Thurs. & Fri.
June 8 & 9, 2006
$5 @ Door
Raising the Spirit: Self-Portraits Performed
Featuring the Men of Nehemiah from the Living Witness Social Services
in Collaboration with the Ashe Cultural Arts Center & ArteFuturo Productions
With Brothers: Tyrone Collier - Hilrie Cooper - Royal Duhon
Gerard Jackson - Woodrow Jackson - Darrel Price
Writings from the Performance Script
"RAISING THE SPIRIT: SELF-PORTRAITS PERFORMED" is an ensemble theater & performance
piece with six African American men who are trying to repair their lives and spirit
after incarceration, substance abuse problems, and the trauma of displacement after
Hurricane Katrina. The piece has developed through a series of theater and
performance workshops conducted by Jose Torres Tama.
With the support of a grant award from the Arts Council of New Orleans, Torres Tama
initiated a residency program at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center to work with a number
of African American men from the Living Witness Social Services program. Through a
series of theater and movement workshops, he guided the participants in developing
an ensemble piece comprised of improvised stories, movement, and rituals that
explore their personal trials of redemption after drug addiction, and the effects of
a troubled past on their present journey to reinvention.
The show will be accompanied by a short film documentary of the workshop process as
filmed by Afro Cuban filmmaker William Sabourin O'Reilly. The film of "Raising the
Spirit" documents the creation process, and it serves as a sort of anatomy of lives
unfolding, as it captures the theater exercises that engaged the participants in
revealing their secret selves.
This program is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office
of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in
cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts
Council of New Orleans.