BRIClab 2021-2022 Performing Arts Cohort

Ariel Estrada (he/him/his)

Ariel Estrada (writer/performer) is an actor, singer, arts advocate, and Founder/Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab, a creative studio for Asian American performing artists. As a performer, Ariel has performed on TV, film, commercials, industrials, new media, Off, and Off-Off-Broadway. The New York Times hailed his “fine emotional shadings” in the critically acclaimed musical with puppetry MADE IN CHINA. He has performed on Film/TV in “Blue Bloods”, “Bull”, “The Americans”, and the award-winning short film “Title VII”. As an arts advocate, he was designated as a 2019 Emerging Arts Leader by New York Foundation for the Arts, and a 2017 Rising Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group. He is the Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator for Actors’ Equity Association, and is also the Marketing Manager for the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists. |


Photo By
Gene Silvers Photography
Ariel Estrada
Project Title


A developmental production of FULL CONTACT, a new solo work by Ariel Estrada, directed by Gaven Trinidad, that investigates Estrada’s experiences as a 20-year survivor of a brutal martial arts cult.

Full Contact_photo Cred Lia Chang_0
Photo By
Lia Chang
Ariel Estrada, FULL CONTACT

Pioneers Go East Collective

Pioneers Go East Collective is a multicultural radical Queer performance art group. We entertain, celebrate, and liberate to amplify the LGBTQ experience. We collectively devise multimedia projects shaped around personal narratives to explore Queer art and pop culture’s intersectionality, to reflect on our history, vulnerability, courage, beauty, and power. Using an interview-based process, each story’s subject matter is developed with an emphasis on the interaction between performance and video-art, to strengthen the viewers’ perceptions and emotional participation. We interweave theatricality with multi-layered experiences to allow viewers to collectively explore our history. Imaginative and infused with Queer art and pop culture, we build frameworks to share LGBTQ stories with authenticity, to reveal commonalities over stereotypes, and to champion unexpected bodies telling unexpected histories in unexpected places. @pioneersgoeast or

Pioneers Go East Collective Headshots
Photo By
Jon Burklund
Bree Breeden (she/her), Daniel Diaz (he/him/they/them), Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (he/him), Philip Treviño (he/him)

Bree Breeden (storyteller/ choreographer) is from Cheraw, SC. Currently, she is a dancer and the managing director for Proteo Media + Performance, production manager for Sidra Bell Dance New York, and dances with VON HOWARD PROJECT and Michiyaya DANCE. She choreographs and performs her own work which has been presented at Embodied Spaces Festival, Montclair State University, Danceworks, ACDFA, and the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts dance talk series. Breeden has been awarded the Choreographic Excellence Award (2015) and Outstanding Performer Award (2016) from MSU.

Daniel Diaz (writer/ storyteller) is an artist-in-residence with Pioneers Go East Collective since 2014. Daniel creates works from a queer Black male perspective through storytelling, choreography, burlesque, and video. Featured performer at La MaMa, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, PS1 MoMa, Brooklyn Museum, Joe’s Pub, Judson Church, Ars Nova, Dixon Place, The Exponential Festival, Chez Bushwick, The LGBT Center, and Performance Mix/NDA.

Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (director/ video-maker) is a Gay immigrant artist of Italian and Middle Eastern descent, and Pioneers Go East Collective’s founding member. A Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2019-20), NYFA/New York City Artist Corps awardee (2021), NYSCA Individual Artist (2019), and Jerome Foundation Fellowship finalist (2019-20). Projects presented at La MaMa, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Chashama, Judson Church, JACK, Goethe Institute, LMCC’s Process Residency at Governors Island, Art on Air – Clock Tower Gallery, Judson Church, Venice Biennale, and has collaborated with The Foundry, Great Jones Rep, Ellen Stewart.

Philip Treviño (designer/ dramaturge) is Pioneers Go East artist-in-residence since 2016. Philip is a Chicano/Latinx and LGBTQ artist, NYSCA individual artist (2021), a 2010 BESSIE recipient for the design of Pam Tanowitz’ Be In The Grey With Me, and 2014 Outstanding Production BESSIE for Camille A. Brown’s Mr. Tol E. Rance. Other credits include work with Jenn Freeman, Kymera Dance, Catherine Cabeen, and Brian Brooks Company. His work has toured worldwide and at notable venues including BAM, The Joyce/Joyce Soho, DTW, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Kitchen, New York City Center, Judson Church, and Jacob’s Pillow. Technical Director and Professor at Marymount Manhattan College.

Project Title

My name’sound

My name’sound is a multimedia performance and video installation inspired by “The Creative Process”, radical writer James Baldwin’s Artist Manifesto, reflecting on creative agency, censorship, and isolation. Balancing joy and theatricality with thought-provoking contemporary Queer stories, we celebrate queer bodies and investigate LGBTQ resilience in pursuit of artistic freedom.

