Meet the Theatre: Blessed Unrest

Meet the Theatre: Blessed Unrest


Blessed Unrest encourages
artists to be the best of themselves, and bring to the table
what it is that they have. I’m not the best mover in the world. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a dance in
this piece, that I’m like, choreography madness in my head. But the things that I’m really
good at I can bring to the table, and whoever’s involved will say yes. More of that, bring more of that. ♪ (latin music) ♪ We devise plays, we often build things
from scratch or from source material. Some of our shows take two years or
more to build, and we do them in a series of workshops and then we decide
when we’re ready for full production. But the work is very
rich and dynamic and physical in a way that none of the other theatre
experiences in my life have really been. And in a lot of ways, I think
being on stage with Blessed Unrest is about engaging in the struggle. The struggle of life, the struggle
of getting by in any given moment, which is heightened certainly on stage. It gives you a lot to hang onto,
so you’re not just thinking about performing for people, you’re thinking
about doing something in the moment. ♪ (loud music on stage,
performers vocalizing) ♪ We have a very diverse company of artists. And we actively seek out
artists from other places in the world. We work in many different languages, often
overlapping languages within one show. We find a lot of beauty in not
understanding every word that’s spoken, and in hearing a language that maybe you’ve never
heard in your life, like Albanian. (music and voiceover in Albanian) I think every actor should be
forced at some point to perform in a language that they don’t understand. You learn your lines phonetically,
and perform them, to see how you can express yourself outside of language. I’m from Italy, first of all. So doing a show in which
I can use both languages, it’s a lot of fun and it brings
up different parts of my brain, and different parts of my actor’s brain. Also because we’re in New York City,
and everyone else is from everywhere else, a contemporary theater company
should express, especially in this city, should bring this on stage. That’s why we do what we do.
It’s to get at the essence of humanity. No pressure. (laughs) That’s sort of…
that’s the essence of our work. I think that sometimes, to have a
little bit of a gap of language, or culture, or understanding,
actually helps that. We try to really let audience
have their own experience as well, in the same way that we try to let
actors work in a very open, safe place. The audience can also
interpret things as they will, and see things through their own filters. Our version of experimental physical
theater is something that brings you in. It’s not alienating, it’s not
condescending, it’s accessible, and it pulls you in. And I think you watch our work, and you don’t always know
literally what is going on. You don’t always understand,
oh yeah I’ve seen that before. But it hits you in the gut. ♪ (music ends) ♪

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