Chatterbox is Carrie Caudle and Benoît Monin, a duo of seasoned improvisers who make up two-person plays right in front of the audience. Each performance tells a different story. Through rapid-fire unscripted dialogue, Chatterbox explores the everyday banter, the awkward moments, the shared joys, the delightful flirtations, the missed opportunities, and the heartfelt confessions that together make up human connection.

Carrie Caudle is an improv producer and teacher, a local gal who sticks close to home.

Benoît Monin is a French actor and improviser who performed in multiple Inferno productions, including two previous Diaspora Festivals.

Molinete was formed in 2009 with a violinist, cellist, and guitarist working on original Argentine Tango music. They have evolved into the current quartet and while they know many tango standards, they focus on new original music. While seasoned with funk, blues and a little jazz, they stay true to the feelings of tango music. Molinete is a Spanish word. It means to wind or spool around a center point. Think capstan or the reel of a fishing rod. In Tango Argentino dance a molinete is one of several fundamental elements that form the base of the dance. In the dance one person holds the center space while their partner dances one of several possible rhythmic patterns around them. Our ensemble is built around being able to perform the core of our music as duets, trios, quartets, and occasionally, as a larger ensemble. The Molinete ensemble members are: Carol Braves, violin; Steve Heckman, woodwinds; Suzanne Schrift, bass; Robert Fields, guitar. Each musician is experienced in several musical styles including classical, folk, funk, jazz, and Latin.

Mint Tea Music Production presents: Persian music with a twist, created and performed by Amir Etemadzadeh. / Music.

Mint Tea Music Production is a cultural organization that promotes musicians and artists with opportunities for performance and exposure. #MintTeaMusic.

Amir Abbas Etemadzadeh:

Instructor, Composer, musician is a developed percussionist who's specialization in hand percussion has made him a highly sought after accompanist and solo player. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Etemadzadeh is considered a leading exponent of the cutting-edge generation of highly creative cross-cultural musicians and educators.  Tel: (619) 729-6902

Nan Busse, Tobey Kaplan & Heikki Koskinen - poetry is easy : lesson in four poemsPoetry Is Easy: Lesson In Four Poems, created and performed by Nan Busse,Tobey Kaplan & Heikki Koskinen / Spoken words -Music-Theatre.

Tobey Kaplan, has taught creative writing, reading and composition in the SF Bay for over 40 years at several East Bay community colleges and through California Poets in the Schools. 

She has given poetry readings and literacy/social change workshops throughout the country, and often collaborates with musicians and performers;  please find her work in selected anthologies and collections, both paper and digital.   She recently enjoyed a writer’s residency at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony last summer and was celebrated for her work at the Fairmont State University (W.VA ) Literary Arts Fall Festival.   Throughout her professional career, she has remained committed to the primacy of imaginative language and resiliency through telling stories

Nan Busse 

In addition to creating her own dances/shows, Nan has done Deborah Hay's SPCP, danced around the world with Danny Nguyen and locally with Christine Germaine, Vangie King, David Dorfman/Axis and others.  Performing (dance and didgeridoo) with musician Joe Lasqo and many fine, new music artists has been a source of joy.  She completed a residency at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony last summer and has created pieces performed at the SF Fringe Festival (Best of Fringe 2016) and Yugen Theatre in Action series,  (Yugen Theatre, SF) among others.

Heikki “Mike” Koskinen /composer/music teacher, was born in Finland and received his main education there, including private music studies, as well as Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Aalto University. He left his native Finland to study jazz at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1970’s and later moved to San Francisco. He was chosen Finland's top jazz trumpet player in 1970's "Rytmi" Magazine critics polls and is the recipient of several composing grants, recorded numerous albums, and won awards as an innovative children's music teacher. His Bay Area bands, with Heikki on trumpet featured such musicians as Hadley Caliman, Steve Heckman, Mark Levine, Joe Bonner, Bennie Green, Larry Hancock and Michael Spiro. He was the coordinator and host of the Bay Area weekly radio program Studio Finland for ten years and he has arranged music for “Kaleva All Stars” band in numerous Bay Area Finnish events. He has worked extensively over the years with Finnish “Kellari Trio” and “Otherworld Ensemble”, recording many albums.  Locally he has been part of Rent Romus’ innovative Lifes’s Blood Ensemble, performing and recording several albums playing e-trumpet as well as arranged and played piano with the Jazzschool Big Band.

