'23-'24 Performance Partnership Program

The Southern Theater’s Performance Partnership Program (PPP) is a competitive program that gives artists and non-profit performing arts organizations the opportunity to present their work at The Southern Theater. Our desire in offering this program is to support emerging artists and underrepresented stories, offering a space for individuals and collectives to work on their craft and build an audience without financial burden.

Here's our list of '23-'24 Partners!


Amez Dance is a project-based dance company, created in 2023 by Nieya Amezquita to be a hub for artistic experimentation and to push the boundaries of art and how it can change and develop our community. It was created to unify artists and form an environment that helps them feel encouraged and supported while taking risks. Amez Dance uses dance as an artistic medium to explore, understand and create conversations about human psychological concepts while emphasizing vulnerability and authenticity. 

The inaugural production is set to premiere at The Southern Theater in June 2024. 


Alexandra Eady (She/her) dances in honor of those that have come before, the ones that are witnessing, and for future generations. She wants to first acknowledge her wonderful family, mentors, collaborators and students that give her energy and light every day. Alexandra is interested in creating and dancing choreographies that require a sustainable intensity and maintain a connection to story by being guided by our ancestors, something that requires a constant connection to the information that flows through our veins. Alexandra had the great privilege of practicing the contemporary dance technique of Yorchhā, created by Ananya Chatterjea. With Ananya Dance Theatre she has traveled nationally and internationally teaching and performing. In the summer of 2023 she had the opportunity to attend the Art OMI Dance residency and be in collaboration with 9 other dancers from around the world. In 2021 she received the Mcknight Fellowship for dance and worked in collaboration with Maria Bauman (MBDance) to perform a solo created by Maria as part of the “SOLO” McKnight performance in Minneapolis. Alexandra teaches in a variety of settings across the Twin Cities. She co-chairs the dance department at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and is on faculty at the University of Minnesota. Continuing this important practice of sustainability, she is the owner of Sustained Body, a Pilates and Holistic Movement practice that combines her dance training with other fitness and movement training practices.


May Klug is a composer and performer based in Minneapolis. Her performances combine the techniques of electroacoustic music with the visual aesthetics and theater of queer performance art, high-femme fashion, and pop. She primarily works with keyboards, flute, voice, and electronics, particularly feedback. Her work explores the agency and desires of audio technology and instruments through improvisation, chance procedures, and the expression of glitches and idiosyncrasies in pieces of audio tech. Her practice is deeply influenced by her time studying with experimental composers including Alvin Lucier and Paula Matthusen. She has performed in Minneapolis with 113 Composers Collective and Zeitgeist Ensemble, along with regularly gigging in the Twin Cities DIY scene in the band Egg Girl Girl, and producing underground queer events featuring multimedia art, film screenings, and music in the Dykes 2 Watch Out 4 collective.


Chava Rey Curland is a director of theater and film based out of the Twin Cities. She has previously collaborated with Dan Jones on three workshops developing Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree (Phoenix Theater, Ithaca College Residency, New Victory Theater Residency) and on the immersive theatrical presentation of It's A Good Life, part of the Rod Serling Conference. In the Twin Cities, Chava has collaborated with movement and puppetry based companies In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, The Open Eye Figure Theater, Mad Munchkin Productions, Classical Actors Ensemble, and many others. Chava has directed and filmed eight short films in the last two years, with Feasting the Ancestors winning at the Intercollegiate Film Festival in 2022 and the TO BE PROJECT being featured by FilmNorth in 2023. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband, Josh, and corgi, Ruby.

