Theatre: Post

Theatre: Post is a series of interviews and photographs with NYC theatre artists, imagining what the theatre and performing arts landscape look like “post-apocalypse”. The artists were asked a series of ten questions, and in most cases, the photographs were inspired by their answers. This project was commissioned by, and first debuted in the 2017 Work of Imagining Festival at Jack Space in Brooklyn, NY. It is ongoing, and a continuous work in progress. 

ADIAGHA FAIZAH - Actress, Playwright, Vocalist

"The role of a theatre artist is to be a vehicle for relevant and necessary story telling that reflects the needs and the urgency of the time. Every storyand ever genre has its place. But when the situation is dire, as theatre artists we must remain consciously present for the people and for the craft." - Adiagha Faizah 

"The role of a theatre artist is to be a vehicle for relevant and necessary story telling that reflects the needs and the urgency of the time. Every storyand ever genre has its place. But when the situation is dire, as theatre artists we must remain consciously present for the people and for the craft." - Adiagha Faizah 

"The word "dystopia" really confuses me...it eludes to an imaginary place by which people lead dehumanized lives. Calling it imaginary is quite dismissive as if it could not possibly exist. Living a dehumanized life has been realized by specific ethnic groups for generations. It is real. It has happened and happening in our world right now!" - Adiagha Faizah 

"The word "dystopia" really confuses me...it eludes to an imaginary place by which people lead dehumanized lives. Calling it imaginary is quite dismissive as if it could not possibly exist. Living a dehumanized life has been realized by specific ethnic groups for generations. It is real. It has happened and happening in our world right now!" - Adiagha Faizah 

"A post-apocalyptic theatre would not be a theatre with four walls and structured seating. It would be open, free form, outdoors under all conditions, with no real guidelines as to who is the performer and who is the viewer. Given an apocalyptic world, everyone is affected. No one really has the luxury of being a spectator or performing merely for the love of it. It is a lifeline." - Adiagha Faizah 

"A post-apocalyptic theatre would not be a theatre with four walls and structured seating. It would be open, free form, outdoors under all conditions, with no real guidelines as to who is the performer and who is the viewer. Given an apocalyptic world, everyone is affected. No one really has the luxury of being a spectator or performing merely for the love of it. It is a lifeline." - Adiagha Faizah 

IAN FIELDS STEWART - Storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and activism 

"I believe that post-apocalypse the theatre artist becomes a historian. Their role is to preserve the public memory of what brought the world to this point so that we do not repeat those same mistakes. I imagine post-apocalyptic storytelling returning to a moralistic and mythic storytelling. In morality tales, we see theatre shaping public values and in myths we see those values immortalized in memorable and larger than life characters." - Ian Fields Stewart 

"I believe that post-apocalypse the theatre artist becomes a historian. Their role is to preserve the public memory of what brought the world to this point so that we do not repeat those same mistakes. I imagine post-apocalyptic storytelling returning to a moralistic and mythic storytelling. In morality tales, we see theatre shaping public values and in myths we see those values immortalized in memorable and larger than life characters." - Ian Fields Stewart 

"Artists have the ability to inspire others and work through potential solutions. I believe that is the essential role of artists in rebuilding societies: remember the past, inspire the present, and imagine the future." - Ian Fields Stewart

"Artists have the ability to inspire others and work through potential solutions. I believe that is the essential role of artists in rebuilding societies: remember the past, inspire the present, and imagine the future." - Ian Fields Stewart

If you were in charge of a global doomsday vault that contained important artifacts of arts/humanties/literature/performing arts, what texts, plays, performances (etc. etc. etc.), documentation would you make sure is included in the vault? Redefining Realness by Janet Mock American Trade and Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney Hello Again by Michael John LaChuisa Tonya Pinkins’ “Black Perspectives Matter” letter detailing her experience during the run of Mother Courage

If you were in charge of a global doomsday vault that contained important artifacts of arts/humanties/literature/performing arts, what texts, plays, performances (etc. etc. etc.), documentation would you make sure is included in the vault?

