At the culmination of a six-day development residency at Divadlo Andreja Bagara, Dramatic Adventure Theatre, NYC will present a public staged reading of their newest play: Jason Williamson’s The Rebel Bird, featuring Slovak actress Lucia Siposova (360, Guard 47, She Twice Over) alongside American actors Nick Lehane (This is Our Youth, Warrior, The Mysteries of Laura) Jonathan David (Greater Angels, Shameless, A Civil War Christmas). Roma musicians and actors—Milan Hudak, Lukas Hudak, and Jan Koky—from the Slovak Roma theatre company, Slumdog Theater, will accompany the piece.
Directed by Kathleen Amshoff, The Rebel Bird explores issues of prejudice, poverty, and human trafficking on the Roma people. The play features Yeva, a Roma woman imprisoned in the seediest of Prague brothels. Her only comfort is singing the songs of her childhood with her brothers, who appear from her memory. When the intuitive henchman of an NYC millionaire hears Yeva’s voice, he buys her for his boss, who is obsessed with owning his own version of opera’s most infamous “Gypsy”: Bizet’s Carmen. And so, in a posh Manhattan penthouse, Yeva is dragged into a battle for survival that may erase her—body and soul. Colliding the music of Bizet with that of a live Roma band, this lyrical thriller exposes the scars of prejudice, poverty, and human trafficking on the disenfranchised and enfranchised alike.
An optional public talkback will follow the presentation; this project aims to bring Slovak, Roma, and American artists and audience members together to discuss a play that tackles issues affecting each of our unique communities and cultures. By shedding light on complicated issues of discrimination, cultural identity, and human trafficking, this project will foster dialogue, awareness, and understanding about each of our unique perspectives.