New Program Series Strives to Cultivate Participatory Public Conversations Inspired by Ideas and Themes in Stage Works
Neighbors at the corner of Empire and Washington Streets for many decades, Providence Public Library (PPL) and Trinity Repertory Company are joining forces to present a new program series, Context & Conversation, cultivating participatory public conversations inspired by ideas and themes found in the works featured on Trinity Rep’s stage and helping to locate those ideas and themes in our own community. These public conversations, which are free and open to the public, are collaboratively curated by Christina Bevilacqua, PPL’s Programs & Exhibitions Director and Trinity Rep’s Conversationalist-in-Residence, and Rebecca Noon, Trinity Rep’s Artistic Associate for Community.
Each event in the series is hosted by a different partner whose work resonates with the themes of the play currently on stage at Trinity Rep, and for each one a mix of artists, scholars, and community practitioners are invited to consider how and where these themes find resonance in our own community. While inspired by the plays, these programs do not depend on them, so anyone in the general public, whether a theater-goer or not, can attend the conversations and find meaningful content.
The first event in the series takes place Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 pm at Wage House, a women-run comedy venue at 560 Mineral Spring Avenue in Pawtucket, and is inspired by Trinity’s current production of Pride and Prejudice. The public is invited to join improv theater Wage House founder Kate Teichman, anthropologist Lina Fruzzetti, artist Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, poet Sussy Santana, and PPL Program & Exhibitions Director/Trinity Rep Conversationalist-in-Residence Christina Bevilacqua, who will moderate, for a spirited conversation about women defying expectations, flouting conventions, entertaining possibilities, indulging desires, laughing wantonly, and daring to improvise. This event is free and open to the public, reservations requested; click here to reserve your seats!
Both PPL and Trinity Rep have long served as sites dedicated to cultural interaction and consideration of ideas, so teaming up to create new opportunities for bringing people together to share experiences and dialogue made sense to the leadership at both organizations. “PPL works at every level to create opportunities for people to gather, connect, and learn together,“ says Jack Martin, PPL’s Executive Director. “Our esteemed and beloved neighbor Trinity Rep consistently presents important work that engages our emotions, challenges our assumptions, and leaves us asking new questions of ourselves and our world. We are so excited to partner with them on Context & Conversation, a humanities-based, community-centered series of public discussions that will bring timely, important issues from the stage to the wider community, connecting organizations and individuals across our city and state in an ongoing exchange of ideas and experiences.”
Trinity Rep’s Artistic Director Curt Columbus echoes the sentiment, “We are so thrilled to be working with our neighbors at Providence Public Library. The Library continues to transform itself in exciting and mind-expanding new ways, under the leadership of the redoubtable Jack Martin. As we at Trinity think about how the work on our stages inflects and is inflected by the world around us, Providence Public Library is the place where such thoughts get richer and more informed. I am beyond delighted that we can forge this partnership and look forward to the fascinating contexts and conversations that will come out of it.”
During the 2018-19 Season, the community partners for Context & Conversation are the woman-run comedy venue Wage House during Pride and Prejudice (October 18), the all-girls middle school Sophia Academy during black odyssey and An Iliad (January 17), the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island during Macbeth (February 11), the family-run music studio Zabinski Music Studio during The Song of Summer (March 24), the Herbarium at Brown University during Little Shop of Horrors (April 23), and Mathewson St. Church and the secular service organization 134 Collaborative during Marisol (May 31). These events are held at the community partners’ locations in an effort to reach not only Trinity Rep audiences but also the clients and communities served by these partners. More information about each of these events can be found at trinityrep.com/context-conversation.
PROVIDENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Providence Public Library (PPL) is a 143-year-old nonprofit corporation providing free public library services through its rich and historic physical and digital collections, extensive information resources, thought-provoking exhibitions, impactful educational programs, and expert staff. PPL is continually transforming and focused on providing equally transformative experiences for all Rhode Islanders. The Library is actively expanding our reach through critical statewide collaborations and serving as an open and supportive teaching and learning place where communities can connect, experience, create and achieve, whether in our physical or virtual realms.
To achieve our mission, the Library is strategically focused on serving Rhode Island families and early care providers, teens, downcity residents, learners seeking workforce development, and those pursuing creative and scholarly endeavors.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for 41 years and made memories for over a million audience members.