December 2021 - February 2022
It is Jasmine Mitchell, our director, who respected silence without pressuring our audiences and accepting it as ‘reflection space’; which she would eventually touch by asking ..“how are you feeling”?
We found with that as inquiry across the course of the last two workshop presentations of 3 Frames / By Me, that our audiences would respond out of the emotion they were feeling, which seemed to be knit of a moment in the play that allowed them to touch empathy in one of the characters’ journey; this was almost a universal of compassion for REA, in journey of caregiver for KENNETH; then, directly to the journey of ‘the loved one’ losing peg of present, in differentiation to ‘past’.
Memory, loss, grief, and the family trauma which swirls that mix, was broad landscape of compassion upon which our audiences shared space, and reflection..
This was also anchor across the diversity of the audience as an experience to attest to.
..however: while so many held the space as community of compassion in scope of illness and caregiving- it was then a further stretch of silence before someone would reflect on the dynamics of color, or class.. which pressed to particular black family trauma..
-and it was in these offerings of awareness and honesty, shared specifically by audience members of color, that the ‘reflection space’ became a different and truly breathtaking experience of witness..
..but now, in having my own stretch of time in reflection of this, I am led to wonder about the ‘ingredient of safety’, through using ‘Zoom’, which created a ‘hybrid shared space’; might this actually be buffer of comfort zone, as audience members were sharing -out of their own individual environments or homes..?
Taking this into account ..I’m left with the question: how do we share the experience of class layers of color's nuance and imperatives in a ‘live’ diverse audience, where we sit literally adjacent to those who are others to the story.. – or, are family to a story unspoken..?
Of course, at this: out of the landscape of the play I hear a relative’s voice quietly suggest our ‘not speaking about some things in mixed company’..-
But I feel this is crucible of the work, because of its immersive experience, and awareness of its dimensions of consequential undercurrents are part of the workshop conversation to be had with other arts entities, ahead of its presentation.