BREAK/through Convening | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) presented BREAK/througha participatory experiment in hybrid community convening offered in Philadelphia and livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 25 July 2022 from 7:30 am-12 pm PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT (Philadelphia, UTC -4).

BREAK/through gathers NET‘s national community of ensemble artists, co-creators, practitioners, and performing arts colleagues to connect and ground ourselves in communal healing, comfort, release, and hope. The interactive day-long event is designed to share restorative inspiration and build mutual support, asking:

In hard times, what keeps us going? How do we safeguard our individual and collective health and well-being, tend to our tender hearts, and spark our creative spirits?

How can ensemble practice—with its roots in shared power structures and collaborative processes—be a powerful tool in cultural organizing and movements for justice and collective liberation?

Whether you join us online or onsite, for the full day or just a few hours—it’s time for a BREAK/through! Come build community in shared space for reflection, gratitude, grief, rage, rants, yearning, joy, rejuvenation, play and celebration.

Meeting the Moment: A Workshop on Regenerativity and Freedom Dreaming
10:30 am-12 pm EDT (Philadelphia, UTC -4)

Facilitators Rad Pereira and Jan Cohen-Cruz are co-authors of Meeting the Moment: Socially Engaged Performance 1965-2020 By Those Who Lived Itwhich New Village Press released in June. This workshop grew out of insights from the seventy-five diverse socially engaged artists who Rad and Jan interviewed. Rad and Jan span forty years in age and identify differently in relationship to nationality, gender, and race.

Freedom Dreaming, which is rooted in a long tradition of Black radical thought and action, invites us to create the world we dream of by first, identifying steps we have already taken; second, visualizing the future we want to live in; and third, determining the actions that might lead us there. In this participatory session, with a spirit of joy, Rad and Jan will utilize six elements that artists they interviewed identified as key to regenerativity: embracing your calling, choosing where to live to carry it out, finding community, learning to communicate about your work Beyond your immediate circle, having representation in relevant policy decisions, and making a living. The workshop emphasizes regenerativity, rather than sustainability, which implies thriving not just surviving.

NET’s BREAK/through Programming kicks off with this process of collectively imagining how we want to move forward, which will inform our full-circle journey throughout the day and culminate in a closing Town Hall session offered in Philadelphia and via Zoom (and archived through NET’s website).

Inspiration On-Demand: Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. in Conversation with Rhodessa Jones
1:30 pm-2:45 pm EDT (Philadelphia, UTC-4)
**American Sign Language (ASL) and Closed Captions**

NET’s popular Inspiration On-Demand: Creators In Conversation series returns with this live discussion about making work, and a life in the work, over decades.

Join NET Board member Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. (artistic director, HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford, Connecticut) and the legendary San Francisco–based Rhodessa Jones (co-artistic director, Cultural Odyssey; director, The Medea ProjectTheater for Incarcerated Women)—who’s recently arrived in Philadelphia as a year-long Pew Fellow-in-Residence—for this deep-diving conversation exploring sources of inspiration, acts of resilience and resistance, and what it means to build with and for community over time. A Q&A session will follow, open to both online and in-person attendees.

Visit NET’s website to view other episodes from NET’s “Inspiration on Demand” series featuring artists and practitioners such as Ping Chong, Tyrone Davis, Sharon Day, André Gregory, Leslie Ishii, Ursula Marcum and Glenn Ricci (Submersive Productions), Rosa Luisa Márquez, Rose Portilloand Carlton Turnerin conversation with NET Board members Claudia Alick, Shoshana Bass, Carrie J. Cole, Carlos Alexis Cruz, Alison De La Cruz, Todd London, Dipankar Mukherjee, Michael Rohd and Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.

Leave a Comment