Samantha Shay, photo Victoria Sendra

Samantha Shay



This performance-concert is a declaration of love for the human voice and fragility of life. A Thousand Tongues combines traditional songs from the current conflict areas of the Middle East with music originating from different parts of Europe. It intertwines these songs with images inspired by long forgotten stories from Mesopotamia, which are shrouded in mystery and speak of the divine feminine and primordial love. This piece invites us to reveal ourselves to one another more deeply, embrace vulnerability, self-reflection and self-expression. It welcomes us home to a place where we all are, above everything else, human beings.

  • Performer, artistic leader ― Nini Julia Bang
  • Director ― Samantha Shay
  • Dramaturg ― Jarosław Fret
  • Lighting design ― Nicole Pearce
  • Sound engineer ― Paul Evans
  • Technician ― Maciej Mądry
  • Director’s assistant ― Valerie McCann
  • Lighting designer's assistant ― Kate Ashton
  • Producers ― The Grotowski Institute, Source Material Collective
  • Premiere ― 7 November 2016
  • As a theatrical performer, she conveys strong emotion through movement and facial expression, providing a complete experience for songs that evoke intense feeling. One of the most magical moments came when the light faded down to a single lamp on the floor of the stage. Bang eclipsed it and held the curtain before her, sometimes embracing it to where the shadow disappeared, then falling back so that the shadow of her body became an eerie ominous presence. I felt like I watched the struggle that she has with herself, that we all have within ourselves. A Thousand Tongues is a fitful meditation, or desperate prayer, and definitely spiritual at the core.

    Sean Ongley | THRU Magazine

  • After hearing Bang sing for 35 minutes, I didn’t want to listen to anything else. I needed her voice to stay stuck in my head.

    Sophia June | Willamette Weekly


Date and hour

7 November
8 November


Running time

55 minutes