Dynamic Deux present Sitting On A Bench

Ben and Anna met when they were only 25 years old, and have known each other ever since. Now in their late 20s, they've decided to form a supergroup. Dynamic Deux is formed of two members, Ben and Anna, equally famous residents of Oakland, CA. Their upcoming hit album, You're not Alone Trust Me has a song on it about how we can find belonging, peace and fulfillment sometimes. Letting yourself go, though bad in relationships, fuels performance and art, which creates a greater understanding of the world. Most people who try to change the world fail miserably, but if we don't all at least try to bend that great arc of history towards justice then we'll all be cranky, cruel and very straight.

Anton's Well Theatre Company: Preview selection from upcoming production of Here We GO by Caryl Churchill, directed by Robert Estes, performed by Marcy Rich, Vicki Victoria, Pamela Hollins.

The play concerns the ultimate Diasporas, the unknown country mortality.

MR Communications Presents Playin’ Possum, one of a series of short dramas about life on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, First Light to Midnight (A Day on the Avenue). Written and directed by Daniel Rudman. Performed by Jenn Bates, Mick Renner, and Umi Grant.

MR Communications was previously known as Power Mad Productions, presenting plays such as Shaw’s The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet, Handke’s The Ride Across Lake Constance, Giraudoux’s The Apollo of Bellac, and Mick Renner’s solo performances Velma and Adapt.

Jenn Bates attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC where she spent some years pounding the pavement. The dream and a nursing career are now being pursued from the bay area. Favorite credits include Jenn in The Secret in the Wings at CCCT, Veronica in God of Carnage at Shelton Theatre in SF, Winter’s Wife with PCSF, Sloman in Enron with Zeitgeist Stage, and Becky in Voyeurs de Venus with Company One, both at the Boston Center for the Arts, Ruth in Blithe Spirit at the Barnstormer's Theatre, David’s Redhaired Death at the Abingdon in NYC, and Chicago regionally. Thanks to Steph for always being game.

Umi Grant is excited to be performing in Playin’ Possum with Mick Renner and Jenn Bates under the direction of Daniel Rudman. Umi holds a BA in Communications and has recently started an Improv group at the Blue Dream artist space in Oakland. Previous roles in the Bay Area include Aaron in Titus Andronicus (Vallejo Shakespeare, directed by Cathryn Regan), Clayton Wilkie in Water by the Spoonful (Contra Costa College, directed by Angela LaBarre), and Stokely Carmichael in All The Way (Contra Costa Civic Theatre, directed by Marilyn Langebehn).

Mick Renner: former college professor, professional actor, and technical writer. Brabantio is his second role at Inferno Theatre. He has performed at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Claudius in Hamlet, Boze in Petrified Forest), Eureka Theatre (Hugo in Mary Barnes), Berkeley Shakespeare Festival (Pericles in Pericles, Thersites in Troilus and Cressida). He created the roles of Al Haq and Hanratty in the Death of Buster Quinine (Claremont CA: 1970, 1972, 1994). He has performed solo shows at the Boulder and San Francisco Fringe Festivals, and at the Marsh Theatre. His most recent role was as Richard Russell in All the Way at CCCT. See more at

Daniel Rudman is a published playwright, director and actor. His plays have been performed in Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Paris. He was past winner of the Bay Area Theatre Critic's Award for Best New Play of the Year. Playin' Possum is part of an evening of seven short plays, First Light to Midnight, that takes place on the same street during one day.

Daniel is also a short story writer and memoirist and the editor of an anthology of creative basketball writing, Take it to the Hoop.

Inferno Theatre: Quantum Rapture “excerpt”,Written and Directed by Giulio Cesare Perrone. Performed by Joshua-Morris williams, Danie Citlali Valdivieso, Jesse Franklin Charles Vaughn / Theatre

Inferno Theatre is the producer of the Diasporas Festival and a world class ensemble theatre based in Berkeley. We seek the links between cultures and explore the roots of human relationships in space and time. For us theatre is an all-creative state of existence grounded in a resonant body of works that are physical, literary, and spectacular. We believe in live theatre that leads to dynamic and positive change in the lives of all who participate in it, whether spectators or performers. We believe that theatre can both transform reality and be an integral part of the cultural and sociological context of society.

