Conceived and directed by Tannis Kowalchuk, music composed by Rima Fand, text by Mark Dunau, Melissa Bell, Tannis Kowalchuk and the NACL ensemble. Courage features the NACL professional ensemble, visiting actors, and community members who perform in the NACL Stilt Corps and Chorus. Inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children, this original play looks at the struggle for survival in a dystopian world, and advocates for compassion in an era of fear and war. Walk-in-Progress presentations were performed July 22, 23, 24, 2016 at Apple Pond Farm in Callicoon Center, NY. The whole farm was used as a backdrop for the play. More performances are slated for 2017, including venues in New York City.
The Courage Story
A woman named Anna searches for her missing soldier son in a time of ongoing conflict. She is in business with her daughter selling goods from a cart. The audience walks with Anna, refugees, and staff from location to location at a camp for displaced citizens from “The Crisis.” The audience (observers who have come for a tour of the camp) hears Anna’s story and witnesses the songs and tales of a motley crew of survivors, and the maneuvers of a stilt army stationed there to protect them. At journey’s end the audience and actors gather together inside a large tent on a Catskill hillside, evoking a refugee camp’s relief shelter. Here the stilt army makes its last stand, and the chorus of refugees sings the song of courage as Anna's daughter leads a dance of dignity. Anna departs, and the event concludes with a community meal of bread and soup.
I want to appeal to the emotional intelligence—the heart and mind of each spectator. Our goal is to move audiences deftly from thoughts to feelings to positive action. Today, equality, justice, and peace are way too valuable to lose sight of in the current climate of fear. Our play calls for empathy, resilience, and yes, courage, to envision change.
—Director, Tannis Kowalchuk
Take Courage. Be Courageous.
If you would like to join the Courage team, please email Tannis.
Equality, compassion, reason, social and climate justice are required now. Courage, the next community engagement project by NACL will amplify this struggle to hold on.
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