The Breath Project: Submissions Now Accepted

Theatre artists of color invited to submit videos of live performances

The Breath Project is now accepting submissions for performances of eight minutes and 46 seconds by theatre artists of color.

The Breath Project – led by UNIVERSES' Gamal Abdel Chasten, embodied in partnership with theatre companies across the country – was formed to select, curate, and archive work from multidisciplinary theatre artists of color who are responding to our current moment in history and to build relationships between artists of color and producers of live theatre in their region.

All submissions to the archive must be a recording of a live performance of original work, created by an artist of color, and must be eight minutes and 46 seconds in length.

[Note: A theatre piece entitled 08:46, written and performed by Chasten, is available to view on The Breath Project website, and was the impetus behind creating the archive.]

"After George Floyd was murdered," says Chasten, "Marieke Gaboury, my future Breath Project co-founder, asked if I would consider writing a piece that was eight minutes and 46 seconds long. My initial reaction was, 'no!' While sheltering in and witnessing daily injustice, I had already written my share of work on the topic, so the last thing I wanted to do was that!  As an African American artist/activist I’m always writing about or around the topic of racism and injustice – hell, I live with it every day. But I realized that there is value in directly addressing this moment, and there is a vital need for creating a sort of time capsule to document this historical time we are surviving through. This time has also created an opportunity to actively address the systemic racism that has been ever present in American theatre. We can only accomplish this in partnership."

The Breath Project is planned to roll-out in three phases.

In Phase One, there’s a call for entries to the Breath Project Archive, and a 2020 presentation of selected works in a virtual festival.  (Note: 100% of any funds raised in connection with the 2020 virtual festival will be given directly to the curating and presenting artists.)

In Phase Two, works will be produced for live audiences, in association with partner theatres across the country, as social safety guidelines allow. (Austin’s Rude Mechs are among the partners of this ambitious program.)

In Phase Three, the Breath Project will be utilized as a tool for activism and education, and as an ongoing and living archive of this time in history.

DEADLINE: The submission process for the archive is now open, and is currently open-ended, but submissions for the 2020 Virtual Festival must be received by August 31, 2020.

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The Breath Project, Gamal Abdel Chasten, Rude Mechs, George Floyd

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