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Mini-Residency with  Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF)

Born out of a desire to support and celebrate the myriad of different independent projects of our membership.

PAPA Mini-Residencies at Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival provide a combination of in-kind support and modest funding to elevate works-in-progress within our local Asian American performance community.


Mini-Residents 2020


Memory, Vein: the collected tales by Noemi Charlotte Thieves

Noemi Charlotte Thieves makes art, theater, films and photos, with the occasional sculpture for good measure. She writes of spies and supernatural prophets, Y2K conspiracies and the relationship between memory and fiction. She's written work shown as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (2016), shown artwork at the Hot Bits erotic film festival (Philly, 2017), and has published poetry in the comic-poem anthology InkBrick. She is currently writing 007 fan-fiction titled Bondage, and is working on a video series chronicling her own memories and their often loose connections to various movies, called, Memory, Vein, for which she won the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change grant in 2019. She plans to start a religion committed to the worship and study of art, cinema, aesthetics and materials.

Memory, Vein: the collected tales is a live mix of film commentary, interviews with audience members, and a shared memory making experience where in we will view scenes from films as well as whole movies and share our associated memories we have linked with them, whether directly related or not. 

Half Magic by Joseph Ahmed

Joseph Ahmed is a Philadelphia-based theater artist whose work expands into dance, circus, and interactive performance. He is a company member with the Barrymore Award-winning Tribe of Fools, and performed for several years as part of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. With Daniel Park and Arianna Gass, he is a co-founder of the interactive performance company Obvious Agency, found at, which creates original work and partners with universities and cultural institutions such as the Barnes Foundation. As a director, actor, and dancer he has worked throughout the city with companies such as Curio Theatre Company, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, First Person Arts, ON THE ROCKS, and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. He holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University.

Half Magic is the autobiographical story of a biracial white/South Asian child raised on stories of white heroes. Joseph Ahmed uses physical theater, storytelling, and circus techniques to explore the childhood narratives and social structures that led him to self-identify as white for most of his young life. What place is left in his Bengali heritage after a lifetime of white protagonists?

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Libra Moon by Messapotamia Lefae

Messapotamia Lefae is a first-generation Filipinx-American post-gender surrealist, sartorialist, dance artist, and chanteux. Messy seeks to expand social spaces for queer community, encourage gender self-determination, and mend the wounds of transphobia through the performance of sadness, suffering, unlovability, and darkness. Messy has performed at the AIDS Fund’s GayBINGO as a Bingo Verifying Diva and The Bearded Ladies Cabaret in Color Me Bearded at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary. She developed one-on-one lip sync performances and made her live singing debut in Do You Want A Cookie?, an immersive, interactive journey through the cabaret form, part of the 2018 Fringe Festival. In the Lipsync Lounge, Messy gave private performances to hundreds of individuals and small groups as pre-show entertainment at the Late Night Snacks Cabaret, part of the 2019 Fringe Festival. Messy recently made her “Lincoln Center debut” alongside opera legend Stephanie Blythe as Blythely Oratonio in Blythely Ever After, part of the 2020 American Songbook series.

Libra Moon is a series of autobiographical contemporary dance pieces about identity, queerness, and compassion that combines devised fictional autobiographical storytelling, contemporary dance, immersive surrealist installation art, and projected animations.


Past Mini Residencies

  • Patwili (2019) by Annielille Gavino

  • Rupal Puara (2018) by Claris Park

  • Emma Stone (2019) by Daniel Park

  • Imprint, Ember, Heart (2019) by Muryama Nir

  • Voided (2018) by Pratima Agrawal

  • Keep Me Posted (2018) Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters