PANG!' 3 Live Radio Plays Get World Premieres in 3 U.S. Cities
501 (see three) ARTS announces the triple premiere of Pang!, by Dan Froot and Company, three live radio plays based on the oral histories of families hungering for change. Pang! will be performed for theatre audiences in October, December, and January in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (10/20 & 10/21), Los Angeles, California (12/2 & 12/3), and Miami, Florida (1/25, 1/26 & 1/27/18), respectfully. Pang! aims to raise awareness, decrease stigma, and promote cross-class dialogue around circumstances faced by families living below the poverty line. For more information on Pang!, please visit danfroot.com/pang and https://www.facebook.com/PangProject.
The upcoming production is a theatrical adaptation of oral histories of three low-income families as if the audience is watching a radio theatre company perform a live broadcast. The plays are produced, written and directed by Dan Froot, with music by Robert Een, sound design by Cricket Myers, lighting design by Christopher Kuhl and are performed by Natalie Camunas, Donna Simone Johnson, Christopher Rivas, Froot and Een. Pang!'s dramaturge is Bobby Gordon.
Venues & Ticket Information -
O C T O B E R - C E D A R R A P I D S:
Legion Arts/CSPS Hall 1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 • Friday, October 20 at 8:00pm & Saturday, October 21 at 4:00 & 8:00pm • Tickets: $18 in advance, $22 at the door • http://legionarts.org | 319-364-1580 | www.facebook.com/events/144697682780722
D E C E M B E R - L O S A N G E L E S:
24th STreet Theatre 1117 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007 • Saturday, December 2 at 8:00pm & Sunday, December 3 at 3:00pm • Tickets: $24 adults; $15 students/seniors/teachers; $2.40 local community members • https://24thstreet.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0O0G00000RgcRGUAZ | 213-745-6516 | www.facebook.com/events/866553700169504
J A N U A R Y - M I A M I:
Miami Light Project's Light Box at Goldman Warehouse 404 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127 • Thursday, January 25, Friday, January 26 & Saturday, January 27 at 8:00pm • Tickets: $15 - 25 • http://www.miamilightproject.com | 305-576-4350 | www.facebook.com/events/160582567850384
Pang! is a response to our increasing socioeconomic disparity. Over the course of eight months in 2015-2016, Dan Froot and Company created six book-length oral histories of families living with food insecurity in Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids and Miami. They then collaborated with one family from each city to devise each of the 30-minute plays that comprise Pang!. The families consult with the Company continuously throughout the adaptation, rehearsal and performance processes. The families include: ? a family who makes a harrowing escape from war-torn Burundi and resettles as refugees in Eastern Iowa, which proves traumatic in its own ways; ? a single mom and her nine children who are swindled into foreclosure on their Los Angeles home that has been owned by the family for over 65 years; ? a seven-year-old boy who sews seeds of hope as he fantasizes about his family's way out of a Miami neighborhood besieged by violence and beset by racism.
Dan Froot and Company's exploration of the radio play format is inspired by audio storytelling, from the classic 1938 radio drama War of the Worlds to the current zeitgeist of nonfiction public radio podcasts such as The Moth and Snap Judgment. Froot writes that he wants audience members to feel as if they are "between the ears" of each family, hearing what they hear, feeling what they feel. "Empathy," writes Froot, "can lead to the de-stigmatization of those living with hunger and poverty, which can lead to inter-class dialogue, which can lead to the political will to address income disparity in America." Amidst a forest of microphones and musical instruments, and tables overflowing with odd assortments of objects, Dan Froot and Company voice dozens of characters, manipulate sound effects props, and play musical accompaniment.
Robert Een's eclectic score features Een on cello, piano, and baritone ukulele; and Froot on flute and alto and soprano saxophones. The entire cast sings, joined at several points in the evening by a local church choir in each location.
Pang!'s participant families were initially identified through a screening and consent process carried out by Pang!'s community partners in the social services sector, including: • in Cedar Rapids: Matthew 25, Jane Boyd Inc., and Horizons Family Services Alliance; • in Los Angeles: Hunger Action Los Angeles, and LIFT-LA; • in Miami: Touching Miami with Love and Curlee's House of Style.
