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Musical Theatre Factory Announces Mei Ann Teo As Producing Artistic Director

“After much anticipation, it is with great joy that I introduce you to new Producing Artistic Director, Mei Ann Teo,” said Shakina Nayfack. “She is a visionary interdisciplinary theatre maker and community organizer who brings with her to the job a wealth of experience in new works development, education, and fundraising. We are in great hands, and I have full confidence that MTF will achieve new levels of artistic excellence and organizational sustainability with her expertise and leadership. Please, join me in welcoming MTF’s new Producing Artistic Director, Mei Ann Teo!”

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to serve this incredible community that Shakina has brought together,” said Mei Ann Teo. “MTF, by nurturing groundbreaking musical theatre makers, plays a unique and necessary role in the cultural infrastructure of our society. We get to gather and make work that seeks to dismantle oppressive ideologies, shift the culture towards collective liberation, and do it through powerful and joyful story in song. New initiatives are in the works; we are rolling out MTF MAKERS – a cohort of six teams that will receive 18 months of dedicated development resources and platforms to share their work. We create space for musical theatre makers to meet and nurture collaborations from that first moment where ‘WE MET AT MTF’!”

Founding Artistic Director Shakina Nayfack will remain involved with the company and will continue to advise as a member of the board.
A meet-and-greet reception with Mei Ann, Shakina, the MTF team, and MTF fall artists will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 5-7pm at Town Stages, 221 West Broadway, NYC 10013.
Applications for MTF MAKERS will be accepted beginning 9/21.

Mei Ann Teo is a theatre/film maker who works at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice to shift culture towards justice and compassion. As a director/devisor/dramaturg, she creates across genres, including music theatre, intermedial participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. Recently profiled in American Theatre’s Role Call: Theatre Workers to Watch, and a 2018 cohort National Directing Fellow, Teo’s work is made internationally including Singapore Theatre Festival (Building A Character, “ingenious direction,” Business Times), Belgium’s Festival de Liege (Lyrics From Lockdown, “Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining,” The New York Times), Edinburgh Fringe (MiddleFlight, “Stunning,” Scotsman), M1 Singapore Fringe (The Shape of a Bird, “Superb staging,” Straits Times), Beijing Int. Festival (Labyrinth – Top 8 in Beijing News), the Shanghai Experimental Theatre Festival (Official Selection). She has directed and/or developed new work at OSF (Phil Killian Fellow 2015), the Goodman, the Public, Crowded Fire, History Theatre, BRT (Ground Floor) and was the first Asian American to direct at the National Black Theatre. At Theatre Above in Shanghai, she helmed and directed the world premiere of the musical Dim Sum Warriors by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo (adapted from the comic book of the same name), composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun. In 2018 summer, the show toured 25 cities in China in the PolyGroup Theatres, the largest theatres in China.

As a creative collaborator of Diana Oh, she was dramaturg for {my lingerie play} 2017: THE CONCERT AND CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!!!! The Final Installation at Rattlestick Theatre. Her case study on this process, called Dramaturging Revolution will be published by Routledge in a book called Diverse Dramaturgy: Case Studies from the Field. She also recently served as Love Doctor with Kevin Hourigan for Diana Oh in Concert and Sleepover at Ancram Opera House. She dramaturges a wide range of projects, from Erik Ehn’s The Cycle Plays with Theatre of Yugen to titles with Disney.

Teo was the featured director at the MIT’s Symposium Next Wave: The Future of Asian American Theatre, and presents regularly at national conferences like CAATA, NET Symposiums, and LMDA. Teo was the first cohort for the Hemera Foundation Tending Space Fellowship and ArtEquity Facilitator Training, and has received grants and fellowships from the Center for Cultural Innovation, the Asian Cultural Council, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Performance Project at University Settlement, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She frequently serves on national award panels, including the NEA, Jerome, and ABOG.

