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This week on Aurora Connects, Josh and Dawn are joined by Bay Area theatre and hip-hop artists Carlos Aguirre, Alicia Piemme Nelson, Dan Wolf, and Phil Wong, in advance of the final iteration of TELL TALE HEARTS: An Evening of Hip Hop Theatre  held on November 28th. We'll learn about the Bay Area Theatre Cypher and how it got started, and learn more about "8 Bars For The Reckoning" and other BATC projects. We'll talk about how hip hop and theatre inform each other, about what we can learn from hip hop, and we'll discuss TELL TALE HEARTS from start to finish


Carlos Aguirre

Carlos Aguirre A.K.A. INFINITE (actor, musician, vocal percussionist, educator), has been performing both as an actor and hip hop artist in the Bay Area for over 19 years. He has shared the stage with The Roots, Erykah Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Jam Master Jay, L.L. Cool J, Macy Gray and George Clinton among others. He is currently producing his original rap and beatbox adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart. Carlos shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at-risk environments throughout the Bay Area.

Alicia Piemme Nelson

Alicia Piemme Nelson is an award-winning San Francisco/Bay Area based physical actor and teaching artist. She hails from San Jose, CA where she grew up playing imagination games in her backyard, and faithfully wearing her favorite pair of All Stars. She was raised by well-known Bay Area actor, director, and creator Karen Altree Piemme of Red Ladder Theatre Company, and found her love of performance at a young age thanks to her mother's inspiration. Originally a ballet dancer, she eventually turned to musical theatre, and finally found that her heart lies in physical comedy.

Dan Wolf

Dan Wolf is a rapper, playwright, director, actor, and teacher. His work crosses artistic and cultural borders to combine theatrical performance with the themes, language, music, history, politics, and aesthetics reflected in the hip hop generation. He recently featured on the Undercover Presents tribute album to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders.” As part of the Resident Playwrights Initiative at the Playwright Foundation, Wolf is developing Curren$y - a theatrical rap show inspired by Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. As the Artistic Director of Sound in the Silence, Wolf works with an international group of partners, artists, students, and participants to create immersive performance experiences at locations such as memorial sites and community centers.

Phil Wong

Phil Wong is an actor, director, comedian, musician, teaching artist, and rapper born and raised in the Bay Area. He’s a resident artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and his influences range from MF DOOM to Guo Maoqian, Slim Shady to Stephen Sondheim. Wong’s recent stage credits include Cutting Ball Theatre, Shotgun Players, Word for Word, Killing My Lobster, Ray of Light, and TheatreWorks.

Previous Episodes

Season 2: Episode 15- Tell Tale Hearts
57 mins
Season 2: Episode 14- Elton Bradman
55 mins
Season 2: Episode 13- Bitter Gertrude
55 mins
Season 2: Episode 12- Halloween Magic
58 mins
Season 2: Episode 11- The Flats Opening Night
58 mins
Season 2: Episode 10- The Hurwitts
(1h 05m 39s)
Season 2: Episode 9- Dancing Earth
51 mins
Season 2: Episode 8- Michael Asberry
50 mins
Season 2: Episode 7- Berkeley's artistic Directors
(1h 04m 23s)
Season 2: Episode 6- Theatre Bay Area
(1h 01m 37s)
Season 2: Episode 5- Cal State Hayward Reunion
59 mins
Season 2: Episode 4- Fusion Theatre Project
(1h 04m 02s)
Season 2: Episode 3- Berkeley's Poet Laureate
(1h 08m 11s)
Season 2: Episode 2- The Carpenters
(1h 11m 10s)
Season 2: Episode 1- Josh and Dawn
(1h 04m 05s)
Episode 18- Masterpiece Theatre
51 mins
Episode 17- Designers
52 mins
Episode 16- The Carlins, Joy & Nancy
49 mins
Episode 15- Supernova Kickoff!
(1h 17m 23s)
Episode 14- Bay Area Artistic Directors
(1h 04m 41s)
Episode 13- The Mayor of Berkeley
52 mins
Episode 12- Three Playwrights
52 mins
Episode 11- Black Lives Matter
43 mins
Episode 10- Aurora Actors
50 mins
Episode 9- The Critic
53 mins
Episode 8- Laveau
44 mins
Episode 7- Art & Activism
51 mins
Episode 6- Berkeley High School and Aurora's Community Partners
47 mins
Episode 5- Aurora Directs
56 mins
Episode 4- The Art Behind the Art
47 mins
Episode 3- Still Making Art
57 mins
Episode 2- Discussing the 2020/2021 Season
50 mins
Episode 1- The Cast of Loot
41 mins


Dawn Monique Williams, Associate Artistic Director

Dawn joined the Aurora team in August 2019. A native of Oakland, CA, Dawn was previously the Artistic Associate at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she directed Merry Wives of Windsor in 2017. Her recent directing credits include Aurora’s Bull in a China Shop, Earthrise at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, TiJean and His Brothers, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Secretaries (Willamette Week’s Top 10 Portland Theatre Productions of 2018), Romeo & Juliet, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Stark. She’s directed a range of plays including the English language premiere of Gracia Morales’ NN12, Othello, Twelfth Night, In the Blood, Steel Magnolias, Children of Eden, The 25th Annual Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, Burial at Thebes, Medea, Antigone Project, and La Ronde; international directing credits include Edinburgh Festival Fringe productions of Scapin the Cheat, Anna Bella Eema, and The Tempest. Dawn was a 2016 Princess Grace Theatre Fellowship recipient, was awarded a TCG Leadership U residency grant, funded by the Mellon Foundation, and was a former Killian Directing Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is an alum of the Drama League Directors Project and holds an MA in Dramatic Literature and an MFA in Directing. Dawn is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Josh Costello, Artistic Director

Josh Costello is the Artistic Director of Aurora Theatre Company. Throughout his career, Josh has worked to make theatre more accessible for more people, sharing a passion for the visceral experience of live theatre with new audiences and underserved communities. He was the founding Artistic Director of Impact Theatre and the Artistic Director of Expanded Programs at Marin Theatre Company. At Aurora, Josh initiated student matinee and Community Partner programs and led a revision of Aurora’s mission to emphasize the theatre’s role as storyteller to the community. Josh has directed Exit Strategy, The Importance of Being Earnest, Detroit, Wittenberg, and The Heir Apparent for Aurora, as well as the world premiere of Eureka Day, which won every Bay Area new play award. His world-premiere production of Aaron Loeb’s Ideation with San Francisco Playhouse in both SF and NYC won the Glickman Award for best new play in the Bay Area and the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Direction, and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Costello’s other directing work includes My Children! My Africa! at Marin Theatre Company, House of Lucky at Magic Theatre, and his adaptations of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Aphra Behn’s The Rover. Josh holds a BFA in Theatre from Boston University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington, Seattle
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