PRODUCTION BLURB: The Renegade Company will be working with residents of the Riverwards communities (Port Richmond, Somerset, Harrowgate, and Kensington) to understand their stories and perspectives on issues of their neighborhoods, particularly on substance abuse, addiction, and homelessness and its effects on the community. Currently the neighborhood is represented by a narrative associated with opioid addiction, open-air drug trading, prostitution, and disrepair. Renegade aims to extend past this narrative by working with the community towards de-stigmatization of the neighborhood from outside forces. What are the individual goals of community members? What is the larger goal of Kensington? How do we work towards achieving these goals while also understanding the obstacles in the way?
Through this exploration with neighborhood residents, we hope to understand the cycle of addiction and create space to attack the root of the issue while striving to understand the perspectives of those observing the crisis through empathy rather than condemnation. Through partnerships with Impact Services, The Porchlight Project through Mural Arts, Somerset Neighbors, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBHIDS), and St. Francis Inn, we aim to include neighborhood residents in the creation of the project and in the theatrical presentation. Our mission is to gather varying groups together to share their perspectives and create prompts/activities that foster engagement, challenge philosophies, and dissolve boundaries, while unpacking the present/past/and future. Through a community sharing rehearsal process, we will create a work with residents as well as with artists which will be performed in September 2018 during the FringeArts Festival.