DATES: June 30, 2015
PLACE: Divadlo Andreja Bagara, Nitra, Slovakia
Dramatic Adventure Theatre, NYC
A Staged Reading of
The Rebel Bird
Written by Jason Williamson
Directed by Kathleen Amshoff
*Workshop presented with the generous support of
the U.S. Embassy and Divadlo Andreja Bagara
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.
More on Dramatic Adventure Theatre:
Dramatic Adventure Theatre, an NYC-based theater company with a large international service arts component, has ongoing projects in Ecuador, Tanzania, and Slovakia. DAT’s main goals are to provide the opportunity for artists to perform, teach, and serve around the world and to share their skills and experiences with others who may not have access to arts and humanities funding/programs. Since its founding in 2006, DAT has produced 22 plays, developed 7 ongoing programs, participated in 31 service projects in 18 communities and taken more than 200 artists abroad, where they’ve engaged with disenfranchised communities through performance, teaching, and service.
While abroad, DAT artists workshop with local artists and non-artists of all ages and work with communities on-site to devise, rehearse, direct, and present original works with and for the community. In Slovakia, DAT has partnered with ETP Slovensko for five years to facilitate workshops in Roma settlements throughout the country. These workshops and the resulting performances have had a profound effect on Roma and non-Roma alike, as the telling of stories inherently creates a forum where ideas, culture, and experience can be shared and examined. To view a national news clip featuring a portion of our work during DAT’s last project in Slovakia, please visit the following link: http://tiny.cc/29qdyx
In addition to its educational activities, DAT commissions its resident playwright to create plays inspired by its work all over the world as part of its Global Play Initiative. In Fall 2013, DAT produced the Ecuador-inspired A Girl Without Wings in NYC—a play that not only brought Andean culture to NYC, but also shed light on important issues of post-colonial poverty among indigenous communities. (The play was called “poignant” in a rave review by The New York Times.) This summer, DAT expands the Global Play Initiative’s reach to Slovakia by presenting this workshop production of the Slovakia-inspired play, The Rebel Bird.