Becoming Our Spaces

              

Photo Credit: Whitney Browne Photography

Court “C.” Surmanek (they/them) is a live artist, theater-maker, and facilitator. C. is invested in the use of the arts and creative play to incite joy, curiosity, and dialogue. Their work roots into radical imagination, storytelling, and everyday practices of transformative justice. C. is an Instructor with the Center for Communicating Science, an MFA/Masters Candidate in Theatre & Public Dialogue and Urban Planning at Virginia Tech, and a collaborating artist of The Clinic Performance and Ping Chong + Company. A third-generation New Yorker with Ashkenazi Jewish and Sicilian roots, C. calls the occupied lands of the Massapequa, Matinecock, and Lenape (Queens, NY) home.





Longer Bio:

Court “C.” Surmanek (they/them) is a live artist, theater-maker, and cultural organizer who creates interactive installations and performances from scratch combining fact and fiction, and often incorporating real people's stories. As a creator, facilitator, and longtime educator, C. works with people from all backgrounds and sectors to explore ethical storytelling, narrative power, and everyday practices of transformative justice. Their facilitation style blends serious play, healing, liberatory frameworks, and big dreaming.

C. is currently an Instructor with the Center for Communicating Science and School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech, and a dual degree M.F.A./M.S. Candidate in Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue and Urban & Regional Planning at Virginia Tech. C. collaborates regularly with The Clinic Performance and Ping Chong + Company, and dreams wild dreams with Streaks of Lavender, a queer collective of artists building ourstory.

They’re a recent NEW AESTHETICS Fellow with Theatre Replacement and Visiting Fellow at Skidmore College's MDOCS Storytellers' Institute. They have been a SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Social Practice Artist-in-Residence with ProjectArt, Fellow at The Performance Project at University Settlement, EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics and Fellow with The Art & Law Program. They’re a grateful learner of the Center for Artistic Activism’s Art Action Academy, and New York University's Art & Public Politics Department.

As a civic artist, C.’s work takes place in public space, hospitals, and community spaces. C.’s work has been presented with numerous cultural institutions, including: Abrons Arts Center (NY), Dixon Place (NY),Goggleworks (PA), Leslie-Lohman Museum (NY), Mitchell Art Gallery(EDM, AB, Canada), The Performance Project (NY), Play Perform Learn Grow(Thessaloniki, Greece), and Theaterlab (NY). Forthcoming projects are being supported by Actors Theatre of Louisville and Kentucky Nurses Association; the Center for Communicating Science at Virginia Tech; the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, and the Oncology Nursing Foundation.

C. is a third-generation New Yorker with Ashkenazi Jewish and Sicilian roots. They call the occupied lands of the Massapequa, Matinecock, and Lenape (Queens, NY) home, and recognize the complications of “naming” as a violent remnant of colonization.