“Six steps this way, six steps that way, and I can’t cook.” — an SRO resident, describing her room
This was the seed of our new community-based theater project, called “Home/Cooking.” One of the most basic and ancient human activities — cooking and eating together, relaxing over a meal and stories — is completely closed off to most residents of SROs (single room occupancy hotels). Without access to a kitchen, it’s also incredibly difficult to eat healthfully on a low income. Strange Angels Theater will be partnering with women living in SROs in the Tenderloin and Central City, as well as community organizations working on issues of food justice, to develop a theater piece based on these women’s stories about food, cooking, home and community. The first phase of the project will include story circles; writing, performance and visual art workshops; and communal “dinner theater salons,” where the participants will cook and eat together, and share their stories and performance pieces. Look for more details to come, and let us know if you’re interesting in joining us on this journey.
We had an amazing run: a gorgeous production, wonderful acting, an wonderful audiences! About 775 people in total came to the shows, including many for whom the issues raised in the play had particular resonance, including many community members who have been or are still dealing with homelessness and/or mental illness. We’re still receiving emails from people who say that their ideas were challenged, their perceptions changed, their eyes opened. The show is over, but its ripples continue to expand.
Highlights from the second weekend: Over 150 people at the Friday matinee, including groups from SROs, community clinics, and schools. What a privilege to be in that responsive audience. (They got all the jokes that the theater crowd misses.) And they sure loved Hunter! Also on Saturday, an informative and intriguing panel discussion. Looking forward to our last weekend.
Eva & Hunter
Among the wonders: The amazing actors. The gorgeous staging, set, lighting and projections. The audience: homeless folks (including a woman who regularly sleeps outside the church/theater); formerly homeless folks (including an 11-year-old who said he saw his story on stage); social workers; theater people; friends and neighbors and strangers. Come see what it means to be in that kind of audience. Look at the Press page for great photos.
We had fun with “Hunter” (Carlos Aguirre) doing an excerpt — on site! at SF Civic Center — of his “show” from Hunter’s Point. See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOFhnWkkpVM
Then come see the whole show! Opening September 16.
The folks from the Gubbio Project shot some scenes from rehearsals last week. See the “preview” video they put together on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOCUhgetuFw
Four days to opening (September 16)!
Check out this interesting blog post from Eileen Tull, our Assistant Director/Producer and great all-around theater geek from Chicago:
Rehearsals have been going great, and we’re loading sets and lights this weekend. Check out some of the pix from rehearsals.
Sharing a poem by one of our actors, Christine Rodgers, inspired by her work with this play:
On Fulton and Masonic
A man is lost this morning.
He scrounges for a piece
of himself – peering into
garbage cans – bending down
to rummage among the
cigarette butts and scraps
of paper in the gutter.
He is missing one shoe
and steps carefully,
cautiously – so many things
to navigate in the street.
I think of the cultures who
go barefoot – running for
miles on the hot sand –
and I wish this man were
there – part of a village of
people – who would not
allow him to wander lost –
who would call him by
name – and he would be