Thursday, July 25, 2013

Making Theatre Matter: Talk and Action

Now there's one more reason to look forward to Friday. 

At 2pm tomorrow the BAPF is hosting an incredible panel of theater makers who use their art to engage the world's problems. The discussion, Making Theatre in a Messed Up World, takes its name from moderator Velina Brown's TBA blog post of the same name.

It's free! It's open to the public, and it will inspire you.
(If you're out of town, watch the livestream or the archive)

Who are we going to speak with?
  • jump-up-and-down-and-march-with-me rabble rousers
  • introspective writers who hit where it hurts
  • activists in neighbourhoods, prisons and classrooms. 
Many are locals—all are nationally renowned. Names below! We're going to put it to them straight in this two part seminar

Part I: Why theatre?

When we decide to make a change, fight an injustice, why turn to the stage? What is it that the performing arts has that no other tool has? Why do we put on make-up and costumes instead of marching or going door-to-door? What makes the stage more powerful than the megaphone?

Part II: How?

These panelists are experts in all different styles. Their performances are devised, hip-hop, circus-inspired, musical, dramatic, and poetic. They use transcriptions and adaptations and (our favorite) brand-new writing. These panellists put the audience member in a different position, each dependent on the different style. Are you watching the story, waiting on edge to boo, hiss or cheer? Are you an active creator of the story? The means, as always, are just as important and varied as the ends.

Without further ado, let's meet our amazing guests.
Velina Brown (Symposium Leader)

Rhodessa Jones, Cultural Odyssey

Lindsay Krumbein (Gritty City Rep)

Margo Hall (Actress, Member Campo Santo)

Michael Rohd (Sojourn Theater)

Michael Gene Sullivan (SF Mime Troupe)

Dael Orlandersmith (Playwright - PF Workshop Instructor)

Richard Montoya (Culture Clash)

Torange Yeghiazarian (Golden Thread)

Ryan Nicole Austin (NuDekades and Mouthoff)

Sean San Jose (Actor, Director, Member Campo Santo)

Kinan Valdez (El Teatro Campesino)

Christine Young (USF Department of Theater and Social Justice)

Joan Holden (Playwright, Former SF Mime Troupe lead writer)

Kimber Lee (BAPF Playwright, author of brownsville song [b-side for tray])

Phew! So if you ever wanted to meet any of these fabulous movers and shakers, tomorrow is the time! It's going to be a open conversation, with panelists -  not lecturing -  but engaging with the audience in a seat-swapping, hard hitting, honest discussion. Everyone who wants to speak can speak and have their topics heard in an open forum. 

The event will be ABSOLUTELY FREE, followed by snacks from Mediterranean restaurant Pera and complimentary wine!

This symposium will be simultaneously live-streamed through #newplaytv. So catch the conversation there if you can't be with us on the day.  

So. That's the talk, but what about the walk? You'll really to see the political work we're fostering at the moment. Kimber Lee's brownsville song (b-side for tray) is playing at 8pm that night. This graceful, lyrical work. Unpretentious, funny, gentle, but with plenty of teeth, this play acts as a witness and not a commentator, challenging the definition of "political" theatre. It is a must-see event.

photo by Jim Norrena

So join us Friday for these two great events. Talk the talk and walk the walk, meet some collaborators, find some friends. Lets get angry then happy then moved by turns.
It's a great time to be alive and making art!

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