Tanya Bravo, Founder & Artistic Director of Juggerknot Theatre Company, on connecting communities through immersive theatre
“It’s unique, it’s gripping, it’s raw, and it’s a labor of love by writers, directors and performers around the world -- who have never met in person -- to put this all together,” Tanya Bravo tells Impact.Edition about Long Distance Affair, the latest immersive edition from Miami Motel Stories creators Juggerknot Theatre and PopUP Theatrics.
Tanya founded Juggerknot Theatre in 1998 to help redefine the burgeoning theatre scene in Miami’s Urban Core. Tanya works daily to push creative boundaries to deliver alternative, experimental, and non-traditional theatre works to audiences. She hopes to better connect communities through immersive theatre while highlighting Miami’s multicultural landscape.
“It’s been surreal to see live theatre obliterated for the most part of the last year. But that uncertainty has also become a vessel to dream up new adaptations to traditional practices. People want to continue hearing and sharing stories, there is interest in learning about the life experiences of people all over the world. People are curious about being vulnerable in connecting with virtual strangers -- empathizing with their personal stories. It’s a critical humanistic quality that right now, more than ever, we need to experience.”
It has been nine months since the first production of Long Distance Affair. And while borders across the world are still on lockdown, Long Distance Affair is ready again to take audience members on a new, virtual globetrot across the globe.
In intimate, ten-minute theatrical encounters, audiences can drop into three cities or all six. This year, everyone is invited to Mumbai/India, Portland/USA, Mexico City/Mexico, Lagos/Nigeria, Beirut/Lebanon and Los Angeles/USA.
“Nothing replaces the energetic exchange that happens when you are in the same room as someone. But the Long Distance Affair experience has been successful in creating the opportunity for a deep connection that is absolutely palpable, across the world, through a screen. It's an amazing experience to disregard time zones and work with so many talented people from all over the world during this pandemic. Helping each other stay employed in doing what they love. You become an international little family without ever having shared physical space!”
Juggerknot Theatre and PopUP Theatrics decided on the cities they wanted to highlight and reached out to local actors, writers, directors to coordinate production. International teams of writers, directors and performers would meet each other only virtually. Auditions and conversations were conducted via screens.
“Those experiences fuel my belief that the stories we tell, and how we tell them, have a real impact on lives around the world," said playwright Leila Buck of Beirut, who grew up in Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Canada, and the U.S.
“Collaborating with artists in other countries offers the opportunity to connect people, places and ideas that might not encounter each other otherwise; to explore both the uniqueness of our experiences and the relationships between them, and to experience how the distance between us and ‘them,’ ‘here’ and ‘there’ is often shorter than we think.”
What: Long Distance Affair, produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company and PopUP Theatrics.
When: Thursday-Sundays, Feb 11 – Feb 21, 2021
Thursdays – Saturdays: 7:45pm&9pm ET & Sundays at 12:30&2pm ET
Tickets: Three Destinations - $40. Reserve here.