Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trinity Repertory Company Performs Every 28 Hours, A One-Minute Play Festival

Trinity Repertory Company Performs Every 28 Hours, A One-Minute Play Festival by Wendy Jane

The anticipation of the packed audience, young and old, black, white, and brown, in the intimate Dowling Theater at Trinity Rep was in the air, as the Extraordinary Rendition Band–a street band open to all,with a mission to bring attention to selected causes, paraded onto the stage–drums, brass and percussion, and rag-tag red outfits in full glory. After a softly sung We Shall Overcome, a young woman from the band spoke while the band continued to play. She spoke of the injustices that this audience seemed sadly all too well aware of–the killings of far too many young, unarmed, black men and women, mostly at the hands of police officers.

After the band finished, Joe Wilson, Jr., actor and playwright with Trinity Rep, stepped onstage. Mr. Wilson shared with us, that despite the hateful comments that appeared on social media regarding the announcement of the local Every 28 Hours performance, the show was being held, and that this very action “is how we move things forward, with art and love, and theater.” We learned that Wilson was a part of a group of actors and playwrights from around the country who visited Ferguson, Missouri last week to meet with the One-Minute Play Festival group, learn the methodology of going out into the community to gather stories, create plays and then take the plays back to their own communities. Yet, Trinity Rep is the only theater doing the show this week, while most other groups will premiere the Every 28 Hours One-Minute Play Festival some time next year.

Wilson further explained how he and the other artists met with community leaders, residents, the faith community, and the school that Michael Brown attended to learn about how the events of Ferguson have impacted individuals, and their community. There were many interviews culled, but Wilson noted that the interviewers were not allowed to take notes, but to connect more intimately through conversation. Conducting the interview in pairs, Wilson said, allowed one artist to catch something said, or a certain mannerism that the other might have missed. Writing solely from inspiration derived from these connections, the artists gathered to write their plays–all of this taking place in one short week.

Wilson’s passion shined brightly as he spoke, and he became emotional when he dedicated this show’s performance to Dr. Barbara Meek, a long-time company member of Trinity Rep, a woman Wilson said taught him how to be inquisitive, and whom he loved dearly.

As we braced ourselves for the eighty, one-minute plays that we were about to witness–plays written by playwrights and actors from near and far, and acted by scores of actors, as well as students from all over the city–Wilson asked us to consider “every minute as a heartbeat, a snapshot of the world..” and that with each snapshot, we hear a different story, and get a more inclusive, better picture of the world we live in.

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The executive chef here was a genuinely nice person and never made us feel like we were just "business" for him. He was extremely competent and organized. Because of the natural beauty of New York venues, we were able to get away with very minimal decorations.

Much exposure is gained by such kind of events. The participants would have gained much from the event rather than only going there for business purpose. Keep posting pictures and updates from such events. Thank you

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