Community Performance And Potluck Announced For THE HEIGHTS

A free and open to the public performance of The Heights will take place, Friday, February 8, 2019, from 7 - 9pm at Su Casa Ministries located at 1302 N. Graham, Memphis, TN, 38112. The Heights, written by Rory Hatchel, Kingsbury High School English Teacher and a resident of The Heights, is an artistic representation of families' stories, needs and dreams of a beautiful, historic Memphis neighborhood. A community potluck will be part of the experience and attendees are encouraged to bring a dish representative of their culture. The first 80 attendees will receive a free popsicle from La Michoacana, a restaurant located in the The Heights.

The production was conceived by Yancy Villa-Calvo, a Latino artist and activist who has partnered with Theatre Memphis, Latino Memphis, Memphis 3.0 and has support for the event from Tennessee Arts Commission, ArtsMemphis, the UrbanArts Commission, Su Casa Ministries, Street Ministries, The Heights CDC and La MIchoacana. Villa-Calvo declares, "Each neighborhood has an identity and The Heights in the Jackson District is an incredibly multicultural community where many gems exist."

Villa-Calvo saw and was inspired by a previous production called The Binghampton Stories that had been produced in the Memphis Binghampton neighborhood. She began conversations with Leslie Barker, Director of Outreach and Education with Theatre Memphis, who, as a Binghampton resident, had developed the community story concept and wrote and directed the initial Community Stories project that was part of the mission of the Theatre Memphis Department of Outreach and Education. Barker says, "Each production is unique and focuses on experiences that are true to that community where it is performed. The stories are created in collaboration with communities to tell authentic stories and involve the communities in theatre arts." The stories are performed by community members along with ShoWagon, the professional teaching artists with TM's Department of Outreach and Education. "The script for The Heights is based on the powerful narratives of diverse individuals and families who enrich the entire city of Memphis," Barker relates. "Over 14 languages are spoken at Kingsbury High School alone, which is central to the district." The Heights area is loosely defined as North of Summer Avenue, South of Jackson Avenue, East of Scott Street, West to North Graham Street.

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences, participants and community.

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