Presented with North Hennepin Community College
Designs by Søren: Videography, Editing, Technical Direction
ABOUT THE SHOW:
As a virtual theater production, LOSS AND FOUND: a theatrical search for memories, testimonies, and reckonings about now…for the future is
…an effort of love,
…a testimony of fortitude,
…a demonstration of resilience,
…and an offering of critical witness to the historic events of our multiple, interlocking pandemics of the last year.
The stories performed as monologues in LOSS AND FOUND are an effort to remind us all of our humanity in a time of enormous precarity and radical uncertainty.
NOtes From The Director, Dr. Irma Mayorga
Over the past year, we have all experienced one of the greatest global shifts in human history. And, even as we begin the walk on a path that moves us forward, we should not forget the past year’s tremendous upheaval that has marked us all – collectively and individually – in extraordinary ways. Moreover, we need to remember the past year in order to hold dearer those and that which we have lost…and also, that which our pandemics have enabled us to find. Between that which we have lost and that which we have found, we have all collected remarkable stories.
Since time in memoriam, stories have helped us to make sense of – to cope, to adapt, to fathom – our collective and individual experiences. Stories are what hold us together in the face of ambiguity or radical uncertainty. In precarity, stories serve as cultural expressions that generate light, guide actions, build community, and forge the future. Stories – necessary as food – are life.
This NHCC virtual mainstage production joins the explosion of theatrical storytelling via platforms such as Zoom that our current peril has inspired. Live theater around the world has been shutdown; but in its stead, online theatermaking has blossomed. Our hope is that the testimonies performed in Loss and Found can become a means through which we not only highlight NHCC students’ pandemic experiences, but also a way in which to help our NHCC community process the radical flux of our world and, ultimately, bind us more closely together.
Over the course of February and March 2021, two current NHCC students and one class of ’20 recent alum gathered together for rehearsals via Zoom with guest director Irma Mayorga and wrote all the original material featured in Loss and Found. With generosity and vulnerability, ensemble members’ writings described the intimate details of their recent pandemic experiences. These stories serve as localized lenses that bring into focus the intimacies and intricacies of nothing less than surviving COVID-19 and its ravages in the Twin Cities metro area. Due to geographic distance and concerns for physical-distance safety, all rehearsals were conducted via Zoom: an extraordinary feat of strength and commitment on the part of each ensemble member.
To expand upon these individual stories and think about our greater public sphere in the Twin Cities, ensemble members also identified courageous yet often unacknowledged individuals we have come to call the “Essential Workers” of our pandemics. Each ensemble member used Zoom to interview two essential workers, and Loss and Found features those interviews shaped into monologues. Our hope is to honor and lift up the voices of those whom we have depended upon for our collective survival during the past year, those who often could not work from the safety of home quarantine, those who had to venture beyond their homes not only to continue to provide for their families, but also to provide care for us all during a time of pandemic.
In this, in its entirety Loss and Found has been collectively written and performed by Jess Forga, Jenn Vang, and Sia Yos – students who, in the middle of our multiple pandemics, also decided to engage in the task of crafting theater. As Toni Morrison states above: now, in the time of catastrophe, is “precisely the time when artists go to work.” Creating artistic work within catastrophe is how artists help guide us to new, transformative visions that help our “civilizations heal.” Jess, Jenn, and Sia’s Zoom theatermaking in our time of pandemics is not only an act of courage but also an act of enormous caretaking.
Direction and Dramaturgy by Irma Mayorga (MFA/Ph.D.)
Media Design, Technical Direction, Videography & Editing by Søren Olsen
Costume Design by Sarah Bissonette