Monday, March 12, 2012

Inviting Others to Join the Good Fight: Haiti Update 3

Christina and Josh are finishing up the last week of our second project in Port-au-Prince.  Christina writes from Haiti...

Bon Swa tout moun!
Nou se fatigue mais exsitan! 

The first performance of Fanm Yo Di Ase!
Its been a crazy week here in Port au Prince but everything is full speed ahead. FAVILEK had their first performance of Fanm Yo Di Ase! (Women Say Enough!) at the Heartland Alliance space as part of their International Women's Day celebration. 

We had a good crowd that was very supportive and they responded well to the material. What's interesting is that it was a mix of women's groups and gay/lesbian groups. However in Haiti, its not really safe to be out, so the gay groups couldn't really say what they were there for.

The company had a few bobs and some spacing issues, but the content is strong. We hammered out spacing today in our last rehearsal, so we are hopeful it will stick. They were so proud of themselves and excited by the reaction of the crowd. Its a fun, but potent show. I bill it as a celebration of their fight against sexual violence because while it tackles heavy material, the overall feeling is upbeat and inviting other to join the good fight. Much more accessible than the militant material they first presented- even though the words are the same. Amazing!

Rehearsing a scene about sexual violence in the tent camps.
So we have our next show tomorrow thanks to Solidarites setting up a community group in Christ Roi to host us. We will see how the rubber hits the road as the space is a big gravel football field in the middle of nowhere and we have no idea how many or who will show up. 

Sunday is a big day because FAVILEK will be performing at the Haitian National TV station and then participate in a workshop with Haitian TV actors who are pupils of legendary Haitian comedian Petoma (thank you Morlon for that connection). We are so excited about the opportunity for our ladies to get exposed to some real talent. We got to see them in action last Sunday when we went to their weekly class and did a work demonstration of Le Coq's 7 energies of man. Plus the exposure and artistic exchange among almost 100 actors is very, very cool. 

Next week is looking to be a doozy. We don't really have a break except for tomorrow morning before the show, but even that might be taken up with phone calls confirming shows, though I have always wanted to a booking agent, so its pretty fun work! 

We are taking the women on tour to Leogane on a big bus called the Obama bus, then we will send them back to Port-au-Prince on the bus and zip over the mountain to teach a group of young actors that we met last year working with Aaron Funk. He called and begged us to come back when he saw on FB that we were in Haiti. He offered us his house to crash, so we couldn't say no. The Jakmel Ekspresyon Community Art Center has grown exponentially since we were there and it will be good to see how the kids have developed over the last year. Maybe we'll get to walk on the beach for a minute too. 

This morning was huge, as we got meeting with the Director of the Haitian Red Cross. It's good timing because there is an international conference March 13-16th of all the Red Crosses, over 35 nations meeting at the Indigo Club in Port Au Prince. They have invited FAVILEK to give a performance at their closing ceremonies on the 16th. Josh and I will be on a plane unfortunately, but FAVILEK is game and Morlon agreed to stay on and escort them there. We also discussed a partnership with the Red Cross to help them develop a show to recruit people to donate blood. They have a huge new facility, lots of resources and of course a huge presence in more rural areas. We are thinking of discussing this opportunity with Petoma and Antony to select some of their students to get involved with creating the show. HRC is having a big even in June, so it would be nice to set up the connection for the Haitians to work together. Or maybe HRC will bring us back over to create something. . . we shall see?! 

Lots of things, all good! 

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