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  • Alliance of Residence Theatres 138 S Oxford St. Brooklyn, NY 11217 United States (map)

Monuments, by Evan Starling-Davis, is a sociopolitical commentary on commemorative statues within America. It interrogates how history is taught and lost in the traditional classroom setting. While facilitating after school programming at a historical folk art gallery in his hometown of Syracuse, New York, Evan asked a group of his students, “how do you feel learning about these monuments; what do you already know?” The students’ responses ranged in emotion and narrative; varying from stagnant to manic. Though, after each student had a moment to reflect, they all shared a commonality; an experience of daydreaming about what these statues would say to them if they had a voice. Monuments begins in a history classroom. We follow a curriculum lesson filled of gaps in truth, as a student daydreams themself into the teaching. They are having an existential field trip to meet and embody the statues mentioned in the educator’s lesson. The character’s immersed into a journey of becoming each statue in order to reclaim their lost voice and history. Through their exploration, the audience is allowed to read between the historical context in order to distinguish facts shared that support sociological conformities. They are called to ask, “what are the honest experiences of those who survived the period in which the monuments emulate?”.
Navigating the concept of museums, while staying true to POPC’s multidisciplinary ideology, Monuments will also explore how our nation’s commemorative statues physically occupy spaces — town halls, city squares, museums, and school books alike. The staging will function as a museum exhibition; bridging together a theatrical lens within a curated setting. This is about observation and sharing: the gallery experience. Movement and stillness, all while while bringing to light the lens our history as been taught through. With this reading and workshop series of Monuments, POPC seeks to challenge some of America’s taught and accepted histories thru collaboration with a predominantly POC cast and crew, as their histories, like the statues they will embody, have been historically altered by our education system.

Earlier Event: August 5