Monday, February 21, 2011

Haiti Update

On February 16, BST ensemble members Anna Zastrow, Christina Pinnell, and Joshua Wynter got on a plane to Port-au-Prince.  They are kicking off our Haiti project, working with two women's groups KOFAVIV and FAVILEK to use theatre to address the sexual violence in the tent camps.  Support this project here.

Here's what Anna has to say!

Here we are in Haiti, all's well so far. Internet connection not so great.

Friday we had a meeting with Favilek main members about workshops, which went really well and everyone's very excited about working with us. We set up a schedule to do workshops next week (Mon-Fri); one group in the morning and one in the afternoon. After that we will see how to proceed for the following week. The plan at this point is to first do general physical theater workshops, and then proceed to work on their show.

Today we presented our show to Favilek, as a first showing with them as our first audience. It went great, they appeared to really enjoy the show. We had great fun together. At the end, they got up and danced with us! One of the older ladies greeted us with kisses when she arrived, and kissed us as we left. This was sweet and lovely.

Morlon has joined us and yesterday we had a full day of rehearsal.  He's very expressive and creative. And silly!

Saturday we walked through the neighborhood and further on to find a market where we could buy a bucket. We walked all over. It was no problem. Especially with Morlon with us. We had had (or at least I had) the impression that it wasn't really ok to walk down the street, and we really needed a driver. But this was fine. We walked past several camp communities, and past the presidential building that was in ruins.

Tonight there was pre-carnival festivities. We wanted to go out and find another restaurant down the street as opposed to eating at the hotel restaurant. But all the street lights were out, and it was dark, and it really wasn't a good idea to be walking around out there at that point. Which revealed itself to be true, because when we stepped out for a moment, I was confronted by a very aggressive and hostile man. I didn't understand what he was saying, but politely greeted him with a "bon soir" which apparently aggravated him further.

Morlon then made sure to inform us that this man was not a real Haitian man: he was perhaps born in Haiti, but he was not Haitian, because Haitians are very friendly and generous people.

We are doing the workshops at a space a bit farther away, but we can take a taxi, or walk even (we walked all the way back from the space to the hotel, when we checked it out the other day). So we are not using or paying for a driver and car every day. Some days we will need to, though.  (On the other hand, the accommodations are more expensive.)

We are still looking to set up more performances and workshops, and I am in contact with Sinema Anba Zetwal and Solidarite but haven't gotten to meet with them yet. We have not met with Kofaviv yet. We have a full-day workshop planned with Li Li Li on March 2.

That's all for now.



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