Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist, writer and playwright whose work has been presented in U.S. and London, Tokyo, Helsinki and Vancouver. A pioneering artist whose work the Los Angeles Times hails as "mastery [that] amounts to a coup de theater," Uyehara was one of the first to explore Asian American queer subjectivity through performance. These include Big Head, an interdisciplinary performance that examines the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and those now perceived as "the enemy," in particular Arab Americans, Muslims and South Asian Americans. She is a frequent lecture at the University of California, Irvine. Her book Maps of City and Body: Shedding Light on the Performances of Denise Uyehara is available from Kaya Press. Info at: www.deniseuyehara.com
ODYSSEY STORYTELLING PHOTOS and BIOS
JULY 7, 2007 - "All My Relations"
Sarah T. Evans made her way from Oregon to Tucson in 1980 and has lived here ever since. She loves the storytelling series although she never thought she'd be on stage herself. But then the All My Relations theme really struck a chord and she decided the time was right. Sarah is an avid bicyclist and hiker, fan of arts, movies and shopping. She lives in a charming little house in the city with her canine companion and best friend, Billie.
Ben Tyler is an Arizona stage actor, playwright, director and teacher. His plays include The Wallace & Ladmo Show, Mr. Conservative, Escape From Papago Park. His latest play, Sweet Thunder, was recently produced by Kuntu Theatre Company at the University of Pittsburgh. As a founder of The Mill Avenue Theatre in Tempe, he co-wrote and directed the political musical/comedy review, GUV: The Musical. As an actor he has worked with Actors Theatre, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Jewish Theatre, Black Theatre Troupe and most recently with River City Rep. in Shreveport, Louisiana. For the last five years he has been teaching theatre at Tempe Preparatory Academy in his hometown of Tempe, Arizona where he and his wife, Helen Hayes, are raising their four above average children: T.J., Brian, Michael and Anna.
Jo Novelli is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator and writer based in Phoenix Arizona. Her work has been presented internationally and, most recently, it was featured in Tucson's Her Shorts PerformIT festival. Her current projects include writing a dissertation for a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and preparing to attend her 25th High School reunion in November. Jo thrives at the confluences of her scholarly and artistic endeavors where memory rubs up against the archives that create and sustain it. You can check out her new website at www.jonovelli.com.
Elee Oak is a local artist and writer represented by Conrad Wilde Gallery (www.conradwildegallery.com). She teaches at Oak Studio and The Drawing Studio (www.thedrawingstudio.org). Her stories are a significant part of her work. The telling of them is purely selfish since the process often helps her to see with more clarity what it's really about. That being said, she does have some remarkable stories to tell and once in a while is asked to do so.
Sandra Smith was born and raised in small-town rural South - where television was yet unheard of, and only the well-to-do had access to radios and the two stations which might be available on a clear day. But virtually every front-porch swing was regularly inhabited by a seasoned storyteller, and a glass of cold lemonade usually accompanied the tales of the day. Mostly the stories were just plain funny, but somehow even the most tragic of tales was usually spun into yet another source of side-splitting, knee-slapping laughter. Sandra went on to graduate from Duke Medical School and has spent most of the past 30 years as a pediatrician here in Tucson. She has also put in stints as a volunteer on the Cambodian border, in Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, and most recently in Sri Lanka.
Maureen Bike, a retired Nurse Practitioner, is an east coast transplant who's has been in Tucson since 1998. She is the mother of 3 "ch-adults" and grandmother of 4 which, she says, "made raising her brood worthwhile." Maureen is a volunteer reader for "Make Way For Books" a non-profit organization created to turn preschool children on to reading. Her favorite part (besides the hugs and kisses) is explaining to these pre-readers the high-drama behind exclamation points!! Maureen has the soul of an artist - dabbling in pastels, clay, and charcoal - and knows how to turn a phrase or two in prose and poetry. She believes that life should never be taken seriously and should ideally be lived as a comedy with a little mystery, romance, and intrigue thrown in. Maureen's known to be gentle as a lamb, but tough as nails - and she could care less!