Ridiculed, hunted, and jailed for his talent Soviet-born writer Joseph Brodsky was expelled from the USSR in early 1970s and fled to settle in New York City where he established a prolific writing and teaching career. Brodsky's poetry is filled with lyrical idealism and insight on the nature and people. He was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature and the MacArthur "genius" award and is universally renowned for his bold artistic defiance as well as eloquent and amorous way with words. Brodsky had a life-long love affair with language; he believed that language is our most precious possession and poetry in particular has the power to reveal hearts and minds.
The gentleman Joseph in our story, known better by his nickname “Tongue," is been held captive not just by his interrogator; he is an immigrant whose world has been violently torn into two realities. He is a prisoner to the Motherland that spat on him, to the politics that kept him from his parents, to his status as a Jew, to the women who love him and who he cannot but love, to his art, to his native and adopted tongues, to a home that exists only in ink on his pages.
This play may be based on episodes of Brodsky's life; however the authors of "Ask Joseph"--cowriters Roman Freud and Slava Stepnov--suggest that this drama is not about any particular person. Rather, it is a keyhole glimpse into the secret, often persecuted world of human talent, an attempt to understand the complexities of self-identification. But most importantly it is a conviction we wish to convey to our audience--that language is a gift left by chance on our doorstep and our task is to invite it into our homes and enrich it with our passion.
New York is a city of art and opportunity. With all its diversity, New York is also a city of choices. STEPS embraced that diversity in 1997 when we established our production company as an experiment in multicultural exploration. Like you, we feel most at home here where we are exposed to international talents. The cast of STEPS has included actors from Peru, Serbia, Germany, Israel, Ukraine, New Zealand, Ecuador, Russia, Argentina and the US, and performances in English, Spanish, and Russian. Because we rehearse and produce in multiple languages, STEPS focuses on material with a universal message that does not just transcend cultural barriers, but illuminates the unique fragments that bring people together.
Steps Theatre & Production Company, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation – so your contribution to the production will be Tax-Deductible.
Why we ask for your support:
Is it possible to stay without home? Yes, of course, but what is going to become out of it? We ask you to help us not to survive, but to live our season in full and present our production in November of 2012, on a beautiful stage of Arclight Theatre which aura magically supports us in telling our story of the poet. Through Kickstarter, we have set a goal of $5,000– to cover rental costs, for costumes and set design, for performance and rehearsal space, for our temporary, but home. Please know that we are grateful for any gift and support. Please help us spread the word about the production.
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