Evicted! Physical Theater Performance and Installation

Physical theater in Cuba

Year: 2019-2020
DanceForce Member: Margarita Espada
Artists: Margarita Espada, Jasmine Dorothy Haefner, Mariana Lima, Segundo Orellana, Joan Wozniak
Community Partners: Bayshore Historical Society; Suffolk Community College; SUNY Stony Brook; Teatro Yerbabruja Cultural Center
Audience: 270
County: Suffolk

The “Evicted” project was a program that included 3 presentations, a community movement workshop, and a talk on theater dance to create awareness and appreciation.
“Evicted” was a multimedia devised piece that integrates dance, theater, voice, music, painting, and digital technology. The production explored ideas of power, borders, property, and identity. The project explored artists’ stories as well as the community’s testimonies. (Performance dates October 11, 12, 13.) We also offered a dance/theater movement workshop in collaboration with Teatro Rodante Hispanico Dance Company ( September 12). We also offered a conversation about dance, theater and performance to the community. These events were free of cost to the community.
The project was led by Margarita Espada. Joan Wozniak was in charge of the filming, editing and visual production of the show. The plastic artist Segundo Orellana was in charge of the photography outside and the visual design. Mariana Lima and Jasmine Haefer together with Margarita Espada were the performers.
The first part of the project included collecting stories around the eviction issue including emotional, physical and community evictions. We walked around the community and found two interesting structures destroyed for different reasons. One for a fire, and the other was an abandoned psychiatric hospital in our community. In the abandoned house we worked with a young dancer who lived in that house. We filmed his dance as a response to his old house. At the psychiatric hospital we filmed movement improvisations connected to our personal stories as well as the history of the building. We also filmed in an abandoned cemetery very close to these structures. All these images were incorporated into the production.
All this material was explored to create the stage structure developed every Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 from February to October. Our creative lab incorporated physical, visual and text for our interdisciplinary performance exploration that resulted in the Eviction production. We promoted our events with flyers, online media events, our website and local periodicals. Our collaborators included Bayshore Historical Society (space), Stony Brook University and Suffolk Community College (projectors and sound), Teatro Rodante Hispanico (workshops), La Fiesta Radio and Latino TV (promotion). Our audience was diverse (50% young, 75% black / LatinX).