Pan Underground—a new production company designed to provide a platform for projects challenging how artists and communities engage with theater—will present Red Bike by Caridad Svich as part of a multi-site installation. Part block party, part performance, Red Bike will premiere first in Anacostia on October 24, 2021, followed by The Parks at Walter Reed on November 6.
Caridad Svich’s Red Bike is a play about being a child, growing up in small-town America, and figuring out where you stand in a divided country. Reimagined by Pan Underground, the performance will be an immersive experience at the center of a community celebration. Attendees will gather safely outdoors for local vendors, music, food, and community. The performance, staged on bicycle, will grow out of the celebration, made for and with DC. Audience members will be free to sit, stand, or move safely through the space during the show.
Red Bike will feature Alina Collins Maldonado, Ahmad Kamal and Bianca Lipford. Miranda Pepin will play The Child, performing on bicycle. Pete Danelski is Installation Director, Aria Velz is Audio Director, and Jordan Clark Halsey is Associate Producer on the project.
“I believe Red Bike is a play made to be in community,” said playwright Caridad Svich. “When I wrote it, I wanted to create a work that would uplift communities and people that are often historically excluded from the centrality of narratives, especially people that are the ‘working poor’ of the United States. In this case, the focus is on a child of the working poor, and how they navigate their life and try to keep hope as a political action and faith alive.”
Pan Underground is committed to keeping community at the heart of Red Bike. The production company is working closely with a broad coalition of partners, including Gearin’ Up Bicycles, Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street, and The Parks at Walter Reed among others, to ensure the production creates opportunities for vendors and businesses local to each neighborhood. Additional vendor and collaborator information will be announced throughout October and can be found at panunderground.com.
“I couldn’t be happier to see the region’s first production of Red Bike actually taking place directly in DC communities,” said Pan Underground Executive Producer Pete Danelski. “Caridad’s play is a call to hold on tight to who we are and what we can be, in the face of rapid change. It only feels right that its DC premier not only celebrate but be created alongside the people that make this place home. After the past year and a half, Red Bike is part of an effort to resist returning to the status quo within the theater industry. Instead, we’re interested in growing and diversifying audiences by engaging them in new, exciting ways.”
The production schedule for Red Bike is as follows:
October 24, 2021: PNC Parking Lot, 2020 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC. Block party begins at 2 pm; performance begins at 3 pm
November 6, 2021: The Parks at Walter Reed, 1010 Butternut St. NW, Washington, DC. Block party begins at 2 pm; performance begins at 3 pm
Following the performance, the community celebration will continue, with the creative team, for approximately one hour.
Tickets are $13 for both the Anacostia and Walter Reed performances of Red Bike and are on sale online through panunderground.com.
Health and Safety: The entire team behind the production are fully committed to creating a healthy space for all. Attendees are required to show proof of vaccination status (with physical or digital copy of your vaccination card) to attend Red Bike. Guests may also show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of showtime. Once within the performance space, all attendees are asked to wear masks while moving around the space. Masks may be removed while seated, eating or drinking.
ALINA COLLINS MALDONADO. Alina is an actor, director, theater educator, and playwright from the Washington, DC, area. As an actor, she has performed at The Lincoln Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Folger Theatre, 1st Stage, and GALA Hispanic Theatre among others.
As a director and bilingual theater educator, Alina has worked with youth arts programs in the DC area and facilitated programs and workshops guiding students in the creation and production of their own work. Alina has had the pleasure of creating theater with students from ESOL classes and backgrounds as well. She has worked as a teaching artist with GALA Hispanic Theater, Young Playwrights Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Imagination Stage.
As a playwright, Alina is invested in telling authentic stories from the hearts of underrepresented communities. With her journalistic approach to writing, she seeks out stories of memories and truths that spin unexpected threads of connection between us as humans. Alina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, and in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, from Virginia Commonwealth University.
JORDAN CLARK HALSEY. Jordan (he/they) is elated to be a part of Pan Underground’s premier event. As a DC performer, Jordan has been seen at The Kennedy Center, Theater Alliance, Keegan Theatre, Imagination Stage, Synetic, and many others. Check out jordanclarkhalsey.com or @jordanclarkhalsey for more.
PETE DANELSKI. Pete (He/him) is a director and producer based in DC and making work all over. Pete creates theater and performance through a variety of means and forms. Directing, associate and assisting credits include Folger Theatre, Theater J, Gallery Players, Rorschach, The Performance Interface Lab, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Round House Theatre. Original projects include The Lower Depths Project, woolgatherings, as well as Every Hour/Chekhov in 8—developed with support of the Drama League of New York City. Pete co-adapted the first American adaptation of the Čapek brother’s Adam the Creator, which received a reading at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in 2019. Pete has developed work through a Kennedy Center Office Hours Residency. He is a 2019 Director-in-Residence with The Drama League of New York and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. As Artistic Programs Manager at CulturalDC, Pete works with a broad range of artists from across the nation, facilitating a variety of work, intersecting visual and performing arts. Pete’s writing has been published internationally in Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association. M.Phil., Trinity College Dublin. www.petedanelski.com
AHMAD KAMAL. Ahmad Kamal is so happy to be a part of this project with such a wonderful cohort of artists. Ahmad is a stage, film, and voice actor in the DC area. He has performed in numerous theaters around town and will be performing at the Folger Theatre this upcoming spring. Ahmad holds a BFA from the University of Virginia and an MA from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
BIANCA LIPFORD. Bianca is a Washington D.C native and a proud graduate of American University with a BA in Musical Theatre. Previous shows include Mosaic Theater Company: Queens Girl in Africa (U/S Jackie), The Till Trilogy – That Summer in Sumner (Mamie Till Bradley and others); Keegan Theatre: Little Wars (Addy), As You Like It (Phoebe); Capital Fringe: She Sings Light (Meira); Creative Cauldron: Audrey The Musical (Edith Head); Rorschach Theatre: Magic In Rough Spaces-When The Stars Go Out (Polly); Avant Bard: By Sea (Priscilla); Flying V Theatre: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Ensemble); Tenth Muse Productions: Sioux Falls (Mermaid/Dr. Beaugard/Sr. Teresa); Upcoming: Flyin West (Everyman Theatre).
MIRANDA PEPIN. (any pronouns) is psyched to be on a bike for this novel event. Miranda was most recently found on stage in Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night and before then on the road with National Player’s Tour 71. If you wanna stay up to date: mirandapepin.com
PAN UNDERGROUND: Pan Underground is an independent production company specializing in work that challenges the way live theater is made and experienced. The company offers a platform for projects and artists creating unique ways to collaborate and connect through theater and performance.
The efforts behind Pan Underground come out of a belief that continued growth in our industry is dependent on expanding circles of engagement and accessibility. This came to a head over the last year and a half. During the pandemic I watched my brilliant friends and colleagues by and large feel left behind and forgotten. Next time there’s a reason we can’t work and perform live, I want the absence to be felt, deep and wide. The way we do this is by inviting new audiences and offering new ways to engage with live theater. Especially after a year and a half of shaking up the way we experience live work, the worst thing we could do, industry-wide, is all run right back into our dark theaters and close the doors. If we all go back to that, the industry won’t survive. Pan Underground exists to embrace, support and facilitate the creative work which is keeping that momentum of engagement alive.
—Pete Danelski, Executive Producer