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YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED
April 21st @ 7:30 pm - April 30th @ 7:30 pm$10 – $35
YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED
Created by Team Sunshine Performance (Philadelphia, PA)
April 21-30, 2023 7:30pm
Category: Interactive Event
Director: Alex Torra
Associate Director: Rachel Camp
Performer/Creators: Benjamin Camp and Jackie Soro
Production Designer: Makoto Hirano
YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED is a performance event, facilitated workshop, and communal gathering all woven into an experience that illuminates the ways we might move immobilizing despair about our world into collective hope and action.
YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED takes place at an intimate, outdoor performance site encircling a campfire. Guided by two performers, the audience comes to embody characters in the lives of Daughter and Dad: a fictional biracial teenager and her white father on a camping trip confronting futures potentially shaped by environmental and societal crises.
Inspired by renowned Buddhist ecologist Joanna Macy’s work Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy, OPTIMISM is an original piece of participatory theater from Team Sunshine Performance that aims to move despair, anxiety, and hopelessness from immobilizing obstacles to animating forces of human connection.
This performance will take place outdoors on the Walton Commons Plaza. There will be a small fire, but please do bring a blanket if the night feels cold. Seating is General Admission for this event.
Benjamin Camp (Lead Artist, Performer/Creator) is a theater creator working in Philadelphia, and a Co-Founder of Team Sunshine.
He was lead artist for Team Sunshine’s YOUR OPTIMISM IS NOT REQUIRED, PUNCHKAPOW, TERRARIUM, and ZOMBIE DEFENSE CONSULTATIONS, as well as a core collaborator on all of Team Sunshine’s projects. Benjamin was awarded the 2014 Independence Foundation Fellowship, and in addition to Team Sunshine has had the pleasure of working with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Theater Horizon, and the Rosenbach Museum and Library, among others. Benjamin graduated with a BA Theater Major from Swarthmore College and completed the full program of Lecoq style training in Ensemble Created Physical Theater at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). He is a managing partner of the CCSJ real estate team serving artists and the greater Philadelphia community, and a co-founder of Camp Bonfire, a summer camp for adults.
Jackie Soro (she/they) (Performer/Creator) is a Philadelphia-based artist, singer, and collaborative theater-maker. Recent credits as a creator-performer include: Philadelphia’s Late Night Snacks queer cabaret festival (Co-Director); Emily Bate’s Wig Wag; 1812 Productions’ This Is the Week That Is; The Bearded Ladies Cabaret’s Love Notes film series; and Ninth Planet Theater Company’s collaborative film project honey honey. Past projects include: Killjoys Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House (Icebox Project Space), The Bearded Ladies Cabaret‘s original musical Contradict This! A Birthday Funeral for Heroes (LaMama Experimental Theater), and the Arden Theater’s Fun Home (Joan). Offstage, Jackie writes zines and creates jewelry, fiber art, and sculptures from found materials under the moniker @glamatronix.
Alex Torra (Director) serves as Co-Founder and Resident Director of Team Sunshine, where he has directed the majority of the company’s work since its founding in 2010. Alex is also an Associate Artist of two-time Obie Award-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he has worked as Performer/Creator and/or Creative Producer on many of the company’s works since 2007. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. in Directing from Brown University. Alex currently serves as Assistant Professor of Theater at Swarthmore College. Awards/Fellowships include: Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Independence Foundation Fellowship, Drama League Fall Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award (Grace Le Vine Theater Award), and a F.A.I.R. Fellowship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Makoto Hirano (Production Designer) is a Philadelphia-based choreographer and theater artist. His award-winning, original performance projects have been presented nationally in numerous venues and festivals across the nation including Off-Broadway at the National Asian American Theatre Festival (NYC), DanceTruck (Atlanta, GA), Ringling Museum (Sarasota, FL), and FringeArts (Philadelphia, PA). Hirano is co-founder of art duo Gatto+Hirano as well as Team Sunshine, where he is a co-producer, performer, administrator, and choreographer (2018 Barrymore-Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography for ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! OR WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!).
Rachel Camp (Associate Director) is a Barrymore-award-winning performer and 2017 Finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. Vice President of the Board of Directors of Theatre Philadelphia, Rachel has served as Chairperson for the Barrymore Awards Oversight Committee since 2018. Camp’s favorite projects include producing benefit concerts for environmental justice organization Philly Thrive, assisting in the administration of a simulated patient empathy training program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, singing backup for drag queen Martha Graham Cracker at Opera Philadelphia, and performing with Philadelphia’s Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket on America’s Got Talent: Season 17.