-presented another panel on Latina/o theatre making at New Dramatists in New York City entitled "Difference and Light: Latina/o Theatre Now," which responded directly to the shutting down of South Coast Rep's Hispanic Playwrights Project and the developmental labs at the Mark Taper Forum. Panelists included Lillian Manzor, Cusi Cran, Andrea Thome, Candido Tirado, Carmen Rivera, Oliver Mayer, Migdalia Cruz, Ricardo Bracho Juliette Carrillo, Amparo Garcia-Crow, Quiara Hudes, Alejandro Morales, Elaine Romero, Anne Garcia Romero, Edwin Sanchez, and Luis Santeiro.
A selected edit of transcript of this panel was published in American Theatre with an introduction by Randy Gener under the title "Who Designates Arrival?" (Volume 22, No. 4, April 2005)
The NoPassport national moderated listserve was put into action in 2004 as well at NoPassport@yahoogroups.com to foster far-flung sharing of ideas, the creation of NoPassport hubs or chapters around the country, and a virtual central site for community across the nation.
NoPassport held three panels (two at University of California-San Diego and one at UC-Santa Barbara) on Latina/o theatre and Identity entitled simply "Latino/a Theatre Now." The UCSD panels were co-moderated by Caridad Svich and Jorge Huerta. Panelists were: Oliver Mayer, Bernardo Solano, Elaine Romero, Anne-Garcia-Romero, Ricardo Bracho, Naomi Iizuka, Evelyn Cruz and Carlos Morton. The UCSB panel was hosted by Leo Cabranes-Grant and moderated by Caridad Svich. The transcript for the UCSD panel is being completed as of this writing, and the transcript for the UCSB panel is already complete but not published.
December: The First NoPassport end of year party was held at the Players in New York City organized by Jennifer Ortega and Ken Nielsen.
April: The Magic Theatre in San Francisco opened its doors to NoPassport for a town meeting entitled "Searching for the Soul of American Theatre." The event was moderated by Roberto Varea and Duca Knezevic, and in attendance were Bay Area theatre leaders including Amy Mueller and Rebecca Novick.
NoPassport hosted a pen & swill event at New Dramatists in New York City entitled OUT OF SILENCE: a public conversation on writing, censorship, funding, access, and the arts moderated by Caridad Svich; panelists included Marcy Arlin, Catherine Coray, Migdalia Cruz, Christine Evans, Randy Gener, Jonathan Kalb, Matthew Maguire, Glyn O'Malley, Nina Mankin, and Saviana Stanescu, and virtually Marvin Carlson, Dijana Milosevic and Catherine Filloux. A collection of essays on theatre and censorship inspired by this panel will be published in a volume edited by Caridad Svich for Manchester University Press in 2011.
Also in April: THAW (Theaters Against War) in association with NoPassport presented PATRIOT'S DAY APRIL FREEDOM FOLLIES at the Culture Project moderated by Jason Grote, Sophia Skiles and Caridad Svich an arts evening devoted to statements and writings in favor of freedom of expression.Participants included playwright Bianca Bagatourian, actor and veteran James Edward Becton, Tony-award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, playwright Kia Corthron, the Carmona sisters, playwright Erin Courtney, historian and media critic Stephen Duncombe, poet and performer Suheir Hammad, actor Marin Ireland, playwright and performer Lanna Joffrey, actor-writer Florencia Lozano, actor Omar Metwally, playwright-translator Joanne Pottlitzer, playwright Diane Roy, playwright Crystal Skillman, playwright Saviana Stanescu, actor Tatiana Suarez-Pico, playwright-actor Michael Tisdale, and Sandy Wayne of the Raging Grannies.
May: NoPassport and BAIT (Buenos Aires in Translation) held a public Writers Salon at New Dramatists in New York City hosted by Sarah Cameron Sunde, Marie-Louise Miller, and Tlaloc Rivas with four of Argentina's top playwrights Lola Arias, Federico Leon, Rafael Spregelburd and Daniel Veronese,and BAIT producer Shoshana Polanco.
June: NoPassport was invited to hold an official break-out session at the TCG Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The session was titled "NoPassport: Re-framing the Languages of Diversity & Difference for a New Audience" The discussion was moderated by Tanya Lynn Palmer and Olga Sanchez (and initiated by Caridad Svich). Panelists were: Marisela Barrera (Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center), Ricky J. Martinez (New Theatre), Laurie McCants (Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble &Theatre Without Borders), Elaine Romero (playwrigh), Diane Rodriguez (Center Theatre Group) and Sarah Cameron Sunde (New Georges &Translation Think Tank &Theatre Without Borders)
August: The Goodman Theatre opened its doors to NoPassport for a meeting/after-party as part of the Latino Theater Festival. This party was hosted by Henry Godinez and Tanya Lynn Palmer and among those in attendance were Oliver Mayer, Patricia Ybarra, Jorge Huerta, Lisa Portes, Carlos Murrillo, Luis Alfaro, Eddie Torres, and Tanya Saracho.
