One Book, One Community Hosts Play Based on Local Latin/x Experiences
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In conjunction with the University of Arkansas’ One Book, One Community initiative, the Latin/x Youth Theatre Project will present two performances of an expanded, encore production of its play, FOLLOW ME@TIO SAM. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, on the corner of East Avenue and Dickson Street in Fayetteville; and at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 in the Fay Jones School of Architecture Auditorium on the U of A campus. Both performances are free and open to the public.
FOLLOW ME@TIO SAM is a one hour devised theatre piece that tells the stories of a group of young writers and activists in Springdale who, when approached by a novice Latino politician seeking their support, unpack issues related to community and ethnic identity in response to the thorny question, "Where am I from?" At each performance, FOLLOW ME@TIO SAM invites audience members to voice their responses to the themes and issues raised.
The production connects directly to issues raised in The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez, this year’s One Book, One Community selection. Henriquez will visit the U of A to give a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Hillside Auditorium, and will meet with members of area book clubs at the Fayetteville Public Library for a luncheon on Friday, Nov. 3.
The Latin/x Youth Theatre Project was established in Spring 2017 as a collaboration involving the Brown Chair of English Literacy, the Arts Center of the Ozarks, and Northwest Arkansas Community College, with substantial support from the Walton Family Foundation.
The original version of FOLLOW ME@TIO SAM was developed by the members of the acting company who met as a writing group for two months, generating abundant material that was eventually compiled into a play by Ashley Edwards, coordinator of theatre at NWACC. Michael Landman, head of the MFA Directing Program at the University of Arkansas, directed the original production, which was performed five times to enthusiastic audiences in April, May, and June of 2017.
Jules Taylor directs the expanded, encore production.
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