Cripple Creek’s mission is founded on two distinct goals: to engage our community with immediate, relevant plays, and use performance to provide our community with a platform for constructive dialogue, transformative reflection, and positive social change.
With these goals in mind, Cripple Creek is partnering with the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) for “The Clybourne @ St. Claude Project” in order to increase access to meaningful dialogue about fair housing in America.
“The Clybourne @ St. Claude Project” has three components. It will begin with a storytelling workshop commissioned by GNOFHAC and facilitated by Cripple Creek that will generate material for a brand-new, locally-devised theater piece about fair housing. A staged reading of this new play will be directed by our Artistic Director, Andy Vaught.
The new play will be based on the material developed in Cripple Creek’s workshop as well as traditional academic research by local experts and research done in focus groups with community members and several local organizations.
Lastly, with the generous support of the Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Cripple Creek will produce the regional premiere of Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” to close out our seventh season. The show will be presented in a found space in the rapidly changing St. Claude neighborhood of downtown New Orleans, where demographic changes after Hurricane Katrina reflect some of the trends explored in “Clybourne Park.”
GNOFHAC is a private, non-profit civil rights organization established in the summer of 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination in the greater New Orleans area. GNOFHAC is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination not only because it is illegal, but also because it is a divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear and hatred.
“‘My Home is a Place’ – A Storytelling Workshop” will take place Saturday, December 8th from 1-3pm at “NOLA Spaces,” located at 1719 Toledano Street. This workshop is free for all to attend, but it is necessary for participants to RSVP beforehand. Contact Monica R. Harris at 504-264-1776 or email her. Space is limited!
What does “home” mean to you?
This is the main question we will explore through singing, movement, and sharing stories. The workshop will be led by Cripple Creek members Francesca McKenzie and Selena Poznak. We are seeking to work with both working actors and community members with little or no prior performance experience. The work will inform an original, multimedia theater piece that combines research and testimony to explore issues of housing opportunity and discrimination through a gendered lens. The play will premier April 2013. Please come and share, express, move, and create with us!
In April 2013, Cripple Creek Theatre Company Artistic Director Andy Vaught will direct a reading of a new play. This original theater piece, written by Dr. Geryll Robinson, will examine the impact of exclusionary housing policy and practices on women and families, and investigate the intersections between sex, gender, race, class and sexual orientation in experiences of finding housing and defining “home.”
Bruce Norris’ 2010 Pulitzer and Tony-winning “Clybourne Park” is a contemporary response to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” that explores exclusionary housing practices from 1959 to 2009, including historic practices like redlining and blockbusting and the more contemporary issue of gentrification.
We believe “Clybourne” possesses a voice that must be heard; its high, artistic merit delves unflinchingly into topics including fair housing and gentrification, the latter a more keenly felt issue in New Orleans neighborhoods in the years since Hurricane Katrina. Last year, Cripple Creek connected with Bruce Norris to express our urgent desire to see “Clybourne Park” produced in New Orleans as well as our determination to be the theater company tasked with delivering its powerful message to the Gulf Coast region. We’re beyond thrilled to report that Mr. Norris was just as determined to make our vision a reality.
This production is made possible with the support of the Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation.
READ MORE: “Clybourne Park” to close Cripple Creek’s Seventh Season
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