Tal, Yana and I are really excited to be showing some of what we have been developing at the 2010 PRELUDE festival presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at CUNY’s Graduate Center. The theme this year is “Why does live matter?”, which is something we have been thinking about a lot as we have been developing LUSH VALLEY through the think tanks, the rehearsals, works-in-progress and online conversations. At PRELUDE, we will share some of the audience engagement stuff that we have been developing over the last few months and are hoping to spark some exciting conversations.
Our showing is on Thursday, September 30 from 3pm-415pm and its FREE. Please do join us.
We had a really exciting time experimenting with the participatory aspects of the the show with about 20 people on Monday at HERE.
We took a census of the group and shared the demographics, tested people for citizenship and were able to announce 2 new citizens out of 20, analyzed INS paperwork for the group to uncover their moral character, and conducted video interviews with people one-on-one to find out what the american dream means to them.
We also experimented with several camera’s eye monologues to explore how theatrical text might integrate into the participatory sections.
Thanks to Mariana Newhard, Irene Longshore and Rudy Mungaray for bravely jumping in with this.
We got great feedback from the HERE resident artists and general community who attended, learned a lot and have made lots of ideas of how to do our upcoming PRELUDE presentation on September 30.
More to come….
Freedom vs. Equality
Airport Security – free to travel – but to do that have to submit to checks, etc
Is there too much freedom? Tea party/libertarianism – “you can’t tell me what to do”
Libertarianism vs. Anarchy – same?
Protesters throwing rocks – personal freedom but not community
Anarchy? Definition – Exercising personal freedom brings everyone to the same point – not true?
Doesn’t work – just as free market doesn’t work
But people are inherently not equal- flawed, social reasons
Role of government- to do something that individual would not
Freedom of expression – did it increase? personal liberty inalienable right
Different countries- different ideas of freedom – concepts of what the word means
When does one person’s experience of freedom hurt the community
Freedom to push button – how far will we go to get freedom – hurt people, violence
Nazi march in Illinois
Kansas church group protesting at soldier’s funeral
Evolutionary change of thought – uncomfortable
Freedom can be taught. When to open to other beliefs, when to hold your own
American dream – self reliant?
Personal freedom doesn’t work without tolerance
Too much freedom = personal thing
Equality = social thing
Supreme court is advertising freedom of speech
Power is disciplinary
By not having fear- are you more free….
Or are police – actually scared by the gun policies
Freedom for all – not possible
We are not homogenous
We are flawed
Female in 70s far more free – changed her thought processes
Is freedom possible without fear?
Idea of freedom changes – people grow up with that changed environment
Is the world moving toward greater freedom? Not sure.
Rediscovering fears they didn’t know they had
Freedom in flux
Resistance – single headed dragon
Feel less free – more riots/against religious heads
Does violence turn us against them?
Act without fear
Communism/Socialism – Violence creates backlash
Boom and bust freedom cycle?
Violent revolution with mass support
Civil rights movement parallel – celebrates freedom
Culture leads to different views of freedom
Equality is different in different cultures
Christian beliefs – ready to fight
Fight for freedom – with or without violence
Passover – celebrate freedom – positive reaction to trauma
Fear/oppression upon Obama’s election? Did he campaign for equality?
Internet- macrocosm of freedom? Fewer rules in the virtual world than the “real” world
Is there still a public common? Equal education?
The public common is about sharing with others and having a responsibility to those around you
Our country used to think that we had to have equal access for the country to be strong
Now people are out for their own interests
America changed from a community to isolation and inequality
Common space, for instance public parks, fosters interactions
With reliance on automobile, we feel more isolated
Coney island, as an example, has the feeling of commonality that other places have lost
Factors that may make public space feel less natural are policing of public space (depending on the neighborhood) and that rules for public space trickle down from political sources
In Europe there is more of a sense of sharing- they’re used to it
There is somewhat of a contradictory feeling that our country is civilized which means we won’t have public access to things like health care
Individual families plan their lives around getting into the best educational services
Helicopter parents very concerned with children’s education, providing expensive tutoring
State and standardized tests require that all students are able to know certain things at a certain age
Metrics of bureaucrats establishing common standards are deadly- they put constraints on the imagination, creativity and turn children into themselves
There is politicized equality and “Equality Branding”
Does equality mean sameness?
We grow in different ways
Will not be equal output
Obama used as example of equality in our country- perpetuating the idea that we have accomplished equality at the highest level
Equality and the American Dream- was that the not so fast learners can still have a place
Now the dream is that “I will be rich”
Idea of not having to work- lining the pockets of rich
Artist do not have access to money except through the rich and have to hold tongue about the disparity of rich and poor to have whatever access they do have
Have a right to be rich at others expense
How do we change?
Inform people of their access – children and parents have no support to know the opportunities out there
Commonality needs to stop thinking about rich people
Internationalism will foster commonality
Making decisions based on the common good- not easy to do- equal access to politicians and decision making process
Want Equal access to:
-Environment free of advertisements
On August 18th we gathered at the HERE Rehearsal Space and generated a list of topics in relation to Equality and how it fits into our concept of the American Dream. The conversation allowed us to express our multiple perspectives on the meaning of Equality and how the idea translates to our every day lives. Thank you to all who attended and the thoughts you shared.
Equality Think Tank Topics Generated:
-Equalizing Achievement From Different Starting Lines.
-Is Equality Really a US American tenant? Isn’t the American dream about not being equal – about having more than others? Are we talking about equality as equal opportunity at the starting gate or giving people the means to potentially attain equality at the “finish” line? CAPITALISM!!??
-How do we determine when equality is reached?
-What is Equality?
-Equal Access – Is there still a public common? As there was for our parents.
-Equality in terms of Education
-Equality of Heritage
-“It’s wrong that guy’s rich and I’m suffering”
-Equal opportunity and Equality before the law. But the dark side of meritocracy is difference
-Enforced equality versus an Instinctual equality (Real)
-Is it OK to be different
-Separate but Equal