New York City was once a city built on the pride of its various immigrant communities. Nowadays, times have changed and the immigrant stories that once built pride and togetherness in our cultural capital have been forgotten. We're endeavoring to create a devised theater piece about what it is like to move to New York City, from another state or abroad. What do the masses come to New York City looking for? What American Dream does NYC specifically have to offer? How has this changed since the days of Ellis Island? What struggles and joys are young people (high school and college) experiencing as they begin to come-of-age in a city of so many cultures and values? What are the effects of the anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim vibes that permeate our country on the lives of those young people?
We're working to create a devised theater piece to be put up in the end of November, 2010 in a lower Manhattan theater. Stories and anecdotes will be collected mainly from 11th grade students of Brooklyn International High School and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and then adapted into theater. Video, projections, song, movement, and spoken word will all be used to create a dynamic piece that explores what it is to move to New York City in the 21st century. Documentaries and interviews about modern immigration, personal narratives, and New York City will also be incorporated into the text of the piece.
Carly McCollow, the director will be working closely in a Brooklyn International High School classroom to gather together the stories and find collaborators among the high school students. A design process will continue with a video designer, projections designer, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer, and dramaturg to create the most visually compelling space for the piece to unfold. Rehearsals will also be held at NYU, both working to capture the actor's personal stories about moving to America and NYC, and also to transform some of the high school student's stories into performance pieces. In the theater during performances will be a museum that documents the film, videos, statistics, interviews, photos, and writing samples the piece has been made with.
However, nothing comes free, and especially not in New York City. The production will require transportation costs to allow the Brooklyn-based high school students and Manhattan-based NYU-Tisch students to rehearse and collaborate together, it also will require the funds to build a set, rent lights, sound, and projections equipment, money to pay for copyrighted materials we think are crucial to telling our story, and the money that will allow us to help the high school classes and their families to see the production for free to ensure that money is not a barrier to them seeing their own stories come alive onstage.
Artistic Collaborators include:
John Jalandoni (set and story)
Rachel Fettner (costumes, dramaturgy, movement)
Eric Swiecinski (film)
Shawn Duan (projections and story)
Sean Daniels (light)
Chantel Pascente (sound)
Noah Miller (dance)
Sam Greiff (concept/BIHS-support)
And an incredible cast of 11! Plus, Brooklyn students and stories from other Tisch students not appearing onstage!
- (38 days)