November 26, 2013

Why I Give!

The Arts €“ music, visual arts, dance and drama €“ have been in existence for as long as humans have walked the earth.   They provide an avenue for people of all ages and circumstances to express themselves, and can uniquely encourage cross-cultural communication, and teach empathy, humanity and openness to the diversity that surrounds us.  No matter how technologically advanced the world becomes, I believe that nothing can replace the experience of interacting with the arts.   For me, music in particular, has played a vital role in enriching my life.  Despite the fact that I come from a non-musical family, I read music before reading words, and learned to play multiple instruments before the age of 12 (thank you NY public school education).

I give to Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Tribeca PAC), so other people can experience the joy of interacting with and creating art.  Tribeca PAC is the longest operating performance venue in lower Manhattan, and is dedicated to identifying, supporting and exhibiting both emerging and established artists from the diverse spectrum of arts disciplines, including music, dance and children€™s theatre.   Many New York City school children have experienced the celebrated children€™s programming.  In 2012, TriBeCa Performing Arts Center was part of the American Express BEN Black History Month Harlem Renaissance celebration.

I am honored to play this role as Tribeca PAC celebrates its 30th year in existence.

Deborah Guiffre is an active Board Member of BMCC Tribeca PAC.

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November 6, 2013

Please come to our party!

We hope that you can join us next week at the Tribeca Meet and Greet at Manhattan Books, 150 Chambers Street on Thursday, November 14 anytime between 6:30 and 9 PM.

Manhattan Books came to Tribeca almost 20 years ago. You probably have noticed that they sell textbooks, but they also carry children€™s books, art and knitting supplies and some office and computer supplies. There€™s also an eclectic collection of used books in the front of the store.

Everybody€™s welcome and this is a FREE event. Everyone with an interest in Lower Manhattan will be welcome.

Some people show up for the full evening, some just drop by to say hello. Frankly Wines at 66 West Broadway will kindly provide some beverages and MaxDelivery will bring some nibblybits. This means that four local businesses (and more!) have joined in presenting this event.

We expect to have a friendly group and a terrific time with a chance to learn some useful things about our neighborhood. Please feel free to bring business cards, menus, flyers and other information about you and your business.  Tribeca Meet and Greet is organized by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center..


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October 28, 2013

Trick or Treat Safety Tips:

Theatreworks USA’s production of Bunnicula was a big success and this family musical about a vampire rabbit was perfect for this Halloween season. Children had lots of fun before the show with activities sponsored by NY Kids Club and received a very nice backpack as well.

Another local business, Canis Minor, sent over a representative with some very appropriate Trick or Treat tips.  Check out the clip below:

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October 25, 2013

Our 30th season got off to a running start this year with the New York Premier of the film documentary Maria the Korean Bride. We are very happy that the film is being picked up for showings around the country. This is especially nice because the artist and bride Maria Yoon is a Tribeca neighbor.

Our pals over at Theaterworks USA are stopping by Sunday, Oct. 27 with the not-too-scary tale of Bunnicula, the vampire rabbit. Tickets!   This lively musical is based on a very popular series of children’s novels and  parents will get a kick out of it too! We’re celebrating some new partnerships with this show as well; KidsClubNY will be sponsoring some activities in the lobby prior to the show, so get there early; and our favorite pet supply store, Canis Minor, will be offering some tips on animal safety in this Halloween season.  Speaking of Bunnicula, script writer Charles Busch is performing in Midtown on Thursdays at 54 Below.

Next up in our Family series, New York’s premiere storyteller David Gonzalez, who has appeared here before with his hit shows Aesop Bops, The Frog Bride and Sofrito, will be bringing another of his modern full of mystery and magical musical folk tales, Sleeping Beauty, to us on Sunday, November 17.  Tickets.


September 23, 2013

Coming up THIS SATURDAY, September 28 at 4pm, Tribeca PAC will screen the New York premiere of Maria the Korean Bride, a documentary about performance artist Maria Yoon’s travels across America to marry 50 husbands in 50 states in order to examine the tradition and culture of marriage.

We had the chance to speak with a few of Maria’s “spouses.” Read below for their insights on the film, meeting Maria, and what marriage means to them.

Meet Flex Lopez – the Groom from New Jersey:


TPAC: What was my first impression of Maria?
Flex: I get a phone call from a friend of mine telling me that there€™s a woman there that wants to meet me.  So of course the first thing that goes thru my mind is that it€™s a joke so tell them I€™m busy, but he tells me just get my butt there, so I agree.

