THE JUNGLE to Return to St. Ann's Warehouse in February

The Jungle is an intense remembrance of the bulldozed camp in Calais, where thousands of refugees waited for their “good chance” passage to Britain.

By: Jan. 13, 2023
THE JUNGLE to Return to St. Ann's Warehouse in February

As the United States' response to immigrants has once again been thrust into the national and international spotlight, St. Ann's Warehouse and Good Chance will bring The Jungle back to St. Ann's, where it made its sold-out American Premiere in 2018 in a co-production with The National Theatre and the Young Vic.

The return of The Jungle is the third event in a series of large-scale St. Ann's Warehouse presentations exploring their national promise to embrace and welcome immigrants. In the fall of 2022, St. Ann's and The Walk Productions co-produced Little Amal Walks NYC, convening hundreds of artists, cultural, civic, and community-based immigration organizations to welcome Little Amal, a 12' tall puppet of a Syrian refugee child who is a character from The Jungle. Comprising 50+ events across the city, Little Amal Walks NYC followed a 5,000-mile journey the puppet made across Europe, co-produced by Good Chance. In a New York TImes roundup of the Best Theater of 2022, Laura Collins-Hughes described Little Amal as "sublime," and Little Amal Walks NYC topped Time Out NY's list of the best art exhibits of 2022. In the summer of 2022, St. Ann's presented Fandango at the Wall, a free concert reuniting multiple Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill and his 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with son jarocho musicians from Veracruz, Mexico, and a stellar array of guest artists. Staged on the Harbor Lawn of Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, with the Statue of Liberty as its backdrop, the performance drew over 4,000 people in a rousing celebration of the power of art to transcend borders.

Susan Feldman, Founding Artistic Director of St. Ann's Warehouse, said, "The Jungle offers a poignant response to the harm and danger faced by those crossing borders in search of safety and home. We hope the production's return to the U.S. will sound the alarm and encourage people toward empathy, to take action on behalf of our shared humanity."

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) said, "Having seen The Jungle firsthand, I can attest that it is a powerful piece of art that can drive change and raise voices on behalf of displaced people. Its return to New York and move to Washington, DC, means broader audiences and policymakers will have an opportunity to experience this performance and draw inspiration from its power. I'm excited more people will be engaged by this moving story."

Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Good Chance founders and artistic directors, and co-writers of The Jungle, said, "The Jungle asks whether the pain of living together outweighs the pain of living alone. The dramatic changes in the world since March 2020 have given us all new perspectives on this question, and we can't wait to see how the play speaks to audiences new and old at the incredible St. Ann's Warehouse."

The Jungle is an intense remembrance of the bulldozed camp in Calais, where thousands of refugees who had escaped drought, war, and strife in countries in Africa and the Middle East waited for their "good chance" passage to Britain. With minimal resources in the squalid, sprawling landfill-turned-makeshift-camp, immigrants and committed volunteers built a warm, self-governing society-with restaurants, shops, a school, a church, a sauna!-from nothing. With the fervent hope that this short-term society would be remembered in all its complexity, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson wrote The Jungle after going to Calais and constructing a theater in a geodesic dome they called the Good Chance Dome. The original dome will travel with the set to St. Ann's and DC.

Directed by Stephen Daldry (The Crown, The Inheritance) and Justin Martin (The Crown, Prima Facie), the play invites the audience inside a faithfully replicated Afghan restaurant where endless cycles of survival and threat, failed social contracts, creative thought and action, and acts of compassion unfold.

Most media coverage of refugees tends to focus on unfolding humanitarian crises and the rabid responses to them among rising nationalist movements and governments; the individual stories of the fleeing people, like those living in the Calais Jungle, are rarely heard. The Jungle centers these personal stories and the events leading up to the camp's demolition by the French government in a sharp-eyed tribute to human resourcefulness and resilience against enormous odds.

The Jungle has been energizing an international conversation around immigration, borders, and the lived experiences of refugees ever since its momentous first co-production with The National Theatre and Good Chance Theatre at the Young Vic, produced by Artistic Director at the time, David Lan, in December 2017. In 2018, it had a highly successful run on London's West End before making its American Premiere at St. Ann's Warehouse, where it played to over 20,000 New Yorkers, garnered inclusion on numerous major critics' Best Theater of the Year lists, and won a special citation in the 2019 OBIE Awards.

