Amy Brooks will collaborate with Roadside Theater, a grassroots company based in rural Appalachia, on the production of a new play set in—and produced by residents of—Letcher County, Kentucky.
For 125 years Roadside Theater’s home in Letcher County, Kentucky has been a rich land with poor people. The County’s young folk have grown up in the sickest and poorest congressional district in the nation; now the region’s single industry, coal, has collapsed. What are they experiencing? How do they envision their future? What is possible for them if they resist flight and stay in their mountains to fight for a viable future? Roadside will dramatize this present moment in the first-person voices of the people, especially young people, who are living it. The resulting play with music will be a collective community effort in all of its heterogeneity. Its development process will enact a conscious call-and-response between the past, present circumstances, and the future. It will be located in a particular geography and in a specific culture with deep roots, one which Amy Brooks, a West Virginia coal country native, shares with Roadside Theater and its audiences.
Amy will train to organize community Story Circles, help articulate a shared mission within the Roadside/Letcher County creative team, and document the production process. She will also facilitate public conversations among participants to gauge how dramaturgy can create change, complement Roadside’s community cultural development strategies, and amplify the company’s work in democratizing performing arts in rural communities.
Fannina Waubert de Puiseau will work with Sponsored By Nobody on the creation of THE AЯTS, a large-scale three-part work of interdisciplinary, multi-medial theatre. Fannina’s role will focus on research, development and reflection of the form, dramaturgical concept, theoretical foundations, and methodologies of and for THE AЯTS. This project deconstructs the history of public funding for the arts in the United States, contrasting it with current events in multiple Western nations, where threats to public subsidy of the arts and culture have manifested in recent years. The final work constitutes a large scale event combining three interconnected elements: one-act performances, embedded in a participatory civic event for an invited public composed of citizens, arts workers and politicians, as well as a collection of original short films and online initiatives. The project will take place on a local, national, and international scale.