Gracias from the Dreams/Sueños Team

January 27, 2014


SOUTH TUCSON – We want to thank the community for coming out to see Dreams and Silhouettes/Sueños y Siluetas at the Center for Global Justice.  It was so exciting to perform to a packed house — and what a diverse crowd! We were so moved by your energy, support and feedback.  Special thanks to our community partners: Las Promotoras, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Pan Left Productions and the Center for Global Justice.  Check out the media coverage on the project and artist notebook.

| More: News, Notebook

“Dreams and Silhouettes” on AZ Illustrated, Tucson Weekly and more…

January 23, 2014

AZ Illustrated video

"Without Papers" Tucson Weekly article, by Margaret Regan“Without Papers”
Tucson Weekly article, by Margaret Regan

“Border Issues Visualized by Art”
review in the Daily Wildcat
University of Arizona

“Llevan al teatro ‘Sueños y Siluetas’”
de los deportados

and on Carolyn’s Community News,

Dreams & Silhouettes/Sueños y Siluetas
Saturday January 25, 2014, 7p.m.
Global Justice Center
225 E. 26th St. (just west of 4th Ave.)
Tucson, AZ 85713
Show details


| More: News, Notebook

Dreams and Silhouettes premieres at the Global Justice Center Saturday Jan. 25, 7pm, Tucson

November 15, 2013

Mark your calendars!
Dreams & Silhouettes/Sueños y Silhuetas
Saturday January 25, 2014, 7p.m.
Global Justice Center
225 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ 85713
Just out! “Without Papers” Tucson Weekly Article

Video (from MOCA-Tucson show)
Inside scoop in Artist Notebook
Facebook Event Page
High Resolution Photos and Press Release

Dreams & Silhouettes is multi-disciplinary performance installation inspired by communities in Tucson and near the border that live with militarization, detention, and deportation.

By award-winning filmmaker Jason Aragon of Pan Left Productions, performance artist Denise Uyehara and video artist Adam Cooper-Teran.  Featuring stories from Las Promotoras of Derechos Humanos and members of the community, with visual artists Melo Dominguez, Lawrence Gipe and Wesley Creigh, performers Marc Pinate and Yvonne Montoya.

Made possible with generous support from the Tucson Pima Arts Council PLACE Grant and the MAP Fund

Sabado, 25 Enero, 2014, 7p.m.
Global Justice Center
225 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ 85713

Sueños y Silhuetas es la instalación actuación multidisciplinar inspirado en las comunidades en Tucson y cerca de la frontera que viven con la militarización, la detención y la deportación.


| More: News, Performances and Activities

Artist Gathering – by invitation only

March 19, 2014

Dear Chandra, Ryan, Randy, Tygel, Klee and Alex,

We are looking forward to meeting you at our Artist Gathering this coming weekend at ASU!  Here are details:

Artist Gathering for Columbus Day project
Sat. and Sun. April 5 & 6, 2014
10am – 5pm both days
at Arizona State University in Tempe
in the Nelson Fine Art Center
(at 10th Street and Mill, next to the ASU Art Museum)

Room 231 (2nd floor).

Here is a PDF map.  On Saturday, please park in the Pay-by-Space lot at University and Mill (see map).  Let us know the amount and we can reimburse you.
On Sunday, please park for free at the street meters.
Here are written directions to get to the ASU campus, sroll down to “Tempe Campus.”

On the first day we are asking everyone to share about their work, family and/or community for 15 minutes each.  We will have a laptop and projector (bring .mov or still images on a flash drive, please).  We also encourage you to show your work live, if you’d like, so bring whatever you need to do that.
Please wear comfortable clothes.

If you have any questions please feel free to call/text Denise at (310) 991-3698.

Until Saturday…

Denise, Adam, Rachel

“Columbus Day”(formerly Shooting Columbus) is an evening-length, interdisciplinary performance indigenous scientists build a time machine and plan to go back to assassinate Columbus in 1492. Their story is periodically interrupted by Indians from an Alternate Timeline who eventually take over the play.  An Artist Gathering will help inform these alternate characters and how the play will eventually unfold.  The Shooting Columbus Project is lead by Denise Uyehara (performance artist/writer), Adam Cooper-Terán (video artist), Rachel Bowditch (director).  Play details.

The Artist Gathering is funded by the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), and is the first of six Devising Sessions for the project.

The guests artists will need to commit to the following:
- Attend and Artist Gathering  Saturday and Sunday, March 5 & 6, 2014 at Arizona State University Theater Department (10am – 5pm, although exact time TBA).  Lunch provided.
- If you are from outside the Phoenix area, please see if you can stay with friends in the Tempe/Phoenix area for the Artist Gathering.  We can assist in your finding housing if need be.
- Attend one pre-meeting with the lead artists (Adam, Denise and/or Rachel) in your either Phoenix or Tucson.  This will take about one hour.
- You will receive a $125 honorarium for your participation in the aforementioned activities.
- All artists will be credited by name in all phases of the production for their attendance at the Gathering. There is no commitment for the guest artists beyond the Gathering weekend.

