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Patrice Amon on creating ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND

 What happens when two innovative theatres come together on a show? You get the interactive and immersive experience that is ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND from Turnkey Theatre and TuYou Theatre. Written, and directed by Patrice Amon this new work seeks to shine a light on the role of Latinas in World War II. Amon talks about creating the work, the importance of the audience connection, and her personal inspiration for the show. ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND is playing at the Bread & Salt Gallery from February 11th – 26th.

Patrice Amon

ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND is a 40 minute immersive and interactive theatre experience for groups of 1- 4 people. This show sets out to highlight hidden communities and bring forgotten memories of people who were vital to the World War II war effort back into present recollection.

Patrice Amon is a woman of many talents; she is a writer, director, producer, dramaturg, and professor. That’s enough to keep anyone busy, but when inspiration strikes it is difficult to ignore. Amon said that it was that spark of inspiration and love for her grandmother that brought this show to life.

This project was inspired by my grandmother, Matilda Martinez. She is this diminutive Mexican American woman and one day she just casually shared that she was a riveter at Convair. This was such a surprise to me, I didn’t expect her to be a Rosie the riveter. The images from the poster made me think about one type of woman and it has not occurred to me that my grandmother was that type of woman. She inspired me to investigate further to learn more about the history from which I come in from which our community comes. This project is a love letter to the woman whose shoulders I stand upon.

ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND
ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND

TuYou Theatre specializes in bringing stories from and bay diverse Latinx perspectives to the stage. Turnkey Theatre specializes in creating immersive live and audio theatrical experiences for its audience. They created this interactive piece by bringing both of their worlds together, which Patrice says was specific for this story.

We made this decision to center the audience in the story. There is something so intimate and specific about immersive theater, as the audience, you are so physically close to the performers but further than that you are the focus of their attention, you become a character in the storytelling.

The writing process and the piece itself we’re both impacted by the decision to make it interactive and immersive. We really wanted to consider the audience’s perspective throughout. We cast the audience as a specific role and crafted a story surrounding that character as they move through different rooms. This was pretty difficult because our audience size can shift between 1 to 4 people depending on how many people are in that particular time slot.

Amon is a writer, a director, and a dramaturg and ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND gave her the opportunity to use all of those strengths together to create this piece.

This is a very special project and gave me the space to play with the varied facets of my artistic identity. I kept making a joke that we could simply change a line to meet the directorial needs because I have an in with the Playwright. I think because the plate is so personal for me it made total sense to wear all of the hats at once. I was eager to do the research and that made me eager to create the world and that made me eager to bring in the audience to the process.

Patrice hopes that the audience walks away with some new ideas, some assumptions challenged, and an appreciation for the actions of many women in San Diego to an important part of history.

I hope the audience takes away a nuanced understanding of the complex and multifaceted realities of women living in San Diego in the World War II era. I hope they expand their assumptions of what the war effort meant, and encourage them to see and question and celebrate the women upon whose shoulders they stand.

How to Get Tickets

ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND, written and directed by Patrice Amon and presented in partnership of Turnkey Theatre and TuYou Theatre is playing at the Bread & Salt Gallery February 11th -26th.

Tickets are limited due to the small audience size and advance tickets recommended. Click here for tickets https://www.eventbrite.com/e/on-her-shoulders-tickets-229596789177

  • This experience requires walking through various spaces and standing for 40 minutes or longer. Attendees with mobility issues should contact us in advance to discuss possible accommodations.
  • A virtual reality version of this experience will be made available soon after the live performance dates

COVID protocol: Masks are required to be worn while indoors.

To learn more about TuYou Theatre please go to www.TuYoutheatre.org You can also follow them on social media at https://www.instagram.com/tuyotheatre/?hl=en

To learn more about Turnkey Theatre go to www.turnkeytheatre.com

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