HERE Arts Center and Bethany Arts Community Present The Story Box

Written and Performed by Suzi Takahashi and Directed by Kristin Marting

Ossining, NY: September 23 & 24

Image: HERE Arts Center

Ossining, NY – The Story Box is a multi-genre storytelling event using text, visuals, music, and experiential learning to explore the importance of safeguarding our civil rights through the lens of Japanese American identity. Grounded in Takahashi’s own family history, and a traditional form of Japanese street theater and storytelling called kamishibai, The Story Box is deeply personal and universal for many immigrant families from across the globe.

Representing the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII, the audience will receive a name tag and suitcase, inside of which is a wireless headset and a family photo album. Each unique family photo album documents an account of the problematic history of Asian people in the U.S., and more recently, the rise in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.

The Story Box is inspired by the events of writer/performer Suzi Takahashi’s own life. Performed and delivered through Takahashi’s own words, transmitted via the headset, The Story Box asks audience members to reflect together on the stories in each suitcase. At the end of each performance, audience members are invited to turn to their neighbors and read aloud the letters written by Asian Americans which have been packed into their suitcase. Through this intimate and communal act, the audience breathes life anew into these stories. As the experience draws to a close, the audience is invited to leave a story of their own behind for future audiences.

Performances at Bethany Arts Community and at the Ossining Waterfront Park are: co-presented and produced by HERE Arts Center. The Story Box has been developed with support from Alfred University, Bethany Arts Community, Bristol Valley Theatre and National Park of Women’s Rights. It is co-presented with Japan Society, Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, and NYC Economic Development Corporation and through partnerships with Asian American Arts Alliance, Chocolate Factory, Flushing Town Hall, National Lighthouse Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Arts, and Target Margin Theater. Additional support provided by The Venturous Theatre Fund of theTides Foundation; and GREEN / ARTS LIVE NYC. GREEN / ARTS LIVE NYC is made possible with support from New York Community Trust and Con Edison’s Arts Al Fresco Series, administered by City Parks Foundation in collaboration with the Horticultural Society of New York, New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, NYC Department of Transportation, OpenCultureWORKS, and Street Lab.


The Story Box explores the immigrant experience and the importance of safeguarding our civil rights through the lens of Japanese-American identity, using traditional Japanese storytelling elements, like kamishibai, along with Takahashi’s own family history.

Written, created, and Performed by Suzi Takahashi
Developed with and Directed by Kristin Marting

Composed by Michaela Gomez
Production Manager Jonathan Cottle
Set and Costume Design by Jian Jung
Sound Design by Drew Weinstein
Stage Manager Elyse Durand
Assistant Director Elyse Durand

September 23 at 6:30pm – Bethany Arts Community in the Garden of Peace and Love, 40 Somerstown Road, Ossining, NY

September 24 at 4pm and 7pm – Ossining Waterfront Park, Ossining, NY

In an effort to make this program accessible to all, we ask that you pay what you can per person for each ticket. Tickets at this link: or CLICK HERE.

Performances are presented as part of Bethany’s 2022 Season of Justice. For more information about the Season of Justice visit:

Bethany’s mission is to create a space and environment where the many forms of art can be learned, produced and flourish. Artists of all ages and levels of experience are welcome to explore and create art that the community can experience and be engaged in while enhancing their perception and perspective of the world. BAC aims to inspire sharing, connection and collaboration in a culture designed for the benefit of the local community and beyond. Since Bethany’s founding, the belief that engaging with the arts expands people’s perceptions and broadens their perspectives on the world has been central to its mission. This idea was important in 2015 when Bethany was in formation. It is an urgent calling today, at a time when society is increasingly polarized and the pandemic and economic hardships are fueling fear and anxiety.

During the 2022 season, Bethany presents a series of programs that endeavor to deepen understanding of some of today’s most pressing societal issues, including the American justice system, the criminalization of “otherness” – color, ethnicity, religion … – and explore themes of isolation, healing, and hope. By engaging artists working in different mediums who have personal and lived experience, or who collaborate closely with those who do, the 2022 Season of Justice is both deeply personal and accessible. The Season of Justice showcases the power of artistic work and the creative process to deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other, promote healing, and reimagine our world. Bethany is excited to welcome Suzi Takahashi, Kristin Marting, and HERE Arts Center back to Bethany to present The Story Box as part of the programming.