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

American Trade and Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Hello Again by Michael John LaChuisa

Tonya Pinkins’ “Black Perspectives Matter” letter detailing her experience during the run of Mother Courage

"For me, the apocalypse is this moment (that always feels to be in a not so distant future) where we push our luck too far and the universe, Mother Nature, God, or whatever force it is that allows us to exist kicks back and breaks us down to nothing. The apocalypse is the end of what was and the beginning of what now must be. It returns us to the most basic forms of existence and forces us to survive while challenging us to thrive." - Ian Fields Stewart 

"For me, the apocalypse is this moment (that always feels to be in a not so distant future) where we push our luck too far and the universe, Mother Nature, God, or whatever force it is that allows us to exist kicks back and breaks us down to nothing. The apocalypse is the end of what was and the beginning of what now must be. It returns us to the most basic forms of existence and forces us to survive while challenging us to thrive." - Ian Fields Stewart 

JESSE ROSE KREBS - Actor and Writer 

What do you imagine "dystopian performance" looking like? "I think it looks like some filthy performers that haven't slept or showered in days on a wagon that converts into a small stage, that is highly audience interactive. It’s looking like one of the few times people will be able to sit together and digest political and social ideals. I think...I think it looks like less of a performance and more like an active moment of revolution." - Jesse Rose Krebs 

What do you imagine "dystopian performance" looking like?

"I think it looks like some filthy performers that haven't slept or showered in days on a wagon that converts into a small stage, that is highly audience interactive. It’s looking like one of the few times people will be able to sit together and digest political and social ideals. I think...I think it looks like less of a performance and more like an active moment of revolution." - Jesse Rose Krebs 

If you were in charge of a global doomsday vault that contained important artifacts of arts/humanities/literature/performing arts, what texts, plays, performances (etc. etc. etc.), documentation would you make sure is included in the vault? A history book from an author from every country, headlines from select news outlets (like Al Jazeera) dating back several decades, folklore books from around the world, and I don't even know how I'd choose what plays I mean I'd want a vault of every possible play.

If you were in charge of a global doomsday vault that contained important artifacts of arts/humanities/literature/performing arts, what texts, plays, performances (etc. etc. etc.), documentation would you make sure is included in the vault?

A history book from an author from every country, headlines from select news outlets (like Al Jazeera) dating back several decades, folklore books from around the world, and I don't even know how I'd choose what plays I mean I'd want a vault of every possible play.

"Viva La Revolution" - Jesse Rose Krebs

"Viva La Revolution" - Jesse Rose Krebs

PARKER ALLEN STANLEY/MR. HE - A Sell Out 

"I imagine “dystopian performance” looking very proud. Very resourceful. Reduced, reused, recycled to the point of extreme appropriation that it becomes original. Performance to the point of death. Would you die for your art." - Parker Allen Stanley 

"I imagine “dystopian performance” looking very proud. Very resourceful. Reduced, reused, recycled to the point of extreme appropriation that it becomes original. Performance to the point of death. Would you die for your art." - Parker Allen Stanley 

"The images that immediately come to mind when someone says “the apocalypse” are scenes from Episode 1 of Season 4 of Rupaul’s Drag race. I hope to god my apocalypse looks exactly like RPDR. There’s nothing better then cross-dressing zombies’ using random items to make couture looks." - Parker Allen Stanley 

"The images that immediately come to mind when someone says “the apocalypse” are scenes from Episode 1 of Season 4 of Rupaul’s Drag race. I hope to god my apocalypse looks exactly like RPDR. There’s nothing better then cross-dressing zombies’ using random items to make couture looks." - Parker Allen Stanley 

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK - Actor, Spoken Word Poet, Playwright; Budding Pianist, Lyricist, and Composer 

"When someone says apocalypse I, of course, see run down cities, debris, collapsing building, fire, smoke, rubble, grey, fog, broken train tracks, graffiti but I also see one piece of light, a glow, an angelic being, rising through it all like a phoenix from the ash. Something beautiful contrasting against the destruction. I think a lot of this comes from all the movies I’ve seen about the apocalypse. I’m not sure these images come from my own imagination or myself at all." - Dominique Fishback 

"When someone says apocalypse I, of course, see run down cities, debris, collapsing building, fire, smoke, rubble, grey, fog, broken train tracks, graffiti but I also see one piece of light, a glow, an angelic being, rising through it all like a phoenix from the ash. Something beautiful contrasting against the destruction. I think a lot of this comes from all the movies I’ve seen about the apocalypse. I’m not sure these images come from my own imagination or myself at all." - Dominique Fishback 