As a filmmaker, Teo directed a short documentary entitled Please Listen To Me about marginalized and at risk youth in Singapore. She co-directed and produced a short film Not Here that received the Singapore Film Commission’s Short Film Grant and was screened internationally, including the San Francisco Asian American Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. She produced Stop All The Clocks (available on Amazon), a feature length documentary about Fatal Distraction – the Pulitzer winning feature by Gene Weingarten.

As an educator, she served for seven years as the Chair of Drama/Resident Artist at Pacific Union College where she founded a program focused on original ensemble creation and rooted in personal and communal history. She received the Meritorious Service Award for creating “Red Books: Our Search for Ellen White”, documentary theatre that KQED called “without a doubt a seminal moment in Adventist History”. She has guest lectured at top institutions around the world, including Harvard, Duke, MIT and Shanghai Theatre Academy. She served as the Asst. Professor of Directing and Dramaturgy at Hampshire College. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University.

Most known for her work as Lola on the Hulu Original Comedy Series Difficult People, Shakina Nayfack can also be seen as Frankie on Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix) and The Detour (TBS). On Broadway: 24-Hour Plays and Gypsy of the Year. Off-Broadway: Masculinity Max at The Public Theater, Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty (as Lady Liberty). Founding Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory (www.mtf.nyc), Shakina has supported the development of over 165 new musicals including an autobiographical rock musical about her gender confirmation, Manifest Pussy, which premiered at Joe’s Pub in 2016, and the rock opera JUNK with the Swedish pop band Brainpool. Also at Joe’s Pub: One Woman Show (2013), Post-Op (2015).Shakina is a proud recipient of a Lilly Award (2015) recognizing the remarkable contributions to the American Theatre made by women, the Theatre Resources Unlimited Humanitarian Award (2016), The Drama League Directors Project Musical Directing Fellowship (2011) and Beatrice Terry Fellowship for women playwright/directors (2017) for her new play Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club. Other Directing highlights include MTF productions of Ben Bonnema’s BOYS WHO TRICKED ME, Jahn Sood’s THE DISAPPEARING MAN, the world premiere of Dan LeFranc’s THE POOR PLAYERS, and the US Premiere of BASHIR LAZHAR at Barrington Stage Company, where she served as Associate Producer (2012-2013). Shakina is also a third generation Butoh teacher trained beneath Diego Piñón, founder of Body Ritual Movement. With an MFA in Experimental Choreography and a PhD in Critical Dance Studies (both from the University of California at Riverside), Shakina’s Butoh for the Actor method has been developed through master classes at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Chicago Cultural Center, Casa del Teatro in Mexico City, Barrington Stage Company, The Drama League, and most recently as adjunct faculty at NYU Tisch Drama. Butoh choreography/performances include Ragesties (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Auto-Refutation/Re-Fusing Self (Performance Studies International), Arena y Sangre (Blood and Sand), a site specific performance protest in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. BA and Graduate Certificate: UC Santa Cruz. MFA/PHD UC Riverside. More at www.Shakina.nyc and @shakeenz

Musical Theatre Factory (MTF) is a nonprofit arts services organization dedicated to developing musical theatre artists and presenting new work in a collaborative atmosphere free from the pressures of critical or commercial success. We cultivate musicals of excellence that are artistically groundbreaking and socially inclusive work for the American canon. We gather musical theatre makers from a multiplicity of backgrounds for collective support, feedback, growth, collaboration, and community. MTF is a Resident Company of Playwrights Horizons.

Originally published on BroadwayWorld.com https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Musical-Theatre-Factory-Announces-Mei-Ann-Teo-As-Producing-Artistic-Director-20180904

September 4, 2018
About MTF

Musical Theatre Factory is a 501(c)3 non-profit artist service organization dedicated to developing new work in a collaborative atmosphere free from the pressures of critical or financial success that dismantles oppressive ideologies towards collective liberation through powerful and joyful story and song.