Artist Bios

Kristin Marting – Director

Kristin Marting is a director and choreographer. Over the last 20 years, she has constructed 25 works for the stage, including 11 original hybrid works, 8 adaptations of novels & short stories and 6 classic plays.  She works in a collaborative, process-driven way to fuse different disciplines into a cohesive whole.

She is currently developing a tour for LUSH VALLEY, a live art political work which premiered in September 2011. Other recent projects include ORPHEUS, a collaborative alt-musical; James Scruggs’s solo eight channel video work DISPOSABLE MEN and his recent hybrid play (RUS)H. She also directed SOUNDING and DEAD TECH (collaborative hybrid works inspired by Ibsen texts), both of which received prestigious MAP Fund awards. Prior works have toured around the US. She has also collaborated on several large-scale political action art events, including The Line in 2004.

For the last 20 years, she has been developing a unique hybrid directorial/choreographic form that features a “gestural vocabulary” used both as an emotional signifier and as a choreographic element. This vocabulary, though specific to each project, is in a state of constant development with an ever-growing set of permanent gestures being added to the repertoire.

She is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of HERE, where she cultivates artists and programs all events for two performance spaces–including 17 OBIE-award winners—for an annual audience of 30,000. She regularly serves on grant panels for NEA, NYSCA, DCA and TCG, among others. She was recently named a Person of the Year and honored with a BAX10 Award for Arts Managers. Previously, Marting co-founded and served as co-artistic director of Tiny Mythic Theatre Company for nine years.  She served as Robert Wilson’s assistant for HAMLETMACHINE and SALOME.  She graduated from NYU with honors in 1988.  She has lectured at NYU, Harvard, Columbia, and Williams College among others.


Mahayana Landowne- Dramaturg

Mahayana has worked as a professional theater director for over 15 years and served as dramaturg on many of her productions. Her love of research and dramatic structure has lead her to work primarily on new work. She likes to create imaginative and dynamic support for collective dramatic visions that transcend daily life. Recent productions directed include: Fairytale Experiment (Rubulad), MIXED (Baruch), This is Way Beyond My Remote Control (at The Wild Project), Picasso Project (Luna Stage), Blue. (Vital Theater), Carcass (Diaspora Drama), Baby Dance (Schoolhouse Theater), The Heiress (The Roundtable Ensemble at the Mint), Machinal (U. of Rochester), and Terrible Infant (Fringe Festival). Musicals include: Spring Bling, Summer in the Hummer, and The Dick Cheney Holiday Spectacular (Ace of Clubs), Western Unidad (Ice Factory Festival, Ohio Theater), Post-Code (American Living Room, HERE), Woman’s Voices of Union Square (Tenement Museum). Favorite past productions include The Skriker, Antony and Cleopatra, The Seagull, brass logic, Streetcar Named Desire, Obgynt, King Lear, and Mud. Affiliations/Fellowships include: Drama League, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab 04, Directors Lab West 06, Woman’s Project, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizon’s Theater School, NYU and Yale School of Drama. NYU-BFA-acting YSD-MFA-directing. For more info check out: She is also a social political activist: She served as Resident Director for Billionaires for Bush 04-08, Co-executive Production Director of Dance Parade 08,09. Core member Metropolis in Motion 06-. Founder of Radiant Axis, leading workshops in creative expression. She has spent months on the road traveling America, and grew up a Quaker.


