(HERE Artist Residency Program)

Assembled Identity Purva Bedi & Kristin Marting & Mariana Newhard

Show Description

What makes a human authentic? Is it their genome sequence? Their DNA profile? Their life experience? Exploring ethnic ambiguity, race and identity, this duet uses original and found text, live cinematography, and contemporary music to explore the science of identity, including genomics, genetics, eugenics, and cloning, all of which impact our culture.

As the jumping off point, we use works by eugenicist Julian Huxley and anthropologist Franz Uri Boas. We also adapted text and ideas from John Berger, Walter Benjamin, Charlie Brooker, Caryl Churchill, Don Hertzfeldt, Ursula LeGuin, Marcel Theroux and Virginia Woolf.

Current day scientists identifying as part of the New Eugenics Movement are exploring the use of new technologies to eliminate medically undesired elements in embryos. The concern is once the capability for genetic determinism exists, where will society go next in dictating what assembles a human? Asking this question led us to cloning and it’s effect on the value of the individual. In Assembled Identity, we explore the intersections to ask: Would cloning devalue or increase the value of an individual? Can society remain responsible when faced with the godly power of altering our genes? Are today’s humans tomorrow’s anachronisms? 

Given our current climate of xenophobia and persisting institutionalized racism, shedding light on the momentum behind these sciences and political interests will raise awareness on what may well be a sleeping giant in our midst. Told by women of color who do not fit into the confines in which mainstream society tries to box them, ASSEMBLED IDENTITY unpacks the process of categorizing and the resulting discomfort that arises from perceived differences.


Photo by Benjamin Heller

Featured Media

Artist Bio

Kristin Marting (director/co-creator) is a director of hybrid work based in NYC, She has constructed 27 hybrid works (12 original works, 8 novel adaptations and 7 classics). Kristin has directed 16 works at HERE and also premiered works at 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Her work has toured to 7 Stages, Berkshire Festival, Brown, MCA, Moscow Art Theatre, New World, Oslo (Norway), Painted Bride, Perishable, and UMass. She has directed readings and workshops for Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, Target Margin, and others. She has received residencies at LMCC, Mabou Mines, NACL, Orchard Project, MASS MOCA, Playwrights Center, Smack Mellon and Voice & Vision. Her work has been supported by the NEA, NYSCA, DCA, MAP Fund ( 2 times), Axe-Houghton, Greenwall, Harkness, Jerome, and Peg Santvoord Foundations; reviews have appeared in all major New York media. Prior works have toured around the US. She is Co-Founder/Artistic Director of HERE.

Purva Bedi (performer/co-creator) is an actress of film, television and stage and also a deviser of new work. Theater Includes: Idiot (directed by Kristin Marting), East is East(MTC/New Group), My Wandering Boy (South Coast Rep), The Rise of Dorothy Hale (St Lukes’s). With Target Margin Theatre: Reread Another, The Tempest, Second Language, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, Old Comedy, These Very Serious Jokes, The 5 Hysterical Girls Theorem, The Seagull, Sonoma. Film & TV Appearances include: Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Unforgettable, Kumare & American Desi. Upcoming: Person of Interest, Clint Eastwood's feature film Sully and in Equity premiering at Sundance 2016.  Purva is a member of The Actor's Center Workshop Company, an Associate Artist with Target Margin Theatre and Founding member of Disha Theatre. She studied at Williams College, The British American Drama Academy and the Public Theatre Shakespeare Lab. 

Mariana Newhard (performer/co-creator) is an actress working in theater and film specializing in hybrid and devised new work. Theater includes: Lilia (Rising Circle Rep), La Paloma Prisoner (Signature), The Emperor and the Queen’s Parisian Weekend (Prototype at HERE), Elegy for a Midshipman (Dixon Place) and Three Graces (The Ohio). With HERE (Directed by Kristin Marting): Trade Practices, Lush Valley, Possessed, Women of Orleans, The Courtesan. Films include The Snake and the Parrot, Something Else (Best Actress Paris Film Festival) and The Wanderlust Room (Cannes SFC). She developed her plays Da Food is Da Food and The Women’s Project with Packawallop Productions. She is a member of The Dorian Collective and was the artistic director of NascentWorks. She studied at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, Sarah Lawrence and The British American Drama Academy.

Drew is a New York-based director, composer, and sound designer. Select design credits include Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn (The Performing Garage), The Iceman Lab, Act IV with Target Margin Theater (HERE), Assembled Identity (HERE), Jellybean Junkyard (Playlight Theatre Company), Each Brought Some Silences (NYC Fringe), American Dreamers (Jersey City Theatre Center), Shutters (a radio play), and Chatroom (The Hive). Drew’s directing work has been seen at HERE, The Wild Project, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Dixon Place, the Sheen Center, the Bridge at Shetler Studios, and Redwood Studios. He graduated from Ithaca College and is an alumnus of the National Theatre Institute and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s training program.

David Bengali (video) is a Projections and Lighting designer based in New York. Recent projects include: Jules Verne: from the Earth to the Moon (BAM), Ring Of Fire (Endstation Theatre), The Golden Drum Year (Radical Evolution), Kill Me Like You Mean It (Stolen Chair),Two Point Oh (59E59), The Tempest (CSC/Young Company), Marie Christine (3LD), I Forgive You Ronald Reagan (Theatre Row), The Orion Experience (XL), Look Upon Our Lowliness(The Movement Theatre Co.), Cav/Pag (Tri Cities Opera), Little Nemo in Slumberland (Sarasota Opera), The Sensational Josephine Baker (Emerging Artists Theatre - Theatre Row), Ephrat Asherie Dance, Jamal Jackson Dance, Soho Rep, The New Victory. MFA: NYU


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