POST: 'Take Care' - walked into the theatre alone, walked out knowing someone
What's it about?
Take care is an interactive theatre experience where you perform as well and take a bow at the end. It raises light on social issues such as climate change and police brutality. Ultimately you end up vulnerable and maybe even with some water splashed on your clothes (they have ponchos though!)
What'd I experience?
9:01pm I was scared shitless running up the block to the theatre, praying for mercy. I had just come from Queens College to watch a friend perform a staged reading. The show ended at 7:30pm. I had nooooo idea it would take me over an hour and a half to get back to the city.
As soon as I opened the door they put me at ease: "Are you Jazmin?"
I guess I was the only female they were waiting on? Awww they waited a minute for me. How sweet. My phone was dead. So I asked the guy if i could charge it and sure thing. There was a lady waiting to take my coat, except she shook my hand and asked for my name then took my coat.
A gentleman with nice hair was waiting at the door and escorted me with linked hands to my seat and gave me a glass of water along the way. This is gonna be soooo fucking awesome. I thought back to a show I watched called Veritas where they gave out free wine. Well here, free water - equally as cool. Usually, theatre water is 4 dollars, ya know.
The usher/actor told me about how it was an interactive show and asked how much I wanted to participate. As I sat down, I introduced myself to the person next to me. She didn't want to participate so she just handed me her prompts card. It had time, location, and what to do when done. I felt like I was on a little game show and might just be eaten alive.
There was a part of the show where they mixed water and kitty litter in a bucket and an actress hammered the water so that drops of nastiness touched all of us and I'm just like "omggg shawty wildin, like I don't have somewhere to be after this." I really said that lol. The Brooklyn in me came out as I kinda cuddled with the person next to me so we wouldn't get wet. It was funny because I barely knew her. Her, like me, walked into the theatre alone and walked out knowing someone's face and name.
There was a scene where one of the black actors died. And there came a three-person monster screeching and gasping with lights on its head. And I couldn't help but to tear. The creature was inconsolable. It was gasping for breath after nights of mourning. Gasping for breath because like Eric Garner we couldn't breathe. I could barely breathe watching the sorrows of the bloodshed of my people. And when they screamed. It was a cry so desperate and so familiar. A cry I once cried last week. A cry of nothing's going to change. A cry of why is the world this way? But there was lights on them. And where there is light there is hope. I hope to see the world as a better place for minorities.
The whole play we were in a storm and honestly that storm to me symbolized life. Our lives are alllll fucked up. We go through storms and sometimes even live in them. There was a moment in the show where we huddled with random strangers, heads in laps and all, and we sat in the "eye of the storm" peacefully. It made me think of friends and family who help you forget about your problems. That night I would dance through the eye of the storm with friends who cared about me despite the storm I was once threatened by.
It made me realize why I appreciate small productions because you can't do THIS in a big space. There was so much more freedom to be creative. At the end we went in a circle and finished the sentence "I am...." There were two "I am's" that stuck out to me. One. "I am confused. I came to the theatre to watch Antigony. What kind of bastards play such a trick on an innocent old man?" "Sir, wrong time. That show is right after this." LMAOOOOOOO that old guy had made my night. Second. "I am grateful theatre can leave us vulnerable and open to healing." #deep. We were #vulnerableaf (as fuck). We were all sitting in a circle like a family storytime except we had all just met one another and we were speaking about life and death, politics and family issues. #vulnerableaf. That reminded me why I really love the theatre, being able to connect with characters. In this case we were the extended ensemble and got to connect with each other.
We took our ponchos off and a few of the actors congratulated me on the rap I did. So I did a rap from my company, IMPACT Repertory Theatre Company from the song "Politix." It spoke on politics on the street and the struggle of Government v. Minorities. It was perfect for the open forum section. We had a conversation by the piano about how arts can be used to bring awareness to social change then I got my coat and jetted off. Still making sure I didn't have water or cat litter on me because I was going to a bachata social which I would later dance my ass off till 3:30am. It was a very fun night indeed.
Politix on the street, same as the world.
You'd rather kill for dollar bills
Destroying peace on Earth.
You'd rather build your clientel
Then tell the truth we deserve.
You'd rather treat oil like crack
Than street work.
We on yellow alert, but my mom sees red.
Change the sand the same color
while her son lies dead.
Is that really what oil is worth?
The dead weight of my brother
while the government thugs the world.
We defend the propaganda
While the politicians chill,
As the price of oil rises
And their pockets get filled.
Forget the innocent kids
getting bombed in the dark.
Like we forget the ghetto kids
In the ghettos getting shot.
IMPACT Repertory Theatre Company