What kind of future will you have living in these here United States? Remember when you were eleven years old and you had a bike, one that made you dream about a world bigger than the one in which you live?
Obie Award winning Cuban American author Caridad Svich poses those questions and more in her new play, RED BIKE, which will have its Philadelphia-area premiere with Simpatico Theatre this June. The production, which will be part of the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere Program, will be staged at Philly PACK (233 Federal Street, Philadelphia, PA) from June 6, 2018 through June 24, 2018. Press are invited to the June 8, 2018 performance at 8PM, or any other performance that takes place after that date.
RED BIKE looks at the deterioration of a town, issues of class and economy, and gentrification — all through the eyes of an 11 year old child. The work will be performed with multiple actors which will create a world in which different people are seen speaking through one voice. The Simpatico production will be directed by acclaimed director Sam Tower and will feature Savannah L. Jackson, Emily R. Johnson, and Wilfredo Amill.
“This play relays the turmoil in America from the perspective of an 11-year old riding around town on their bike. It is inherently theatrical and tackles the issues of our time: gentrification, class divisions, war politics, capitalism, the price of progress – with the charm and idealism of youth,” said Simpatico’s Artistic Director Allison Heishman. “It gives us hope while reminding us that it could all change tomorrow.”
The Simpatico staging will be part of the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere Program. NNPN’s flagship initiative supports three or more theatres that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop a new work with multiple creative teams in multiple communities. The playwright is part of the process, working on the script and making adjustments on what is learned from each production.
RED BIKE will be performed at the brand new Philly PACK, a strategic choice given the production’s design and themes, according to Heishman.
“Simpatico is excited to perform at Philly PACK, she added. “This production is suited to the open and dynamic space that this Pennsport location provides. We will be back at The Drake for our 2018/2019 Season, but hope to be able to integrate more community centric performances in all of our seasons.”
All performances will be “pay what you decide” after the performance. Performance schedule is Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM, Sunday at 2PM, with student performances pending on 6/12 and 6/19 at 10AM. Tickets to the production and more information can be found at simpaticotheatre.org.
Simpatico Theatre Company presents
By Caridad Svich
A NNPN Rolling World Premiere
June 6-24, 2018
Philly PACK, 233 Federal Street, Philadelphia, PA
Tickets are “pay what you decide” after the performance
Ticket link: https://simpaticotheatre.ticketleap.com/red-bike/
Savannah L. Jackson is excited to join Simpatico Theatre this season! Savannah is a recent MFA Acting graduate from Temple University; she received her BFA from Oklahoma City University. Recent credits include: Marianna/Edwina/Sudabey in Passing Strange (Wilma Theater); Reggie in the world premier of Kristoffer Diaz’s Reggie Hoops (Temple University); Katherine in Henry V (Delaware Shakespeare); Luciana in Comedy of Errors (Delaware Shakespeare); Shanita in a reading of Skeleton Crew (People’s Light Theater Company); Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (Cynthia Poteet Theatre); Ghost of Christmas Past in Christmas Carol (Oklahoma Children’s Theatre). Endless thanks to God, my family, friends, TU cohort, and this ensemble! www.savannahljackson.com
Emily R. Johnson is an early childhood educator, installation artist, and performer/creator. She is the creator and curator of the experiential installation art series “Yours and Everyone’s,” a former company member of Found Theater Company, and a graduate of Temple University’s undergraduate acting program. She is committed to creating patient, candid, and immersive environments that both settle and empower. Recent acting credits: Spine (Inis Nua Theatre Company – Barrymore nom.), and Nothing To See Here (Found Theater Company). Love to A. emilyruthjohnson.com
Wilfredo Amill is a recent graduate of Arcadia University’s Theatre Program. This will be his first professional show and he is excited to be making his debut in the Philly theatre scene with Simpatico. He is grateful for this opportunity and hopes you enjoy the show as much as he has enjoyed working on it. Prior acting credits include Rhinoceros (Berenger), The Mother F**ker with the Hat (Ralph D.), Picnic (Hal), and All in The Timing (Various).
Caridad Svich: As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work, but also an idea made manifest through the enactment of writing, its performance, and my living of it. Born in the US of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish-Croatian parents, I have felt in a strange kind of exile even while growing up as an “American.” This sense of dislocation extends to the fact that as a child and adolescent, I lived in several states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, New York, and California, not to mention many cross-country road trips in between. The nomadic strain was thus instilled in me and has become an inevitable part of my writing vision. Explorations of wanderlust, dispossession, biculturalism, bilingualism, construction of identity, and the many different emotional terrains that can be inhabited onstage form the basis of my plays and other writing projects. Visions of migration (both physical and spiritual) dominate the plays, which have become, in turn, documents of internal diasporas.As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work.
Sam Tower is a director, producer and arts facilitator who creates works of physical theater. Most recently, she directed and produced an original work, Strange Tenants, for the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Also in 2017, her mission to empower young artists led her to create an new work of physical theatre at Bryn Mawr College with a group of 10 undergraduates, titled Particular Risk, in collaboration with playwright Jeremy Gable. Her most acclaimed work in Philadelphia is 901 Nowhere Street; an all-female film noir fever dream for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2015. Other recent collaborations include Nowhere Fast, a rock noir cabaret collaboration with BRAT Productions for FringeArts and I’d rather choke than be a quitter, with Plant Me Here, electronic musician Shakai Mondai, and visual artist Sam Whalen. She is proud to have worked as a company member and staff member of Obie-Award winning devised theatre company New Paradise Laboratories from 2012-2015. She is currently an Associated Artist with Applied Mechanics, with whom she has collaborated as a creator, performer, PR agent, and administrator. She has participated in residencies with NPL at University of Washington, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and with Applied Mechanics at University of the Arts, and has Assistant Director for 5 productions with Arden Theatre Company. She is a recipient of a 2017 Independence Foundation Fellowship to continue her education in international performing arts for young audiences. She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from University of the Arts, 2010. Headlong Performance Institute 2009.
National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 250 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works at its Member theaters. Additional programs – its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization’s member accessed Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks and online information sessions – have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the new play landscape. NNPN also strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange, is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on more than 17,700 new plays by living writers. NNPN’s 30 Core and 80 Associate Members – along with the more than 250 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year – are creating the new American theater. nnpn.org | newplayexchange.org
Simpatico Theatre explores stories that celebrate, challenge, and expand our definitions of community and compassion. We stage thought-provoking work that’s grounded in social justice, civil rights, and community service. Our grassroots dedication to bridging communities fuels our work, reveals avenues of advocacy for our audiences, and leads to transformative collaborations in our city. More at simpaticotheatre.org.