A Transmedia Theatre Project
An Art2Action Project
Lead Artist: Andrea Assaf
DRONE is a new transdisciplinary project integrating theatre, live music, drone technology, and artistic containers for public dialogue. It explores the drone as a metaphor for how we become desensitized to daily violence, domestic and global, the question of Moral Injury, and the effects of remote-control warfare on the human soul. Are we becoming a nation of drones?
New Work in Development
DRONE will be an ensemble, multimedia theater work, in which visual and sonic environments are as strong as the performances. Andrea Assaf, Artistic Director of Art2Action Inc., will be the lead writer and director facilitating the devised theater process and script development. Collaborating performers include Kathy Randels, Artistic Director of ArtSpot Productions, Nick Slie of Mondo Bizarro, Anu Yadav and Heather Raffo (2019 Helen Hayes Award winner!).
The play will be developed through devised theatre process. As lead writer/director, Andrea will design prompts and co-facilitate residencies. Improvisations will inform script development. With Dora Arreola as Movement Director/Choreographer, performers will develop a shared physical vocabulary—exploring the “drone” in movement as an embodied experience of militarization. Composers Eylem Basaldi and Sean LaRocca will collaborate with performers to develop an original sound score, exploring practices of “droning” in music traditions from Appalachia to Iran. Through the creative encounter of artists from the U.S. and the Middle East, we will explore how the aesthetic drone can link and traverse global locations, cross time zones and centuries, to create a sonic base for simultaneity. Projection Designer Eva Auster will also be part of the process throughout, developing imagery as the text and performance elements evolve together.
IMPACT: This project aims to expose the horrors of the mundane, and the deceptive “security” of limitless surveillance and war. We want to create a work that will bring awareness to the rapid proliferation of drones, and stimulate public dialogue on this very real and disturbing subject. Our hope is to increase awareness of the military use of drones, for surveillance and bombing, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, at the U.S.-Mexico border, and beyond … as well as new policies allowing the use of surveillance drones within U.S. borders. Through national partnerships with CODEPINK Women for Peace, Veterans for Peace, and About Face (formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War), and other activist organizations, we hope to catalyze broad public dialogue and action on this crucial issue. We also hope to inspire audiences to reflect personally on how and why we choose to “drone” out, or default into denial and escapism – and how we could all choose differently, to actively engage in creating a more peaceful world.
Look for work-in-progress performances & updates in 2021…
Residencies & Touring
September 2021 - DRONE @ Arab American National Museum
Artists will be featured in the AANM Annual 9/11 Town Hall -- on the 20th Anniversary. Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for updates!
March 2022 - DRONE @ Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) New Olreans
Full production! Stay tuned!
September 2019 - Residency - CODEPINK @ Creech Air Force Base
The above photos were taken during a research & development residency in which lead artist Andrea Assaf joined CODEPINK and Veterans For Peace in a week-long vigil at Creech Air Force Base -- the largest military drone base in the nation -- outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.