For its fourth season, Take Two leaves all those black boxes behind and finds its first home in the Red Room on East 4th Street! Join us the 2nd Tuesday of the month from January to June for an inspiring double bill that draws a red line through theater and film, disparate cultures, the personal and the political, all in one red-letter evening. Highlights this year include two Academy Award-winning short films, and staged reading of plays by Ping Chong, Heather Raffo and Culture Clash.


June 12, 2012
Take Two takes on land rights and the war on the poor in our final Take Two of the season. Set in a dystopic near future, Bennie Klein’s haunting short film Share the Wealth centers on the encounter between a Native American woman and a hapless city clerk as she attempt to pay a new homeless tax. Andy Pang directs Chavez Ravine, Culture Clash’s vivid homage to the titular Chicano neighborhood that was razed in the 1950s to make way for Dodger Stadium.

Seating is limited, buy your tickets now!

Red Room
85 East 4th Street, 3rd Fl
Between 2nd & 3rd Avenue
$10 general admission

Click here to buy tickets to sample small show via smarttix.com

Take Two is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Take Two 2012 Schedule

January 10, 2012
INJA written and directed by Steve Pasvolsky
DESHIMA by Ping Chong, directed by Victoria Linchong
Direct Arts begins the Take Two season with a yin-yang double bill on the legacy of colonialism. Set during and after Apartheid in South Africa, the powerful 2003 Academy Award-winning short film Inja explores the devastating consequences of colonial domination in the life of a black South African boy and a white landowner. Spanning four centuries, Obie Award-winner Ping Chong’s Deshima is a poetic documentary theater piece in which Japan turns the tables on its would-be European colonizers.

February 14, 2012
The Take Two Challenge – “Love Across Borders”
Direct Arts challenges filmmakers and writers to submit short films and full-length plays on the theme “Love Across Borders” for a special Valentine’s Day Take Two. The winning filmmaker and playwright will be present for a discussion following a screening of the short film and a staged reading of the winning play directed by Craig Baldwin (Associate Artistic Director, Red Bull Theatre).

March 13, 2012
UMOJA: NO MEN ALLOWED written and directed by Elizabeth Tadic
9 PARTS OF DESIRE by Heather Raffo, directed by Nancy Robillard
Feminism meets multiculturalism during Women’s History Month. Umoja: No Men Allowed is a rowdy documentary on Sembaru women in Northern Kenya who turn age-old patriarchy on its head by setting up a women-only village. Following the film, Heather Raffo poetically weaves together a series of monologues in 9 Parts of Desire, bring to life nine Iraqi women whose vastly different experiences express the complex reality of being female in war-torn Iraq. Originally a one-woman play written and performed by Raffo, who won a Lucille Lortel Award for this remarkable work, Direct Arts will present the play performed by nine women.

April 10, 2012
FATAKRA written and directed by Soham Mehta
SINCE AFRICA by Mia McCullough
Immigrants and refugees make the difficult adjustment to life in America in this month’s Take Two. The poignant Student Academy Award-winning film Fatakra concerns an Indian man who is finally able to send for his wife and son after three years in America, but instead of a happy reunion, his family is shocked and disappointed with the reality of immigrant life. Mia McCullough’s powerful drama Since Africa depicts a Sudanese refugee’s attempts to adjust to his new life in Chicago, with the help of a wealthy socialite and an African-American pastor, whose opposing ideas on how best to help him may not really help him at all.

May 8, 2012
L TO CANARSIE written and directed by Alice Cox
NECTAR by Katie Baldwin Eng, directed by Karin Shook
“And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier,” wrote Walt Whitman in Song of Myself. In this month’s Take Two, death intersects with life in a vastly unexpected way. Alice Cox’s short film L to Canarsie depicts the coming-of-age of a young woman whose boyfriend suddenly dies after they move to New York City. Alone in the gentrifying neighborhood of Bushwick, she discovers a new sense of herself. In Katie Baldwin Eng’s magical whimsical play Nectar, a motley group of former lovers gather at the hospital where the extraordinary writer and artist Maximillian Bird is dying. Reflecting on their feelings for him, they are each magically transformed and even reborn.

June 12, 2012
SHARE THE WEALTH written by Jayson Oaks and directed by Bennie Klain
CHAVEZ RAVINE by Culture Clash, directed by Andy Pang
Take Two takes on land rights issues and the war on the poor, with Bennie Klein’s haunting short film Share the Wealth, about a Native American woman’s attempt to pay a new “homeless tax” followed by Culture Clash’s Chavez Ravine, a vivid homage to the titular Chicano neighborhood in Los Angeles that was razed in the 1950s to make way for Dodger Stadium.


Take Two Challenge

Take Two is seeking submissive types for 2012! Yes, for the first time ever, we have held off from programming the entire event to open it up to YOU, dear reader. This year, with the February Take Two falling on Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d put a little edge on the greeting card holiday with a play and film on the theme LOVE ACROSS BORDERS. We’re looking for sharp, insightful plays and films on anything that might creatively address this idea – got a play or film that revolves around an arranged marriage? miscegenation laws? a pre-Stonewall gay romance? colliding courtship customs? Put your play in front of our exciting panel of theater and film professionals, win $100 and see your work presented on February 14th!

