Freedom Deconstructed Reframes Museum Stories
On Wednesday November 9th, we performed our newest piece, Freedom Deconstructed about the making of Freedom in 3 Acts, as part of the keynote at the New England Museum Association conference held in Mystic, Connecticut.
Our company devised the 17-minute piece to address the conference’s theme of “museums and social action” and explored how museums present the past by the stories they choose to tell. We used our unique physical theatre style to tell the story of two teenagers, one African-American and one white, inside a Civil War Museum.
Initially, we set out to tell a meta story about the making of our first major museum collaboration, Freedom: In 3 Acts with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum. As our research and story-telling progressed, the piece evolved into a much deeper story about the bias in mainstream history that relegates African-American history to an afterthought. Confining African-American history to one month or to the token exhibit does a disserve to both African-Americans and to our entire history.
It was an honor to share our research and experience in a theatrical performance that engages the ideas of NEMA in a new way that goes beyond traditional keynote lectures and to talk about the important future of museums to our culture.
We are looking forward to bringing this new play to other venues and partnering with more museums to create more unforgettable experiences about art and history.
Thank you NEMA! We are looking forward to next year’s conference on Cape Cod.