Since 1993, HERE has been one of New York’s most prolific arts organizations. Today, it stands at the forefront of the city’s cultural scene, producing and presenting daring, new, multidisciplinary performance experiences. Founded in 1993 by four artists — Kristin Marting, Tim Maner, Barbara Busackino, and Randy Rollison — HERE was envisioned as a welcoming, safe environment that could attract and launch a variety of artists. Since its inception, HERE has been home to such acclaimed artists and works as Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, as well as works by Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting.

For more information about HERE visit:


Suzi Takahashi (Writer/Performer)
Suzi Takahashi is a biracial, Japanese/American theater creator, director, actor, and educator. She holds a BA in Theatre from Barnard College, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU-Tisch, and an MFA in Directing from Stony Brook Southampton. Suzi trained with the SITI Company. Suzi is part of the faculty at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where she teaches Movement and directs. Recently, she was named Director of the Stella Adler Studio’s AAPI Artist’s Initiative. Suzi also teaches Asian Theater at NYU-Tisch. Previously, she has taught theater at: The Actor’s Studio, Pace University (IPE,) Swarthmore College, The City College of New York, and Hunter College. As an actor, she has performed for artists like: Taylor Mac, Richard Foreman, Richard Schechner, Kristin Marting, and Phil Soltanoff. Suzi was a three-year member of the Williamstown Theater Festival’s “Non-Eq” company, and has toured nationally and internationally. As a theater maker, Suzi has collaboratively created fifteen original works. She was a two-time HARP Artist-in-Residence at HERE with the international women’s performance ensemble she co-founded, Ex.Pgirl (2002-10.) Also, she was an Emerging Artist Directing Fellow at the New York Theater Workshop. Suzi has won numerous grants for her original works, which mostly explore Asian American women’s identity. She was the recipient of the 2009 Innovative Theater Award for Best Director.

Kristin Marting (Director)
Kristin Marting is a director of hybrid work based in NYC. She has constructed 30 works for the stage (9 original hybrid works, 7 opera-theatre and music-theatre works, 9 adaptations of novels & short stories and 5 classic plays), most recently Looking at You with Kamala Sankaram and Rob Handel. Other recent projects include Silent Voices at BAM, IDIOT with Robert Lyons; Bombay Rickey, an opera cabaret also in Prototype; Trade Practices, an immersive theatrical experience where the audience determines value. She also directed Sounding and Dead Tech (collaborative works adapted from Ibsen), both of which received prestigious MAP Fund awards. She was recently named a Person of the Decade for outstanding contribution, a Leader to Watch by Art Table and honored with a BAX10 Award. As Founding Artistic Director of HERE, she cultivates artists and programs all events for two performance spaces for an annual audience of 30,000. She co-created and co-curates HARP, HERE’s Artist Residency Program. Kristin is also co-director of PROTOTYPE: opera theatre now, an annual festival of contemporary opera-theatre and music theatre works, which she co-founded with Beth Morrison and Kim Whitener.

Michaela Gomez (Composer/Performer)
Michaela Gomez (Composer/Performer) is a New York City based musician who has toured extensively with the band Hazmat Modine.  She has been featured on the albums Leave Your Sleep (Natalie Merchant,) American Music for Gypsy Souls (Bill Barrett,) and Bahamut (Hazmat Modine), as well as on the soundtrack for the Academy Award nominated documentary, Pina.  Michaela is a graduate of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and The New York Studio School where she studied visual art. Michaela was a student of music with Michael Longo.

