It’s not very often, at least in my experience, that you are invited to contribute work as part of a larger community- a body of work united around an idea, a theme, a singular impulse, an event. More often than not art can feel insular, beginning from within, working so that our ideas might radiate out. The regional theatre model collects and contains, offering the work up after it has been properly adjudicated. This can be seen in new play development programs across the country. These programs provide a type of shelter, a dialogue from within. Considering this thought, we must ask ourselves if the work becomes locational, adhered to a particular regional identity. For whom are we writing? For this particular theatres audience? Are the questions we’re asking as artists influenced by the questions the theatre is asking?
It does not go unnoticed that the playwrights in residency at our larger regional theatres have had commercial success, or are “on the radar”. At these larger regional theatres, where are the playwrights such as Caridad Svich or Erik Ehn? These playwrights find refuge in smaller theatres and academic institutions, where the need for risk-taking is part of their artistic identity. Rather than working from a place of isolation, Svich and Ehn are the champions of community, asking big questions and casting a wide net with great response. Ehn’s Soulographie almost seemed too big, too impossible, too much to be consumed, yet because of his fathomless heart he was able to bring together artists from all over to share work and dialogue around a complicated ideology, a question of identity.
Caridad Svich has done this with Gun Control Theatre Action. Her call to artists has brought together playwrights who have had both commercial success and given voice to the fringe. Force/collision, the company I founded with an ensemble of other artists based in Washington, D.C., was brought up by Ehn and Svich. We shared La MaMa ETC with Soulographie for “Shape”. We unite with NoPassport, New York Theatre Review, NY Madness and New Dramatists for Gun Control Theatre Action. Community is the basis for our work. We investigate a vocabulary for making work by how we relate to those things outside of ourselves, whether it be site-specific or a collaborative engagement. Svich has given us the opportunity to connect and to respond, to rally together as voices united.
Gun control is large, impenetrable, challenging. As citizens, we find ourselves at the mercy of lawmakers, corporations, lobbyists. Seemingly daunting, we can feel defeated, perhaps stuck in the notion that we cannot move, we cannot make change, we are small, individual. However, as artists we have a deeper connection. We have community. Gun Control Theatre Action are the texts which give voice to our humanity. Artists are special in that way because we ask the large questions by responding to our immediate environment, our eyes, ears and hearts open to the narrative surrounding us. What you cannot expect of Gun Control Theatre Action is a town hall. What you can expect is a community of theatre artists united in solidarity for an evening of plays which give voices to those ideas and more importantly, individuals who often feel like you and I, small but worthy.
BHAVESH PATEL, KRISTEN CONNOLLY, NEIL LABUTE, CHIORI MIYAGAWA, JENNIFER MAISEL, WINTER MILLER AND MORE SUPPORT NOPASSPORT’S GUN CONTROL THEATRE ACTION WITH FORCE/COLLISION ON APRIL 29
New York, NY– NoPassport theatre alliance & press founded by 2012 OBIE-award winning playwright Caridad Svich will stage a free theatre action to support gun control in collaboration with interdisciplinary arts ensemble force/collision (John Moletress, Founding Director) and NY Madness (Cecilia Copeland, founder) and New York Theatre Review (Jody Christopherson, founder), hosted by Chiori Miyagawa atNew Dramatists on April 29 at 6:30 pm. This theatre action will feature new work by playwrights Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty), Jennifer Maisel (The Last Seder), Oliver Mayer (Blade to the Heat), Winter Miller (In Darfur), Chiori Miyagawa (Leaving Eden), Gary Winter (13p), August Schulenburg (Flux Theatre Ensemble, NY), Caridad Svich (The House of the Spirits) and more under the direction of John Moletress.
Featuring actors Kristen Connolly (“The Cabin in the Woods”, “House of Cards”), Bhavesh Patel (WAR HORSE on Broadway), Noah Galvin (Playwrights Horizons’ BURNT PART BOYS), Reyna de Courcy(Playwrights Horizons’ THE WHALE), Greg Keller (NYTW’s BELLEVILLE, WIT on Broadway), Jody Christopherson, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Karin Rosnizeck, Sue Jin Song, Yvette Heyliger, Laura Zamand more to be announced.
VENUE New Dramatists 424 West 44th Street, New York, New York
DATE/TIME April 29 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
TICKETS RSVP to nopassport2013forguncontrol@
*SEATING IS VERY LIMITED To RSVP for this Pen and Swill event at New Dramatists, call 212-757-6960 starting April 1, 2013