President Barack Obama presented a passionate State of the Union address last Tuesday night, but for those who feel that their voices are not being served, theater members of dog & pony dc will lead the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture’s “From Where I Stand: People’s State of the Union” from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28 in Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s lobby.
“The main focus is on local residents’ experiences of the State of the Union this year. Participants will be asked guiding questions that will prompt them to recall and relate a story about how they experienced their place within their community and the nation over the course of the last year,” says Shannon Davies Mancus, one of the facilitators of the event.
Joining Mancus in the discussion will be Rachel Grossman, Jessica Solomon, and dog & pony dc company members who will potentially lead story circles depending on how large the turnout is.
According to Mancus, dog & pony dc stands with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture in believing the people should have a voice in proclaiming what the state of the union is.
dog & pony dc hosting
“From Where I Stand: People’s State of the Union”
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
“The impetus for the event is honoring the idea that ‘Democracy is a dialogue, not a monologue.’ For those of us at dog & pony dc, this message resonated strongly; as a company that believes our audience has interesting, vital things to say, this seemed like a natural fit for our mission,” she says. “Additionally, we are currently developing a show called Squares that explores systems of privilege in our community, and we are excited to make connections with and hear about the experiences of a number of our neighbors from around DC.”
The night will begin with mingling and an introduction and then people will break into story circles of 8-10 people. (Two interpreters will be on hand for the hearing and Deaf communities of DC.) Participants will be invited to each speak for about four minutes, and will have the option of having their story recorded and uploaded to the Department of Arts and Culture website.
“Since we imagine we’ll have several citizen artists together, as part of our wrap up of the event and meditation on our place within our own community,”Mancus continued, we’ll be asking questions of ourselves and our neighbors about how we as artists can be better allies to those for whom the state of the nation is not so great.
“After all the stories are told, we will discuss common themes, concerns, and hopes in our small groups before coming back together as a large group to reflect on what we’ve learned. We really hope to make connections with people that we don’t yet know; we are excited to forge connections with each other around what we perceive as aspects of the union that are broken, and to meditate on what we can do as individuals and a company moving forward.”
The event will be digitally catalogued alongside other similar events going on around the country (more than 170), and, once all events are finished, famous poets will synthesize themes and stories into a poem that will be performed at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.
The dog & pony dc event is open to everyone. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union message