Giulio Cesare Perrone, is  a playwright, stage director, set and costume designer.  Giulio co-founded the Inferno Theatre of which he is the  producing Artistic Director. Giulio began his career in his native Italy where he directed and designed mainly for the theatre.  He moved to the United States in 1995, and now has over 250 theatre and opera productions to his credit. Giulio has worked for theatres and opera companies including the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Festival Opera, Dell’Arte, Opera San Jose, California Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Works, Travelling Jewish Theatre,  Marin Theatre Company , and the Alley theatre. International: Milan, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Croatia, Hungary,Denmark.

Danie Citlali Valdivieso is a Chilean-American thespian and vocalist. This is her first performance in the Diasporas Festival; she's very happy to be returning to Inferno Theatre for this project. Danie has trained in the Laney College Theater Department's Fusion Theater Project and has been acting in the bay area for the past 3 years. In their 2017 season, she played in Ubuntu Theatre Project's showing of Death of a Salesmen. Later that year she performed with TheatreFIRST in their production of The Farm by Jon Tracy, a musical-theater adaptation of the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell. She has co-directed childrens plays at Madera Elementary School, including Holes by Louis Sachar and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. More recently, she played Emilia in Inferno Theatre's production of Othello. Danie will continue her theatre education at Laney College and move on to a local 4-year institution. 

Jesse Franklin Charles Vaughn, an actor and guitarist from Oakland California is happy to be returning to Inferno Theatre and making his debut performance in the Diasporas Festival. He recently appeared in Inferno Theatre’s production of Othello. Jesse has been acting in the Bay Area for the past four years, giving him the chance to work with such talented groups such as Ubuntu Theatre Project, Theatre Rhinoceros and The Playwrights Foundation under the direction of Margo Hall. He appeared in Dirty Butterfly by Debbie Tucker Green with Anton’s Well Theater Company and Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies by Tearrance Chisholm at Custom Made Theatre. Jesse plans to continue his training at Laney college and move on to UC Berkeley.

Joshua-Morris Williams is a classically trained actor currently operating in the Bay Area.  Native to California but often found traveling, he continues to search for the deepest meanings in life and love.  He will forever be thankful to his family and friends for their never-ending support and collaboration, and would like to thank you, reader, for supporting the arts. 

Rudradeep Chakrabarti completed his masters degree in theatre from prestigious National School of Drama of India, he is also a graduate with special honours in drama from  theatre department of Rabindra Bharati University of India, after extensive travels in Asia and in some countries of Europe in search of theatre he founded his own small self funded independent  theatre organization in San Francisco bay area called, " Theatre Movement International" working with contemporary political theatre performances with native American issues and with themes on silk road traditions of south Asia, right now involved with a series of short theatre performances about unheard life of indigenous Chiricahua apache tribes and their radical voice related to socio- political and environmental issues of new Mexico and Oklahoma.
The Tazieh Project - Tazieh is a popular form of theatre performed in India, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Anatolian Turkey to some countries of Central and South Asia including South east Asia to countries sharing Arab language Diaspora in Middle East and Africa even upto Jamaica, Our short demonstration and performance in this festival is an attempt to evolve and showcase an eclectic theatre  form with synthesis of some selected narrative and musical idioms from the unheard Indigenous performances of Islamic world to be performed first time in United States exploring some of the ideas and concept of Tazieh , the title of the performance is "The Tazieh Project”.

Andrej Diamantstein

As an actor and writer I worked in the independent films and the national theater system of Germany as a protagonist. I have practiced martial arts since more than 40 years. I teach muso jikiden eishin ryu iaido, an ancient surviving art of using the sword from japans feudal period practiced by the samurai warriors over centuries until modern times. This art has changed its character from surviving on the battlefield to an art of personality forging. It is taught today as a personality development tool for leading management positions, to maintain high functioning and control stress while maintaining physical ability and strength. I also offer acting classes for individuals. Today I will try to give you a view through a small window into what iaido might be.