"Based in the Atlanta-metro area, Oakland, CA, Cambridge, MA, and New York, we are a dynamic and diverse national team of scholartists, artists, and activists divinely put together to bring to life the story of the 1901 Buffalo, NY World’s Fair. At the heart of our collaborative process lies (1) our intention to tell history “honestly” by making actual archival material live, breathe, speak, and interact on stage; (2) our conviction that theatre/performance are the most urgent vehicles to explore and explode anti-blackness; and (3) our radical openness to collaboration where we function in an almost-entirely non-hierarchical approach to art making."
The Creative Team
Meet the creative minds behind AT BUFFALO.
AMMA Y. GHARTEY-TAGOE KOOTIN: LEAD ARTIST, CO-WRITER,
CO-LYRICIST; CO-CONCEIVER; MUSICAL BASED ON DR. AMMA’S RESEARCH
Born to African immigrants in Tuskegee, Alabama and raised in Kansas, “Dr. Amma” is a scholartist, writer, performer, and producer who transforms historical material about black identity into performances for the stage and screen. Named a 2019 TED Fellow, she bridges the worlds of academia and arts/entertainment—having worked for A&E® Networks/The History Channel, National History Day, Inc., and as a professor. Her hyper-collaborative creative research projects have garnered numerous fellowships and awards including a 2019 MAP Fund Grant, a $45,000 Innovative Seed Grant (CU-Boulder), a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, etc. She is also a co-recipient of a 2020 Honorable Mention for the National Council on Public History’s Outstanding Public History Project Award for her co-direction of [the Georgia Incarceration Performance Project]. Her educational work for the Peabody-award winning documentary Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights received a 2006 Beacon Award. The History Channel selected Dr. Amma to join the ranks of Ang Lee and Gloria Estefan as one of 37 extraordinary immigrants/children of immigrants whose stories are currently featured at Ellis Island’s Museum of Immigration. Dr. Amma is an alum of Harvard University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Performance Studies). www.drammaworks.com
Photo by Bret Hartman/TED.
JOSHUA WILLIAMS: CO-WRITER, CO-LYRICIST, CO-CONCEIVER
Dr. Joshua Williams is a writer, director, teacher and scholar. In 2007, New York Magazine named him "a star of tomorrow" on the basis of his forthcoming novel, Live To Tell Me So. His plays have been produced or developed at Theatre Intime, Princeton University, the Capital Fringe Festival, UC Berkeley, CU Boulder, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, CAP 21, Ars Nova's ANT Fest, SUNY Buffalo, the Rhinebeck Writers' Retreat and Play Ground San Francisco / Thick House. He was a 2012-2013 member of the PlayGround San Francisco Writing Pool and had two of his short plays read at Berkeley Repertory Theater. In 2011, he directed the North American premiere of Ebrahim Hussein's Kinjeketile at UC Berkeley. Currently a visiting professor at Brandeis University, Williams’s academic research concerns the political figure of the animal in East African theatre and performance. His articles, essays and reviews have appeared in ASTR Online, Theatre Journal, The Johannesburg Salon, Theatre Survey, Africa is a Country, HowlRound, Brittle Paper and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Williams holds an A.B. from Princeton University in Comparative Literature with certificates in African Studies and Creative Writing, an M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, also in Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies at the University of California Berkeley. www.jdmwilliams.com
KHALIL SULLIVAN: LEAD COMPOSER, CO-LYRICIST,
Khalil Sullivan is a musician, scholar of popular music and popular performance, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the Band Leader, Composer, and Lead Vocalist for the six-piece ensemble MAD NOISE, which received the distinction of being selected by the US State Department's American Music Abroad (AMA) program to take part in a diplomatic music tour to Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea in December 2015. The ensemble has won several awards in the SF Bay Area, including Best Band in the Bay (SF Bay Guardian, 2011, 2012, & 2013), Best Hyperliterate Busking Outfit (SF Weekly, 2011), Best Local Band (Daily Californian, 2011); and have performed at a variety of local music clubs, venues and alternative spaces including Yoshi’s (SF), Great American Music Hall (SF), Hotel Utah (SF) The Uptown (Oakland). In his spare time, he also plays guitars for San Francisco, CA-based punk band, The Truants. Sullivan holds an A.B. in English (Theatre minor) from Princeton University. http://madnoisemusic.com/
DEADRIA HARRINGTON: CREATIVE PRODUCER
Deadria Harrington is a New York City-based creative producer, artist and member of the Producing Artistic Leadership Team of The Movement Theatre Company. With The Movement she has developed numerous new works by emerging artists of color, most recently NY Times Critics Pick, What To Send Up When It Goes down, by Aleshea Harris, directed by Whitney White. Producing credits include: And She Would Stand Like This by Harrison David Rivers, directed by David Mendizábal and choreography by Kia LaBeija (The Movement), The Architechture of Becoming (WP Theater), AT BUFFALO (NYMF, UB Buffalo Creative Arts Initiative, CAP21), Alligator (New Georges). Harrington was a Time Warner Foundation Fellow of the 2012-2014 Producers Lab at Women’s Project Theater, a Next Generation Leader of Color at the 2014 Latinx Theatre Commons National Convening and is currently the Associate Director/Producer at New Georges. She holds a B.A. in Drama and Psychology from Vassar College.