Artist Gathering structure:
Both days facilitated by Rachel and Denise, with input from Adam and guest artists

Saturday, April 5 (10am – 5pm)

10am: Coffee, discussion and orientation
10:15 am: each artist takes 15 minutes to share work, culture and/or family history with one another
12:30pm lunch break
1pm – 3pm: reading Denise’s script, Columbus Day
3pm – 4:30pm – discussion on script, possible Alternate Characters ideas on how to proceed on Sunday

Sunday, April 6 (10am – 5pm)

10am: Coffee and warm up
10:30 – 12:30pm artists introduce any Alternate Characters (that emerge from alternate timeline), exploring key moments in script, expanding upon scenes, adding subtext and interruption
12:30 – lunch break
1 pm – more exploration of scenes and ideas.  some writing and special exercises to develop ideas.
3pm closing discussion and wrap up

All artists paid at the end of the second day.

If you have any questions please contact Denise Uyehara at (310) 991-3698 (voice or text) or

Thank you!

Denise, Adam and Rachel

Comments (0) | More: Notebook

Gathering the stories for Dreams and Silhouettes

January 21, 2014

Adam_LidaWe’re down to the home stretch with the Dreams and Silhouettes production. This multidisciplinary installation is based on stories from Las Promotoras and others from the local Tucson community.  We’re so thankful to get to work with these fierce women and inspired and humbled by their stories.  A special thanks to Lidia Terán-Cooper (pictured here with Adam) who shared her stories and also did some final voice over poetry for us.

Show is Saturday, January 25, 7pm.  Come early – we expect a crowd!

| More: Notebook

Live shadow painting in progress for Dreams & Silhouettes

January 10, 2014

Deep in production….

Wesley Creigh, after a live painting created with Christina Cardenas

Wesley Creigh, after a live painting created with Christina Cardenas

Wesley painting in the "shadow" of a local resident who has been deported

Wesley painting in the “shadow” of a local resident who has been deported

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the invisible more visible.  How do you represent someone who is undocumented, who lives with constant threat of deportation, without making them more vulnerable?  We conducted a workshop with Las Promotoras, the women of Derechos Humanos who help educated the public about their rights.  In the workshop we explored peoples dreams and aspirations, then had them write a letter to someone they loved as if this dream had come true.  These letters are played back as audio clips in the Shadows scene from the show.

Meanwhile, performers stand in for those they know who have been deported, created a shadow on the wall, which magically reverses to a white shadow.

Above is a photo of Wesley Creigh in a test run – painting in the “shadows” representing those deported.  Melo and Wesley will both be painting, along with Adam’s animation playing in tandem with their artistry.

Click here for details on this free performance in South Tucson.



| More: News, Notebook

Dreams and Silhouettes team at work at the Global Justice Center

December 13, 2013

As the Winter Solstice approaches….

Jason Aragon, Adam Cooper-Teran and I have been working closely with women from Las Promotoras (the community wing of Derechos Humanos) on a new, community-inspired performance installation, Dream & Silhouettes, or Suenos y Siluetas.  The event will take place Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at the new Global Justice Center, which houses some fierce human rights groups based in South Tucson.  This summer The Alliance for Global Justice purchased the old Stardust Ballroom and renovated it to provide office space for all these groups — and they kept the ballroom for performances and conferences. (The photo above is courtesy of The Gloo Factory, a community minded union print shop located directly across the street)

Work by Melo Dominguez

Work by Wesley Creigh

Through workshops, meet ups and Jason’s in-depth one-on-one interviews, The Dreams and Silhouettes team has collected stories from Las Promotoras and other people from the community who are most affected by recent detentions and deportations in Tucson.  Adam is working his magic to mix their interviews into fantastic sound and video montages.


Visual artists Mel “Melo” Dominguez and Wesley Creigh will be painting “silhouettes” live during the evening. Performers include Yvonne Montoya of Safos Dance Theater and Marc Pinate and rumor has it the Border Patrol Trixter will make an appearance once again.

Hope you can step out for this free show on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014!  Click here for more on Dreams and Silhouettes.

- Denise

| More: Notebook, Projects (selected)

Columbus Day

March 31, 2013

Special thanks to the Network of Ensemble Theater Travel grant to hold our first Devising Session!

Columbus Day is an evening-length, interdisciplinary performance in which indigenous scientists build a time machine and go back in time to the Bahamian Islands to kill Columbus in 1492. During the course of the performance Indians from an Alternate Timeline  interrupt and eventually take over the play.  These alternate characters are being developed in a series of devising workshops with artists from the Tohono O’Odham, Akimel O’odham and Diné people.

The project examines ethics and consequences of time travel, with the United State’s continual genocide of native people serving as a backdrop. It also responds to anti-immigration law SB1070 – the “papers please” clause of which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court – that has spread fear throughout the South Tucson community. Native Americans, who have lived in the region for generations before the U.S.-Mexico border was drawn, are caught in the midst of this ongoing xenophobia.

