"Beyond Cliché: Dramatizing Our American Identity"
March 22-28 Blog Series on www.HowlRound.com
HowlRound is publishing new writing and multimedia about the twenty-one-year artistic collaboration between Pregones Theater and Roadside Theater. The collaboration bridges two vast geographies and cultures, Puerto Rican and Appalachian, and two distinct aesthetics. Curated by Imagining America’s Jamie Haft and Dr. Arnaldo López of Pregones Theater/PRTT, the series explores the creation of BETSY!, a musical about a Bronx singer and performer uncovering the secrets of her family’s history. The musical premieres off-Broadway, April 9-26, 2015 (purchase tickets by clicking here).
- The eight-part series launches on Sunday, March 22 with an article by Haft and López.
- In two posts on Monday, March 23, actress Elise Santora will share her personal connection to the role of Betsy’s shape-shifting guide, Spirit, and Appel Farm’s Dr. Ben Fink will consider intercultural artistic collaboration through the lens of community organizing.
- Tuesday, March 24, Dr. Stephani Etheridge Woodson of Arizona State University will situate theater artists as public intellectuals and their ensembles as cultural development organizations.
- Wednesday, March 25, Miami University’s Jonathan Bradshaw will demonstrate the hybridity of Appalachian and Puerto Rican music traditions with interviews of BETSY! composers Desmar Guevara and Ron Short, and banjo player Sylvia Ryerson.
- Thursday, March 26, University of Connecticut’s Dr. Lindsay Cummings will discuss empathy in BETSY!.
- Friday, March 27, will feature poetry by Caridad De La Luz, aka La Bruja, who will be playing the title role of BETSY!.
- The series finale on Saturday, March 28 will be the publication of “Drama and the Shattering of Myths,” new scholarship by University of Arizona’s Dr. Maribel Álvarez.
This series is part of a strategy for Roadside Theater and Pregones Theater/PRTT to develop new scholarship and multimedia about the vision, values, practice, and complexities of intercultural artistic collaboration, which will eventually be digested into a learning guide for teaching BETSY!.