2021 Residency: Piedmont Plays Project
An evening of Live Theater and Community Dialogue
Originally Presented and Recorded on
Saturday and Sunday
August 14th and 15th,
33 Hawley Street, PARKING LOT
We were pleased to share our first ever live and in person presentation of a work-in-progress: excerpts of Darcy Parker Bruce’s “Piedmont Plays" - a 4-play-cycle PIC has been helping develop since our inception. Each presentation was followed by a community dialogue with local non-profit organizations. A virtual showing was also made available.
As Darcy describes them,
The Piedmont Plays are an exploration of what it means to be queer in a small town, and what it means to trade everything you have for a nation's promise. Major themes include building family, searching for somewhere safe, and asking if America's promise is bigger than the idea we have of America. Incorporating major Western Arcana, The Piedmont Cycle is intended as a gift for every queer heart searching for somewhere to call home.
Soldier Poet: In Aleppo two American Army Rangers search for their missing translator and find themselves connected to two Syrian sisters for eternity. The first Piedmont play.
The Place That Made You: In the aftermath of a tragedy Jonah attempts to reunite with his best friend, Ben returns to her childhood home, and a giant white whale haunts the coastline of a sleepy Connecticut town. A modern day re-imagining of Jonah and the Whale, a tale of love, loss, and glory in small town America. The second Piedmont play.
The Kingdom of Ghosts: Jonah starts a family. We lay a hero to rest. A continuation of the Piedmont cycle.
O Captain! My Captain!: Jonah returns to the whale, we return to the Kingdom. The fourth and final play in the Piedmont Cycle.
The Development Process
PIC's collective of artists worked closely with the playwright on these pieces since 2019, with a targeted monthly focus beginning in January of 2021. We worked on each of the four plays in this time and saw countless, impactful changes to the script, characters, and storyline based off of our collaborative work.
Our August presentations gave a glimpse into the extensive work we had done as well as a wonderful overview of the scope of this play cycle. We were especially excited to partner with Local LGBTQ+ Activists/Educators (on Saturday) and The New American's Program of Jewish Family Service of Western Mass (on Sunday) to come together in a dialogue about the poignant themes explored in these plays.
Grants and Sponsorship
This presentation was made possible in part by generous grants and sponsorship from individual donors through our GoFundMe campaign and several community sponsors. Special thanks to our major donors: