Studio Theatre has commissioned seven Black artists who are attending the 57th anniversary March on Washington Friday, August 28, to create artistic responses that bear witness to their experience at the event, share reflections on this moment, and capture their feelings as Black men living through ongoing violence and protests for racial justice.
Artists participating in the response project are Jelani Alladin (Choir Boy), Ro Boddie (Pipeline, No Sisters, Dirt), Jason Bowen (Skeleton Crew), Jonathan Burke (Choir Boy), Sean Carvajal (Between Riverside and Crazy), Biko Eisen-Martin (No Sisters), and Michael Rishawn (Wig Out!).
Studio invited artists to respond creatively to their weekend in DC and share their work via video. The format was left intentionally broad to ensure diversity in the project—responses may be documentary-style footage, music, poetry, spoken word, monologue, and more. Responses will be about 3 minutes long and left unedited to capture the authentic, raw breadth of the artists’ experiences.
Studio Theatre is also partnering with The Breath Project, a nationwide initiative encouraging artists to create 8 minute, 46 second-long works of live theater in the memory of George Floyd and in response to this moment in history—marked with calls for racial justice and political reform. Studio is the first DC theater to join the consortium of more than 20 theaters in 14 states to amplify the call for multidisciplinary theater artists of color to submit their original works for the project, which will be preserved as an archive and curated into a virtual festival in Fall 2020.
Reflecting the company’s commitment to community engagement, Studio has enlisted several DC-area partner organizations, including Howard University, Georgetown University, N Street Village, CreativeWorks at Joe’s Movement Emporium, and DC Public Library, to spread the call to artists across the region and help ensure that a rich diversity of DMV perspectives are presented in the digital archive.
“It is moving and gratifying, to be working with theatre companies across the country, like Studio Theatre, who want to create real change…when we contacted Artistic and Managing leaders of theatres across the country, many of them responded immediately, opening their hearts and their doors to this project,” said Gamal Abdel Chasten, The Breath Project Artistic Director and Co-Founder.
To be entered into The Breath Project archive, and be eligible for inclusion in the companion festival, submissions must be a recording of a live performance of an original work, 8:46 in length. The deadline to submit work for consideration in the festival is September 14, 2020; The Breath Project will accept contributions to the archive on an ongoing basis. More information is available at thebreathproject2020.com.
ABOUT STUDIO THEATRE
Studio Theatre is Washington‘s premier venue for contemporary theater, “where local audiences will find today‘s edgiest playwrights“ (Variety). One of the most respected midsized theaters in the country, Studio produces exceptional contemporary drama in deliberately intimate spaces. Drawing inspiration from great ensembles—where people work together with a spirit of generosity and professional rigor—Studio brings characteristic thoughtfulness and daring to its work onstage and off, through its new work incubator and engagement, education, and workforce training initiatives. Studio serves nearly 75,000 people each year, including more than 1,000 youth and young adults through community engagement initiatives. Founded in 1978, the quality of Studio‘s work has been recognized by sustained community support, as well as 72 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in professional theater.