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.

Follow our DRONE blog!

 

Look for work-in-progress performances & updates in 2021…

Video

Photos

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.




March 2020 - Media Development Residency with Eva Auster


In early March 2020 (right before the pandemic lockdowns began), Eva Auster was in residence with Art2Action for a week in Tampa, at The Artists' Enclave, exploring media concepts with lead artist Andrea Assaf, and digital interactivity with Movement Director Dora Arreola. Follow #DRONEtheatreproject on social media for updates!




February 2021 - Digital Residency @ Arab American National Museum


During her residency, taking place remotely, Andrea Assaf will develop the script and media for DRONE, a new play co-commissioned by AANM, while exploring new directions necessitated by the virtual world we now inhabit. The process will include online ensemble-building, and collaboration with interactive website and media designers. Script development will culminate on an online reading of the first full draft, for feedback from theatre professionals. Community members will be able to engage with the creative process in several ways throughout the residency. The creative team will share research and visual ideas through a blog, and invite audiences to participate in an online “Reflection Session” exploring themes of surveillance and drone technology in the post-9/11 era. Andrea will also launch an open call for video submissions, responding to specific themes, and offer a workshop for those interested in submitting on how to develop the story you want to tell. For details & updates, visit our events page, or: https://arabamericanmuseum.org/artists-residents/





DRONE is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by the Arab American National Museum, Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) New Orleans, Art2Action Inc., and NPN. DRONE is an Art2Action production, made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  

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