Providing a platform for communities to tell their real stories on stage.
There is a cultural deficit in this country. When the civil liberties of historically underrepresented groups continue to face serious threat and our nation is stalled in an ever-polarizing inability to engage in productive dialogue, we artists and cultural workers must engage communities to which we might not normally find ourselves in proximity, to excavate the barriers standing between us, to address community concerns with artistic ferocity, with bold questions and daring choices, and to provoke audiences with questions (old and new) about who is given access to our nation’s promise of opportunity and who is being systematically shut out.
By collaborating with communities across the nation to tell their real stories on stage, Notch engages communities our brick and mortar theaters are not reaching, personalizes important social issues for people on all sides of a conversation, raises awareness in a compelling way, drives change on a national scale, and prompts meaningful, lasting engagement at a grass-roots level.
Theater is able to connect with an audience in a deeply personal way, and we strive to push the boundaries of what that connection can achieve.
THERE IS NO GREATER AGONY THAN BEARING AN UNTOLD STORY INSIDE YOU."
- Maya Angelou
calendar of events
FIT, conceived by Marina Morrissey and written by Gwen Kingston, follows the story of Carrie Buck who in 1927 was the test case for a Supreme Court ruling allowing the forcible sterilization of women deemed “feeble-minded.” A ruling that has never been overturned. In a contemporary storyline, Don and June, who have Down Syndrome, want to have a baby. June’s mother is taking her to court because she believes her daughter isn’t equipped to raise a child. She is not “FIT.” As it moves back and forth through time this funny and touching play asks audiences to question their own proximity to the Intellectual Disability community, how that community contributes to the diversity of a nation, and how we, as a society, are supporting spaces for inclusion. FIT was developed through conversation and collaboration with members of the Intellectual Disability Community, their care takers, the people who love them, and the organizations that serve them. Read N Magazine's article on the Nantucket production.
Notch is collaborating with Jessica Kahkoska and The Wilderness Society on a community-engaged, theatrical adaptation of The Wilderness Society's Too Wild To Drill initiative, which asks: What if we destroyed some of the best wild places in America for short-lived commercial gains?
The program will travel to 15 rural communities identified by The Wilderness Society to be under tremendous threat from pressures for oil, gas, and mineral extraction on public lands and is currently active in the North Fork of the Gunnison region of Colorado. In each community, we develop a series of plays- through public storytelling events- to be performed by community and professional actors in outdoor, wilderness spaces.
The program was awarded a creative residency in Montana with the Taft-Nicholson Center, a travel grant from Network of Ensemble Theaters and was recently features on HowlRound.
Notch joins Mauricio Salgado, Arielle Julia Brown and Carlos Sirah along with community partners The Delta Cultural Center, The Elaine Legacy Center for Research, Preservation and Tourism, and the Boys, Girls, and Adults Community Development Center. Remember2019 is an effort to make space for the congregation of the Black communities and Black cultural workers of Phillips County, AR. Our work is to support and facilitate local practices of self-determination, memory, and reflection, that are directly related to the mass lynching of 1919, the lasting effects of racial terror, and the current and future health of these communities. We are producing six artistic residencies over the next six years where Black cultural workers in the Arkansas Delta will create self-determined performances around topics of memory and reflection, including a full-length play based on community testimony to culminate in 2019, 100 years after the mass lynching took place in this community.
Remember2019 was recently awarded an Exchange Grant from Network of Ensemble Theaters, MAP Fund Grant and a grant from the JKW Foundation. To learn more visit remember2019.org.
Long ago, long ago. The simple things come back to us. They rest for a moment by our ribcages then suddenly reach in and twist our hearts a notch backward."
- Let the Great World Spin
thank you to our supporters.
- Jon Neustadter -
- Drew McCoy & Amy Aquino -
- The Schwab Charitable Fund -
- Bill & Chloe Cornell -
- Colin Walker - Mary Vascellaro - Darin Anthony -
- Curt Columbus in memory of Martha Lavey -
- Sandy Mailliard to honor Gwen Kingston -
- Sharon Lee - Julie Hebért - Richard Katzman -
- Jennifer Miller - Bob & Toni Teague -
© Notch Theatre Co. 2017