by Amanda Donohue, Ariana Castillo, Edward Serrate Cujo, Karina Velez, Melissa Gaiti, Natalie Giaccio, Patricia Campbell, and Sam Jones
ACTion Fest 2016
Shangaa: Shock and Awe
IATI Theater, NYC
Since 2007, DAT’s ACTion artists have created an incredible amount of theater on-location through “devising,” a process which allows for deeply collaborative storytelling but which also requires that artists abandon many personal narratives along the way. As a way to provide space for the lost stories, a few years ago DAT started a semi-curated storytelling event called Travelogue at which DAT artists and special guests share their personal travel stories. Based on this ongoing event’s mounting success, in 2016, we decided to push it even further: Why not bring travel writers along on ACTion, too, we thought? And so we did.
In addition to marking new ACTion territory for DAT, these travel narratives also represent a new wave of “Travel Writing,” a genre historically linked to colonialist history and, even today, often stained by the boredom that accompanies the genre’s main ingredient: an extremely privileged writer. After all, travel writers are—by prerequisite—typically those with the time and money to both travel and write consistently. In response, our cast aimed to broaden the travel writing nonfiction subgenre. We aimed to diversify author perspective and to rip into the genre’s classic tone and content choices. Each of our distinct writers developed and shared innovative hybrids that infused travel writing with deeply personal narrative writing, memoir writing, nature writing, spiritual writing, and research writing in ways that we found raw, gripping, and anything but boring.
Directed by Christen Madrazo
Lighting Design: Erin Jones
Set Design: Elle Kunnos de Voss and Francisco Rondon
Production Stage Manager: Claudia Toth
Road Manager and Dramaturg: Jackson Kibona
Featuring Amanda Donohue, Ariana Castillo, Edward Serrate Yujo, Karina Velez, Melissa Gaiti, Natalie Giaccio, Patricia Campbell, and Sam Jones
Photos by Kevin McNair
...more Travelogues production PHOTOS