Say You Heard My Echo, photo by Adam Payne
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    Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a spoken word poet, playwright, and filmmaker whose work has been featured at over 450 venues worldwide including three seasons of “HBO Def Poetry.” Award recipient of the Illinois Arts Council, Asian American Arts Alliance, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Asian Women Giving Circle, she has held residencies at Norcroft, Hedgebrook, New World Theater, and Urban Word NYC-New York Live Arts. An alum of VONA, Kundiman, Callaloo, and Cave Canem, Kelly has been profiled on Idealist in NYC’s Top 40 NYC’ers Who Make Positive Social Change,’s “30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30,” and HBO’s “East of Main Street: Asians Aloud.”

    Sri Lankan Blood, Manchester Born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, YaliniDream is a Queer artist, activist, and facilitator. She conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance– reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has toured nationally throughout the US as well as performing in Canada, England & Sri Lanka. As a director & facilitator, YaliniDream works to bring under-represented voices to center stage through community based theater productions. Through experimental collaboration she seeks to build artistic work that reflects the strength of communities while cherishing difference. YaliniDream is also a trained aerial dancer in corde lisse who loves to fly– challenging notions of the seemingly impossible.

    Adeeba Rana is a South Asian-American poetic activista. Her journey began in pre-school where she championed the other girls of the playground, a red crayon clutched in her raised fist. Today, she works diligently to cultivate the voices of her people. Adeeba has been hooked onto conversations of women and power, art and activism since taking the stage at the Apollo in 2004 as the winner of We Got Issues! hottest rant contest. She also works closely with many Social Justice organizations, educating and inspiring young people to use their voices in action, protest, praise and power.

    Originally from Houston, TX, Jesse Jou graduated from the Yale School of Drama, where his directing credits include Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde and Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has worked on several new plays, including 99 Ways to Fuck a Swan by Kim Rosenstock and the things are against us [les choses sont contre nous] by Susan Soon He Stanton. His other directing credits include shows with wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; the New York International Fringe Festival; The Kitchen Theatre Co., (Ithaca, NY); and the Yale Cabaret. He was the Artistic Director of the 2010 Yale Summer Cabaret and served as the staff Repertory Director of the Acting Company for 2010-2011 season.


    HERE builds a community that nurtures career artists as they create innovative hybrid live performance in theatre, dance, music, puppetry, media and visual art. HERE’s artist residencies support the singular vision of the lead artist through commissions, long-term development, and production support. HERE’s programs and performances promote relationships among local, national, and international artists. HERE’s space is a destination for audiences who are passionate about ground-breaking contemporary work and the creative process behind it.

    Say You Heard My Echo

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Say You Heard My Echo

Friday, September 14, 2012 | 7-8.30pm
Saturday, September 15, 2012 | 2-3.30pm; 7-8.30pm

HERE Arts Center
145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013
Cross Streets: Between Spring Street and Dominick Street
Subways: A, C, E to Spring St; 1, 2 to Houston St;
Buses: M21 to Spring St-Varick St; M5, M21 to Ave of the Americas-Spring St

$18 General
Use promo code “festival” for $15 tickets (valid for all performances).
(212) 352-3101

What connects a Catholic burlesque dancer who survived the Twin Towers, a Buddhist Iraq war veteran and hip hop emcee who returns home, and a Muslim librarian whose family suffers detention and interrogation? An evening-length spoken-word poetry theater project written by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (450 performances worldwide and three seasons of the award-winning Russell Simmons Presents HBO Def Poetry), Say You Heard My Echo explores the lives of three fictional Asian American women in New York City a decade after 9/11. With choral poems, prayers, activist folk songs, and raps, the play weaves together the characters’ struggles with survivorship and faith and their intimate relationships with Mary Magdalene, Guan Yin, and Aisha.

Performed by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, YaliniDream, and Adeeba Rana with stage direction by Jesse Jou.

Say You Heard My Echo was a project commissioned in 2011 by the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Additional performances on Thursday, September 13, 2012, 7pm; and Sunday, September 16, 2012, 2pm.

Presented by Moving Earth Productions.