Numerous performers who won the hearts of New York audiences in the work's 2018 American Premiere return to St. Ann's Warehouse in February, including Ammar Haj Ahmad, who movingly portrays Safi, the narrator, and Ben Turner, the charismatic restauranteur Salar; plus Moein Ghobsheh (Omid), Yasin Moradi (Hamid), Jonathan Nyati (Mohammed), Dominic Rowan (Derek), and Mohamed Sarrar (Omar). Making their St. Ann's Warehouse debuts are Jonathan Case (Sam) Waleed Elgadi (Ali), Max Geller (Henri/French Police/Yasin), Mylène Gomera (Helene), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Paula), Liv Hill (Beth), Rudolphe Mdlongwa (Okot), Twana Omer (Norullah), Pearce Quigley (Boxer), Fedrat Sadat (Maz), and ensemble members Fayez Bakhsh, Beko Wood, and Ruth Yemane.

Determined to continue addressing an evolving and unrelenting global crisis, and fueled by The Jungle's capacity to humanize displaced people, evoke empathy, and spur activism, the two organizations have also joined forces to extend the reach of this uniquely impactful work to the seat of immigration policymaking: Washington, DC, where Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company present the work at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004), March 28 - April 16, right after the run in Brooklyn.

Good Chance Executive Director Naomi Webb said, "Since The Jungle's planned return to St. Ann's Warehouse just before the pandemic, the subject of refuge has only grown in significance. From within the U.S. to Afghanistan, Ukraine, and the climate crisis, movement is becoming one of the defining conversations of our time. The Jungle brings a first-hand account, with many brilliant performers who lived in the real Jungle camp, of how people from across the world came together to create a community learning how we can live side by side."

Tickets and Additional Information

Performances of The Jungle take place February 18 - March 19 Only at St. Ann's Warehouse (45 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201). Critics are welcome to the following performances for an official opening on Tuesday, February 28:

Thursday, February 23, at 7:30pm

Friday, February 24, at 7:30pm

Saturday, February 25, at 2pm

Saturday, February 25, at 7:30pm

Tickets, starting at $35, are available now at stannswarehouse.org and 718.254.8779.

About Good Chance

Good Chance creates ground-breaking, heart-thumping theatre at the intersection of climate, migrant and refugee justice. Whether it's through temporary Dome Theatres or award-winning Good Chance Productions like The Jungle and The Walk with Little Amal, Good Chance work with artists from around the world to tell bigger stories of hope and humanity, spark new conversations and make real change possible.

Founded by British playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Good Chance established its first temporary Theatre of Hope, an 11m geodesic dome, in the heart of the 'Jungle' refugee and migrant camp in Calais in September 2015, promoting freedom of expression, creativity and dignity for everyone. Since then, Good Chance have built 11 Domes in Calais, Paris, New York, London, Sheffield and Coventry, engaging over 77,500 people through community-led art-making and coalition building where diverse groups of people struggle to connect or integrate. Open and accessible to all and led by people seeking sanctuary, migrants, local people and artists through bold artistic programmes of theatre, dance, art, circus and more, involving the wider public through workshops/performances.

Alongside the Dome theatres, the company creates groundbreaking Good Chance Productions. The multi award-winning The Jungle, by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, transferred to London's West End in 2018 following a sell-out run at the Young Vic in 2017, before moving to St Ann's Warehouse in New York and the Curran in San Francisco in 2018/19, reaching audiences of more than 130,000. The Jungle is a New York Times Critics Pick, the winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Theatre, the Evening Standard Award for Best Design, Best New Production Award at Broadway World UK, Mousetrap Award for Special Recognition for contribution to Theatre and a Special OBIE Award. In 2021 Good Chance's new traveling production, The Walk with Little Amal, reached over 800,000 people in-person across Europe, and 40+ million people globally, telling the story of a young refugee fleeing conflict from the Syria/Turkey border to the UK.

The company also works with artists from across the world through the Good Chance Ensemble, the core of Good Chance's artist development work and the creative furnace where many new project ideas are conceived and grown. The company collaborate with artists primarily from refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant backgrounds through highly personalised, in-depth support, such as with Ensemble artist Majid Adin creating an animation for Elton John's official music video Rocket Man, re-contextualising the refugee journey, seen by 128million+. Majid recently joined Good Chance's Board to shape the future of the company's work with artists from around the world. Good Chance's flagship Ensemble creative writing and performance skills programme, Change the Word, has nurtured more than 200 new artists through four place-based projects in Coventry, Sheffield, Barnsley and Bradford. The Stage Door Programme gives young refugees the chance to gain paid work experience in the theatre industry and Good Chance Socials invite newly arrived people to the best theatre shows, while building a supportive community group.

