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DRONE

An Art2Action Project

Created & Directed by Andrea Assaf

NEW WORK IN DEVELOPMENT:  This video features WORK-IN-PROGRESS from Development Residency #1 with ArtSpot Productions, New Orleans, February 2013.

DRONE is a new ensemble, multi-media, devised theater project about the secret life, and secret work, of a U.S. military drone pilot.  It explores the seeming triviality of killing in an era of high-technology, “low-intensity” combat, and the effects of remote-control warfare on the human soul.  Aesthetically, it  utilizes the “drone” in music and movement, as a metaphor for American desensitization in the 21st century.  Are we becoming a nation of drones?

This video features work-in-progress from our first development residency, hosted by ArtSpot Productions in New Orleans, with support from the Alternate ROOTS Artistic Assistance program, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters NET/TEN Seed grant.

ARTISTIC PROCESS:  We begin our ensemble explorations with this premise:  A U.S. pilot wakes up each morning in his home near Las Vegas, has breakfast with his wife and 1.5 kids, then drives to a military base in the desert.  He spends eight hours flying drones, bombing pre-determined human and strategic targets, and watching the destruction live, on-screen.  He  returns home in time for dinner.  At night, he slips away, to drown his virtual trauma in the endless simulated daylight of flashing casinos and the empty, instant gratification of hired sex.  Meanwhile, his family disintegrates slowly into their own various addictions — video games, internet pornography, religious fanaticism and drugs.

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, and Nick Slie of Mondo Bizarro.  Music will be created by the ensemble, with composers Sean LaRocca and Eylem Basaldi.

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, Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW), and other peace organizations, we hope to catalyze broad public 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.

Look for updates in 2016-17 … 

Read more:  DRONE featured by the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), including an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Movement Advisor Dora Arreola, on Grotowski training and her original approach to creating physical vocabulary.

For more information, or to support this project, please contact:  art2action@earthlink.net

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