I'm a resident artist at Access Theater this fall and a UCSD classmate and longtime collaborator of mine, Kristin Idaszak and I are workshopping her play ANOTHER JUNGLE at Access next week.
Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, ANOTHER JUNGLE explores the misuse of power, the way narratives get co-opted, and the way identity accretes over the course of generations.The audience has arrived at the theatre to see a show about the Chicago slaughterhouses – only to find that the play has been canceled. Instead, the writer is there to give a slideshow presentation about the history of the stockyards. In trying to explore her family’s Polish identity and the exploitation of stockyard workers, the writer unintentionally exposes a trauma from her own past.
ANOTHER JUNGLE had a workshop at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and is scheduled for production in Chicago this spring. Kristin and I are using my residency at Access to do a fully staged script-in-hand workshop to develop the physical life of the play and experiment with media. This meta-theatrical immersive performance ignites questions that are on the forefront of my mind as an artist: What does it mean to stage a rape scene? How does theater beautify and glamorize sexual violence? When is putting brutal truth on stage necessary and when does it go too far? What toll does it take on artists to perform racism, or misogyny, or sexual violence eight times a week?
We're having a public presentation of the work on November 3rd at 8pm at Access Theater. Please contact me to reserve a seat!