Friday, December 9, 2011

How does a play do all that?

The whole point of zAmya Theater Project is to turn "homelessness" from a word back into a person. Or persons. Living, breathing, laughing, singing persons. Who act -- yes, act -- in entertaining, genre-defying productions that are guaranteed to change your mind, if not your life. Gua - ran - teed.

How does a play do all that? Sure, living without a home offers plenty of drama: The thrull of finding a place to sleep. The heart-warming search for a job. The inspiring quest for a next meal. The tender romance of trying to survive winter on the street. Gripping, to be sure. But a little short on chances to tell stories, trust fellow human beings or reclain a place in society. zAmya Theater Project gives actors, both homeless and housed, a change to step outside of their dail lives and enhoy a heaping helping of perspective with a dollop of imagination and free refills on dignity. Interestingly, it seems to have the same effect on audiences.

What kind of play are we talking about? Our play emerge from script development workshops held at shelters, homeless camps, schools and corporations. Not surprisingly, the tend to focus on homelessness. We can tell stories, imporvise and do some role playing, which gives us the basics of the play. Then we go straight into script writing and rehearsals.

The lights come up for six performances during National Hunger and Homelessness Week. The money we raise through performances goes to pay the actors, the director, the playwright and the musicians. It's not much. But it is good, clothing, and a down payment on the possibility of a better life. A little goes a long way.

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