WILLARD MORGAN - WRITER & PERFORMER
Willard Morgan is a New York performance artist, actor and filmmaker. Creating visually striking personas for the stage with word, music and performance, he also produces provocative music videos and films that explore his inner obsessions, as well as the trends and issues of the day.
In 2005, Morgan founded Ideal Glass, an art studio located in the heart of the East Village. His team creates multimedia live performance and video in collaboration with national and international guest artists. Front man of Ideal Orkestra, a kinetic international band with a highly theatrical bent, Morgan created the solo rock shows Saint Hollywood based on the lives of the denizens of the Boulevard, and Jelvis (the Jewish Elvis), a comedy parody act performed at New York City venues (B.B. King’s, The Highline, The Cutting Room), in Los Angeles (Genghis Cohen, The Comedy Store, M Bar, and The Three of Clubs) and in Paris (La Scala and Regine’s). His latest production, Vestiphobia, was developed at fringe fashion festivals internationally.
Morgan has a long history with Cuba. In February 2017, he and his production team brought Vestiphobia to the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, Cuba’s renowned arts venue. Collaborating with over thirty Cuban actors, dancers, models, designers, and choreographers, he presented one of the largest coproductions undertaken by a Cuban – American production. The performance featured live performance and films related to fashion, as well as workshops in which sustainable clothing was manufactured and ultimately used in fashion shows at the venue. Morgan is Vestiphobia’s Executive Producer and performer.
STEVE FAGIN - DRAMATURG
Steve Fagin is an American artist and former professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He has produced a series of feature length videos including The Amazing Voyage of Gustave Flaubert and Raymond Roussel, The Machine That Killed Bad People and TropiCola (the latter produced in collaboration with some of the most important theatre actors and producers in Havana.)
These films have been featured prominently at museums, international film festivals, art biennials and have been screened on Bravo International in Latin America, Canal + in Europe and PBS in the United States. His work has had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and is the subject of a book from Duke University Press, "Talkin’ With Your Mouth Full": Conversations with the Videos of Steve Fagin. The work has been presented in the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in many contexts including both of their summary shows of the essential art of the twentieth century.
From 2005-2009 he worked as Creative Consultant for the haudenschild Garage and Commissioning Editor of the hG, Spare Parts project. The Last Book, an hG, Spare Parts project, was conceived and directed by him. He also completed a series of “smart phone pieces”, Cell Phone Sytories, both as Commissioning Editor and as one of the artists for LACMA,Los Angeles. After directing Ideal Glass' production of Vestiphobia at Fábrica de Arte Cubano in Havana in early 2017 he wrote and directed the feature, Who the F*** is Clifford Odets completed in 2018. Steve Fagin has just completed the 8 episode Web Cabaret series, The Batista Syndrome, shot in Havana,that will be available for distribution March, 2019.
RUCO NISHINO - PERFORMER & SINGER
Ruco is an R&B singer/song writer born in Sapporo, Japan. She grew up listening to Soul and R&B music with the influence from her parents' record collection. At 19 she enrolled in LAMA (Los Angles Music Academy) to study singing and vocal technique. After graduating from LAMA she moved back to Tokyo, Japan to write and record with major and indie record labels, and also to record for her own career. To further her solo career she moved to New York City where she currently resides. Singing lead vocals with Days of Wild, led by former Sly and the Family Stone drummer Papa Guyocious, and doing back up vocals for Ideal Orkestra. While in NYC she has recorded two music videos which have been aired on television in Europe and Japan.