Jonathan Cottle (Production Manager)

Ayumu “Poe” Saegusa (Production Manager)
Ayuma “Poe” Saegusa (Production Manager) started his career in 2000 in Tokyo. He moved into NYC in 2005 and became resident lighting designer of HERE.  He also works as a Freelance lighting designer for various types of shows from NY Fringe festival to Lincoln Center.  Additionally, He works as production manager in the USA and Internationally. His Clients include Tokyo Metropolitan theater, Japan Society, NHK (Japan BroadCast corporation) ,FCI, Shochiku, Yoshimoto, HERE and many others. He founded Creative Machine Stage Lighting in 2017 (

Jian Jung (Set and Costume Designer)
Jian Jung (Set and Costume Designer) is a New York based designer. Her works have been acclaimed as ‘innovative’, ‘inventive’, ‘genius’ and ‘spectacular’ by major press such as The New York Times, LA Times, and Time Out. Jung received Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Award for Aya Ogawa’s Ludic Proxy, and was nominated for Henry Hewes Design Award for Haruna Lee’s Suicide Forest. Her design was exhibited in Prague Quadrennial 2015. Her theater work has been in Classic Stage Company, The Kitchen, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea, Abrons Arts Center, Theater Row, ART/NY, and Soho Rep, and internationally in Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Korea. Her opera work has been in Lincoln Center Juilliard School, Long Beach Opera (CA), and Huntington Theater (Boston). Jung received an MFA in Theater Design from New York University, and an MFA in Environmental Design from Ewha Women’s University in Korea.

Drew Weinstein (Sound Designer)
Drew Weinstein (he/him) (Sound Designer) is a multi-disciplinary theatre and sound artist. He is currently pursuing an MFA in composition and experimental sound practice at California Institute of the Arts. Before school, Drew lived in New York where he created original works for venues including HERE Arts Center, JACK, Theatre Row, The Brick, The Hive, Jersey City Theatre Center, and LEIMAY’s SOAK. As a designer and composer, Drew worked with companies including the Oye Group, HERE Arts Center, LEIMAY, The Brick, Refracted Theatre, Quantum Theater (Pittsburgh PA), Sacramento Ballet (CA), Convergence Theatre, Target Margin Theatre, Corkscrew Theatre Festival, and Taragano Theatre. His designs have been heard at venues including the Public Theatre’s Under the Radar Festival, Signature Theatre Center, BRIC, Abrons Arts Center, The Performing Garage, Long Island University, Triskelion Arts, Anacostia Arts Center (Washington DC), Plays & Players (Philadelphia PA), the Producers Club, and Cider Mill Playhouse, among others.

Elyse Durand (Assistant Director & Stage Manager)
Elyse Durand is a New York City-based theatre-maker and stand-up comedian actively compiling instruments for her one-person band. She recently graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in theatre. Credits include: assistant director/dramaturg for Nilo Cruz’s Lorca in a Green Dress and co-director for Aristophanes’s Lysistrata. Her senior thesis explored innovations in comedic conventions for expressing empathy, vulnerability and intimacy in mediated stand-up comedy, but it was really an elaborate ruse to speak at length about her favorite comedians. She is the recipient of university and state-wide research prizes for her preliminary work on an original concept album, based on the legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. She is the host of a music and comedy variety show, entitled Fret Not, performed at The Tank! For updates on artistic pursuits and upcoming shows, follow her IG: @isthatelysedurand

Contact: David Lyons

About Bethany Arts Community Inc

Bethany is a space and environment where all forms of art can be learned and expressed. Nurturing the creative process, Bethany welcomes artists, from young to old, and all levels of skill, to explore and create art that the community can engage with. Bethany fosters sharing, connection, and collaboration, in an inclusive culture where people experience the power of art to improve lives and deepen their perceptions and perspectives of the world.

Founded in 2015 by David Lyons, Bethany Arts Community aspires to be a leading center for arts creation, instruction and appreciation. After a period of renovation, Bethany opened its doors in January 2018. We have a 44,000 sq ft facility set on 25 serene acres. Our offerings include children’s and adult instruction, a performance venue, multiple galleries, rehearsal spaces, affordable studio spaces, short-term artist residencies, a public sculpture garden and wooded meditation trail. Bethany will provide the community with a range of accessible arts programs and will attract global artists to our region.