Good Chance is recipient of the Evening Standard Editor's Award, an Empty Space Peter Brook Award and the Genesis Award.

Good Chance Trustees: Majid Adin, Jeff Culpepper, Stephen Daldry (Chair), Sonia Friedman, Natalia Kaliada, Anirudh Mathur, Phoebe Reith, Tulip Siddiq, Susan Witherow, Gemma White QC.

www.goodchance.org.uk

About St. Ann's Warehouse

St. Ann's Warehouse plays a vital role on the global cultural landscape as an American artistic home for international companies of distinction, American avant-garde masters and talented emerging artists ready to work on a grand scale. St. Ann's signature flexible, open space allows artists to stretch, both literally and imaginatively, enabling them to approach work with unfettered creativity, knowing that the theater can be adapted in multiple configurations to suit their needs.

In the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, St. Ann's Warehouse is a spectacular waterfront theater that opened in October 2015. The new Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Theater offers St. Ann's signature versatility and grandeur on an amplified scale while respecting the walls of an original 1860's Tobacco Warehouse. The building complex includes a Studio for smaller-scale events and community uses, a welcoming foyer/exhibit space, and The Max Family Garden, designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and open to Brooklyn Bridge Park visitors during Park hours.

Over four decades of consistently acclaimed landmark productions that have found their American heart and home at St. Ann's include Lou Reed's and John Cale's Songs for 'Drella; Marianne Faithfull's Breaking Away and Seven Deadly Sins; Artistic Director Susan Feldman's Band in Berlin; Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers' Theater of the New Ear; The Royal Court and TR Warszawa productions of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis; The Globe Theatre of London's Measure for Measure with Mark Rylance; Druid Company's The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope by Enda Walsh and the Landmark / Galway International Arts Festival Productions of Walsh's Misterman, featuring Cillian Murphy, Ballyturk and Arlington (Murphy also featured in Max Porter's Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, directed by Walsh); Lou Reed's Berlin; the National Theater of Scotland's Black Watch and Let the Right One In; Kneehigh Theatre's Brief Encounter, 946, Tristan & Yseult; Yael Farber's Mies Julie and The Gate Theatre Dublin's acclaimed Hamlet, featuring Academy Award and Tony nominee Ruth Negga; Dmitry Krymov Lab's Opus No. 7; The Donmar Warehouse all-female Shakespeare Trilogy directed by Phyllida Lloyd: Julius Caesar, Henry IV, The Tempest; Kate Tempest's Brand New Ancients; Tricycle Theatre's Red Velvet, the Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson; Mark Rylance's Nice Fish, The National Theatre's People, Places & Things, and the World Premiere and one-time-only, 24-hour marathon of Taylor Mac's A 24 Decade History of Popular Music in 2016. St. Ann's has championed such artists as The Wooster Group, Mabou Mines, Jeff Buckley, Daniel Kitson, Emma Rice and her new company, Wise Children, Hal Willner's multi-artist tribute concerts, and an historic David Bowie concert in 2002. Prior to the pandemic, St. Ann's produced a reimagined Oklahoma! directed by Daniel Fish, in association with the Bard Fisher Center and co- producer Eva Price, which went on to win the 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (and has since toured America and London, beginning a run on the West End in 2023) ; and an astonishing play about refugees, The Jungle, a Good Chance Theatre co-production with London's National Theatre and The Young Vic During the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Ann's reconfigured its facade and rooftop balconies for public art presentations of music and visual art, bringing artists back to work and offering its arches, walls and lightboxes to BIPOC artists such as Supremacy Project, committed to ending violence through art. Recently, with The Walk Productions, St. Ann's produced Little Amal Walks NYC, a citywide festival of welcome on behalf of refugee children worldwide. St. Ann's mobilized artists, cultural institutions, and members of NYC's diverse immigrant communities to walk with Amal, a 12' tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian girl, presenting 55 events over 17 days in all 5 boroughs.

St. Ann's Warehouse is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park at 45 Water Street|DUMBO|Brooklyn, NY 11201.

www.stannswarehouse.org



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