Previous Work

Jadd Tank and Nora Alami

Jadd Tank’s (he/him/his, Co-Choreographer and Creative Producer) passion for choreography and dance lies in the exploration of boundless possibilities in which objects, bodies and events relate to each other: the spaces we create and the identities that spaces create for us. Nurtured by the cultural intersection of Lebanese and Midwestern traditions, Jadd approaches contemporary performance art and creation with an aesthetic that reflects a versatile mélange – Mediterranean culture, dramaturgy, architecture and postmodern movement techniques.

Jadd Tank’s recent work includes Glimpses of a Future by Yaraqa (as a creative producer, choreographer, and performer) – now available on Netflix – and the digital videos at the Dubai World EXPO 2021 Lebanese Pavilion (as a choreographer and product design lead).

Jadd Tank Headshot _4
Jadd Tank

In addition to touring and performing internationally for award winning choreographers such as Michelle Ellsworth, Alias Guilherme Botelho and Maqamat Dance Theater, Jadd has choreographed for stage and film including director Susan Youssef’s feature film Marjoun & The Flying Headscarf (2021 Academy Award Consideration), Music videos of Vladimir Kurumilian & Mashrou’ Leila, and the digital works of Design House T Sakhi and Dubai-based director Dei El-Ayoubi.

Jadd is a Creative Producer and is currently the Product Design Lead at Lebanon-based Social Enterprise YARAQA.

See more of his work at or @jadd_tank

Alami Headshot 2_2
Photo By
Jenelle Pearring
Nora Alami

Nora Alami (Choreographer and Creative Consultant) deconstructs and integrates historically disparate dance forms. Navigating the overlap between her Moroccan and American heritage, her work builds performative contexts that investigate the embodied experience of colonization and identity politics. In flux between fluidity, tension, awkwardness, and discomfort, Nora presents evocations that are dramaturgical, conceptual, and in ritual. Her tools: radical acts of permission-giving, intentional displacement of cultural vantage points, and multidisciplinarity braiding.

Her choreography has been presented at the International Center of Photography, Center for Performance Research, New York Live Arts, Gibney, pOnderosa, Colorado College, and Movement Research at Judson Church. She has choreographed and performed in music videos, documentaries, and short films. She has been awarded the Alliance for Artist Communities’ Diversity + Leadership Fellowship, New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks Choreographic Residency, and Miguel Guiteriez’s Landing 2.0 cohort. She has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, River to River Festival, and toured internationally at the 2018 Focus on Mediterranean Choreography platform in Castiglioncello and Spoleto, Italy. Coming up in 2021, she will be a JACK Artist in Residence and a guest of Movement Research’s GPS/Global Practice Sharing program for the la Biennale de la Danse Afrique in Marrakech, Morocco. Currently, Nora collaborates as a dramaturg for Medusa: A New Musical, on the Steering Committee for FAILSPACE, and as a creative consultant supporting the arts. @noralami

Jaime Sunwoo

Jaime Sunwoo (she/her/hers) is a Korean American multidisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, New York working in visual art, theater, film, and public art. Her works connect personal narratives to global histories through surreal storytelling. She studied art at Yale University, and was a fellow for Ping Chong + Company and The Laundromat Project. Her work has been seen at Park Avenue Armory, Abrons Art Center, BAX, JACK, The Tank, Flux Factory, and Art in Odd Places. She has received awards from Queens Council on the Arts, Asian Women Giving Circle, NYC Women’s Fund, Brooklyn Arts Fund, and The Jim Henson Foundation for her project Specially Processed American Me, a performance on the significance of SPAM in the Asian American community. More at and @jaimesunwoo

Project Title: Specially Processed American Me

Specially Processed American Me by Jaime Sunwoo is a surreal autobiographical performance using SPAM, the canned meat, as a portal into her Asian American upbringing and her family’s experiences of the Korean War. It investigates SPAM’s legacy in the military, its significance in the Asia-Pacific, and its influence on Asian cuisine through music, shadowplay, and cooking. Oscillating wildly between absurd humor and sober tragedy, Specially Processed American Me is a thought-provoking exploration of one of America’s most misunderstood foods. More at and @speciallyprocessed

Dates/times of sharings: October 7th & 8th at 7pm. RSVP here

Pablo Calderón Santiago with What Will the Neighbors Say?

Pablo Calderón-Santiago (he/him/his, Photographer and Videographer) is a multimedia artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2015 he received a BA in film production with a focus in film photography from Emerson College. He’s currently based in Brooklyn and works doing lighting and tech for fine art and commercial photoshoots. Calderón-Santiago started his creative life as an actor with Puerto Rican theater collective Jóvenes del ‘98 as well as appearances on TV and in commercials. Outside of photography, Calderón-Santiago has directed two shorts, a music video, and conducted research and translation for feature-length documentaries.

What Will the Neighbors Say? (Production Company) fights for a more empathetic world by presenting risky, provocative theatre that provokes conversations and facilitates greater understanding. Championing our community’s capacity to explore ambiguous and nuanced themes, we create morally complex genre-bending work that challenges our audiences before, during and after a presentation. Armed with the understanding that meaningful conversations require varied perspectives, we build Neighborhoods across borders to facilitate new connections throughout our communities. Since the company was founded, WWTNS? has premiered seven original plays in five cities in four countries on two continents, and presented a further nineteen. The company has launched our education and community arts departments, and created jobs for over one hunred artists – 75% of them femme/GNB identifying and 50% of them BIPOC.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19-related interruptions, What Will the Neighbors Say? will now be joining the 2022/23 BRIClab cohort to workshop their latest project, Third Law. Their residency will take place Oct 24-Nov 4, 2022. Read more about their residency here.


