November 12, 2008

Homeless and housed create play

'A Little (Foreclosed) House on the (Stolen) Prairie'

zAmya Theatre Project explores homelessness in West Bank shows, Nov. 15 and Nov, 21–22Abusive subprime mortgage practices meet their historic cousin—the huckstering of Native people out of vast tracts of land—in zAmya Theatre Project’s A Little (Foreclosed) House on the (Stolen) Prairie.

Examining the politics of social justice is a powerful element of theatre arts. In 2004, zAmya, a nonprofit, community-based theatre organization, focused its social justice lens on homelessness and made changing “homelessness” from a word into a person zAmya’s mission.
And:The event began with a curious icebreaker game called “Tempest!” in which groups of three formed and then reformed “houses”—a two-person arch formed over a huddled “inhabitant.” Next, everyone sat down and watched a skit unfold about three men, each caught in a cycle of homelessness for different reasons: drug abuse, a subprime loan and a criminal record.

The three men suddenly turned to the seated gathering and in unison cried, “What would you do?”

The gauntlet thrown down, four groups formed. Three kicked around ideas about one of the three topics, then developed skits. As education is part of zAmya, the fourth group discussed the Treaty of 1805—the first agreement signed between the United States Government and a Sioux tribe—and ways that issue might fit into the context of the play.
Comment:  The play's title is good, but the article doesn't say much about its content.

For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

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