“If you want to know where theater can take you, get on Monica's bike.”
-Stephen Wangh - author of An Acrobat of the Heart; A Physical Approach to Acting Inspired by the Work of Jerzy Grotowski
BIKE * PERFORM * TEACH * RESEARCH * DOCUMENT * COME HOME and then… CREATE.
I am preparing for a solo bicycle tour through Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia that includes performing my plays, storytelling workshops and researching for a new play about sustainable energy.
Riding a bicycle alone through foreign lands at the mercy of geography, weather and people is one of the most vulnerable ways to travel and in my experience, I have discovered thrilling connections I believe are worth creating from and sharing with the rest of the world.
Although this tour is vast in its scope, the main theme I am exploring is Power:
- The power shift in Middle Eastern countries. I will collect stories of personal experiences of revolutions from local citizens and activists.
- Power in countries that are developing new methods of renewable energy sources and also those countries that are losing their homes to global warming. In these countries, I will document the culture that was built on a dying landscape.
-I will also look at personal power through story exchange workshops, inviting people to share stories with me of moments of triumph, hardship and bravery.
-I will perform my two latest solo shows, Blondie of Arabia, about my bicycle journey through the Middle East in 2009 and The Wild Finish, about my bicycle adventure through Poland seeking the story of my grandfather.
-I also hope to close my tour with the Follow the Women Ride in October; bicycling with hundreds of women across Palestine visiting refugee camps, encouraging women to empower themselves with the mobility and freedom allowed by bicycles. I will document the whole experience.
DON’T WORRY. I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING.
I have now biked solo across Poland, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Now that I have established connections and learned how to navigate through those landscapes, I want to return with a tour that is about exchange. I have something to offer with my performances and workshops but I also have so much more to learn. I hope with my continued collaborations with organizations abroad, I can create pieces for American audiences in hopes that the intimacy of personal narrative will have a part in dismantling the abysmal lack of understanding of Middle Eastern and other cultures.
I have been invited to perform in festivals in Romania, Prague, The Netherlands and offered teaching opportunities in Greece, Jordan and Poland. People are waiting for me. I just have to show up!
Your Support will Fund:
-The Biggest One: My airfare. Not only out to the Middle East but also for additional trips that I do not have time to cover by bicycle, to countries that are truly at environmental risk due to increased global warming like Bangladesh and the Maldives
-Payment for technicians to do lights and sound for my show
-Healthy food to keep me energized for the long rides and activity
-Some good camping equipment
-The occasional hostel when I can’t camp or couch surf
Your commitment to this project will help me not only build my relationships with the international community, but also make possible my creation of future works I will write and produce in the United States.
Thank you so much for help!
I look forward to seeing you when I return and sharing the fruits of the journey!
See you in the streets.
Well, a little bit. But you have to be to make dreams happen. And this is not my first time to travel through these areas. I have biked across Poland, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. My first travels through these areas laid a foundation of familiarity with customs, language, roads, environment, weather, established relationships with organizations and friends. Now that I have the opportunity to return with all of my previous garnered knowledge, I can be in a stronger place to provide something creatively, to be able to engage more fully.
Also, as any bicyclist will tell you, the people of these areas in the Middle East are the most generous and kind hosts you could ever hope to meet.
Support this project
- (20 days)