October: NoPassport & The Lark Theatre/NY presented an informal US-Mexico Playwrights Encounter at New Dramatists moderated by Caridad Svich and Andrea Thome with Verónica Musalem Moreno, Richard Viqueira, Alberto Villarreal, Javier Malpica, and Silvia Peláez.
An article about this encounter as a window on contemporary Mexican new writing for theatre was commissioned and published by American Theatre for their 2007 International issue to be written by Caridad Svich.
Meanwhile, individual city chapters of NOPE have been meeting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin and New York City for planning meetings, including meetings to strategize and create the format for the national Conference at CUNY which is being presented in association with (human support only, not financial) Theatre Without Borders, Immigrants Theatre and Translation Think Tank and Frank Henstchker of the Segal Center.
NoPassport's first national conference: NoPassport Dreaming the Americas Conference February 2-3, 2007:
Diversity and Difference in Performance
at the Martin E Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center. initiated by Caridad Svich
Keynote by Jorge Huerta
Line up of Panels:
Theatre without Borders session
Scripture as Performance lecture/demo
The Invisible Visible
The Secret History of American Theatre
The Artist in Academia
International Theatre and its Audience
Languages at Play: Musicality and Imagination
Identity Politics and Discontents
Playwrights Craft Session
Working in Translation
Writing Workshop with Ruth Margraff
Women across Borders
Translation Task Force
The Other Latino: speech by Beatriz Rizk
Maria Irene Fornes: Life and Legacy
Theater and Democracy
Moving Beyond Youth vs Adult Theatre
Viewpoints training session
Re-reading the Islands, Spain and Latin America
Gender and Performance
Notes from the World Social Forum
Queer Theatre Now
Site Specific theatre and subversive politics
This conference is the largest scale effort by NOPE to centralise and give voice to national issues and topics around new writing, theatre-making and renewed efforts to re-make diversity and difference as separate rather than inclusive categories in culture in a two-day forum where panels, works in progress, writing workshops and special presentations will be held. The Segal Center at CUNY is offering their time, space and some catering in kind toward NOPE. Artists and scholars from around the country flew into New York City.
This event is unique but also offers itself as a model to be replicated by other organizations and artist-centred platforms, and seeks to establish a strong national presence for NoPassport as one idea and ideal for American theatre.
March 2007: NoPassport Press launched
In an effort to impact the field in a hands-on manner, NoPassport Press is begun to publish print-on-demand playscripts, anthologies, theoretical works and translations thar reflect in some way -either in form or content - the hemispheric spirit. Works published by NOPE seek to bridge the gaps between theory and performance, and are devoted to experimenting with the kinds of writing less likely to find access in the mainstream. On the NOPE Advisory Board & Editorial Team are Jorge Huerta, Maria Delgado, Daniel Banks, Elana Greenfield, Randy Gener, Tamara Underiner, Saviana Stanescu, Sarah Cameron Sunde, and this team will rotate over the years. Currently NOPE books are available online via amazon.com, lulu.com and at Drama Book Shop in NYC. Universities are encouraged to order NOPE books for their libraries and for professors to be aware of and/or use NOPE books in their courses.
June 2007: Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and NoPassport's BROWNOUT panel at Segal Center in New York City
a panel on actor training, access, and casting co-hosted by Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts moderated by Debra Cardona of Classical Theatre of Harlem. Panel included: Ephraim Lopez, Daniel Banks, Stephanie Gilman, Zakiyahh Alexander, Elsie Stark, Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Tlaloc Rivas, and Eduardo Placer. An introduction for the panel "Which World Us?" was written by Caridad Svich. A transcript of the panel will be archived at the University of Miami Cuban/Latino Theater Collection as well as CUNY Grad Center.
