This year was chock-full of celebration. RoosevElvis returned to NYC and began an international tour. We started a cover band. We celebrated a decade together. We even published a BOOK!
We cannot overstate how much the life of the TEAM has been made possible by the encouragement, support, and fierce love of a small army of friends, family, interns, volunteers, and like minds. As we embark on a new year and our next decade together, we ask that you please consider making a year-end gift to take us into 2016.
$55: $1 for each of the 55 RoosevElvis performances for 2015-2016? $37: $1 for each of the 37 times we performed RoosevElvis this year?
We celebrated 10 years as a company with an amazing anniversary bash this past April. There was cake, cheer, and a whole lot of Campbell’s soup. Check out the highlights video here!
RoosevElvis at COIL and The Royal Court
In January, RoosevElvis returned to NYC at the Vineyard Theater as part of PS122’s COIL Festival, and then began touring with a London debut at the Royal Court (our next stop in Minneapolis is less than a month away!). We were met by wonderful audiences and rave reviews: “It’s a joyride into the construction of identity, and one with unexpected emotional resonance.” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
Five Plays by the TEAM launches in Brooklyn and London
To mark ten years together, we published an anthology of our first five plays, and celebrated with book launches in Brooklyn and London. Available now online and at a bookstore near you!
Primer for a Failed Superpower workshop at BRIC
In April, we teamed up with some extraordinary elder collaborators in our latest workshop of Primer, spending two weeks sharing stories and learning how to play protest songs together. Listen to the podcasthere!
“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.