Films and plays must address the theme “Love Across Borders.”

Deadline for submission is December 21, 2011.

Films must be 30 minutes or less.
Plays must be 40-120 pages.


Our Esteemed Panelists:

Victoria Linchong is a Taiwanese-American actress, writer, producer and director working in both theater and film.  Before she was 21, she had appeared in the Obie Award play HOT KEYS (Naked Angels) and produced five plays by James Purdy, including SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS with Laurence Fishburne. She also was Production Coordinator for STOP THE WAR: A FESTIVAL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, the only artistic protest against the first Gulf War (1991 Obie Citation). More recently, Victoria wrote, directed and acted in the short film DOUBLE DEALING, which was a finalist in the 2nd Annual 72 Hour Film Shoot Out. She founded Direct Arts in 2006 and as its creative force, she curates the monthly reading/screening series Take Two. Victoria studied acting with Sanford Meisner and at British American Drama Academy at Oxford University in England. She was Development Assistant at Film Forum and Grants Manager at Theatre for a New Audience.

Nancy Robillard is a director whose credits include productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional and summer theatre. She has directed a number of world premieres, most recently the new musical Slow Dance with a Hot Pickup by John Pielmeier and Matty Selman, (Boulders Theatre), Honor and the River (Luna Stage) and Rosemary & I with Olympia Dukakis (Metro Stage).  On Broadway, Robillard was assistant director to Mike Ockrent on Big, and Alan Arkin on Taller than a Dwarf and Power Plays. Robillard received an MFA in directing from Illinois State University (home of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre), has taught acting and directing at several colleges and works with emerging writers in the MFA program at New York University. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Mike S. Ryan is an independent producer whose films have garnered nominations and prizes from the Academy Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards and many more. JUNEBUG made its international premiere at Cannes in 2005 and went on to be the lowest-budgeted feature film ever nominated for an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams.) Other credits include Todd Solondz’s LIFE DURING WARTIME and PALINDROMES, Clark Gregg’s CHOKE, Kelly Reichardt’s OLD JOY and MEEK’S CUTOFF, Ira Sach’s 40 SHADES OF BLUE (winner, Sundance Film Festival 06) and Hal Hartley’s FAY GRIM. Mike is an Independent Spirit “Producer of the Year Award” Nominee, one of Variety’s 2007 “10 Producers to Watch” and an IFP advisory board member.

Karen Shook has directed over twenty productions that have been seen in theatres, parks, and festivals in Chicago, Minneapolis, Ontario, and London. As the Artistic Director of Tripaway Theatre, she spent several summers directing open-air productions of Shakespeare. Karin has puppeteered with Redmoon, acted with Strawdog, created and taught a writing program at Players Workshop, served as an artist mentor for the Steppenwolf Arts Exchange Program, and was selected as a finalist for both the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and the Goodman Theatre’s Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship. She is a co-founder of the Chicago Director’s Lab.

Ching Valdes-Aran is an actor/director who received an OBIE award for her performance in the MA-YI production of R. Pena’s Flipzoids directed by Loy Arcenas and a Lucille Lortel nomination for Best Featured Actress in J. Hagedorn’s Dogeaters directed by Michael Grief produced at the Public Theater. Broadway: The Wild Party (Virginia Theatre), Shakespeare On Broadway (Lady Macbeth, Lady Capulet, Duke Senior; Belasco Theatre). Major roles: The House Of Bernarda Alba (NAATCO); Mother Courage (Ma-Yi Theatre); Medea (Pan Asian Rep.); Empress Of China (Cincinnati Playhouse); Philoktetes (Shatterhand Co., Berliner Fiestpiele); Clytemnestra (Iphigenia At Aulis, Yale Rep.); Olan (The Good Earth, Bristol Riverside); Imelda Marcos (Dogeaters, Public Theatre/La Jolla Playhouse). Directing credits: La Mama E.T.C., Penumbra Theatre, Immigrant Theatre, Ma-Yi Theatre, Terre de Scene (France); member of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Awards: OBIE (FLIP-ZOIDS, Ma-Yi Theatre); Spencer Cherashore Award, Charles Bowden Award, Asian Cultural Council Writing Fellow, MAP Rockefeller Grantee, and a FOX Fellow.


Joel de la Fuente and Kira Onodera in THE MINOTAUR by Anna Ziegler


Julia Ahumaba Grob and Jake Hart face off in THE DESERT PLAY by Eric Dufault as the Sun and Coyote.
Nikaury Rodriguez, Miles Angerson, Helen Kim, Daniel Abeles (on floor) in THE DESERT PLAY by Eric Dufault.
The Cast of THE DESERT PLAY by Eric Dufault.
Victoria Linchong, Eric Dufault, and Tiokasin Ghosthorse in the post-reading discussion on Indigenous Rites and Ecology.