RIVEN: A New Play in Development

A.P.E. Ltd (126 Main St, Northampton MA United States)

Photo By Lynne Graves
Art + Entertainment + Music
  RIVEN A New Play in Development Conceived and directed by Marina Zurita Created in collaboration with performers Laila Garroni, Josanna Vaz, and Isabelle Bushue April 29 and 30, 2023 At the A.P.E. Gallery 126 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060 Work-in-Progess Performance Friday April 29th at 7:30 pm and Saturday April 30th at 2:30 pm Suggest donation $5-$20 at the door   Contact: Mollye Maxner mollyemaxner@apearts.org Marina Zurita marina.zurita@yahoo.com.br Riven is a new play in development based on interviews with Brazilian waste pickers, which investigates the intersections between motherhood and the accumulation of waste. The story of Riven centers the interweaving lives of Melina and Alessandra, two black Brazilian catadoras (waste pickers) working at a scrapyard in the city of São Paulo. As these two women sort through piles of waste in the predictable day-to-day of the scrapyard, they face the impacts of a chaotic and unforgiving world outside. Melina and Alessandra must sort through not only the accumulated discards of others, but through the accumulations of their own complex relationship. Meanwhile, there is Little Girl, a Chinese child who weaves ghost-like through the world of the play. She is a child waste picker rescuing objects from the piles of neglect around her - immersing them in her imagination and tracing a world of her own. Riven raises awareness and gives voice to the global community of waste pickers - an invisible community that expands beyond Brazil, accounting for more than 20 million people around the world. Waste pickers collect-from streets and landfills-materials to be recycled and, therefore, contribute tremendously to the conservation of natural resources. A community that lives at the fringes of society, waste pickers sort our discards and in doing so care for a future other than their own. This work-in-progress sharing will be followed by a post-show conversation. Join the creative team and, through dialogue, support the development of Riven. Riven is being workshopped as a part of the LAB at A.P.E. which supports the development of new work through residency, mentorship, and ongoing conversation with peers in the field of performance making. The LAB is a collaboration between A.P.E. and Serious Play Theatre Ensemble.   PROJECT HISTORY In 2021, amid the pandemic's spotlight on essential workers, Marina Zurita spent time in her home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, interviewing 35 waste pickers over a span of 2 months. What emerged was a transcript of over 300 pages that became the inspiration for Riven. The pickers shared with Marina a sense of community and social-political relevance carried by catadores/as of Brazil. They spoke about the shame and prejudice embedded in the symbiotic relationship between those who work amongst trash and the trash itself. They also spoke openly and often about the incredibly complex and dissonant mother figures in their upbringing. CREATIVE TEAM for RIVEN: PERFORMER / MAKER: Isabelle Bushue is a Chinese-American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. Performance credits include American Players Theater, Children's Theater of Madison, Western Washington University and Fairhaven Summer Repertory. Isabelle has acted in award winning short films and was nominated twice for her performance in Caprice. As a singer-songwriter, Isabelle has composed music for productions in Seattle and NY and has released two EPs of her music on SoundCloud. Isabelle is a member of the improvisational band, Pennies for Breakfast. She is also currently creating a new musical PLANT with Jackson Pelz, and is creating a one-person show based on her experiences as an international adoptee. Isabelle is a member of the 2023-24 LAB at A.P.E.   PERFORMER/ MAKER: Laila Garroni is a multidisciplinary artist and Journalist. She is a proud Stella Adler Acting Studio alumni, and as an actress and screenwriter, she had the opportunity to star in films such as Calidris (2019), selected for the Munich Film Festival; and Stand Clear of The Closing Doors (2020), a short film also directed by the artist. The film was part of the oficial selection of the Brazilian Film Festival and the Lift-Off Festival, both from Los Angeles. In NYC, Laila co-founded the collective Evoé, when she won the award for best theatrical production with the play Sete Gatinhos at the Brazilian Press Awards. The group also produced Voices from Brazil, an evening of reading with the renowned black writers Ana Maria Gonçalves (Um Defeito de Cor) and Cidinha da Silva (Um Exu em New York). As a journalist, Laila acted as an international correspondent for Capricho magazine, having the opportunity to interview from American film stars like Amy Schumer to Brazilian celebrities such as the singer Iza. In 2022, Laila acted as the lead actress in the series Filhos da Liberdade, written and directed by Mariani Ferreira and Fabrício Costa Cantanhede.   PERFORMER/ MAKER: Josanna Vaz, a Brazilian actress, visual artist and writer, graduated in performing arts from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She started her career in Brazil when she was 10 years old in theater. After graduating, she moved to Rio de Janeiro where she worked mostly in TV and film. She was an acting teacher and actress at The theater company Nós do Morro. Josanna is currently living in NYC, where she's been working predominantly in theater. Select Credits: Water, Water Everywhere, Over the Leaves Of Grass, I Still Have To Rise, Ribeirão do Tempo (Brazilian Telenovela), Os Mutantes (Brazilian Telenovela), A Guerra dos Chefs (Brazilian Food Contest TV show pilot), 5X Favela (Brazilian Feature Film 'O Globo' named Josanna Vaz "'The Muse' of the 2010 Cannes Festival"). DIRECTOR/ MAKER/ PRODUCER: Marina Zurita is a theatre director born in São Paulo, Brazil. Selected credits include: Saudades by Fernando Segall (Rough Draft festival and reading at The General Consulate of Brazil in NYC), Riven (NYC Women's Fund grantee), For The Time Being by Ana Moioli (NY Winter Festival and reading at Dixon Place), Mother Tongue conceived by Marina Zurita (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), and Love & Depositions co-directed with Acadia Barrengos and Mollye Maxner (University of North Carolina School of the Arts); Marina was the Associate Director of Dodi & Diana by Kareem Fahmy (HERE Arts Center), Stella Come Home by Et Alia Theater Company (The Brick and HERE Arts Center), and workshop of Maiden Voyage by Mindi Dickens and Carmel Dean (New Works Provincetown). Marina worked at the casting department at Manhattan Theater Club and is currently a Directing Fellow at Et Alia Theater and at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, as well as a member of the Lab at A.P.E and a resident artist at the Target Margin Theater. Available Potential Enterprises, Ltd. (A.P.E.) exists to support contemporary artists working in all disciplines, by preserving and supporting the spaces in which they create, perform and exhibit their work. http://www.apearts.org; 413.586.5553 Serious Play Theatre Ensemble works toward reshaping society's conversations around prominent social issues through the art of ensemble theatre. We are committed to collaborating with artists who create new performance work that attracts audiences back to the power of the live moment. www.seriousplay.org This performance and the LAB at A.P.E. are made possible in part through support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.