Barnstorming Project-Day One!
The Farm Theater in partnership with Maryland Association of Community Colleges Performing Arts Collective (MACCPAC) made up of Carroll, Howard, Prince George Community Colleges. The Farm has commissioned playwright Christopher Gabriel Nunez to write a play that will be produced by a company made of representatives of each of the three schools and will be performed on each campus three different times during 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years. Chris will be invited to be part of the rehearsal process and will be invited to rewrite before, during, and after each production.
The first step of the process started last spring when Chris went to Maryland to visit each campuses and talked with students from each on the issue of race. The play is focusing on that theme. However, as always plays develop and grow and ultimately are about what they need to be about. The most exciting moment is to read the first reading of the first draft. Like the college collaboration we began that process with a three day workshop in NYC with professional actors and three faculty members from the schools.
In A Temple by the Sea. Is ready to get cracked open and read. It’s an exciting play a leader of a young group of artists that are squatting in an abandoned house. We learn that the group has an anarchistic history and intent. It is re-colonizing the community that used to belong to everyone. The premise in the play that there are so many empty houses in this city that they could house the entire homeless population. The play is about a lot.It has fascinating relationships…and the house is haunted with spirits from early colonialism and discrimination. I can’t summarize the entire play.
The first day we read the play. Hearing a new play is always exciting. There was incredible energy in the text. And then we discussed. We discussed with a passionate group of artists. It was exciting, insightful, and an incredibly helpful unpacking of the world of the play. As actor John Concado said, “Chris Gabriel Nuñez’s writing excites me like the first time I heard Biggie, like the first time I read Guirgis. His voice is one I know and relate to and one that gives a voice to the voiceless. Being in a room with such giving and talented artists that truly represented the diverse and multicultural NYC I grew up in, reminded me of how theater can be inclusive and how it must continue to challenge itself to do better.”
This is the picture of us beginning the work.
After the discussion of the script – this is what the room looked like at our first break.
The discussion and the room was alive with a sharing of thoughts and experience. I love the collaboration and friendship that is formed through the sole purpose of developing the work.
I look forward to sharing with you the development of the script throughout the process.