This Friday “FROM THE BRONX TO THE SEINE: CONNECTING TEEN VOICES FOR CHANGE”
at “French Institute” (22 East 60th Street, NYC)
Description of the project
Phase 1: French Theater in the Bronx (Summer 2014).
During the initial summer intensive workshop in 2014, the Bronx Theater Company at Middle School 331 engaged in daily workshops and rehearsals where they learned about physical comedy, clowning, and satire. They performed scenes from “Three Beggars and a Rich Man” by the French playwright Louis Calaferte, under the direction of Miguel
Borras and Rachel Consuelo Castillo. The play is a variety of absurdist vignettes that satirize the imbalance of power in different relationships. The young people took a humorous yet critical look at societal issues and discussed ways in which they would like to make change in their community. These young artists put on 2 performances in the Bronx for community members, families and
Phase 2: Developing Theater Together through Virtual Exchange (Fall 2014-Summer 2016).
The Project “FROM THE BRONX TO THE SEINE” continues from fall 2014 through Summer 2016 with a two-year long theatre residency and exchange between the Bronx Theater Company and the Théâtre du Bout du Monde’s teen company in Nanterre. These companies will share written work virtually and meet twice per month on Wednesdays tocommunicate, share work, do theater exercises together and even develop material using video teleconferencing and Skype technology. Bronx students will create original vignettes inspired by Calaferte’s work, which will be performed along with the initial pieces.French students will be working on creating original vignettes inspired by their own lives and by Calaferte’s work.
Phase 3: Making the Virtual Physical: Bronx Teens Perform in France (Summer 2015) and French Teens go to the Bronx (Summer 2016).
In the Summer of 2015, Bronx teens will travel to France from June 29th to July 10th. First, the joint companies will perform in the “Maison de la Musique de Nanterre”, a professional theater in Nanterre. The Bronx teens will perform their version of “Three Beggars and a Rich Man” and the teens from Nanterre will perform their original pieces as well.The two teen companies will spend several days rehearsing their jointly developed pieces, build on their virtual exchange over the year, and will create one collaborative piece bringing together their unique cultural and theatrical sensibilities. Bronx students will also have the opportunity to appreciate French culture, including cultural visits in Paris.Subsequently the joint production will be presented in Paris at the MPAA (“Maison des Pratiques Artistiques Amateurs”). This culminating collaborative series will have truly put young people from a two under-resourced neighborhoods in the U.S and France in the position learn from each other’s theatre traditions and develop collaborative work thatimpacts the health and welfare of our globalized community. In the Summer of 2016, after another full year of collaborative virtual residencies in the Bronx and in Nanterre, the French teen theater company will go to New York City to develop a second collaborative piece with their American counterparts and to perform that piece in Bronx neighborhoods and theaters as well as in professional theaters in otherboroughs such as Manhattan. This second year long collaboration will be themed around a play of an as yet to bedetermined American playwright.
Inspired by shared goals and the desire to expand participants’ horizons and support cultural diversity and exchange, ID Studio Theater has joined with Miguel Borrás and the DreamYard Project to create new theatrical opportunities for young people in the Bronx.
This project results from a partnership between three cultural organizations — ID Studio NYC, DREAMYARD in the Bronx, and Théâtre de Bout du Monde in Nanterre, France. “Bronx en Seine” offers students in the Bronx and in Nanterre the opportunity, through exposure to international artists, to expand their theatrical vistas. All three organizations share a commitment to programs that combine artistic rigor and academic enrichment in a way that contributes simultaneously to cultural creativity and social justice.
Together, we are excited about providing new experiences to young people in the Bronx, who next summer will have a chance to share their creativity with new friends in France.