presented by MALACARNE & ACTLab

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Where is home : birds of passage

Dates: November 1–November 17, 2019
Run time: approximately 3 hours
Location: Lalie Theatre

This is a come-and-go performance, the doors will be open and concessions will be available in the lobby.

Where is home : birds of passage uses dance, durational performance, installation, and storytelling to interrogate how immigrants are consistently stereotyped, exoticized, labeled, othered, and shamed. The piece explores alternative narratives for immigrants asked to perform their culture’s stereotypes, investigating the structural racism perpetuated by the use of these labels and the ‘othering’ of immigrants. This 3-hour performance spectacle examines the history of Italian-American immigration to the US. Using Italian culture as the core narrative, birds of passage will subvert this theme and then transcend it: sparking connections among immigrants of all cultures and proposing new ways for non-immigrants to engage and identify with these stories.

This is the first solo piece by lauded choreographer and hybrid performance artist Alice Gosti. It is based on her own inter-generational immigration story as an Italian American Immigrant—growing up the Italian-born daughter of an American immigrant, who later immigrated back to her mothers’ homeland. From this place, Gosti hopes to look for a way to be less angry and more in love with humanity again, to survive in between spaces, to hold multiplicity. “What is my own identity as an Italian and an American person, if I peel away all the layers of expectation, stereotyping and pop culture? Who am I? What is home? Where is home?”

Encountering the Art 

We welcome you to follow your needs. If you are done, leave. If you need more, stay or come back when you are ready again.

Alice has crafted a beginning and an end but you can choose your entry point and your exit point.

Be aware of Alice’s movement, at moments she will take over the whole room and in other moments she will be moving in just one area of the room. She sees you and you see her.

Attendees are allowed to take photos or use their phones. They are allowed to walk around and to change seats.

Where is home : birds of passage is supported by:

4 Culture Logo

Where is home: A Discussion with Seattle-Based Immigrant Artists

Join us for a talkback moderated by Alice Gosti following the November 10 matinee of Where is home : birds of passage. Alice will sit down with a group of artists who identify as immigrants to discuss the piece and take audience questions. Panelists will discuss their different definitions of what home is and where it is for them, and share their experience of being an immigrant in Seattle.

Panelists

Vladimir Kremenovic–Artist
Lex Marcos–Scenic Designer
David Rue–Artist
Constanze Villines–Artist
Tonya Lockyer–Artist
Hanita Schwartz–Artist

Resources by Local Writers

Imana Gunawan, When coming home is an art you haven’t mastered 

Jaya Duckworth, Please select one”:growing up with a multi racial identity

Other Resources

Italian American History

Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII

Italian Americans

Internment of Italian American

Anti-Italianism 

Enrico Deaglio, Storia vera e terribile tra Sicilia e America

Books

Beverly  Daniel Tatum, Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria

TV Shows

Fresh Off the Boat: Based on chef Eddie Huang’s best-selling memoir of the same name

Film

The Problem with Apu, Directed by Michael Melamedoff

Artist Statement: 

“Since I can remember I have felt misjudged, mislabeled. With an Italian father and American mother, I have been always considered the other. Born and raised in Italy, I was nevertheless considered “the American” – with all the positive and negative stereotypes that come with that. Now that I live in the US, I am again seen as an immigrant, an outsider, an exotic creature. I know I benefit from my privilege as a white person. In this country, if I don’t speak, I pass while immigrants that aren’t white don’t get to. But as soon as I speak, explain how to pronounce my name, I get asked : Where are you from?

What once felt like a question of friendly curiosity in the past years has become more threatening. Now, when a stranger asks, I worry that they are an immigration officer. I no longer explain how to pronounce my name. After fifteen years of living in the US, this continuous questioning of my identity has somehow broken my personality. I now feel anxious and defensive when asked ‘where are you from’. I used to be a lot braver, more talkative, less self-conscious, and much more in love with humanity.

Contemporary understanding of Italian culture is dictated by American pop-culture: The Jersey Shore, The Sopranos, The Godfather. Television and film paint a stereotype of  Italian identity that I must constantly navigate. I am asked “Are you mafioso?” “Are all of you fascists?” We are called guidos, wops. This stereotyping diminishes an entire culture, erasing the creative emotional rapture, strong sense of community and togetherness of Italian Culture.  I find myself increasingly frustrated and embarrassed with the depiction of  my Italian-side.

Where is home : birds of passage is a 3 hour come and go durational performance examining my personal experience as an Italian-American immigrant artist. Like all of my work, birds of passage connects my personal history to wider collective histories. In this work, I tackle the history of Italian-American immigration to the US as well as the ongoing struggle for justice and equitable treatment that current immigrants and refugees face today.

Choreographed and Performed by Alice Gosti

Production & Lighting Designer ……………………………………………Amiya Brown
Composer…………………………………………………………………………….Monika Khot
Sound Designer……………………………………………………………………Erin Bednarz
Dramaturgy & Text Support…………………………………………….Tim Smith-Sewart
Technical Consulting……………………………………………………….Jeffrey Azavedo
Stage Manager…………………………………………………………………Maria Manness
Company Producer………………………………………………………………..West Liberty
Voice Support…………………………………………………………………………Angel Itechi
Lobby Installation …………………………………………………….Alyza DelPan-Monley
Graphic Designer………………………………………………………………Photon Factory
IA Crew Members…………………………………………………………….Mary Heffernan
……………………………………………………………………………………..Robin Lagerstedt
………………………………………………………………………………………………..Elijah Vick
ACTLab Producing Coordinator………………………………………….Katie Burnett
ACTLab Marketing Manager…………………………………………Amelia Peacock
ACTLab Technical Associate……………………………………..Brittany Lawrence

During Mussolini’s fascist regime, Malacarne was a derogatory term. It was assigned mostly to women who did not conform to the fascist ideal of the exemplary wife and mother. Whose conduct, exuberance, or emotions threatened the ideologies upon which fascist power resides. Whose physical body was determined inadequate to uphold fascist assertions of Italian biological superiority. These Malacarne were institutionalized by the state and often placed in solitary confinement.

We are MALACARNE: A new performance company directed by choreographer Alice Gosti that is focused on creating socio-political performance spectacles. We are interested in the way that history, politics, and architecture enter the body and condition the way we move and exist.

This production includes loud music and possible nudity.

ACT believes that our patrons can determine what is offensive for themselves, and what is appropriate for their children. We don’t create age restrictions but do our best to offer content advisories for each show. For detailed information about show content and possible triggers, please contact communications@acttheatre.org.

This is a come-and-go performance. 

The doors will remain open for the entire performance so you can come and go as you need.

You can relax in the lobby, grab a drink and a snack, or you can go for a walk around the block. Just show your ticket at the door and you will be allowed to re-enter as many times as you’d like.

There is an installation in the lobby for attendees to sit with and interact with as they choose. Drinks and snacks will be available throughout the performance.

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