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Downtown theater has experienced a diaspora in the past decade, sending companies and venues further out in the boroughs, to neighborhoods that once would have never been considered as viable.
I first came across Pedro Reyes's work while researching performance and social activism. I was profoundly struck by his piece Palas por Pistolas (Shovels for Guns), an initiative that began with a city voluntarily turning in guns and ended with school children planting trees with shovels built from the melted down weapons.
I keep seeing Lauren Baksts performance work Private Collection: in the gallery space of a Bushwick apartment complex, the sanctuary of St. Marks Church, a downtown loft on Broadway.
For the downtown theater cognoscenti, Blessed Unrest hardly requires an introduction. The perspicacious theater ensemble has made a name for itself owing to its boldly physical interpretations of theatrical classics as well as incisive takes on new writing, garnering awards along the way both in the U.S. and abroad.