Dan Jones is a Queens-based puppetry artist, writer, and multi-disciplinary theater maker who has worked with companies including the American Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Everyman Theatre, Nick Jr., St. Ann’s Warehouse, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Off the Page, the Public Theater, Asheville Creative Arts, Geva Theatre Center, Mabou Mines, and many more — including seven wild summers with Minneapolis’ popular Adventures in Cardboard program. Dan specializes in the use of wastestream materials to create immersive and big-hearted narrative spectacles, inviting audiences to see both everyday objects and the natural world with new eyes. A lifelong fan of author Ray Bradbury, Dan is thrilled to debut The Halloween Tree at the Southern with longtime collaborator Chava Rey Curland following workshop partnerships with Ithaca College and the New Victory Theater. 


Liqing Xu is a playwright and screenwriter. Their work has been developed/presented/supported by Theater Mu, Second Stage, the María Irene Fornés Institute Writers Workshop, The Orchard Project, the Sewanee Writers' Conference (as a Walter E. Dakin Fellow), Breaking the Binary Festival, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. They are a proud inaugural member of the Mu Tang Clan. They are a Semi-Finalist for the 2022-2023 Princess Grace Award, the 2022-2024 WP Lab, the 2023 Disney General Entertainment Writing Program, and a Finalist for the Mentorship Matters BIPOC Initiative. Currently, she is a Playwrights' Center 2023-2025 Many Voices Fellow, and was previously a 2022-2023 Many Voices Fellow. BFA: NYU, Film and Television. MFA: Hunter College, Playwriting. Born and raised in Northern California, they are often between Los Angeles and New York.


Reasons for Moving is an interdisciplinary and multilingual dance-theater project exploring the intergenerational scars of geopolitical displacement. Its script collects the writings of the collaborators and their families’ biographies, alongside found text on the circulation cycles of migratory animals and the natural world. The title comes from the final two lines of Keeping Things Whole, by the late Canadian poet Mark Strand: “we all have reasons for moving/I move to keep things whole.” Combining fictional and non-fictional stories, the ensemble investigates painful pasts as much as the present as a path forward. Reasons for Moving is especially relevant for local audiences, given Minnesota’s long history with displaced and displacing populations — hosting and uprooting is part of its fabric. Performer/collaborators are: Kalala Kiwanuka-Woernle, whose mother first left Uganda for the UK, and then arrived in the US on a student visa; Gretta Marston-Lari, whose grandmother immigrated to the United States with her young children to escape Peru’s Sendero Luminoso; Mai Moua Thao, whose parents are refugees from Laos by way of Thailand; and Skye Reddy, whose family lost their ancestral homelands in the colonial Partition of South Asia. Directed by Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento with media design by Eliot Gray Fisher and lighting design by Tom Barrett. Additional collaborators to be announced.


Devohn Bland is a Minneapolis based comedian, writer, filmmaker, and musician who specializes in harnessing Radical Collective Joy. His work utilizes his different artistic practices in an effort to poke fun at those who abuse power, but more importantly to create a sense of togetherness through laughter. He is a co-founder/producer for Uproar Performing Arts and has written for Minneapolis Publications such as Racket, The Nordly, and MN Artists. Through the Spit Take Comedy Series Residency he performed his show Devohn Bland and His Keyboard: A Live Event (Act 1) in 2022 and he is very excited to showcase the more personal, multimedia second act in 2024.


Carlisle Evans Peck is a composer, songwriter, and teacher based in Minneapolis. Their work weaves threads of music-theater, balladry, ritual magic, queer identity, and ecology into transportive musical performance and storytelling. For Carlisle, song is myth, spellwork, and ancestral connection. They have been an active performer in the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest music scene for nearly a decade -- performing their own work and collaborating with artists in theater, film and dance. Their recorded work includes the orchestral-rock epic Electric Porcelain (2018) and the song cycle for apocalyptic resilience The Last Noble Thing (2020). They were a 2020 recipient of the Minnesota Music Creators Award, and a 2022 Cedar Commissions artist. In Iconoclasm, debuted at the 2022 Cedar Commissions, they embody the stories of six forgotten queer ancestors in a series of cabaret-style music-theatrical performances, threaded together by ritual and featuring live band instrumentation.