A generation without borders is an inspiring concept. Although I believe it is possible and well on its way, I do not believe we are it or “there” yet. While I recognize that the technological boom of the past twenty or so years has made great stride in this direction, the resources at our disposal have also been stifling, isolating and somewhat detrimental to the natural forms of human contact and communication our art form not only employs or promotes, but is fundamentally composed of. The very substance of our theatre is the discourse of energies – the immediate, relatable and jarring embodiment of presence and abstractions in close proximity to the other. Technology has bridged key gaps in our abilities to have cross-cultural dialogue, to collaborate across great distance, and to express concern – to rally – to look forward, to be proactive in an reactive world. I think this has been its greatest gift to the artists of our time, especially those of and for the theatre. In that spirit, our generation is conducting very naked explorations of complex issues – truly augmented by, but not solely reliant upon, our modern tools of communication. Here is where I believe that we are making our greatest progress as a new generation of theatre-makers.
We are a very hungry generation – hungry for new theories, new methods, new tools and most of all, opportunity. The opportunity to explore, to test, to succeed and to fail is of great importance – we are hungry to learn. We are harnessing the transformative spirit of generations before – moved by a cyclical call to fight injustice, to articulate equality, and to create the conditions for a world in which each individual can harness their potential and live with security and integrity. We are moving away from the commercial and back to the communal. We are moving away from capital and more towards the essential…the existential. That is where I believe our work will align with our legacy. I look forward to the possibilities of a renewed theatre, of the great works it will facilitate and to the renewed bonds of respect and understanding across our community of artists and audiences. The conversations have only just begun, and thank you to TCG for providing the forum – but let’s not be afraid to act in the meantime. Let’s have a conversation through action…through theatre, once again.
Wilfredo Hernandez was recently appointed as the Managing Director of the Mixed Phoenix Theatre Group (NYC). Prior to his appointment, he served as the Founder/Producing Artistic Director of a hybrid producing organization made up of Triple H Productions, Inc. and Mecca Entertainment, LLC (NJ). Since 2003 – with the outstanding support and generosity of his family, friends and community – Wilfredo managed one of the premiere arts organizations for young artists in central NJ. During his leadership, the company produced over thirty-five full-scale stage productions, workshops and community events. Highlights include The Wizard of Oz, Grease, Disney’s High School Musical 2 – On Stage! (Regional Premier), Guys and Dolls Jr., Footloose, Once On This Island Jr., Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, etc. He has worked professionally for NYU, Disney Theatrical Productions, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, etc. He was awarded his B.A. in Theatre Studies & Arts Administration from SUNY-Empire State College in 2007. In 2010, Wilfredo was tapped by Disney Theatrical Productions to stage the first pilot production of the company’s newest youth musical, Disney’s Peter Pan JR. Most recently, he was hired as Administrative Producer of the Fall 2011 production of Measure for Measure, directed by Professor Kristen Horton, at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Wilfredo is dedicated to ongoing professional development and has been recognized with several scholarships and awards, including: Emerging Artist of Color Scholarship to attend the 3rd Biennial Leadership Institute sponsored by the Alliance of Artists Communities at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL); Emerging Leader Scholarship to attend the 30th Annual conference of the Arts Schools Network (Anaheim, CA); and most recently, an Eric Rofes Memorial Scholarship from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (Washington, D.C.) to attend Creating Change: The National Conference on LGBT Equality (Baltimore, MD).
Currently he is pursuing his M.A. with a concentration in Producing & Directing Theatre at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he was awarded the Nadine Abergel Arts Fellowship for 2011-2012. His work at NYU is based around exploring the intersections of mythology and issues of social justice through theatre. He is a passionate artist, professional and educator committed to collaboration and crafting dynamic, engaging stories on the stage – dedicated, overall, to facilitating new work that fosters equality in and through the arts. Visit his website at www.whtheatre.com!