My Heart is in the East is a play by award winning playwright and International theatre artist Jessica Litwak and public event which focuses on the relationship between EAST and WEST. The story takes place in two realms: Present-day conflict zones in the Middle East and medieval Spain in Ancient Cordoba, where poetry contests served as a potent cultural exchange that facilitated peace. The play serves as a model for peace and cultural exchange. There are poetry contests and discussions following each performance.
My Heart is in the East was workshopped in London and is being produced at the Downstairs at La MaMa E.T.C in New York City in June 2017. Click HERE for more information.
tHE fear project/every heart
To help broaden the debate about refugees and mitigate public fears, this is a traveling theatrical performance focused on humanizing immigrants and refugees, led by seasoned director, award winning playwright, drama therapist, and Fulbright alumna Jessica Litwak.
The goal of the program is to engage communities. Litwak interviews the local populations. Litwak and her group then present interactive theatrical performances tailored to each community. The project uses theatrical techniques including audience interaction, image theatre and choral poetry to engage and impact the audience. Using minimal set and props, the performances would be bilingual, in the language of the country as well as English.
The project encourages local audience engagement during pre-show discussions (in the form of interviews taken by actors before the show that become a new part of that night's performance), interventions during the show as well as post-show workshops, and discussions.
PUPPETS FOR THE PEOPLE
These puppet workshops allow the adults and children of Rhodes to make visual and performance art that will exemplify the cultural diversity on the islands. Participants join Jessica Litwak, master puppet builder, theatre artist and drama therapist for this fun and therapeutic puppet- building workshop. First, we build the “brain” of the puppet; the heads are filled with poems, wishes, dreams and meaningful objects. After we find the face in the paper, hold and mold the face with masking tape, the faces are decorated with local crafts and found objects. Finally, the puppeteers write plays for the puppets and perform small shows with their new creations. The puppets are constructed so that they can be exhibited in schools, museums, in performances and in parades. These workshops, done in Palestine, Israel, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and all over Europe and the U.S., serve local communities by encouraging self expression, community building.
SEA OF TROUBLES: LONG JOURNEY HOME
Sea Of Troubles is a site-specific musical theatrical performance enacted by Youth (actors between the ages of 16-21). The play combines scenes and choral poetry with song and dance. The audiences follow the actors along the path of Odysseus watching scenes that are staged along the route. As the audience trails the action, stopping at each point along Odysseus’ journey from Ithaca to Troy, the young people re-envision history, mythology and connect the journey to current day issues of home, including the stories of contemporary refugees.
This production is the first of the International Youth Theatre that celebrates the children of all of the ECoC cities. This project involves youth from Rijeka, Matera, Cluj and Galway. We identify a teacher/director in each country who works with the youth in their home country to rehearse text that has been translated into their language, then we bring 5 youth from each country, along with a teacher/chaperone and they meet a larger cast who prepare their performance.
THE MOONS OF JUPITER
A play by Jessica Litwak
The Moons of Jupiter teaches us about the history of mythology and science, the future of climate change and the courage and necessity of love. The play has been produced in the U.S. but it is adapted to be re-envisioned, re-written and translated to suit any other region or country context.
The time is the near future. The global water shortage has dried up the earth. There is no public water left on earth. Only vodka. Water is only available through black market traffickers at high costs.
A female astrophysicist believe she can access a strategy for replenishing the a with water by traveling to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. As she struggles with world-changing actions, she is visited by a family of Greek Gods and Goddesses: Zeus, Hera. Hermes, Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis. Zeus is tired of the earth’s troubles and wants to shift his focus his efforts on another planet with a species that is comparable to the humans of Ancient Greece but his three daughters (the Moons of Zeus) argue for Earth’s value and come up with plans to save it.
Athena sends down famous scientists (Galileo, Newton, Darwin and Einstein) Aphrodite sends down love in the form of her father Zeus who she curses with romance to court Aphrodite and Artemis brings the entire family of Gods down to earth where they can bravely influence matters.
We will make an interactive film in 9D that goes from mythology and history into space. The projects merges the work of astronomy with Helen Chatzichristou’sJourney to the Stars with the brilliance of Stergios Aiviazis interactive cinema and augmented reality projects, and the live performances of the play The Moons Of Jupiter.