Kareem Lucas

Kareem M. Lucas (he/him) is a Brooklyn born and Harlem based Actor/Writer/Producer/Director. His solo pieces include “The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO)”, “Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty”, “RATED BLACK: An American Requiem”, “From Brooklyn With Love”, “A Boy & His Bow”, and “A Warm Winter”. He’s performed his work at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, American Repertory Theater, The Greene Space, Aaron Davis Hall at City College, The Town Hall, The Fire This Time Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, HERE Arts Center, Hi-ARTS, JACK, IRT Theater, The Brick Theater, Teatro Circulo, Judson Arts Wednesdays, AFO Theater, The Slipper Room, among others. His solo show “Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty” will have its world premiere in the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s 2020-2021 season, TBD due to covid. He’s in residence at the New Ohio Theatre, and it will culminate with a world premiere production, TBD due to covid. He’s an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and a Usual Suspect at NYTW. Also a teaching artist with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and The 52nd Street Project. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program. For more info you can visit or follow him on Instagram @KareemMLucas


Project Title: A Warm Winter

“A Warm Winter” is a new autobiographical monologue written and performed by Kareem M. Lucas. He retells the memory of a fun Brooklyn evening that goes wrong and almost costs him his life. Part confession, part standup, part sermon, the whole truth.

Dates/times of sharings: December 9th & 10th at 3pm. RSVP here.


Morgaine (Mo) Gooding-Silverwood and Raquel Chavez

Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood (Writer/Creator) uses she/they/he pronouns, and encourages you to mix it up! Mo is a theatre maker, playwright and educator living in Brooklyn, Lenapehoking, with ancestral roots on the Red River by way of Chikashsha Iyaakni’. Mo’s theatre embraces a lesbian aesthetic, one that centers women, femmes, and gender freaks from process to performance, building community trust through movement-based ensemble work. Their writing has been produced in London and New York City, at the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum and the University of Denver, where they served as artist in residence. Mo has trained with SITI company, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, and received their masters in Text and Performance from RADA and The University of London. They hold a bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Columbia University. or @gaineyboo

Raquel Chavez (she/her, Movement Director) is a chicane actor, director, producer & choreographer from the Bay Area. Her work has been featured in the Corkscrew Festival, the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, and the 2020 Grad Acting Freeplay Festival. She has worked with the Belle & Sebastian, Smith Street Stage, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Neo-Political Cowgirls and the Brewing Department, as an actor, dancer, and creator. She believes in the liberatory and transformative power of surrealist theater-making, garnished by aspirational refractions of Pina Bausch and Bob Fosse. She has trained in Feldenkrais, Simonson technique, clown, Lucid Body, and the joint stock method. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch Grad Acting and a BA in Race & Ethnicity Studies from Columbia.


Project Title: sleeper

sleeper is a performance that ponders the imperative of a lived existence. Why wake up? What, or who, do we rise for? sleeper is a ceremony and a circus, a heartfelt appeal to the burnout generation to fall wholeheartedly and headfirst into sleep.

Dates/times of sharings: November 18th & 19th at 7pm. RSVP here.



Ogemdi Ude and Sydney Mieko King

Ogemdi Ude (she/her/hers, Co-creator) is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica Festival. In collaboration with Rochelle Wilbun she facilitates AfroPeach, a series of free dance workshops for Black postpartum people and serves as Head of Movement for Drama at Professional Performing Arts School. She is a 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence and 2021 LMCC Creative Engagement Grantee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. @gemgemdi

Sydney Mieko King (she/her/hers, Co-creator) is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily in large format photography. Her work explores the physicality of photography, its relationship to the body, and its potential to create new realities and histories. Her work has been shown at the International Center of Photography Museum, the Broodthaers Society of America, the Dean Collection, Chashama, Wallworks Gallery, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and others. She has held residencies at the Yale Norfolk School of Art, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Recess Art. King graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Art and Archaeology in 2017. She is a 2021 En Foco Fellow and recipient of a 2021 Winter Innovate Grant. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art. @sydney.m.king

Project Title: Living Relics

Living Relics is a performance installation investigating impacts and externalizations of death and loss. The work draws from dance, projection, sculpture, and photography to create an immersive and intimate meditation on grief.



Major support for BRICLab is provided by TD Bank. Additional support for BRICLab: Performing Arts is provided by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Howard Gilman Foundation and Mertz Gilmore Foundation. General support for BRIC is provided by Bank of America, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Con Edison, Genesis Inspiration Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Lambent Foundation, M&T Charitable Foundation, New York Community Trust, Scherman Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Tiger Baron Foundation, and numerous individuals.

BRIC’s Contemporary Art program also benefits from generous private funding from the Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation, Ford Foundation, Harpo Foundation, Humanities New York, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and numerous individual supporters.