Across Age & Discipline
Writing and Performance Project
An ongoing collaborative and interdisciplinary project that offers young and professional artists and audiences the opportunity to develop and present work that focuses on identity and memory.
PHASE ONE: spring 2014 // teen memoir writing workshop
PHASE TWO: summer 2014 // rehearsals adapting writing into performance
PHASE THREE: fall 2014 - spring 2015 // When I Was Seventeen
PHASE FOUR: summer 2015 // mondays at the montrose (A storytelling series)
PHASE FIVE: SPRING 2016 - 2017 // PERFORMANCES BASED IN STORYTELLING + IDENTITY
PHASE SIX: SPRING 2018 // OBSESSIONS
LED BY AMY BETH SCHNEIDER
Amy Beth completed her Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, with a concentration in creative nonfiction. In February of 2013, she was named one of four finalists for the Cheryl Strayed/VIDA Women in the Literary Arts Memoir scholarship. Prior to pursuing her M.F.A., she studied both Dance and English at Oberlin College. In the summer of 2013, her essay “border town” was the featured nonfiction selection for the Nashville Review. Along with many years as a teaching artist in the New York City public schools, she teaches writing to college freshman at SUNY Purchase and The College of New Rochelle.
THE WRITING WORKSHOP
The teen writing workshop focuses on the personal essay, and invites young writers, with a target age of 16-19, to contemplate their relationship to their bodies, as well as their sexuality and gender identity, while developing a personal writing voice. Participants will read broadly to engage with these themes, works by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Edmund White, David Sedaris, Alice Walker, and others. They will balance developing their own writing project with offering critical insight into the work of their peers. The workshop will encourage sensitivity to the differences between workshop participants, and seek to build positive dialogue regarding the shared thematic inquiry.
Five professional dance and theater artists and two teen dancers met once a week throughout the summer to collaborate on developing a performance work. Each rehearsal started with one member of the company leading the group through a writing, movement, or speaking exercise exploring personal memory and identity. These prompts led to developing short performance vignettes that by the end of the summer had been woven together to create a work-in-progress, performance ready work that was performed to an audience in a meadow in Prospect Park.
Wednesday, August 13th at 7:30PM
Over 20 invited guests and those passing by watched our work and provided thoughts and feedback to guide us through the next phases of the project.
WHEN I WAS SEVENTEEN
Working with an eloquent and imaginative seventeen year old, we are creating a performance work based on the memories of those older than her and performed by her and other young artists around age seventeen. This fall, we are on a mission to collect 500 memories in the form of one word, one sentence and/or a story. Rehearsals have also begun where we are exploring ways to adapt these memories into performance.
PLEASE share your memories from when you were seventeen to guide the development of this multimedia performance work: SHARE A MEMORY
MONDAYS AT THE MONTROSE
Mondays at The Montrose is an open gathering that took place at The Montrose bar in Park Slope in summer 2015 that featured storytellers and audience members sharing stories based on a different theme each week.
This series was highlighted by DNA Info as one of 16 things to do in NYC neighborhoods.
PERFORMANCES BASED IN STORYTELLING AND IDENTITY
In May 2016, we launched a partnership with Open Source Gallery, presenting performance inspired by exhibitions from collectives and artists across the world. Artists are encourages to pair their personal identities with inspiration from the work in the exhibit. The first event was an evening of performance inspired by Rawiya Collective, the first female photography collective from the Middle East. Check out all of the performances here:
COLLABORATORS FROM VARIOUS PHASES OF
PHOTOS FROM PHASE TWO:
rehearsals adapting writing into performance
Phases one and two were sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Phase three was sponsored, in part, by Open Meadows Foundation.
Phase six is sponsored, in part, by a Citizens Committee for New York City 2017 Neighborhood Grant Award.