Notch Theatre Company And Jessica Kahkoska Launch WILD HOME: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY

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Notch Theatre Company, Playwright Jessica Kahkoska and the community of Colorado's North Fork Valley will kick off Wild Home: An American Odyssey with a free, public performance on April 27th, 2019.

Wild Home: An American Odyssey
Saturday, April 27th, 2019, 2:00pm.
Delicious Orchards
39126 Highway 133, Hotchkiss, CO

Wild Home: An American Odyssey is a new theatre project that brings to the stage the fears, struggles, and experiences of local communities in areas under serious threat from oil and gas drilling. The project was inspired by The Wilderness Society's Too Wild to Drill report, which identified 15 rare and irreplaceable places or ecosystems in the United States that are jeopardized by fossil fuel extraction.

In each rural community, Notch Theatre Company and playwright Jessica Kahkoska will first hold public story-sharing events, after which Kahkoska will craft short plays based on shared testimony and community feedback. These plays explore community members' experiences and concerns with their Public Lands, the challenges they are facing, and their hopes and dreams for the future of these spaces. The plays will be performed by a mix of community and professional actors in outdoor spaces-interspersed with facilitated dialogue about efforts to protect wildlands from oil and gas drilling. The April performance in the North Fork Valley represents the first community in this "American Odyssey," with others to follow in 2019-2021.

In the North Fork Valley, community partners and participants include representatives from The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Blacklight Studios, Delicious Orchards, and many individuals in Paonia, Hotchkiss and Delta County.

"Living here right now, it's like having one foot in the dream, one foot in the nightmare," observes one character in Wild Home: An American Odyssey. Another clarifies, "this whole story is about us, as a community, trying to keep our public lands and water safe and pure for our kids... the next generation."

Wild Home: An American Odyssey aims to magnify stories about American wildlands under threat and the people who depend on them, specifically at this crucial moment in time when the North Fork Valley faces more oil and gas development under the Trump administration. Wild Home also seeks to connect audiences to wildlands in a way that has never been done before, using theatre to deepen the conversation around protecting our wild places at both a grassroots and national scale. For more information about oil and gas drilling and its effect on public lands, click here.

In 2018, Wild Home: An American Odyssey received a residency at the Taft-Nicholson Center for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Utah, and was featured by HowlRound in their Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series. Wild Home is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters' Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN), supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. To learn more or get involved, support the project, or bring Wild Home: An American Odyssey to your theatre, click here.

Notch Theatre Company creates community-responsive theatre to drive change around the pressing social and health related issues of our time, offering countless communities a platform to tell their stories on stage and be their own change makers. Theater is able to connect with an audience in a deeply personal way, and we strive to push the boundaries of what that connection can achieve. By collaborating with communities across the nation to tell their real stories on stage, this work engages communities that our brick and mortar theaters are not reaching, personalizes important social issues for people on all sides of a conversation, raises awareness in a compelling way, drives change on a national scale, and prompts meaningful, lasting engagement at a grass-roots level.

Jessica Kahkoska is a writer, dramaturg/researcher, and performer. Her projects include Discount Ghost Stories (with Alexander Sage Oyen), Agent 355 (with Preston Max Allen), Untitled Crypto-Judaism Project (Denver Center for the Performing Arts, "Powered By Off-Center" Residency), Nia (with Sarah Wansley and Tommy Crawford), Wild Home: A Rural American Theatre Odyssey (with Ashley Teague and the Wilderness Society), and Letters to the President (with Michael Bello and the Cooper Union). Her writing has been developed and presented at Village Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Local Theater Company, the Drama League, Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre, Ars Nova ANT FEST, (le) Poisson Rouge, Musical Theatre Factory, North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, and SUNY Fredonia. She is the recipient of the Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts, the American Antiquarian Society Fellowship for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers, and creative residencies at the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University, Barn Arts Collective, Chautauqua Institution, UCROSS Foundation, and Taft-Nicholson Center for the Arts and Humanities.Dramaturgical work includes new play/musical development Off-Broadway and regionally, with the Cooper Union, Life Jacket Theatre Company, the Athena Project, Local Theater Company, Creede Repertory Theatre, as well as research for Bungalow Media and Entertainment and AMC/Sundance. She is currently Regional Vice President of the Rocky Mountain/Butte Region for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America (LMDA). In New York, Jessica has performed at New York Theatre Barn, National Sawdust, (le) Poisson Rouge, Ars Nova, the Bushwick Starr, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), among others, and regionally at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Colorado Henry Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Musical), Theatre Aspen, American Stage Theatre Company, University at Buffalo Performing Arts Center, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Lake Dillon Theatre Company and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival.She previously served as Director of Marketing for Creede Repertory Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, and Detroit Public Theatre. Currently: Artistic Associate at Local Theater Company in Boulder, Colorado. Graduate of Northwestern University. www.jessicakahkoska.com

Ashley Teague is the Founding Artistic Director of Notch Theatre Co. (www.notchtheatre.org) and a recipient of the Embark Fellowship Award for Social Innovation in Entrepreneurship. Notch recently received a Map Fund grant for our Remember2019 partnership, which was featured on Medium and by the US Department of Arts and Culture. Notch and Teague have also been profiled in N Magazine, on HowlRound, by Artists and Climate change. Teague's direction has received a Broadway World Critics' Pick for Best Director/Choreographer, Best Musical, and Best Ensemble Cast and was nominated for Best Direction in Motif's Theatre Awards. While with Cornerstone Theater Company, she developed and produced Talk It Out, which travels throughout California creating community-engaged theater aimed at changing public policy around the school to prison pipeline crisis. As a creative content producer, Teague worked on such films as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls, Gus Van Sant's Promised Land, Paul Haggis' Next Three Days, and Tina Chism's Peeples. Most recent directing credits include Anna Karenina (White Heron Theater, MA), The Language Archive (UNC/ Playmakers Rep) Capsized (Cherry Lane, NYC), The Rehearsal (FSU/Asolo Rep, FL), Twelfth Night (Gallery Players, NY), FIT (La Mama Studios, NYC; Spectrum Theatre/Trinity Rep, RI; White Heron Theater, MA), CHQ Project (Chautauqua Theatre Co., NY), Scapegoat (Delta Cultural Center, AR), Invasion! (Brown University, RI), A Kind of Providence (AS220, RI), Bean (Hollywood Fringe, CA), Jesus Hopped the A Train (Lyric Theatre, CA), Willful (California State Capitol), Ajax (Theater of War Productions, CA), and Halfway Home (Blank Theater, CA). Teague assisted Liesl Tommy on the World Premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical at Trinity Repertory Theater and assistant directed the Off-Broadway premiere of Discord by Scott Carter, directed by Kimberly Senior at the Cherry Lane Theatre.



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