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 folks that 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 grassroots 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
click here for production history and a calendar of programming
Notch joins Mauricio Salgado, Arielle Julia Brown, Carlos Sirah and Yazmany Arboleda, along with community partners The Delta Cultural Center, The Elaine Legacy Center, and the Boys, Girls, and Adults Community Development Center for Remember2019--an effort to make space for the congregation of Black communities in the Arkansas Delta. Our work is to support and facilitate local practices of self-determination, reflection, and healing as directly related to the mass lynching of 1919, the lasting effects of racial terror, and the current and future health of these communities. Remember2019 was awarded a prestigious MAP Fund grant, profiled by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, HolwRound and Monument Lab and invited to speak at NPN's annual conference, USDAC's Citizen Artist Salon, and the Children’s Defense Fund Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute.
coLAB Refugee Project
coLAB Arts and Notch Theatre Company are working with the Reformed Church of Highland Park's Affordable Housing Corporation (RCHP-AHC) to create original theater pieces with the diverse refugee community served by RCHP-AHC, in an effort to share the story of how their mutual aid service work transforms lives.
In November of 2020, more than 2200 individuals were given humanitarian release from New Jersey ICE detention centers -- a prison system that has recorded the highest coronavirus rate in the nation. Notch is honored to collaborate with coLAB Arts and RCHP to document and use the arts to share forward the crucial testimonies from these refugee communities and the organizations supporting them.
Check out this Broadway World article about the collaboration.
Notch is collaborating with Jessica Kahkoska for Wild Home, which takes an odyssey across rural America, traveling to 15 rural communities under tremendous threat for oil, gas, and mineral extraction on public lands.
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 is currently collaborating with communities in Appalachia, the Ohio River Valley, the North Fork of Colorado and with the Iñupiat communities of Alaska.
Wild Home was awarded a creative residency in Montana with the Taft-Nicholson Center, an NEA Artworks grant, Travel and Exchange grants from the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and has been featured on HowlRound and Broadway World.
Since April, Voices from a Pandemic has been inviting artists and cultural workers to remotely collect testimony from people on the frontline, to hear their experiences during this worldwide health crisis. This includes anyone continuing to do the in-person work that keeps a country and its people alive and functioning, not only essential workers but also the frontline protesters who are risking their safety and health to fight for a revolution that uplifts us all.
As we embark on vaccine distribution, Notch has launched the first installment of a digital story bank and is presenting a workshop of the plays, featuring theatre-makers and community stories from all over the world. Voices is a communal creation, collaborating with more than 100 cultural workers, community members and artists. Click here to RSVP for the workshop on January 29th and 30th.
In Gwen Kingston's fresh adaptation of Anna Karenina, Russians play melodicas to an original, folk-punk score by Christie Baugher, Yan Li, Teresa Lotz, and Will Turner. Natalie Rine, Associate New York Critic, says that "Notch’s production electrifies as a rollicking, fresh investigation of Tolstoy’s classic novel, bursting with a folk-rock score that pokes and prods at the consequences of female rebellion, bringing bold new questions into an arresting, quasi-contemporary conversation on the role of women in families, communities, and countries. [...] this small but strong production is a declaration of Notch Theatre Company’s visceral, scintillating point of view that is a force to be reckoned with as even the best of current day Broadway’s appeal to address modern themes pales in comparison." Read the full review here and read an interview with the makers here.
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." Developed in partnership with members of the intellectual disability community, FIT premiered at White Heron Theatre on Nantucket, was presented at La Mama Studios in NYC, and with Trinity Rep (in collaboration with Spectrum Ensemble) in Providence, RI. Read N Magazine's article on the Nantucket production.
We are honored to fiscally sponsor Black Spatial Relics, founded in 2016 by Arielle Julia Brown at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. The program supports the development of new performance works about slavery, justice, and freedom by emerging and mid-career artists.
Wingspace Theatrical Design's Relief Fund provides unrestricted, rapid relief microgrants to freelance designers and dramaturges experiencing acute financial strain due to COVID-19.
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.
- JKW Foundation -
- Drew McCoy & Amy Aquino -
- Bill & Chloe Cornell -
- Jennifer & Matthew Rowland -
- Byron Gross & Ricky Tovim -
- Colin & Cathy Walker -
- Stuart & Susan Berton -
- Tali Pressman -
- Mauricio & Cindy Salgado -
- Bob & Toni Teague -
- Jody Wagner -
- Tracy Nayer -
- Sabrina Sikes Thornton -
- Kimberly & Clay Clement -
- The Loewenthals -
- Hurwitz Creative -
- Brown University/Trinity MFA Program -
- Look What She Did! -
- Enfamilia Inc. -
- SnackPass -
© Notch Theatre Co. 2018