"In my post apocalypse there’s a run down city nothing is standing but an enchanted theater. Phantom piano compositions are heard. There is only one person left on earth and it is an artist, African American, even native in her blood), standing center stage. She is painting, reciting old poetry and monologues for an audience who is no longer there. She is Juliet, and then she is lady Macbeth. Sheet music and pages of poetry surround her. A spotlight comes on but it’s not your regular spotlight it is gods light, calling this beautiful Black angelic artist home." - Dominique Fishback

"In my post apocalypse there’s a run down city nothing is standing but an enchanted theater. Phantom piano compositions are heard. There is only one person left on earth and it is an artist, African American, even native in her blood), standing center stage. She is painting, reciting old poetry and monologues for an audience who is no longer there. She is Juliet, and then she is lady Macbeth. Sheet music and pages of poetry surround her. A spotlight comes on but it’s not your regular spotlight it is gods light, calling this beautiful Black angelic artist home." - Dominique Fishback

JACKIE TORRES - Poet, Performer, Mal’Criada. (mal’criada = poorly raised. A woman/femme who does the taboo and unexpected)

"Post apocalyptic theater, in my mind, very closely resembles histories of storytelling. The type of storytelling we treat like folklore and legend in the present day would be the basis of all performance in a world where resources are limited and all you have is your body, your voice, and your memories." - Jackie Torres 

"Post apocalyptic theater, in my mind, very closely resembles histories of storytelling. The type of storytelling we treat like folklore and legend in the present day would be the basis of all performance in a world where resources are limited and all you have is your body, your voice, and your memories." - Jackie Torres 

"(The post-apocalyptic theatre’s) purpose is to facilitate truth and reconciliation, that way we are honest about where we’ve come from and what parts of our history brought us to the present moment, and that way we may be able to imagine ways of functioning beyond the limited vision our traumas present us with. The work is accessible to all, performed and participated in by all." - Jackie Torres

"(The post-apocalyptic theatre’s) purpose is to facilitate truth and reconciliation, that way we are honest about where we’ve come from and what parts of our history brought us to the present moment, and that way we may be able to imagine ways of functioning beyond the limited vision our traumas present us with. The work is accessible to all, performed and participated in by all." - Jackie Torres

What do you imagine "dystopian performance" looking like? "An open mic. Or rather, what we would understand to be an open mic. I’m so serious. This question makes me envision a space where people are gathered together in rapt attention, and one by one they each share memories, visions, philosophies, hopes for the future. They share and mourn, celebrate, laugh, heal, and build up the will to fight together." - Jackie Torres

What do you imagine "dystopian performance" looking like?

"An open mic. Or rather, what we would understand to be an open mic. I’m so serious. This question makes me envision a space where people are gathered together in rapt attention, and one by one they each share memories, visions, philosophies, hopes for the future. They share and mourn, celebrate, laugh, heal, and build up the will to fight together." - Jackie Torres

JAMIE SAUNDERS - Actor, Writer, Artist

Considering our current socio-political climate, how do you think the apocalypse will be brought on? "A lack of resources.  Too many people on one planet.  No more air or water or food.  Nothing natural left.  No life, no love, no hope.  A lack of resources." - Jamie Saunders

Considering our current socio-political climate, how do you think the apocalypse will be brought on?

"A lack of resources.  Too many people on one planet.  No more air or water or food.  Nothing natural left.  No life, no love, no hope.  A lack of resources." - Jamie Saunders

"Dystopian theatre: There are no tickets.  It’s partly entertainment.  It’s not entertainment bred for money.  But it’s an escape.  A bonding.  Communication.  Healing.  The sharing of stories.  The theatre will not exist to win awards and get reviews.  It will be a form of underground night-life.  An escape.  Sometimes a celebration." - Jamie Saunders

"Dystopian theatre: There are no tickets.  It’s partly entertainment.  It’s not entertainment bred for money.  But it’s an escape.  A bonding.  Communication.  Healing.  The sharing of stories.  The theatre will not exist to win awards and get reviews.  It will be a form of underground night-life.  An escape.  Sometimes a celebration." - Jamie Saunders