The Open Program in NYC, USA


The Workcenter is back in New York!

Mario Biagini and the women of the Open Program are now at the Andrew Freedman Home, in the South Bronx, for a two weeks residency, from June 27th till July 8th.

In NYC, we continue our journey into territories that are calling us. We are coming to meet you again, or for the first time, to re-catch the threads of all our valuable connections in the Bronx and in New York, and to take further steps in our common investigation of an encounter through art.

We would like to invite you especially to gather and to sing together during an Open Choir at the Andrew Freedman Home, on Saturday July 8th at 6PM. We will do this event together with the NYC Seed Group which has accompanied the Open Program in our New York visits since 2014. As many of you know, the Open Choir is a fluid form we are investigating in these years: a free and simple participatory encounter, where all are welcomed to take part.

During these two weeks we will mainly focus on an exploration of new possibilities, visiting various centers in the Bronx, centers that gather young or old people, community groups, the homeless, and formerly imprisoned people. Through these visits and meetings we look to meet people who would like to collaborate with us in a new project called “Will be heard,” which will be developed then in the Fall, in collaboration with the Andrew Freedman Home, the Mid-Bronx Senior Council, Stella Adler School of Acting, the NYC Seed Group, the One World Foundation, the Great Globe Foundation, and Incarcerated Nation.

Theatre art is a way to create contexts of interaction.  We are proposing an artwork that embraces individuals, their lives and cultural heritages, fostering a community and a concrete sense of mutual recognition and belonging, at the same time reaching out and inviting complete strangers into a space, to be, to get to know, to meet without fear. Like seeds that we may then carry in us and others.

For years we have been working investigating borders: invisible and yet palpable barriers dividing individuals, peoples, cultures, classes, countries. We have extensively worked in the United States, and we still do,  especially in the Bronx – across communities,  with people from different walks of life, different origins, different communities. In the United States, we witness a new – or renewed – attack on the progress that has been made against discrimination and oppression, in a society still racial structured and divided by racism and exploitation, ranging from minor prejudices to blunt racism, to racial profiling, police brutality and mass incarceration.

We know that music has the power to touch layers of the human being that are unaffected by society, that are innocent and free, and which can help us to perceive directly ourselves and the others. An immediate experience that has the power to transcend racially biases prejudices, giving space to a new, simple mutual perception, and to a new capacity of action.

Art, carried out with competence, artisanal quality, and an open heart, has the potential to create new contexts and extraordinary moments – especially when undertaken as a group enterprise. That’s why we are looking for you. For your voice to sing with us. For your story to be told on the notes of a song that carries you. You and all your life experience to stand up and create something that has never been seen before.

Once again, we warmly invite you to join us for the Open Choir on the 8th of July.  If you are interested in supporting us in the development of “Will be head”, please write to us and share your desires and ideas, tell us in which way you could help us make this project alive.

The Andrew Freedman Home address is 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, and it is just outside the subway station 167St. on the B, D Lines.

Looking forward to meeting you soon! Inform your friends and neighbours, please, and bring them with you!

With our best wishes,

Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.

During this Residency, the Andrew Freedman Home will host one Open Choir :
Saturday July 8th 2017, from 6pm to 9pm. 
This event is open to all and totally free of charge. You’re welcome to join and sing with us !


Project details:
“Will be heard” is a project in two phases.

 Phase 1: 27th of June till 8th of July, is an exploration period dedicated to meeting people who wish to be part of this art project, to get to know each other, to exchange stories and history.

Phase 2: 26th of Sept. till 4th of Nov., is the time of creation and presentation. We have 6 weeks to create a performance and we invite you to develop material with us together and perform it at the end of this period.

Our Partners:
The Andrew Freedman Home, Mid-Bronx Senior Council, Stella Adler School of Acting, The NYC Seed Group, One World Foundation, Great Globe Foundation, Incarcerated Nation.


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