I walk in and there€™s Maria speaking with the owners.  They wave to me and tell me to come over that they want to introduce me to someone. We get introduced and she (Maria) begins to explain to me the reason why she€™s there and why they called me, so as I€™m listening to her all I€™m thinking is ‘I€™m going to choke one of my friends for playing this joke on me.’ Then Maria begins to show me pictures of what she has be doing,  so now I€™m thinking ok and I thought I was nuts – LOL. She explained a little more and I can see as she€™s talking how serious this was to her so I paid closer attention and chatted for a little while and the rest is history. But of course when you have someone talking to you that you just met asking you to marry them, your going to think there a little nuts €¦â‚¬¦ especially when its hard enough to ask a person you want to marry.

TPAC: Did this experience influence or change your perception of marriage?
Flex: Well, let€™s just say that I€™m still patiently waiting for the right woman to come along. But after being around Maria and watching what she as accomplished, marriage will definitely be in my future.

TPAC: Did you enjoy the experience?  Would you do it again?
Flex: It is probably one of the craziest things I have ever done, and there€™s been lots of them, and was glad that I did because I was able to help someone accomplish their goal .
Next time will have a little bit more fun with it €¦..

TPAC: what advice do you have for others on marriage?
Flex: The best advice I can give is to communicate, be part of each other€™s lives, learn what makes them happy and be be involved. But of course coming from the man who has been the biggest Influence in my life, My dad, who past away 15yrs ago, once said if you want to make your Marriage work always keep her happy cause in return she will always make you happy€¦â‚¬¦.

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Sept. 10, 2013

Meet Frank Carpenter – North Dakota Groom:


TPAC: Have you been engaged or married since your “marriage” to Maria? If no, do you think you want to have a long-term marriage eventually?
Frank: No I have not been engaged or married since Maria

TPAC: What was your first impression of Maria?
Frank: She was a very cute and surprisingly talkative. Very pleasant to be with.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?
Frank: Yes, I told the world or at least everybody I knew.

TPAC: What can other people learn from Maria’s project?
Frank: Choose wisely, choose for yourself !!  Note! Id marry her agian if given the chance. lol.

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September 3, 2013

Meet Jack McCann – Maria’s Rhode Island Groom.


TPAC: What made you want to get involved in Maria’s project?
Jack: Life is short. I try to make the most of it. This seemed like a memorable experience.

TPAC: Did this experience change or influence your thoughts on marriage?
Jack: Yes, it made me realize there are a lot of cultural differences in the US and in the World.

TPAC: What do you remember most from the day?
Jack: Wondering if this was an actual marriage or maybe I was being secretly filmed for sometime of prank TV show.

TPAC: Would advice do you have for anyone considering getting married?
Jack: Find a mate who is complement. Opposite attract!

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Meet Alicia Greene- Maria’s Massachusetts Bride:


TPAC: Why did you decide to “marry” Maria?

Alicia: I saw an ad for the project and I thought it was a fresh voice and new perspective on topics that I’ve heard discussed before. I wanted to be a part of it.

TPAC: Did this experience influence or change your perception of marriage?

Alicia: This experience influenced and confirmed my perception of marriage. I grew up in a small community in Kansas. There were only a few representations of happy marriages as I grew up. I participated in Tom Thumb weddings, pageants and debutante balls. Marriage was an expectation for women like me and had a certain “look”. I did not see many variations of that idea and I knew at an early age that I did not want that kind of life. I believed I could be happy while defining my own relationship. Marriage or not.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?

Alicia: Yes, I did tell my friends and family. The people that matter most to me were not really surprised. But, it was interesting trying to tell my fianc© that I got married 9 years ago.

TPAC: What do you most fondly remember from the ceremony?

Alicia: How beautiful it was!

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August 27, 2013:

Meet Steve Warren – Maria’s Georgia husband:


TPAC: What made you decide to “marry” Maria?

Steve: I’m an actor.  It was a gig.  It helped that I was intrigued by the concept but I probably would have done it anyway.

TPAC: Did you tell other friends/family beforehand?  What was their reaction?

Steve: It didn’t seem like that big a deal.  About the only person I mentioned it to was the filmmaker I borrowed the lab coat from, since I was supposed to be a marine biologist for our wedding in front of the Georgia Aquarium.  I had worn the coat in his horror film, where I played a mad scientist.  Fortunately he got the blood out.

TPAC: Are you and Maria still in touch?

Steve: We are.  We’ve stayed in contact and have seen each other a few times. I went to the film’s premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival last spring and hope to go to Atlanta when it screens at the Korean Film Festival.

