“An exhilaratingly bumpy ride into the myth-making landscape of America…The pleasure is in the piece’s highly developed sense of the ridiculous…It’s a joyride into the construction of identity, and one with unexpected emotional resonance.”
“Combines witty cultural literacy with a tender intimacy… anchored by two performances of enormous conviction – a technically dazzling one from Sieh and a subtle, profoundly emotional one from King that lays bare the soul of America as a land full of heroes that is also a very lonely place to be.”
“The juxtaposition of President and popstar encapsulates something vital about masculinity…Image is key too: the way we present to the world, the identities we construct online, and our failure to measure up to our sense of self or our sense of others. It is, amongst other things, one of the best portraits of depression I’ve ever seen.”
“Two brilliant comic performances, born from rigorous research and intense acts of gender-bending empathy, make this a surprisingly easy sell from the get-go…when a company as talented as The TEAM serve an all-you-can-eat-feast, it’s worth adjusting your waistband.”
I am honored to be representing the TEAM this week in St Louis for the “28 Hour Plays,” for which playwrights and actors from around the country are joining with St. Louisans to write and perform in 80, one-minute plays in reaction to Mike Brown’s murder in Ferguson in 2014, the ensuing unrest, and the broader Black Lives Matter movement.
I have met and gotten to listen to some of the most extraordinary people in the last four days. On Wednesday night we got to hear Elizabeth Vega talk about her activism as an artist in Ferguson and beyond. Her organizations ROOT COOP and Artivists are a complete inspiration and she is a demonstration of how to live life right. Marty K Casey has been unbelievably generous in showing us St. Louis through her perspective, and her Show Me Arts Academy is an awesome assertion that the Arts can actually save people. Basmin Red Deer’s entire world outlook and contextualization of the unrest in Ferguson has been something of a paradigm shift for me. I feel incredibly lucky to know about these women and to become familiar with their work.
Elizabeth Vega talked about a perception that the movement has died down, and cautioned the world not to mistake the quiet laying of the foundations of a sustainable movement for the end of the movement. It is very much alive here in the center of the country.
One of the other playwrights here is Nikkole Salter, who many of us in the TEAM met in 2006 in Edinburgh when we were performing Particularly in the Heartland and she was in a two-woman show also at the Traverse. When she remembered who I was she said that seeing Heartland was the first time that she truly felt American. In the last four days I have begun to understand for the first time something about what it is to be American. And it is beyond unsettling.
When asked by a visiting playwright whether she had any advice for theater artists who might fear that theater isn’t enough, an activist here replied, “do it anyway”. That struck me deeply. I have met people who are doing anything they can, and dedicating their lives to a movement, in the belief that the world can get better.
RoosevElvisis loading in at the Royal Court as we speak (check out that gorgeous neon marquee action!) and Teddy and Elvis are departing for England tomorrow. We begin previews next Wednesday and are ecstatic about the month ahead. U.K. friends: book tickets on the Royal Court website if you haven’t already!
The TEAM’s very own Jake Margolin is simultaneously gearing up to represent the company in St. Louis County, MO as part of #Every28Hours.
Every 28 Hours is a national theater event inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Jake will spend the next week, in conjunction with artists and theater companies from across the nation, generating over 60 one-minute plays in response to the systemic oppression of black people in the United States. For more information, check out the Every 28 Hours Facebook page.
This October, we’re incredibly proud to be participating in Every 28 Hours, a national delegation of theatres and artists headed to Ferguson and St. Louis. TEAM member Jake Margolin will join an incredible roster of artists to stage a series of one-minute, site-specific plays in response to the widely shared statistic that every 28 hours in America, a black person is killed by the police.
Join us for two evening classes in Brooklyn before the summer winds down and the fall season ramps up: “Self-Producing for Artists and Ensembles” on August 26, and “Directing for Ensembles and Devised Work” on September 2.
The final piece, slated for 2016 in New York, will feature a multigenerational cover band of TEAM ensemble members, teenagers and elders playing songs of social/political outrage, intercut with movement and candid conversation between 3 generations about personal and national power.
We Are Seeking:
Community-minded citizens ages 65+ with an interest in collaboration and performing. Musical ability is a plus, opinions and the willingness to creatively express them is a must.
Performance experience, musical capability
Willingness and ability to perform and contribute autobiographical material
The ability to generate collaborative material (including spoken and written material as well as movement/choreography)
Diversity of experience in living and relating to our country
The workshop will take place April 5-18, 2015 in Brooklyn, with daily rehearsals for the senior ensemble from 2pm to 5pm. The workshop will conclude with a public presentation of the work-in-progress on April 18. Some schedule flexibility is possible—please be sure to include any schedule conflicts for the workshop dates in your email to schedule an audition.
The workshop will be unpaid, but a travel stipend will be provided to all participants.
To schedule an audition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Primer Auditions” in the subject heading, and include your full name and contact information. A representative of the company will be in touch with you to schedule an appointment.
To audition, please prepare the following:
1) Choose a song that feels like your America to bring to your audition. We will be able to play cds, mp3 files, YouTube videos, or plug our speakers into a headphone jack on most phones, laptops, or an iPod/Pad.
2) Fill in the blanks, and be prepared to speak the text for us:
When I was born, I was ______________.
I grew to view my country as a __________________.
I heard this song: _________________________
Which made me feel like _________________________.
I wondered what I could do to change that.
All around me, I see _____________________.
I want you to ___________________________.
I sing because ___________________________.
Then play (either yourself with an instrument, or a recording) or sing us your song from the first activity.
Please also bring with you a resume of relevant performance experience, or a brief bio about yourself, and a recent picture.