DNAWORKS in Partnership With Amphibian Stage to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

DNAWORKS is adapting Joseph Conrad’s 1909 novella The Secret Sharer into a mixed-media performance work.

By: Jun. 09, 2021
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DNAWORKS in Partnership With Amphibian Stage to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

DNAWORKS in partnership with Amphibian Stage has been approved for a Grants for Arts Projects award to support its mixed-media, dance-theatre adaptation of Joseph Conrad's queer novella, The Secret Sharer. With this project, a response to an increase in both hate crimes and the visibility of LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ youth suicides worldwide, both organizations seek to create a space for resiliency and healing. DNAWORKS's partnership with Amphibian Stage Productions is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

"As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as DNAWORKS in partnership with Amphibian Stage reengage fully with partners and audiences," said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. "Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure."

Daniel Banks, DNAWORKS Co-Artistic Director and project lead says, "We are thrilled to be partnering with Amphibian Stage Productions on this project. This work has stayed close to my heart since I first read it in high school. In it I found great courage and comfort and the possibility for a moving, physical language of closeness and intimacy. In showing our work-in-progress so far, we are finding this to be true among community and audience members. Paired with our storycircles, this piece has the potential to change hearts and minds and celebrate community voices and life experiences." Amphibian Stage Artistic Director Kathleen Culebro shares, "It's always an honor to work with the artists of DNAWORKS. Partnering with this outstanding company of thoughtful, generous, and cutting edge creatives makes Amphibian a better organization. We are thrilled to have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts."

DNAWORKS is adapting Joseph Conrad's 1909 novella The Secret Sharer into a mixed-media performance work. Considered an early queer text, The Secret Sharer integrates dance/text/music/projections and will be performed in an open-concept space with audiences co-creating the environment and the narrative. In an extension of our community storycircle practice, audience members will share their stories during the performance, interspersed at critical moments in the narrative. This devised work is an exploration of fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of personal duress and societal discrimination--the narrative of a silent, shared connection between two outsiders in the face of violence. The co-creators of this ensemble piece are: Daniel Banks, Kwesi Johnson, Adam W. McKinney (DNAWORKS Co-Artistic Director), Kenneth Norris, Giovanni Ortega, and Papi Salgado.

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.


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