Froot and his collaborators conducted twelve one-hour interviews with each of six diverse families in Pang!'s three home cities. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and lightly edited into book-length oral histories, which are to be presented to their respective families. One family from each city was then asked to consult with Dan Froot and Company to create the radio plays.
The original focus of the project was to destigmatize local hunger. All participating families qualify as being food-insecure, i.e., unable to afford enough healthy food for a period of time. As the project progressed, it became clear to Froot and his collaborators that while food insecurity was indeed problematic for all participating families, other issues presented more immediate threats: barriers faced by immigrants, foreclosures on family homes, and gun violence toward children. While food insecurity remains one of Pang!'s core concerns, the creators recognize ways in which it is woven inextricably into a fabric of circumstances for each family. Indeed, food insecurity operates metaphorically in the work, as participating families hunger for safety, security, stability, and a sense of home.
An integral feature of each performance of Pang! is a discussion with economically diverse audience members, social justice activists, scholars, the artists, and participating family members. The Company is experimenting with several interactive discussion formats in order to facilitate dialogue across socio-economic borders.
Dan Froot's work has toured internationally since 1983. Awards include a Bessie (New York Dance & Performance Award), a City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship, and a Foundation for Jewish Culture Playwriting Fellowship. He has worked with Dan Hurlin, Yoshiko Chuma, Ping Chong, David Dorfman, Mabou Mines, Ralph Lemon, and Victoria Marks, among others. He is professor of choreography, creative process, and business of the arts at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance - http://danfroot.com.
Robert Een is a composer, singer, cellist, and performing artist known for his unique orchestrations and use of extended techniques for voice and cello. His work has been presented worldwide and has received an Obie Award for music composition, as well as two New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Awards for music composition and sustained achievement. Een has recorded sixteen albums of genre-defying original music. He is an adjunct professor of composition and collaboration at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and composes for film, theatre, dance and the concert stage - www.roberteen.com.
Cricket Myers - Sound Design - On Broadway, Cricket Myers earned a Tony Nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her design of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Regional designs include La Jolla Playhouse, Ahmanson Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, The Kirk Douglas Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, The Montalban, and the Geffen Theater. She has earned 20 Ovation Nominations in Los Angeles - www.cricketsmyers.com.
Christopher Kuhl - Lighting Design - Christopher Kuhl is a lighting, scenic, and installation designer for new performance, theatre, dance and opera. Recent work includes: Stardust with David Roussève (REDCAT), The Object Lesson (BAM, Edinburgh Festival, Sydney Festival); Early Morning Opera's The Institute of Memory (The Public Theater, TBA Festival); Straight White Men (Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Public Theater, Kaai Theater, Centre Pompidou). He is originally from New Mexico and a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Natalie Camunas - Actor - Since the completion of her conservatory style training, Natalie Camunas has appeared in over a dozen theatrical shows in and around Los Angeles. She is in progress with her improv training at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) and has several short films, a web series, and an indie feature film premiering this year.
Donna Simone Johnson - Actor - Donna Simone Johnson is an actress, known for Agent X (2015), High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008) and High School Musical 2 Dance-Along (2007). She Holds an MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Christopher Rivas - Actor - Christopher Rivas is an award-winning international storyteller, passionate artivist, published writer, film/television (Grey's Anatomy, Shameless, Rizzoli & Isles, 2 Broke Girls, Rosewood) and theatre actor. His artistic mission is to create and share stories that move us forward, blend boundaries, and encourage dialogue. He is the proud founder of Lifestyledezine, a community dedicated to exploring and realizing the power of compassionate storytelling.
Bobby Gordon - Dramaturge - Bobby Gordon is a poet, performance maker, and Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner with an M.A. in Applied Theatre Arts from the University of Southern California (USC). He is a co-founder of the Melrose Poetry Bureau, teaches at UCLA in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, is the Assistant Director of UCLA's Art and Global Health Center, and has created work with ensembles across the Americas and in South Africa.