Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 11, 2013.

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A collaborative theater experiment, Looking B(l)ack is a theatrical exploration into intergenerational dialogue in communities of color

LOOKING B(L)ACK: A Work in Process

Dear Universe,

We are here to tell you about an exciting original theatrical work created by playwright Hannah Hodson, and devised by a group of five creative young artists of color.

In the theatre, people of color are too often reduced to stereotypes or supporting roles. This play offers young people of color the opportunity to have their vision of the world featured center stage, while drawing from the influences, successes and failures of our elders.

We want to explore how youth perform their racial identity in a “post-racial” society.  What does it mean to be a person of color or mixed race in today's America?  How does this differ from the experiences of our elders?  What does this mean for our future as citizens, artists and activists?

In an age when youth tend to worship dead idols and living lunatics, but reject the wisdom of their grandparents, here we make space for the young blacks and browns to converse with their elders, and maybe even reconcile their differences. LOOKING B(L)ACK is a collaborative performance that explores intergenerational dialogue in communities of color. Inspired by interviews with older people of color, Looking Back challenges audiences to reconsider our heroes, remember our relatives, and reclaim our identities.

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS DEVISED THEATER?

WIkipedia, our favorite cheat sheet, describes devised theater as:

Devised theatre (also called collaborative creation, particularly in the United States)... is a form of theater where the script originates not from a writer or writers, but from collaborative, usually improvisatory, work by a group of people (usually, but not necessarily, the performers).

It is not always distinguishable from improvisational theater but by the time a devised piece presents itself to the public, it usually has a fixed form: the improvisation is confined to the creation process, and either a writer, a director, or the performers themselves, will have decided exactly what is to be included and the running sequence.

We cannot live on words alone

Every dollar you contribute will go towards costumes, make-up, lights, lumber, props, video projection equipment, and most importantly: food.  In addition to feeding the five actors on-stage, we will also have to feed the production team, build crew, and operators.

A production needs fuel, and creators create better when they are nourished. Feed us! Feed us food, feed us lights, feed us props, feed us costumes, feed us the knowledge that we have your support.

If we do not reach our goal, we will have to pinch pennies and cut some essential production elements, like video projection and costumes.

Be a part of the dialogue

We hope that you understand how important this work is, not only to those involved in the production, but to the larger dialogue and collective memory to which we all contribute. This play is a document that we hope will spark dialogue that might offer solutions to new and not-so-new issues, and foster environments in which old, young, black, brown and white can dialogue critically and respectfully.

Just four years ago, the New York Times proudly declared, "Obama: Racial Barrier Falls in Decisive Victory."  Since then, America has witnessed the racially motivated murder of Trayvon Martin, outstanding occurrences of racially motivated arrests on young men of color, and an Occupy movement with almost no discussion of race.  This play has incredible relevance to young communities of color as we make our way into adulthood.

You too, can be a part of this dialogue by contributing not only the funds for this project, but by taking the conversation out of the theater and into our everyday lives.

So if you can't give money, send this link to all your friends and family, put a link on your facebook page, or send us your well wishes. Make this something to talk about.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Working collaboratively can pose challenges. Artistic differences, interpersonal conflicts, and plain old indecisiveness can cause production delays. For our own purposes, we plan to create an infrastructure that allows all creative voices to be heard, while sticking to a strict schedule of rehearsals and deadlines. We will have intensive workshops that will help us get creative juices flowing and work diligently to come to consensus based decisions. In the end, what we want is to make good theater. Your contributions will help keep the stresses of financial issues off our minds while we do our best to create something inspiring.

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Funding period

- (30 days)