HartBeat Ensemble Youth Play Institute Presents UNTOLD & UNDOCUMENTED, March 25 & 26

Is Connecticut truly a sanctuary state? Untold & Undocumented explores the challenges our undocumented community faces due to citizenship and economic status.

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HartBeat Ensemble announced today HartBeat Ensemble's Youth Play Institute (YPI) production of Untold & Undocumented, an original one-act play developed, written and performed by the company's 2023 YPI student interns. A one-hour play that examines and dissects what it means to call Connecticut "a sanctuary state," the show will be performed on Saturday, March 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 26 at 2pm at the Carriage House Theatre located at 360 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, CT.

Is Connecticut truly a sanctuary state? Untold & Undocumented explores the challenges our undocumented community faces due to citizenship status and lack of accessible resources as they strive for the "American Dream." In what ways do we succeed and fail at being a home for those who are asylum seekers, refugees, and/or undocumented? What does "sanctuary" actually mean?

The inaugural event in HartBeat's new (im)Migration 360 initiative, Untold & Undocumented will welcome audiences into a Carriage House Theater lobby filled with YPI participants' research. Following the show, YPI participants will lead a discussion on how we can tangibly support the undocumented in Connecticut.

The 2023 YPI interns who researched, wrote and perform the play are Autumn Colburn, Nakia Dennis, Jenna Ghonaim, Toby Harriman, Imani Jimenez-Ireeta, Kayla Killiebrew, Pacey Mahar, Maribel Mendoza, Aleyah Potter, and Kedante Williams. The YPI facilitators for Untold & Undocumented are Laugh the Poet and Sarah Ghonaim.

HartBeat's Youth Play Institute (YPI), now in its 16th year, is a paid internship program in acting, playwriting, theater design or stage management for young adults between the ages of 16 and 21; a program where youth are developing and expressing their perspectives about social justice and engaging in their lives through a political lens.

Tickets for Untold & Undocumented are only $5 for the performances on Saturday, March 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 26 at 2pm. Reservations can be made at HartBeatEnsemble.org. Tickets will be sold at the door, subject to availability. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Untold & Undocumented is the kickoff event for HartBeat Ensemble's (im)Migration 360, a series of convenings, workshops, discussions, and performances interrogating the crises and joys and culture-building around the migration of people within the Americas and from other continents to Connecticut. In light of Connecticut's self-proclaimed status as a "sanctuary state," as well as HartBeat's reputation as a community-based professional theatre, HartBeat is developing an ever-evolving series of events that seeks to stimulate learning, promote healing and build stronger cross-cultural communities that have landed here on Turtle Island.

Artistic Director Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. states, "The series' name is telling -- (im)Migration 360- problematizes the word 'immigration.' Technically, migration means a temporary relocation to another region or country and immigration means a permanent relocation. But what do we really mean when we say 'immigrant?' If we're citizens of the world, aren't we all 'migrating?' Or is the word immigration just code for illegally migrating?"

HartBeat's next (im)Migration 360 event will be a presentation of Toto Kisaku's Requiem For An Electric Chair in May at The Carriage House Theater.

HartBeat Ensemble's Youth Play Initiative is supported by the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, City of Hartford, Community Development Block Grant, CT Humanities, CT Office of the Arts, Charles Nelson Robinson Fund and Travelers.

Founded in 2001, HartBeat Ensemble's mission is to create provocative theater that connects our community beyond traditional barriers of race, gender, class and geography. HartBeat Ensemble is the only institution in Hartford that consistently uses theater to speak powerfully across different generations, races, populations and interest groups. As an ensemble of Citizen Artists, we create as well as present innovative productions based on critical civic issues. HartBeat continues to inspire the next generation of leaders to create change for a better world through its Youth Play Institute. To learn more, please visit HartBeatEnsemble.org.


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