4615 Theatre Company, like all theatre companies, has seen its season destroyed, a casualty of the coronavirus. However, this made way, Artistic Director Jordan Friend told DCTS, for a long-dreamed program – readings of short form passion projects by his company members. The first, part of the #quarantinetheatre series, goes live tonight, March 23 at 7pm with a reading of Britt A. Willis’s play This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing.
Friend explained how quickly the project came together: “This beautiful play came tumbling into my life when one of my amazing resident artists, Ezra Tozian, approached me last week with a star-studded cast already assembled and ready to go. We were already planning to figure out just how we could keep the lights on while in quarantine, but I figured it’d take at least a few weeks before we got our first project up and running. Once this opportunity presented itself, however, we all just decided ‘ok, let’s step on the gas and venture out (NOT literally) into this new world.”
Ezra Tozian (they/them), who plays the lead, describes the piece: “In This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing, Britt A. Willis’ excavation of bodies – what they are, the damage done, the hope of peace – is written in such a beautiful and exploratory way. Is this a story about a non-binary person coming to terms with their body? Yes. (That’s the first layer that drew me to the story and it’s a perspective rarely given the time it deserves.) But the universality written into this piece is unmistakable.
“Who among us hasn’t felt confused or betrayed by their bodies? If our bodies are supposed to be our homes, then why are so many of us unwelcome or kicked out? Who around us gets caught in the maelstrom of learning about ourselves and our boundaries, and is that suffering worth it? These questions are incredibly vital and thrilling for me to grapple with – not only as a non-binary person, but as someone who has recently come up against new physical boundaries and limitations because of health. But don’t be mistaken, this story isn’t only about struggle. This is also about love and support and community found in volatile times. And I think that’s something we could all cozy into right now.”
This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing livestreams tonight, Monday, March 23 at 7pm on #quarantinetheatre and will be available at that link for future views.