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Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE

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Decameron, Providence is inspired by the framing story of the 1352 classic by Giovanni Boccaccio.

The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence announce Decameron, Providence: New Stories for a New Era. A co-production between the two organizations and featuring dozens of performing artists and community groups over a two-week period, Decameron, Providence is inspired by the framing story of the 1352 classic by Giovanni Boccaccio -- ten citizens of Florence gathering outdoors during the 1348 Bubonic Plague following best practise of the day of social distancing in isolation for 14 days -- days spent relating wry stories about the state of the Florentine Republic and their changing world.

"It is no accident that theatre and democracy were invented at the same time," said Barnaby Evans, Executive Artistic Director and coCEO of WaterFire Providence. "This is a time when the theatre's power to illuminate, humanize and share many perspectives and visions of the future is needed more than ever. Yet denied because the very real challenge of assuring everyone's safety in this time of COVID-19 is also critically important. At their heart both public health and theatre are guiding us with stories on how to best build our communities to be a better and stronger place for us all. We felt we had to creatively reinvent the theatre in light of public health by being guided by and serving both the science of health experts and the dramatic truth of our artists."

"The impetus for Decameron, Providence came out of two basic questions: how do you safely produce theatre in a pandemic? And, as storytellers, what stories need to be told?" adds Wilbury Group Artistic Director Josh Short. "Working closely with guidance from the Dept of Health and epidemiologist Brandon Marshall over the last three months we have been able to answer the first question. For the stories though, we look to the artists. This is a pivotal time in our country's history, and the Artists collaborating on this are among the most forward-thinking that we have ever known. Their stories have never been more urgent or vital to all of us looking ahead to build a more equitable future."

In the original Decameron, set just outside of Florence, Italy in the aftermath of the Bubonic Plague, 10 young storytellers quarantine themselves in the countryside for 14 days. They agree to reserve two days for Prayers, two days for their Chores, and ten days for Storytelling. Together the young storytellers practise social isolation by telling each other tales of love, passion, obsession, vice, and folly -- collectively painting a picture of their fears, hopes and visions for their new future.

Inspired by Boccaccio's original framework, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the demand for a new vision of our future, The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire reached out to dozens of performing artists and community groups from throughout Providence and asked them to each share their own vision of what that future might hold. Participating artists include; Christopher Johnson, Shaffany Piáget, Ashley Frith + Desmond Bratton of Community Music Works, the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Brien Lang, Jennifer Mischley, Daraja Hinds, Vatic Kuumba, the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Project, Phoenyx Williams, Don Mays, Marcel Mascaro, Shey Rivera Ríos, Saul Ramos + Arte Latino New England, Andy Russ, Darcie Dennigan, Keri King, Janaya Kizzie, Rachel Hughes and more to-be-announced.

Tickets for EAST and WEST admissions to Decameron, Providence are just $10. For more information about Decameron, Providence visit thewilburygroup.org/decameron.

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Spoken word artist Christopher Johnson in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Violinist Big Luxe in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Actor Phoenyx Williams in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Actor / Performance Artist Shaffany Piag t in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Students from the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Collective in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Students from the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Collective in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Performance Artist Andy Russ in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Performer / Storyteller Marcel Mascaro in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Filmmaker Don Mays at rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).

Photo Flash: First Look At The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence's DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE
Students from the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Collective in rehearsal for DECAMERON, PROVIDENCE; presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence (photo by Erin X. Smithers).


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