TPAC: What did you learn from the experience?

Steve: It helped put my real-life relationship of nearly 25 years into perspective.  Whatever my reasons for “marrying” Maria, I got a good friend out of the deal; and after the honeymoon is over, that’s what counts in the long run.

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August 21, 2013:

Meet Ram Devineni – Maria’s New York Husband


TPAC: Did your experience with Maria change or influence your opinion of marriage in any way?

Ram: Not dramatically. I am still single, even after I married Maria. I always knew relationships are complicated — that is why I appreciated what Maria was doing.

TPAC: Are you still in touch with your “bride”?

Ram: Yes! Maria and I have become good friends. I think all of her “significant others” have stayed in touch with her because she is a sweetheart! Even the Liberty Bell rings her up sometimes — they were married on August 23, 2006.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?

Ram: I told everyone, and pretty much everyone did a double take. But, once I explained to them that it was an art project, they appreciated it. Only people I did not tell were my 90-year-old grandmothers in India — I did not want to give them a heart attack!

TPAC: What does marriage mean to you?

Ram: Marriage = commitment (love)2 / friendship x understanding (trust + 1.376).

TPAC:  The wedding ceremony took place at Times Square!   Is there anything you wanted to add about that experience?

Ram: Being in NYC, I felt it was very close to Maria’s heart. This was the last and final wedding in her very long art project, so it was both a celebration and a conclusion. There were “significant others” from other states attending and many of her family and friends were there too — I was glad to be a part of it.


June 11, 2013

Check out our interview with 2012-13 Artist-in-Residence Luke Murphy.

TPAC: What are your biggest inspirations or influences as a performer?

Luke: I like to keep my eyes open and I like to let things I see in lots of different art forms influence me. I find myself really drawn to performance work which moves between the realms of theatre, dance, film, storytelling etc and when I’m looking at how I’m trying to communicate I like to employ techniques used in other art forms. I’ve been studying a lot of architecture recently so that’s really given me some fresh things to consider when dealing with space and light. For this work I’ve definitely been quite influenced by the time I spent working with John Kelly.

TPAC: What’s the history of this piece?‚  How long have you been working on it?

Luke: The idea for this piece was originally for a solo work that was mainly dealing with iconic ideas of the alpha male, it developed in research last year to become a quartet and I became really drawn to the story of Icarus. We’ve been working on it as group now for about five months.

TPAC: What should the audience at TPAC expect to see?

Luke: I think the audience should expect to see a work that plays hopscotch through the grid of dance and theatre. We’re not trying to tell a linear story but the work does have a narrative.

TPAC: After this presentation, where can audiences see more of your work?

Luke: Well in the immediate future Icarus goes on to Premiere at the Cork Midsummer Festival in Ireland from June 28th-30th. The work I made at TPAC last year, Drenched is having its New York Premiere at the Lamama Moves Festival from July 5th-7th and I’m in post production for a dance film I made with Carlye Eckert and David Fishel.

June 6, 2013

Check out our interview with Artist-in-Residence Aaron Sherwood of Purring Tiger.

TPAC: How long have you been incorporating multi-media into live performance? What do you think it adds to both the performer and the audience’s experience?

Aaron: We started performing using multi-media right from the start, a few years ago. We thought it would be great if a dancer’s movements could actually generate and control sounds and visuals. It’s a somewhat novel, but really pleasing experience to have one’s movements controlling these things. We don’t use them as an end in themselves, but just as another tool in our palette. Hopefully the audience will experience joy and wonder, and a type of performance they’ve never experienced before.

TPAC: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to work with Purring Tiger?

Aaron: My background is in music and Kiori’s is in dance. We started collaborating a few years ago and Purring Tiger was born.

TPAC: What can the audience expect from your piece?

Aaron: A heart wrenching, yet ultimately cathartic, journey through life & death. Mizaru is the name of one of the three wise monkeys in Japanese culture, better know in English, as See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. In our piece, we use this concept to explore how our culture deals with death. It seemed to us that for the most part, in our culture we are afraid to die, and we invent countless number of distractions to divert ourselves from our own mortality. However, by removing these distractions one by one and embracing the fact that this very moment is precious and will never come again we find that we actually become more alive. This is the journey Mizaru embarks the audience upon.

TPAC: Do you have anything coming up you’d like to promote?

Aaron:Mainly our shows at TPAC today and Friday! We also received a grant from Burning Man to bring an installation version of Mizaru to Burning Man this summer. If anyone wants to help out and contribute to this please go here and click Donate:


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