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 THE WEAVERS

Taking up the mission of TheatreFIRST to create work that emboldens justice in all elements of production, the Weavers connect community to art to action. Through a multimedia community organizing approach, the Weavers inspire audiences to critically engage with T1 and recognize their own agency as participants, not merely viewers.

T1’s Weavers Initiative uses community discussions, podcast interviews, creative visual installations, and social media to engage audiences both online and offline, extending the socio-political themes of each production so that everyone can engage more meaningfully with the arts, their local neighborhoods, and the world.

Follow @theatrefirst on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see the Weavers initiative updates for each production.

THE THEATREFIRST PODCAST

The TheatreFIRST podcast is an extension of our commitment to the art and practice of collective liberation. With each episode, we delve into the themes, characters, and critical questions central in our live theater productions, and explore how they relate to our world and our communities.

Featured guests include theatremakers, artists, activists, actors, playwrights, community leaders, and more.

Because, the revolution does not end on stage.

The TheatreFIRST Podcast is also available on iTunes & Spotify.

THEATREFIRST’S 2018-2019 SEASON

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DEC. 6TH-22ND 2018

THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF NEXT POST SHOW COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS

In this political moment how are we navigating the overwhelm? What strategies are we sharing with future generations?

12/20 – Naturally Expressive Leaders facilitated by AeJay Mitchell

Naturally Expressive Leaders uses expressive arts, mindfulness, and restorative practices to empower individuals and organizations to achieve greater levels of resiliency, productivity, and equity. The programs offered through Naturally Expressive Leaders provide participants with tools for increasing stress resiliency while exploring creative modalities of civic engagement, personal growth, and community empowerment.

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12/21 – Lil Milagro of Mycelium Youth Network and Nanci Armstrong of Peace Out Loud facilitated by Maurice André San-Chez

Mycelium Youth Network equips youth with the resources, training, and knowledge from the ground up that they will need to survive and thrive in a climate challenged world. We prepare our youth for a climate challenged future, today.

At PEACE Out Loud we are interested in Maker and Arts Education in and of itself and as a vehicle for child development, individual expression, community building, peace training and changing the world — not a small endeavor, by any means! As educators, we are committed to creating the conditions for all children to comfortably grow into being their full selves. Our team is composed of black, brown, queer, trans and poor people with a passion for care, social justice and playfulness!

12/22 – Rosalyn Nash and Safahri Ra of The People’s Conservatory facilitated by Ashley Smiley

The People’s Conservatory trains young arts explorers to envision and create a humane and just world through their art. Our mission is to channel arts creation and performance into artistic endeavors that can promote positive social change.

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FEB. 14TH–MAR. 3RD 2019

“Theatre is dangerous… because it has the chance to be immediately and unstoppably revolutionary.”

– Michael Gene Sullivan, director of Sister Imani, veteran actor, playwright, and educator

On this episode of the TheatreFIRST podcast, join host & theatremaker Tierra Allen for a deep dive dialogue with playwright Cleavon Smith and director Michael Gene Sullivan on T1’s upcoming production The Last Sermon of Sister Imani.

Longtime artists, activists, and educators, Cleavon and Michael reflect on the promises and limitations of art as an agent of social change, challenge the norms of whitewashed theatremaking, and speak truthfully about strategies for black liberation.

How can we strategically navigate existing supremist systems and also build the world that we want?

Original music, “Kujichagulia” for Sister Imani, by Kristoffer Barerra.

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THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI POST SHOW COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS

2/16 – Tiarra Asia Knox and Victoria “Wanjiro” Eley, fundraiser for the Black Teacher Project

The Black Teacher Project’s mission is to sustain, recruit, and develop Black teachers. Our vision is that all children have access to a well-prepared, well-supported Black teaching force that reflects the diversity and excellence of Black people in the United States.

Donate to the Black Teacher Project now.

