Skateboarders and actors tell a story of freedom at Golconda Skate Park
The swell of live music. The purring of cars on the highway. The slamming and scratching of skateboarders’ tricks. Overlapping voices in the dialogue.
These sounds harmonize perfectly in A Skate Play, a free theater production at Golconda Skatepark in downtown Brooklyn from October 4-10.
A Skate Play tells the story of Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a short story about Jonathan, a young and courageous seagull in search of discovering the meaning of freedom.
The skateboarders, whose wheels symbolize the flight of birds, are all from the skating community that uses Golconda Skatepark – and many of the cast are local children.
Using an innovative approach, the audience attending the free performances will each don individual wireless headphones to amplify the soundscape.
Eyes Up Here Productions, the group that produced the piece, originally premiered the piece at McCarren Park in Greenpoint in 2013. Since then, the production has premiered at the Skateqilya Skatepark in Jayyous, Palestine. In each location, the production chose locals of all ages to participate in the production.
Producer Nilou Safinya said that with the play in Jayyous, it was the first time that more than a thousand children could see a play.
The play’s mission, Safinya said, was to provide free programming for underserved areas and spark a public conversation about the liberation.
“The purpose of the play is to allow audience members and participants to explore what freedom means to you and what it means to think unlimitedly about your potential,” Safinya said.
“The other goal is that there needs to be more free programs for young people in underserved areas – that’s something we want to deliver. “
A Skate Play will host workshops and translated performances in Jordan and Syria over the next two years, led by Safinya and her associate producer Esther Chang and designer and director Noelle Ghoussaini.
A skate game is one of twelve new public art and performance projects and five cultural venue accessibility upgrades taking place in the greater Downtown Brooklyn area as part of the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund , led by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the DUMBO Improvement District.
“We were delighted [A Skate Play] given the importance of the connectivity between the skate community, the theater community and this Golconda Park location, ”said Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
“Golconda Park is located a short walk from downtown Brooklyn. It is under the [Brooklyn-Queens Expressway], however, that isolates, so it certainly deserves some attention. “
The fund was one of the projects selected under New York State’s $ 10 million downtown Brooklyn revitalization initiative.
The play had been a total effort of the downtown Brooklyn community, Safinya said.
The nearby 84th Police Station police station allows the crew to store their technical equipment at the station for free, and local restaurants like Poppy’s and Moe’s Doughs have provided free meals for cast and crew.
“It’s that village mentality,” Safinya said.
Admission to A Skate Play is free and reservations are required. To RSVP, visit askateplay.eventbrite.com.
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