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From Jp – Tales from the Tour – Bramat Allstars

September 27, 2018

When attending international festivals, I usually get to see lots and lots of shows. The last time Christopher and I were in Romania, we figured that we saw over 40 shows in ten days! That simply wasn’t the case in Goleniów. We were so busy or recovering from being so busy, the time spent on our butts in the audience was quite limited. I did, however, manage to see a few stand out performances and meet some incredible artists and technicians along the way. Here are but a few of them (some of which have been mentioned in previous posts), that if I were putting together a festival dream team, I’d include in the mix.

Teatr Brama


Alright, alright, I know it was their festival, but for real, these folks are incredibly hardworking (maybe insanely hard working would better to describe them). It takes a lot of work to make art in today’s world, and it takes an even more absurd amount of work to pull off a festival the size of the one Brama just put on. We saw it first hand, and while things certainly went wrong along the way, they never broke; they kept going and going. They deserve a ton of credit for the tenacity, fortitude, and pure force of will that got them through those 10 days last month.

In their words: Founded in 1996, the main motivation of Teatr Brama is revolutionizing the relationship between audience and theater by utilizing performance to create a participatory meeting, not a spectator activity. The Teatr Brama ensemble are a diverse group dedicated to a common artistic goal realized by researching the heights and depths of emotion, recalling heritage, and reacting to the reality of life. As a cultural and educational association, Teatr Brama utilizes non­formal and informal educational methods to empower people to use art to improve their lives and their world.

Hopefully, we can introduce you all to Brama when they come over in Fall of 2019 to help us with Festival UnBound!

Ashtar Theatre


I was able to see the masterful performance of Ashtar Theatre’s Edward Muallem and Iman Aounin in the company’s Oranges and Stones. Out of all the shows I saw in at the festival, this one, to me, was the most absorbing, thought provoking and beautifully executed. This soulfelt, wordless performance examined, from the Palestinian perspective, the feelings of displacement and loss felt by native Palestinians following the 1917 British Balfour Declaration.

In their words: Founded in 1991, ASHTAR is a dynamic local Palestinian Theatre with a truly progressive global perspective. We aim to promote creativity and commitment for change through a novel combination of specific training and acting programs and services and professional theatre performances. If marginalized audience is unable to come to our main location in Ramallah, we move our stage to these often remote areas to include everyone.

Two Times Twice


Fem-power duo Two Times Twice made the whole trip worth it. I have a new favorite band. These ladies (and the men backing them) are a force to be reckoned with. Emma, Jason, and I even got to sing with one of their members in the finale of The Wall. Another highlight was their Alien Jam session, where they came on stage as a completely different band, one from another planet that doesn’t speak earthly languages, and encouraged audience members to dig in to their intergalactic selves and join them in their experimental stage show. Awesome!

In their words: Two Times Twice is a Post-Pop Rap-Rock fusion band from Berlin. Founded in 2015 by lead singer Edyta Rogowska and rapper Sarah Sordid, Two Times Twice blend the boundaries between musical genres and aim to deliver a message with strong lyrics in every song.

Teatro Potlach


Yep, they’ve already been on Touchstone’s stage, but I’d bring ‘em back any day of the week. At this point, they’re family, and any chance I have to see Nathalie Mentha perform, I’m in.

In their own words: The Potlach Theater was founded in 1976 by Pino Di Buduo and Daniela Regnoli. The history of the Potlach stems from a choice of rejection and research of the elsewhere, which prompted its founders to designate as headquarters of the Fara Sabina theater, a small town in the province of Rieti. This choice entailed making theater outside of both traditional and avant-garde circuits, and inventing a form of coexistence, of community life as a premise and condition of theatrical work.

So many talented people… so little time. Hopefully we’ll be able to introduce (reintroduce) you to all these folks and more in the not-so-distant future! Stay tuned!

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