NoPassport's 2nd national conference:
February 22, 2008 NoPassport Dreams the Americas: The Body Politic in Performance
at Martin E Segal Theatre Center/CUNY Graduate Center in New York City
Initiated by Caridad Svich
Keynote by Stephen Duncombe
Line-up of panels:
Theatre and Social Justice
Making Theatre in Mad Times
Dramaturgy, Design and New Technologies
Reconfiguring the Classics
Translation on Deck (Translation Think Tank session)
Brownout 2: Casting and Working with Accents (Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts session)
Plan Mexico: The Drug War and Human Rights in Mexico
and Book Launch from NoPassport Press: ANNE GARCIA ROMERO, OLIVER MAYER and ALEJANDRO MORALES
NoPassport at PEN WORLD VOICES Festival
PEN American Center and Martin E Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center
April 30-May 3, 2008
The Segal Center PEN World Voices panels are presented in collaboration with NoPassport as follows:
History in the Mirror
Personal Narrative and Public Consciousness
Ways of Seeing
Theater and Poetry
NoPassport: Writing and Political Responsibility in Theater
Reshaping the Classics
Cultural Responsibility and the Role of the Writer
NoPassport launches its spoken word authors performance collective Hibernating Rattlesnakes and is asked to be in residence on a monthly and/or bi-monthly basis at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC. MC for Hibernating Rattlesnakes events is Ephraim Lopez.
NoPassport's Hibernating Rattlesnakes continues monthly readings at Nuyorican Poets Cafe all of 2009.
Yale School of Drama’s Theater magazine Vo. 30, No. 1 (2009) publishes “American Playwrights on Language and the War in Iraq: a virtual roundtable initiated by NoPassport, moderated by Caridad Svich, with David Adjmi, Charlotte Meehan, Lisa Schlesinger, Christopher Shinn and Naomi Wallace.
NoPassport's third national conference:
February 13-14, 2009 NoPassport Conference
Dreaming the Americas: Legacy and R/evolution in Performance
at the Martin E Segal Theatre Center/CUNY Graduate Center in New York City
initiated and curated by Caridad Svich
co-curated by Randy Gener, Patricia Ybarra and Frank Hentschker
Keynote by Ramon Rivera-Servera
Line-up of Panels:
Three Panels on US Latino/a Theatre
The Nathan Awards, Theatre Criticism and the New Newsroom (this panel was published in American Theatre)
Writing Musical Theatre in the 21st Century
Non Traditional Production Strategies
Crossing the Disciplinary Minefield
Memory, Media and the digital Archive
And Launch of 4 new books from NoPassport Press: ANTIGONE PROJECT, JOHN JESURUN: MEDIA PLAYS, MATTHEW MAGUIRE: THREE PLAYS, and AMPARO GARCIA CROW: SOUTH TEXAS PLAYS
December 2009: Caridad Svich is awarded the 2009 Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women for promoting social, cultural and political change in the arts with her work with NoPassport.
Fractured Atlas becomes NoPassport's fiscal sponsor.
NoPassport's Hibernating Rattlesnakes continues monthly readings at Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
February 25, 2010 at New Dramatists, NYC
Across the Universe with NoPassport Press
Join Oliver Mayer, John Jesurun, Mathew Maguire, Amparo Garcia-Crow, Alejandro Morales, Chiori Miyagawa and press editors Otis Ramsey-Zoe and Stephen Squibb for a celebration of publications of their plays from NoPassport.
NoPassport's 4th annual national conference:
February 26-27, 2010 NoPassport Conference: Utopia in Performance, initiated by Caridad Svich, co-curated by Daniel Banks and Daniel Gallant
Keynote by Erik Ehn
Speech by Henry Godinez, via Skype (due to weather)
Convocation by Teresa Eyring
Line up of Panels: Applied Theatre: Genocide Drama (Armenian Alliance for Dramatic Arts session)
Public Space vs Private Space: Immersive Theatre (The Internationalists session)
50/50 in 2020
Idiom: Genealogies of Performance (Idiom session)
Jeff McMahon: Counter Indications
and 6 new books from NoPassport Press: GIRL UNDER GRAIN (Karen Hartman), SAVIANA STANESCU: NEW YORK PLAYS, OCTAVIO SOLIS: RIVER PLAYS, EL GRITO DEL BRONX & OTHER PLAYS by Migdalia Cruz, THE TROPIC OF X (Caridad Svich), WOMAN KILLER (Chiori Miyagawa)
NoPassport at ATHE Conference, August 5, 2010
panel initiated and moderated by Daniel Banks
panel: Jorge Huerta, Oliver Mayer, Anne Garcia Romero and Caridad Svich
NoPassport's Hibernating Rattlesnakes begins theme-d reading events at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on August 27, 2010 with TELENOVELAS.
NoPassport Dreaming the Americas Conference:
Cultural Transformation in Performance
on March 4 and 5, 2011, initiated by Caridad Svich
co-curated by Catherine Coray, Randy Gener and Daniel Gallant
Keynote: Jose Rivera
Line of panels TBA
Book launch from NoPassport Press with new titles by: Rinde Eckert, David Greenspan, Catherine Filloux, Carson Kreitzer, Naomi Iizuka, Oliver Mayer, Kia Corthron, Michael John Garces, Christine Evans