Everyman Theatre's new Community Engagement Initiative aims to expand and deepen Everyman's existing community-based work and more closely connect the Greater Baltimore Community through the work seen on Everyman's stage.
Everyman Theatre partnered with The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood partnerships to produce a daylong workshop on the art of successful grant-writing and capacity building for non-profits. Topics covered included organizational capacity development, strategic planning, budgeting and financial management and submitting proposals. Close to 200 participants attended the event. Over 91% of participants had never been to Everyman Theatre. The event was free and open to the public with registration.
SWINGING FOR THE FENCES
Through a new partnership between Everyman Theatre and Taharka Bros. Ice Cream, a new flavor has been added to the Tarharka Bros profile. The new flavor - Swinging for the Fences - was inspired by the 2015 production of Fences at Everyman Theatre. Through the new Community Engagement Initiative, 8 members of the Taharka Bros Team were included on a research trip to Pittsburgh to visit the different sites mentioned in August Wilson’s Fences and to conduct research on August Wilson. After the trip and extensively reading the play, the team of 18-26 year olds created the dramaturgically correct flavor profile.
The three layers of the flavor are a study in the complexities of racism addressed in Fences. The top layer is a sour cream base with blueberries, juniper berries and a gin swirl (Troy was fond of gin and his encounters with racism were both sour and bitter.). A layer of sweet cream ice cream lays beneath a bittersweet chocolate waffle cone (the "fence") soaked in artificial vanilla flavoring. The waffle cone represents the construct of racism that one must break through and destroy in order to get to the sweet cream. The flavor made its debut at Everyman's Free Fall Baltimore event on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Tickets to the event were sold out and the theatre was filledl to capacity.
WITHIN OUR GATES
Fences inspires new collaboration between Everyman Theatre and The Afro-American Newspaper Archives to produce Within Our Gates, an exhibition that examines life in Baltimore at the time of Fences. Photographs and other archival footage from The Afro-American Newspaper Archives provided a snapshot of life in Baltimore from 1950-1965.
After a successful debut at Everyman Theatre, Within Our Gates traveled to Impact Hub and The Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement. From December 1, 2015 through MLK weekend 2016, Within Our Gates was on display at Impact Hub. Then, in March 2016, the exhibition traveled to The office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement to be on display until the fall.
BEADEN BLUES AND BARAKA: BALTIMORE NOW!
In a basement classroom overlooking a plum tree and a concrete garden, students at Excel Academy in Baltimore gathered their materials and settled into their work as blues singer Bobby Blue Bland wailed in the background. Educator and artist, Tony McKissic let the song play eventually stopping the music to allow room for the students to sing their own blues informed by their day to day dreams and realities. A poem from Amiri Baraka, a jazz riff from Coltrane or the voices of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith color the air inspiring the art they create. In Anthony McKissic’s classroom - musicians, writers, political thinkers, activists and sages live forever. The work of ancestors and elders provided a bridge into dynamic expression for the students. For this unit, they entered the world of artist Romare Bearden (a major influence to August and the blues.
“Romare Bearden is our springboard in our visual storytelling. He inspires us to use our community and the artifacts of daily life as narrative and magic. Bearden and August Wilson lift our spirits by showing us as heroes in their work.” -Anthony McKissic
Baltimore, Now is a collection of work the students from Excel Academy created along the way. Together, they transcended time and at moments the past seemed present. Just as August Wilson looked to Bearden’s work to learn how “the fullness and richness of everyday ritual life can be rendered without compromise,” these students piece the world around them together through collage. Here, the remnants tell the stories of the world they see and the lives they live.
WORLD OF THE PLAY IMPACT HUB: A DREAM PREFERRED
In 1949, Arthur Miller penned Death of a Salesman perhaps one of the greatest American plays. Miller's Willy Loman, the quintessential everyman, was in constant pursuit of what he believed to be the American Dream - no matter how it eluded him. Salesman presented a layered analysis of the dream and one's ability to attain it. Almost 70 years later, we continue to inspect the dream. Join our our inter-generational and cross-cultural panel to explore what the American dream in the 21st Century. Through the eyes of our guests, we explore our relationship to the American Dream and its relevancy to contemporary times.
A second installment of this World of the Play was presented off-site at Impact Hub to commemorate the year anniversary of the #BaltimoreUprising
ICE CREAM FOR A DREAM
At the heart of The Great American Rep are characters striving to achieve what they believe is the American Dream. So we teamed up with our friends at Taharka Brothers to find out what the people of Baltimore think the American Dream is today. This series of pictures were taken at Red Emma’s and Impact Hub.
CREATIVE MORNINGS: LOVE
Everyman Theatre host Creative Mornings: LOVE. Guest speakers, Tawonda Jones (sister of Tyrone West), Justin Timothy (yoga instructor) and Melani N. Douglass (Community Engagement Manager, Everyman Theatre) speak on the theme of Love.
Here is the description from Creative Morning:
Whether it’s love for another person, love for our work, or a simple love like watching the sunrise or going for a walk, it is an emotion that is the lifeblood of our being. It can confuse and hurts us, but equally true, it can lift us up into a place where meaning and fulfillment pulsates like a heart. Love is simple, but naturally as human beings, we make it complex.
The theme was chosen by the Ljubljana chapter of Creative Mornings and illustrated by Lucy Engelman. This theme is presented globally by Wix. This month, 148 cities will participate in advancing our understanding of love by tapping into the richness of diversity in worldviews within our community. Maybe to relearn how to love and be loved, we need to hear new stories that are different from ours, and to weave those revelations into ourselves.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY AND STORIES | UNDER THE SKIN
For Under the Skin, the Theatre partnered with four organ donor organizations, including Living Legacy Foundation and Trio Maryland, to tie themes from the play to real life by starting conversations in the theatre, in the community and online. Special panel discussions brought doctors, industry leaders and donors together. Audience members willing to share their donor stories in the lobby wore green pins (the color for organ donation) and the hashtag #StoriesUnderTheSkin was created to continue the conversation on social media, with many participating.
ReWINEd: WAIT UNTIL DARK
In Wait Until Dark, Susan realizes that she will lose her life unless she levels the playing field. Like Susan, Chris Wilson (first host of our new series ReWINEd) almost lost his life. Sentenced to die in prison at the age of 17, Wilson had a decision to make - beat the odds or perish behind bars. Susan turned the lights off, Chris turned the lights on by embracing education. After the 2pm matinee of Wait Until Dark, Wilson will host an intimate dinner and conversation around themes of the production at the nearby Dovecote Café. Enjoy a glass of wine and a menu prepared by Chef Amanda Mack featuring produce from the local farm, Strength to Love.
TIMESLIPS WORKSHOP | DOT
Timeslips is a collaborative storytelling method developed specifically for people with dementia-related memory loss that replaces the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.
Taught by Theatre artists Temple Crocker and Brian Francoise, family, caregivers, and elder-care practitioners of all levels learned more about the TimeSlips storytelling method and the benefits of creative engagement practices in memory care. Participants created stories using the TimeSlips method and gained access to resources needed to become a certified facilitator of the technique.
Special Collaboration with Takarka Brothers Ice Cream
To celebrate the opening of August Wilson's Fences, Everyman Theatre and Takarka Brothers Ice Cream will debut a new August Wilson inspired ice cream flavor called Swinging for the Fences.Read More