It’s been a long drought for theater lovers, with live performance venues in lockdown and even rehearsals only possible under strict pandemic restrictions. From out of these challenging constraints, however, new work continues to be born. The team at On the Verge (OTV) has been busy over the last several months with the task of reimaging their play reading series as something that can proceed even while COVID cases in Southern California continue to surge. On Sunday, February 14, the group will premiere the Santa Barbara Home Project, a suite of six solo performances all of which in one way or another seek to express their creators’ sense of home. Spoken word, dance, video, music, drama, and poetry will all find a place in the lineup, offering a wide range of responses to the program’s original prompt, which was “What is the sound of the city in your chest?”
OTV’s Kate Bergstrom directs Daniel Blanco in El Emigrante Latino, a piece that merges his experience as a Latinx man entering the world of theater with his father’s story of immigration to this country. Blanco then turns around to direct Daniel Herrera in Laundromat, a deep and intuitive performance written by Mingo and featuring Herrera on guitar. Jenna Tico wrote Saint Blah Blah Blah while she was pregnant, and Sara Rademacher, who also recently had a child, directs. Luis Moreno co-wrote The Inconstant Border, the work he will perform, with UCSB professor Carlos Morton.
Mitra Cline’s Transformation by Fire will give actor Brooklyn Snyder the chance to relive Cline’s harrowing experience with one of Santa Barbara’s recent wildfires in tandem with prepared video projections. Finally, Josiah Davis directs Rashad Hedgepeth in a pair of inspiring slam poems, Life and Soul Searchin’. The show premieres on Sunday, February 14, at 7 p.m. at luketheatre.org, and continues to be available 24/7 following the initial presentation.
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