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Luna Stage & Ping Chong And Company Announce Talkbacks For Documentary Film

The film features interviews with six former and current residents of the City of Orange, New Jersey, reflecting on the forces that shaped the community.

Luna Stage & Ping Chong And Company Announce Talkbacks For Documentary Film

Luna Stage announces two free public conversations in conjunction with its world premiere 2.2 Square Miles of Soul: Voices of Orange, a documentary film created in association with Ping Chong and Company.

The film features interviews with six former and current residents of the City of Orange, New Jersey, reflecting on the social, political, and economic forces that shaped the community over the course of the last century, including historic disinvestment, demographic change, and the fight for representative government. The piece will stream on the Luna Stage website, with previews beginning May 14 and premiering Tuesday, May 18. Pay-what-you-wish and free tickets are available at lunastage.org.

Special livestream virtual events with the cast and creative team will be held Tuesday, May 18 at 7 pm and Sunday, May 23 at 3 pm. These interactive conversations will offer audience members an inside view into the making of the film, and allow for questions and community sharing. Links to access these Zoom sessions are available on the Luna website.

The culmination of a yearlong collaborative process led by Christina Bixland and Matthew Martinez, 2.2 Square Miles of Soul: Voices of Orange features Turron Kofi Alleyne (Creative Consultant), Tony Benevento, Theresa Borenstein, Robert Currie, Rebecca Doggett, and James A. Manning, as well as the poetry of local resident Judy Isaac.

2.2 Square Miles of Soul investigates the intersection of personal and political histories. The project began with virtual Community Story Circles in the summer of 2020, providing an opportunity for connection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Later that year, the creative team interviewed Orange residents past and present about their life experiences, scripted these pieces into a narrative performance, and collaborated with the storytellers to rehearse and film the project online.

"Assumptions have been challenged, and understanding has deepened across folks who lived in different parts of town, and grew up in different times," says Bixland. "Our hope is for that kind of impact to have a broader ripple effect - between these storytellers and the audience, and between the audience and the surrounding communities they bring their experience back to."

"Getting to know these six individuals from Orange has been a joy, and even more so witnessing the evolution of their relationships to each other and to some of the moments in history that impacted their lives personally and collectively," she adds.

2.2 Square Miles of Soul: Voices of Orange is the latest in Ping Chong and Company's Undesirable Elements series of community-specific, interview-based theater pieces, examining issues of place, culture, identity, and sense of belonging within communities. It was created at the invitation of, and in partnership with, Luna Stage's Secret Cities initiative, which commissions and produces new work inspired by local interviews and history in an ongoing collaboration between Luna and its surrounding communities.

Tickets for 2.2 Square Miles of Soul are available on a pay-what-you-wish basis and can be reserved on Luna's website at lunastage.org. Zoom links for talkbacks with the cast and creative team are also accessible via the Luna Stage website.

Luna Stage & Ping Chong And Company Announce Talkbacks For Documentary Film


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