Monica Dudárov Hunken is a performer, activist, storyteller, and teacher who creates docu-adventure plays inspired by her international bicycle voyages. Monica has been currently touring a new solo performance with music called Mt Rushmore, developed at her artist residency in SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Fish Factory in Iceland. She has performed it in the On Women Theater Festival at Irondale, NYC’s Exponential Theatre Festival, The Brick Theatre, MKE Fringe, Charm City Fringe, and Theater of Changes in Athens, Greece. As a recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Fund, she co-devised an outdoor, site specific piece along the route of the North Brooklyn Pipeline with theater company, Al Límite Collective, a company she co-founded. Al Límite Collective also produced a critically acclaimed show at New Ohio’s Ice Factory in summer 2021, called Liminal Archive, and then a new iteration in 2022 focusing on the Manhattan neighborhood of the Lower East Side. She is the recipient of the Petrolio Performance Art Award 2017 in recognition for her commitment towards addressing urgent social issues with artistic responses, as well as significant engagement with the audiences' needs in terms of resources for critical thinking and direct action. She developed an immersive ensemble piece, Outside the World, that places audience members in the shoes of refugees entering a camp. It has been produced at HERE Arts Center as part of the Sanctuary Festival and in Maine at the BarnArts Residency program. Her first play, Reading the Water, (dir. Laura Newman) produced at HERE, selected for the American Living Room Festival, explores the mysterious death of her scientist father and illuminates the dangerous conditions at his laboratory. Blondie of Arabia, (dir. Laura Newman) produced at The Living Theatre, tells the tale of Hunken’s solo bike ride across the Middle East. It won first place, the Audience Award, at the Apostrof Festival in Prague and was selected for the Theater of Change Festival in Athens, Greece, Sibiu Intnl. Theater Festival in Romania, Glastonbury Festival in England, Colchester Arts Centre, Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival in Wales and De Parade Festival in the Netherlands. Her third play, The Wild Finish, (dir. Melissa Chambers) about her bicycle journey across Poland to find the story of her grandfather, was originally produced in Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, again by the Polish Cultural Institute and has been chosen for the Amsterdam Fringe, Porsgrunn International Theater Festival in Norway, The International Storyteller's Festival at Grodza Gate in Lublin, Poland, Studio Alta in Prague, Czech Republic and Horse’s Mouth Theater Festival in Sydney, Australia. Collaborations include: Mud, The Musical! which she co-wrote and starred in, Another Hero; a Choose Your Own Adventure Climate Show-an immersive production which she co-created and performed in, City That Sleeps; An investigation into New Yorkers' Dreams which she conceived, and Head in the Sand-a collaboration with Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative. Hunken earned a B.F.A. in Drama from ETW and an M.A. in Educational Theatre at NYU and has since taught in Thailand, Greece, India, Australia, England, Austria, received additional training and in Amsterdam, Poland, and Ireland. Hunken has performed with Les Freres Corbusier, International WOW, Scott Lyons and Co., Not Man Apart Physical Theater Company, The Living Theatre Company, with whom she has toured across the United States with a ritualistic play and a series of theatrical interventions at sites of injustice, through Europe doing a workshop series with immigrant populations and in Sao Paulo, Brazil developing a new play, Despertar Electrico (Electric Awakening) with 20 local performers. Since 2020, she has been creating performances as a co-director with Al Límite Collective in NY, throughout Europe and the Middle East, including a collaboration with the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine, at the Waking Life Festival in Portugal, in autonomous space Embros and at Theater of Changes in Athens, Greece. She led a master class and was a juror at the Alexandria International Theater Festival in September 2023.
Impulse and Imagination
What happens when we let our physical impulses run free, when we set the analytical mind on the back burner and move and create spontaneously? As children we play with imagery easily and without inhibitions. As we grow older, we tend to become more restrained and self-conscious. However, our bodies are still packed full of stories, emotions, memories, ideas; the fabric of our identities. Through physical exercises and forms we can access that dormant energy and creative materials that lie within and let them out to play.
This class will explore various physical theater techniques to generate stories as well as explore established text. Methods will include Viewpoints, Grotowski’s plastiques and corporals, improvisation, clowning, Linklater vocal techniques and Monica's own brand of devising original material and working with text. Through energetic physical exercises students will play with character, movement, sound and imagination, and rely on the genius of impulse to set free new discoveries.