Waiting Room Youth Production at Painted Bride

Posted on May 2, 2003

Waiting Room
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
May 8-10, 2003

Synopsis
Waiting Room presents a slice of urban life as it addresses the societal concerns of its young actors. Says actor Jamile Wilson, ?This show addresses our everyday issues. It?s about people coming together.? Director H. German Wilson has transformed teens? real life accounts into a series of vignettes that addresses the difficult issues of inner city life. The play unfolds with illness and injury serving as the catalysts of reconnection, as family members and friends await word about the conditions of their loved ones in a hospital waiting room. Through the portrayal of the characters? experiences, the teen actors work through their own fears and frustrations. Their passion creates a dynamic production and conveys a message of hope.

Background
The Village Youth Theater is part of the Village?s Core Leadership Program, which uses activities in the visual and performing arts to develop creativity, critical thinking, self-esteem, problem solving, and teamwork in its teen participants. The program is directed by H. German Wilson, co-founder and former artistic director of Venture Theater, and guided by the artistic vision of Village founder and Executive Director Lily Yeh. Wilson?s theatrical philosophy is expressed best by the words of British theater director and producer Peter Brook, ?When theatre is playing its true function, it is like a mirror which reflects the forms and pressures of our time. ?It is a clear, pitiless, accurate mirror which shows life as it is, and people as they are.? His Village Youth Theater program creates a space for youth to reflect upon themselves as well as to convey their emotions and struggles to an audience.

Each year, fifteen to twenty-five teens, primarily African-American and Hispanic youth from North Philadelphia, participate in Village Youth Theater. Under the direction of Wilson and other professional artists and actors, students develop and perform dramatic pieces that reflect their own experiences. The alchemy of professional artistry with the fresh voices and raw intensity of the youth participants yields potent, moving theater.

The Village of Arts and Humanities is a non-profit art-based organization located in inner city North Philadelphia. For over sixteen years the Village has sought to revitalize the community through the arts. The Village strives to create a prosperous and sustainable ?urban village? through a broad range of arts, educational, and economic development programs with the goal of providing a holistic support network for community residents.

For over thirty years, the Painted Bride Art Center has offered Philadelphians a distinctive space to showcase both established and emerging artists whose voices reflect the rich cultural mosaic of our city. The Bride?s mission is to ?work with artists to create and present programs that affirm the intrinsic values of all cultures, the inspirational and healing powers of the arts, and their ability to affect social change.?

Funding provided by the Forrest Lattner Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Lila Wallace – Readers Digest Funds.

For more information, visit http://www.paintedbride.org/template2.php?event_code=81


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