Courtney Surmanek


¡Tengo una voz!

Co-Director, Co-Writer

¡Tengo una voz! was an interview-based play exploring personal narratives and family and community histories of youth living in Elmhurst, Queens, NY. Created with Ping Chong + Company through a “Secret Histories” Teaching Artist Residency at P.S. 102Q. Co-Directed by Courtney Surmanek and Alex Becker, and Co-Written by Courtney Surmanek, Alex Becker, and the young people at P.S. 102Q. Created in the Undesirable Elements style, ¡Tengo una voz! was presented as a chamber piece of story-telling; a “seated opera for the spoken word”.

The development process included an extended school-based residency during which students collaborate with peers, teachers, and teaching artists, engaging in interviews, workshops in drama skills-building, and sequential writing activities. They devise original, collaborative performances, that weave their stories and histories theatrically, while touching on relevant socio-political themes.