ACTion: Ecuador 2014
Earthquake Response Team - Esmeraldas, Ecuador 2016
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.
ABOUT THE PLAY:
Written just two weeks after the earthquake, Hirdwall’s Emperor Fukushima juxtaposes the story of the wife of a worker at the Fukushima power plant with the story of a Russian tourist and former worker at Chernobyl, who narrowly escaped being killed in that disaster. The play explores issues surrounding nuclear power, also drawing on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Emperor Fukushima was recently selected as one of the three best Swedish plays of 2011 and will be listed in the ETC (European Theatre Conventions) “blue yearbook” as one of the 100 best European plays of last year.
"Theater artists in Japan, centered around those living in the Tohoku region that was devastated by the great earthquake and nuclear accident, extend our hand to theater artists around the world to rebuild Tohoku and Japanese society, restoring the conditions that surround the art of theater, such as environments for creative activity, theater buildings, companies, rehearsal spaces, education and audiences. We seek to work with our international peers to demonstrate the potential of human beings and the theater to overcome adversity as well as the primordial power of expression on stage."
—Yoji Sakate, President of Japan Playwrights Association
At this Shinsai event, Tuomas Hiltunen and actress Dawn Saito, directed by Kristina Golmohammadi, will read a translation by Rochelle Wright. The reading will be accompanied by original music by Fredrik Söderberg.