Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex (2015-2019)
The Dramatic Focus
An insidious climate of polarization increasingly sweeps Americans up, impels us to take sides, and not only divides us against each other on all manner of social, political, and cultural issues – but also inculcates habits of mind and speech marked by righteousness, certainty, and suspicion that directly undermine the potential for vibrant civic life, world-class artistic expression, and constructive political participation.
The Aesthetic Aim
To effectively dramatize the thinking, feeling, and deciding of individuals whose challenges and options are unavoidably shaped by the polarizing tendencies of contemporary American politics and culture – to do so in a way that triggers increased reflexive awareness and self-recognition within audience members – to create a performance piece that links characters not by geography, or plot line, or political issue, but by the ever-precarious effort to be mindful not reactive, conscientious not rash, free not constrained in making decisions that will shape their identities, their relationships, and the lives they want to live.
The Insight Research
The community-based research and aesthetic experimentation and discovery for Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex was carried out between 2015 and 2018 by the Company members of There’s Something about America, and the Insight Art Collaborative. Rocco, Chelsea, etc… carried out a residency at the Irondale Ensemble Project (2015), and at The Actors Studio (2016) in New York City.
The Performance Piece
Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex is a full-length, multi-genre, theatrical performance piece featuring original music, video, and choreography. Set in New York City, the play takes audience members sympathetically into the thinking, feeling, and deciding of ten characters engaged in the common struggle of finding one’s bearings, one’s balance, and one’s personal integrity in a culture cross-cut by polarizing issues and habit of mind: a shock-jock and his on-air partner, a playwright and the daughter she gave up for adoption, a young professional and the man she meets online; a gay heath activist and his mother; a tour guide at the 9/11 memorial and the brother she lost in the attacks; and a young émigré aspiring to be an actress in New York.
Co-Creators: Vieve Radha Price, John Gould Rubin
Producers: Vieve Radha Price and John Gould Rubin
Artistic Director: Vieve Radha Price
Director: John Gould Rubin
Co-Director: Vieve Radha Price
Playwright: Dan Hasse
Based on original writing by: Chukuma Obasi, Chelsea Frei, Karen Eilbacher, Sarah Wharton, Jason Gray, Adriana Rossetto, Salomé Krell, Bronwen Carson
Insight advisory team: Vieve Radha Price, Marnie Jull, Adriana Rossetto, Chukwuma Obasi, Sarah Wharton, Jamie Price and Talya Mar.
Donations to Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex go through our producing partner, The Private Theatre.