Three award-winning artists, video/audio artist Adam Cooper-Terán, performance artist/playwright Denise Uyehara and Arizona State University director Rachel Bowditch will develop and premiere this evening-length work in Phoenix in 2015, with plans to subsequently tour nationally and abroad. All three artists hail from highly collaborative, interdisciplinary backgrounds. These artists will also work with a small ensemble of performers to ready the work for its premiere.

This project marks the fourth collaboration between Uyehara and Cooper-Terán since they began working together in 2008. Major past projects include BUS STOP DREAMING, a site-specific, interdisciplinary performance, located at sites of deportation in South Tucson (MAP Fund 2012, in collaboration with Jason Aragon/Pan Left) and ARCHIPELAGO, which explores Yaqui and Okinawan creation stories, reset in contemporary times of war and occupation (National Performance Network Creation Fund).




| More: News, Performances and Activities

“Shedding Light on Memory and the Occupied Body” performative talk, Pitzer College

February 04, 2013

Denise Uyehara

  • I’m excited to announce I’ll be an Activist/Artist-in-Residence (AAIR) this February and March at the Claremont Colleges in Southern California. Activities include:Opening Performative Talk:
    “Shedding Light and the Occupied Body”
    February 13th, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
    Benson Auditorium, Pitzer
    Community and class workshop showing:

    Saturday, March 9, 3pm, Kallick Family Gallery at Pitzer College

AAIR is the signature project of the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies at the Claremont Colleges, offering public events and workshops with activists and professional artists representing diverse cultures and art forms that are usually not part of “traditional” college curricula. More…

| More: Education, News

Bus Stop Dreaming in Casa Libre’s Edge 50 series, Jan 23

January 22, 2013

Yvonne Montoya and Denise Uyehara, Bus Stop Dreaming, MOCA-TucsonDenise Uyehara/Yvonne Montoya perform excerpts from Bus Stop Dreaming (the roving unplugged version!) as part of an evening of poetry and performance, presented by Edge 50: a Reading Series of Emerging and Younger Writers.  Evening also features work by Cybele Knowles, Sueyeun Juliette Lee.

Wednesday, January 23, 
7:30 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $5
Casa Libre
228 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
view video here

Bus Stop Dreaming is a series multi-disciplinary performances that appear at community sites around Tucson in response to the ongoing deportations of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the city. Bus Stop is a collaboration between documentary filmmaker Jason Aragon of Pan Left Productions and performance artist Denise Uyehara, with Yvonne Montoya of Safos Dance Theater, video/audio artist Adam Cooper-Terán.  interviews and footage from residents of South Tucson.  Made possible in part by the MAP Fund and the P.L.A.C.E./Open Society Fund from the Tucson Pima Arts Concil. More…

| More: News

ASU Intermedia Performance Class showing Dec. 5, 2012

November 28, 2012

This fall 2012 I was invited to teach Intermedia Performance at Arizona State University, Tempe.  The Intermedia Program is part of the School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.  We had a great time creating performance, movement and installations, culminating in a final performance.  Three cheers for ASU Intermedia students!  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Photos by David Moreno, additional photos by Mikey Estes.  Featuring work by Alex Levy, Terrance Kelsy, Brandon Beren, Dave Moreno, Blake Payan, Tracy Fairfield, Mikey Estes, Yixuan Wang, Morgan Sweazy, Gabriel Lopez, Chungling Paul Liu, Edgar Noriega, Kiley Bishop.


| More: Education, Notebook

Bus Stop Dreaming March 22 and 23, House of Neighborly Services, South Tucson

October 02, 2012

Denise Uyehara and Yvonne Montoya in Bus Stop Dreaming, MOCA-Tucson

deporting, Bus Stop Dreaming, MOCA-Tucsoncage, Bus Stop Dreaming, MOCA-Tucson

Traffic Stop.  Border Patrol. Deportation.

Bus Stop Dreaming will appear as part of Safos Dance Theater’s “Vignettes”
House of Neighborly Services
243 W 33rd St, Tucson, AZ

Friday, March 22 at 7pm
Saturday, March 23 at 7pm
Admission: $14 suggested donation, $12 seniors/students
and special free matinee for community on Saturday March 23, 1pm
for more info on community matinee and accessibility call (520) 481-1656
Click here for video

Choreography by Denise Uyehara in collaboration with Yvonne Montoya,
video/audio design for Bus Stop Dreaming by Adam Cooper-Terán, based on an interview with Alex by Jason Aragon.  “The Dove” image used with permission © 2009 Ed Braverman.  Photos by JP WestenskowBus Stop Dreaming is supported by the MAP Fund and the P.L.A.C.E. grant from the Tucson Pima Arts Council.  Photos taken at MOCA-Tucson.

| More: News
Email Newsletters with VerticalResponse