The connective tissue is art, in its infinite variety of forms. We smell this in the baffling array of fusion cuisines (Vietnamese/Cajun renaissance for the win, amirite?). We see this visually in modern art paintings sold on the wrought iron fence of a centuries-old cathedral. We hear this in our ever-growing catalogue of homegrown music that is known and followed around the world. And we experience this art, this bond across diversity, through a civic theatre. In the aftermath of the storm, Cripple Creek Theatre Company saw New Orleans through an identity-crisis, recovery, and restabilization. Our mission statement to provoke the public into action allowed us to partner with a variety of organizations, perform all over the city, and collaborate with dozens of artists in many fields.
And now, for the second year in a row, Cripple Creek is touring to theatrically underserved communities. Our production of Sueño by José Rivera will visit Bridge House and Grace House (two addiction recovery centers), Dixon Correctional Institute, Hagar’s House (a women and children’s center), Forest Park Community Center, and even the steps of New Orleans City Hall along with its regular run at Unitarian Universalist Church.
Last year I was part of our production of The Taming of the Shrew, which visited a few of the same locations. The experience was as humbling as it was eye-opening. To be honest, I had my preconceptions for each venue and its crowd: which lines would work, which storylines would be too complex or maybe just boring. Yet each time our model of lights-up, theatre-in-the-round allowed me to interact with the audience, I learned from our different spectators. I was happy to experience the two-way power of simple storytelling. And I was honored to be a part of our city’s great tradition of mixing things up.
So please join us for our current production of Sueño. The play follows a prince and his fearful father-king, has some badass fight scenes, and explores the idea that true freedom allows for the choice between justice or a bloody vengeance. Oh, and it’s funny, too. With what we earn financially from this show, we will be able to produce our final production, The Visit, later this Summer.
“Final show” is a hard phrase to consider after twelve years. Many of the issues our city faces -- problems and particularities we have explored through our work -- remain. We have these two final shows to cement our legacy and our connections among different communities. It’d be great to have you there.
Philip Roderic Yiannopoulos