Tal Yarden- Video Designer
Tal Yarden has created video designs for numerous shows. Current projects include, Sounding (HERE), Zoom (ZviDance). He is a frequent collaborator with director Ivo van Hove. Their current projects include Mozart’s Idomeneo (La Monnaie, Brussels), Little Foxes (New York Theater Workshop), The Misanthrope (Shaubuhne, Berlin) and Children of the Sun (Toneelgroep Amsterdam). Recent productions include Cries & Whispers, The Antonioni Project, Angels in America, and Roman Tragedies (Toneelgroep Amsterdam) and Wagner’s Ring Cycle (Vlaamse Opera). Other recent work includes Pop! (Yale Repertory), The Night Watcher (Primary Stages), Distracted (Roundabout Theater), and Beast & Liberty City (NYTW). Previous design work includes Pavel Zustiak’s Le Petit Mort and Martha Clarke’s Kaos in New York and Ivo van Hove’s productions of Mourning becomes Electra and Rent, Mark Wing-Davey’s Monkey in the Middle and Stephen Petronio’s The King is Dead (with Cindy Sherman) and Not Garden. He has also designed for Reza Abdoh’s Tight Right White and Quotations from a Ruined City, and Tim Feldmann’s Twin-Project. In New York he has collaborated with John Jesurun, Jim Simpson, Mikel Rouse, DD Dorvillier, Mia Lawrence, Kyle de Camp, Conway and Pratt, and Margarita Guergue. Together with Patricia Fox he created the original productions of Corpus Exquisitus and A Dog and Pony Show. In 1994, he co-founded the theater company Chashama for which he created the site-specific shows Jr. Black’s Office and Disease Machine. Tal Yarden was born in Israel and grew up in Red Hook, NY. He studied film at Bard College with Adolfas Mekas, Paul Arthur, P. Adam Sidney, Bruce Baillie, Tom Brenner and Ken Ross. He also studied documentary filmmaking with the founder of Cinema Verite, Jean Rouche at Harvard. During the 80s he made music videos for various bands including the Silos, 10,000 Maniacs, and Barkmarket. He also frequently designs video installations for commercial events and concerts.
Artist Statements
Kristin Marting
I make theatre because it forges community. I believe community can be formed when a group of people share live art in the same space at the same time. In that community, we can examine our shared assumptions & find new meaning. In a culture where people often feel isolated & overstimulated, this means a lot. I seek to create immediate work that engages the complexity of today’s streaming culture.  LUSH VALLEY is an ideal project for viscerally engaging contemporary audiences.In 2004, I had one of my most exciting performance experiences collaborating with 5000 very different people (artists, union members, activists, churchgoers) to create “The Line”, the world’s longest unemployment line, in protest of the Republican convention. That inclusive process led me to conceive LUSH VALLEY. In order to similarly incorporate multiple perspectives, LUSH VALLEY is being developed on simultaneous platforms: public action, online community & live performance. Our current political climate dictates that I make this work now.This kind of collaboration is challenging, but my long participation in the HERE artist community has honed my ability to collaborate & my recognition of its role in creating complex work. I am confident that Tal with his visceral imagery & Yana with her political acumen are ideal collaborators to share this process-driven path.At the core of my work is risk-taking, both in form and content. In form, I endeavor to erase the boundaries between disciplines to create a cohesive whole. The challenge of fusing American iconography, Tal’s video, Yana’s activism & our community’s perspectives into a dynamic work is thrilling to me because of the risk & opportunity that it offers. I am eager to take that leap.
Yana Landowne
I enjoy sculpting experience.  I also relish telling a clear story and tightly crafting action. In the last 5 years while creating “regular plays”, I became aware of the need to engage a larger audience as activated participants.  I am interested in radical self-expression and empowering others to believe in the power of their creativity.  LUSH VALLEY will allow me to engage American creativity.I have protested injustice my whole life, but in 2004 I connected with Billionaires for Bush activists who showed me how humor and clear messaging could be more effective than marches. I learned how to marry my theatricality and spectacle with political content that was not didactic. I participated in large activist actions and began to lead some.  There was something innate in my ability to stage a show that provided what was needed to create effective actions.  I began to work with Action Arts League, a group that develops public participatory art events.I have admired Kristin’s work for years and feel that our artistic voices compliment each other: Her vision, imagination, gesture work mixed with my love of structured experience, dramaturgical skills, and passion
for radical inclusion will fuse into exciting work. Being able to collaborate on such an immense project will expand my artistic vision and allow me to synthesize many voices and ideas. Through LUSH VALLEY, I will expand my sense of what it means to be an American artist.I experience many different Americas; the one that interests me the most is that of the people; its sprawling mess of love and contradiction.  I want to get inside LUSH VALLEY and use my skill and experience to create theatrical art with political impact.
Tal Yarden
I’m really excited  to join this project.  For New Year’s, Obama has said “brighter days are ahead of us – although our challenges are great, each of us has the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.  It is that spirit that has kept the American Dream alive for generations.”I’ve always been a bit obsessed with myth-making.  It’s amazing to see simple human moments crystallize into an ideas that drive a nation to commit both acts of profound generosity and extraordinary carnage.  It’s incredible to me how susceptible we are to these myths.  I guess we are a species of believers.  We need ideas to bind us together so we can accomplish visions great than our individual abilities.As a video designer I am often looking for ways to magnify the truth.  Video is a kind of megaphone.  It’s a tool for dissecting intimate details and projecting them on a scale that makes them mythic.  I am always trying to understand how to turn images into icons;  how to convey the grand sweep of time; and how to take a small moment and endow it with the power to change the course of history.I want to uncover a reality behind the myths. I’m looking forward to exploring footage from and Library of Congress as well as videotaping documentary narratives with a broad cross-section of individuals.  I feel like I’m entering an extraordinary crime scene rich with a preponderance of evidence and millions of suspects to interview.  The question is not “Who done it?” but “What’s the crime?”Lush Valley is a perfect vehicle for exploring this relationship I have with theater and myth-making.  One only has to step back a few feet to realize we’re all actors in this play about the pursuit of the American Dream.

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