BWW Previews: I AND THE VILLAGE at Roaming Theater Collaborative
The shooting at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks isn't the first time that Santa Barbara and the surrounding communities have been touched by gun violence. A year after the event, the artists at Roaming Theater Collaborative are hosting a workshop experience that includes a devised reading of the new play, I and the Village, followed by a developmental conversation about the play (and the social influences that inspire the story) with the audience.
I and the Village is a dark coming-of-age story that explores the actions of a young girl, an outsider in her small American town, who breaks under the strain of underachieved orthodoxy and enters into an armed battle against society. Written by Silva Semerciyan, the play first premiered in London in 2015, but has yet to be produced in the U.S. The RTC production at the Community Arts Workshop this weekend (November 1st and 2nd) will be the play's American debut. "(It) asks us to examine our society's reaction to non-conformity and people who are different," says RTC actor Lucan Nelson. "It also asks open questions about America's casual gun use. Any American community will see themselves in this script."
Roaming Theatre Collaborative's artistic mission is to produce new and fringe works in alternative spaces. The reading, directed by Katie Williams, will utilize a minimalistic aesthetic to focus on the full dramatic realization of characters and the upsetting relatability of their situation. Art can change the future by inspiring action in the present, and the intention of this workshop is not only to provide audiences with a powerful storytelling experience, but to also start a dialogue to motivate change. "We want to have a conversation not just about guns," says producer Luz Lorenzana Twigg, "but about the conditions that allows gun violence to happen."
I and the Village
by Silva Semerciyan
directed by Katie Williams
November 1st and 2nd at 7 pm
CAW-the COMMUNITY ARTS WORKSHOP
Featuring: Felicia Hall, Eva Holliday, Karen Baltzley, Lucas James Nelson, Spencer J. Frederick, and Katelin Curtis.