Mondo Bizarro is a New Orleans-based company that has been creating daring, interdisciplinary art and fostering creative partnerships in local, national and international communities for the last fourteen years. We are an ensemble that creates, presents and produces a wide array of imaginative projects aimed at utilizing art as a tool for understanding what makes us commonly human and individually unique. Our work is intentionally multi-disciplinary, ranging from physical theater to large-scale community festivals; from innovative digital storytelling to site-responsive productions.
Our projects have been experienced in art centers, universities and outdoor locations in 34 states across the country and occasionally abroad. We have been supported by: Creative Capital, MAP, NEA, NEFA’s National Theater Project, National Performance Network, Rauschenberg Foundation, Alternate ROOTS and the Network of Ensemble Theaters, to name a few. To date, we have created eight critically acclaimed works of performance. We have presented over five hundred local, regional and national artists through our State of the Nation Art and Performance Festival and initiated the nationally renowned place-based digital storytelling projects “I-Witness Central City” and “I-10 Witness Project.”
Bruce France is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Mondo Bizarro. After a great deal of continental travel throughout his youth, due to his father’s naval service, he settled down for a while in Baton Rouge, LA at Louisiana State University where he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Performance Studies. Bruce has a diverse production history working in both theater and film as a performer, writer, director, producer, camera operator and editor. His work has been seen in over a dozen states and four countries, but he gains the most satisfaction from producing and creating artistic and socially conscious projects in his home city, New Orleans. He makes his living as a videographer and has shot and edited videos for a wide variety of clients including: government agencies, non-profits, arts organizations, unusual athletes, and individual members of the community. To see some samples of Bruce’s work check out his page on Vimeo.
Bruce married his long time love, Maeci Wang, in November 2008 and they gave birth to their first child in January 2010.
Hannah Pepper-Cunningham is a theater-maker, musician and cultural organizer based in New Orleans. Hannah is the co-artistic director of training programs with Mondo Bizarro. Hannah is also a member of the Race Peace ensemble; and a collaborative artist with “Last Call: New Orleans Dyke Bar History Project.” Hannah trained with The Arts & Democracy Project, The Highlander Center, The Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program for white social justice activists and the Odin Teatret. Hannah has organized with Critical Resistance and European Dissent and co-developed the community engagement and cultural organizing strategies for Mondo Bizarro and Artspot’s coproduction of Cry You One.
Joanna Russo is a director, writer and performer, and serves as Co-Artistic Director for Mondo Bizarro. Originally hailing from NYC, her NY directing credits include: Dialogue at the American Theater of Actors, Alice in Bed at the Juilliard School and Sideshow at the Susan Stein Shiva Theater. In 2007, Joanna fell deeply in love with the city of New Orleans. Here she co-founded the performance troupe NEW NOISE and directed their multidisciplinary productions Pchile Goyin (a co-production with Mondo), Maybe You Can’t Tell, and most recently Runnin’ Down the Mountain and Oxblood, both of which went on to tour up and down the East Coast. Joanna has co-written and performed in The NOLA Project’s How to Draw the Sun, NEW NOISE’s Vigils, Sound Off! and After the War, Mondo Bizarro’s Race Peace and our most recent State of the Nation Festival. In 2009, Joanna received an NPN/Transforma grant to begin a storytelling workshop at a senior living facility in New Orleans. These days, she is facilitating a storytelling and music-based program for elders who have Alzheimer’s disease through the Alzheimer’s Care and Enrichment program. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and is currently hard at play writing and singing in our latest production, Cry You One, in collaboration with ArtSpot.
Nick Slie is a New Orleans-based performer, producer and cultural organizer that works with his company, Mondo Bizarro, to use art as a tool for understanding what makes us commonly human and individually unique. Nick’s creative endeavors range from interdisciplinary solo performances to large-scale community festivals, from innovative digital storytelling projects to site-responsive productions. Since 2002, his wide array of imaginative projects such as Flight (2007-2011), Loup Garou (2009-Present), Race Peace (2008-Present) and Cry You One (2013-Present), have been experienced in art centers, universities and outdoor locations in 34 states across the country and occasionally abroad.
For more than a decade, Nick has been passionately engaged in rebuilding his hometown of New Orleans, collaborating across sectors on a vast array of local performance and arts-based civic engagement projects. From 2004-2008, he served on the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS and is the former board chair for the Network of Ensemble Theaters. He currently serves on the inaugural APAP Artists Committee.