Audience Blog

Audience Blog #1 – Samantha Galarza (Asheville)

Audience Blog #1 – Samantha Galarza (Asheville)

Progress Theatre’s “Audience Blog” features responses to live PT performances written exclusively by show attendees we meet on tour.

Which performance did you see? When? Where? The Burnin’ @ Alternate ROOTS in Asheville, NC.

Was this your first PT show? — Yes.

The Right Notes

Weeks later, The Burnin’ is still etched into my heart and spirit, with richer content to sift through than most documentaries I’ve seen. The opening scene was EVER-Y-THING. Had I just seen that, I would have left feeling full. The characters all dealt with the emotions driving their actions so honestly. And showing the other side of what could be going on in someone’s head when he/she finally gets to that breaking point was brilliant; the audience was moved to have compassion for the anger that is often used against victims of harassment/racial profiling to turn them into “threats.” I was witnessing a play that was asking everyone to be accountable and take ownership for their role in the codification and reproduction of racial hierarchies; not being directly involved in a situation motivated by racism (or any ism) doesn’t mean that you’re not still part of the system or essential to its maintenance. That point is a focus in my work too; it was cool to see work in direct dialogue with mine.

That talk back — amazing! I’m a young mixed-raced non-femme identifying cis-gendered queer woman of color; it’s difficult to find spaces that I feel fully comfortable in because I represent a very un-neat package of co-existing politics and fluid identities. I really appreciated Cristal saying that the goal is to get a bunch of people in the room that may, otherwise, assume that they have nothing in common, in the spirit of showing how different identities intersect. To be reminded that everyone has a voice was also special, as I occasionally allow myself to be intimidated by my lack of professional training. It’s not about hitting the “right notes” but, rather, using your given voice to most effectively tell the story; I’ve been incorporating song in my more recent pieces and that helped validate my instincts in choice/delivery. I can go on but really just wanted to acknowledge/appreciate the gorgeousness of having The Burnin’ at ROOTS Week.

Samantha Galarza is a SAG-AFTRA actress/writer/singer/performance artist/director/professional ranter. Her work explores queer identity, gender, systemic/internalized racism, love, substance abuse, migration, the U.S. prison industrial complex and policy that disproportionately affects ethnic minorities. Ultimately a storyteller, her dream is to bridge the gap between mainstream media and progressive “de-colonial” art.

Read Audience Blog #2: “A Spiritual Experience” by skipp coon ⇒⇒

Progress Theatre

January 2nd, 2015

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