Layer the Walls explores the imagined stories of tenants whose actions influenced the world we know today. A tenement scheduled to be torn down is where the story unfolds. We soon discover the interior walls reveal a rich history plastered with over 40 layers. These layers are examined through the use of masks, toy-theater techniques, and puppets in hopes to expose and break damaging cycles of prejudice, exclusion and injustice.
Social Studies: Irish, Italian and Eastern European Jewish immigration between 1860-1909. Tenement living, history of tenements, unionization and collective bargaining, connections to modern immigration
Science: Engineering/ bridge construction, The Great Blizzard of 1888
Themes: Immigration, discrimination, perseverance, familial love, friendship, self-pride.
Language Arts: Fantasy, Foreshadowing, Imagery, Symbolism Theater Arts: Acting, puppetry, mask, original music, devising, storytelling.
Public Audience: Ages 7 and up
School Time Audience: Ages 7-12, Grades: 2-7
Conceived in the New Victory LabWorks program and received a Jim Henson Foundation Family Grant. The idea began with a trip to the NYC Tenement museum when the creators learned of the wallpaper layers found on the tenement walls. Utilizing shadow puppetry, Bunraku puppets, masks and toy theater, the show is able to bring the stories to life and stimulate an investigation about immigration in today’s world.
RACHEL SULLIVAN AND LIZ PARKER: CO-CREATORS/ PERFORMERS
ELISE THORON: DIRECTOR
MARGARET BAUGHMAN: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR/PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
SPICA WOBBE: PUPPETRY AND MASK DESIGN AND DIRECTION
VLADA YANEVA: ORIGINAL MUSIC
PEIYI WONG: SET DESIGN
CAT FISHER: COSTUME DESIGN
SARAH JOHNSTON: LIGHTING DESIGN
ELIA CHUAQUI: SOUND DESIGN
Duration: 60 minutes
Post Show: Multiple workshop options available.
Minimum Stage Requirements: 25 feet wide, x 25 feet deep x 11 feet high.
Size of Touring Party: 2 performers. 1 stage manager.