Dara Weinberg specializes in forms related to Greek choruses. Groups of people singing, talking, or dancing together; poetry; lyrics; stylized text and movement. She creates semi-staged, multilingual readings with live music and casts of over a hundred. Her work also includes documentary pieces, drawing on postmemory and Central European history.
She staged choral readings of her adaptation from Greek tragedy, UMRZEĆ W ATENACH / TO DIE IN ATHENS, in Warsaw (Komuna//Warszawa), Baltimore, Łódź (Touch Theatre Festival), Indianapolis, and Los Angeles.
Other directing credits include readings of W TYM MIEŚCIE // IN THIS CITY (an interview-based play) at the Kraków Jewish Community Center; readings of Pętla // Végállomás // The End of the Line//Fin de Trayecto in Budapest, Baltimore, and Warsaw; a reading of Matthew Smith’s play BLUE WATER, BLACK SAILS, in Baltimore; a reading of Ron Allen’s short play, X RESTRUNG CORTEX, at Theatre of Note; THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL, an improvised dance play based on William Blake’s poetry, at the Met Theatre Company; and A VAST WRECK and BRANDOHEAD at Theatre of NOTE, where she is an associate member.
She founded an improvising chorus group in Baltimore called The Parallel Octave (||8ve). Parallel Octave co-created three ANTHOLOGY compilations of short poetry films with student and professional directors, all of which screened at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore:
The ANTHOLOGY films can be viewed on Youtube here.
For four years, Parallel Octave met under the auspices of the Baltimore Free School to hold a session, open to the public, to record a different poem, with music, every month. The group performed at An Die Music, CHURCH, the Baltimore Free School Talent Show, the Bell Foundry/Wham City Lecture Series, Artscape/High Zero’s “Worlds in Collusion” festival, and the Creative Alliance, and taught education workshops in collaboration with Writers in Baltimore Schools.
She also co-founded the Indy Convergence (www.indyconvergence.org), an annual conference of experimental artists, held yearly in Indianapolis, with Robert Negron and Caitlin Swihart, in 2007. The Convergence now has branches in Haiti and Toronto and continues to meet yearly.
Assistant directing: MY WANDERING BOY (dir. B. Rauch) at South Coast Rep, ROMEO AND JULIET (dir. B. Rauch) and TARTUFFE (dir. P. Amster) at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, GOLDA’S BALCONY at TheatreWorks (dir. A. Davidman), LYDIA at the Denver Center (dir. J. Carrillo), and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION at Portland Center Stage (dir. A. Posner). High school productions: LES MISERABLES (dir. T. Walch and M. Spears).
She directed and choreographed the premiere of Helma Fries’s anti-war play HUMAN BOMBING for the Berliner Compagnie, a political theater ensemble in Kreuzberg. The production toured Germany from 2003 to 2007.
She has taught multiple workshops on poetry and choruses to students and to actors since 2001, for Single Carrot Theatre, Many Hats Collaboration, the SF Mime Troupe, Windward School, Carver Center for the Arts, the International American School in Kabaty, Warsaw, Harvard-Westlake School, and others.
She is an honorary member of Chorea Theatre.
On A Vast Wreck:
” In a production reminiscent of early Actors Gang efforts, director Weinberg directs a heavily made-up and garishly attired ensemble to tumble and cartwheel through a noisy, acrobatic interpretation that’s heavy on pantomimed sex and out-loud thinking. The strength of Weinberg’s production lies in the energy of her ensemble and Chow’s simple but effective costuming, Closs-Farley’s gargoylish makeup and Jenkins’ haunted-house light plot. -” Steven Mikulan, LA Weekly
“Dara Weinberg’s direction, which practically choreographs it [AVW], reinforces Theatre of Note’s reputation as an exciting cutting-edge house.” – Laura Hitchcock, CurtainUp Los Angeles
“The epically opaque “Brandohead” is one for the surrealist books…merging scabrous absurdity, Mayan myth, industry satire and a giant cranium of the ultimate Method actor…Robert Wilson was never like this.” – David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times
On The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell:
“Blake’s hell is a land of forbidden pleasures, an antithesis to heaven’s stoic morality: Both are on the stage, melding into each other…” – Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly