Michael Yawney’s Exile Jesus Starbucks is an original theater play based on the life and work of artistic leader, Assurbanipal Babilla or Bani (as his friends called him). Like Bani’s own productions, the work will combine scripted text with material in collaboration with the performers. The piece is a triptych made up of brief scenes tracing Bani’s trajectory from being Iran’s best known artist to an elderly barista making sculptures out of discarded bottles.
Michael Yawney is a Miami-based playwright/director dedicated to creating work that is purely theatrical, expressing itself in an idiom that is only possible in the context of live performance. As a local director, he has worked with Miami Light Project, Orchestra Miami, and Nova University. Nationally his work has been seen at Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall, Austin’s Vortex Rep, the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival, and many New York venues including HERE and The Brick. His longest production was Heather Woodbury’s 12-hour stand-up novel As the Globe Warms, which was seen at Austin’s Vortex Rep, Los Angeles Redcat and in Miami at Florida International University. His play 1,000 Homosexuals debuted in 2008 at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He was a resident playwright in Miami-Dade County’s Playwrights Development Program and New York Stage and Film/Vassar Powerhouse. He co-curated the international Iranian Theater Festival in New York in 2011, which presented his production of Assurbanipal Babilla’s Something Something Uber Alles. Michael’s writing has appeared in Theater Week, Propaganda, Playgirl OutTraveler and OFF as well as in the book, Michael Chekhov: Critical Issues, Reflections, Dreams. He received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University and a Batchelor of Fine Arts from the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University. He currently teaches at Florida International University and sits on the board of The South Florida Theatre League.