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2/17 – Audience discussion facilitated by Lisa Evans

2/22 – Cleavon Smith playwright of The Last Sermon of Sister Imani facilitated by T1’s Tierra Allen

2/24 – Community worker Jaz Cañez facilitated by T1’s Tierra Allen

2/29 – Dezi Solèy & Jasmine Williams, the lead performers of The Last Sermon of Sister Imani, facilitated by Ashley Smiley

3/2  – Audience discussion facilitated by Nicky Gervacio & Catherine Petru co-founders and producers of We Rise Production

We Rise Production is a collective of cultural producers nourishing imaginations in the service of collective liberation. Through multimedia, digital and live productions, we challenge audiences to think critically about the systems that oppress us all, and use art to inspire active solidarity.

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APR. 27TH-MAY19TH 2019

“If women aren’t safe in their country, their family can protect them. And if they aren’t safe in their family their country can protect them. But what happens to women when they aren’t safe in their country or in their family?”

– Lali Putri in Far, Far Better Things

 

Director Katja Rivera and actor Kimiya Shokri join host Cat Petru and guest cultural workers Eri Guajardo Johnson and Nadya Tannous to delve into this critical question and more on this episode of the T1 podcast inspired by Geetha Reddy’s original work Far, Far Better Things.

We name and explore the relationship between intimate and state violence against women – and discuss how we can show up for one another. Eri (creator of the Birth Bruja podcast) lends insight as a birthworker with over a decade of work at San Francisco Women Against Rape providing rape crisis support. Nadya, general coordinator of the Palestinian Youth Movement in the U.S., shares boldly and openly about both the violence endured and survival strategies enacted by Palestinian women and youth in their homeland and in diaspora.

Many threads are woven together on this episode; our resilience and our pain. A reminder to take exquisite care of yourself as you listen.

Learn more about Eri at birthbruja.com.

Learn more about Palestinian Youth Movement at pymusa.com.

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FAR, FAR BETTER THINGS COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS

5/4 – Geetha Reddy, playwright of Far, Far Better Things facilitated by T1’s Tierra Allen

5/4 – Layel Camargo and Elena Aurora representing Bay Area Transformative Justice and Roots of Labor Birth Collective facilitated by T1’s Tierra Allen

Roots of Labor Birth Collective (RLBC) believes that everyone deserves a doula, regardless of one’s ability to pay. RLBC consists of birth doulas of color, and we partner with Santa Rita Jail and Bay Area clinics who serve low-income and communities of color. We offer compassionate physical, emotional, and informational support to those members of our community who are most vulnerable to systemic oppression. When you choose to hire an RLBC doula, you also provide quality doula care to all birthing people–including those who are incarcerated, immigrants, survivors, low-income, of color, trans*, queer, and/or disabled.

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The Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC) is a community collective of individuals working to build and support transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse. We envision a world where everyday people can intervene in incidences of child sexual abuse in ways that not only meet immediate needs such as stopping current violence, securing safety and taking accountability for harm; but that also prevent future violence and harm by actively cultivating things such as healing, accountability and resiliency for all — survivors, bystanders, and those who have abused others. Currently the BATJC is training a cohort of Bay Area theatermakers to explore how transformative justice can prevent, address, and heal sexual and identity-based harms within the theater community.

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5/10 – Kimiya Shokri, Zoe in Far, Far Better Things facilitated by T1’s Cat Petru

5/11 – Nicole Meñez of GABRIELA USA facilitated by T1’s Tierra Allen

GABRIELA National Alliance of Women is a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 organizations, institutions, desks and programs of women all over the Philippines seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and the rest of our people. While we vigorously campaign on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, violence against women and women’s health and reproductive rights, GABRIELA is also at the forefront of national and international economic and political issues that affects women. GABRIELA USA is the first overseas chapter of the Philippine-based organization, extending the Filipino women’s mass movement to the United States.

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5/16 – Katja Rivera, director of Far, Far Better Things facilitated by T1’s Cat Petru.