Waterwell Presents The World Premiere Of THE COURTROOM Re-enacting Deportation Proceedings
Waterwell announces the World Premiere production of The Courtroom, a re-enactment of deportation proceedings.
With text arranged from real court transcripts by Waterwell co-founder and Tony Award nominee Arian Moayed, this unique production will play four performances in two active legal spaces. Waterwell Artistic Director and Obie Award-winner Lee Sunday Evans will direct. Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly.
The Courtroom is a re-enactment of deportation proceedings. In 2004, an immigrant from the Philippines who was married to a U.S. Citizen came to this country on a K3 Visa. After inadvertently registering to vote at the DMV in Chicago, receiving a voter registration card in the mail, and voting, her removal proceeding was set in motion. It began in Immigration Court and her case was eventually heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The Courtroom will be performed entirely verbatim from the court transcripts.
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"As an immigrant from Iran, I can't tell you how profound and life-changing it is to have become a United States citizen. I have benefited so much from the incredible resources that this country has given my parents, brothers, sister, and children," said Arian Moayed. "I also recognize - in a deeply personal way - how difficult it is to come to this country as a stranger and navigate American cultures, new languages, and the overpowering bureaucracy of the law. These actual transcripts give an invaluable insight on how difficult it can be for a new immigrant in an unfamiliar environment."
"The tension between the rigorous procedure of due process and the human drama of how the life of an individual, a family will be impacted by the court's decision is what makes these court transcripts so powerful to re-enact," said Lee Sunday Evans. "Arian and I spent a day sitting in immigration court downtown and it hit me - this is a public space that I have never spent time in before. We have sought out these site-specific venues so that the audience can experience what it is like to enter one of the courtrooms where enormous questions about who gets to be a U.S. Citizen are playing out at the granular level every single day."
The Courtroom will play the Fordham University School of Law (150 West 62nd Street) on Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00pm, and Saturday, January 26 at 7:00pm.
The Courtroom will then play the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse (40 Foley Square) on Thursday, January 24 at 6:30pm and Friday, January 25 at 6:30pm.
Tickets are free and available now at waterwell.org.