EXPOSED: Women You Think You Know…

Intimate Apparel  CONNECT Community Forum
EXPOSED: Women You Think You Know…
Tuesday, October 6th, 7:00-8:30 pm at American Stage

A daring performance and engaging community conversation brought to American Stage by Your Real Stories.

Intimate Apparel tells a touching and personal story that unlocks and challenges typical perspectives on gender, sex, race, and religion in our society. While the play is set in 1905 New York, it reveals overlaps that resonate with the St. Pete and Tampa Bay Area community today.

Your Real Stories has constructed an original play of three moving and poignant monologues based on their interviews with three notable women in our community. Thanks to these courageous women, whose stories will be presented by local professional actors, Exposed: Women You Think You Know reveals ideas and topics we don’t typically hear or discuss.

The performance will be followed by a participatory conversation with the audience, performers, and storytellers that is sure to shine a light on new points of view.

Admission: $6 for General Public, FREE for Subscribers

To get your ticket for the forum contact the American Stage BOX OFFICE at 727.823.PLAY (7529)
boxoffice@americanstage.org

COMING SOON: Story Days in Tampa Bay 9/8-12/15

Join Your Real Stories for the 2nd Annual STORY DAYS IN TAMPA BAY storytelling festival from September 8-12, 2015.

With numerous events, presented in myriad ways from dance to theater to photography to spoken word, Story Days in Tampa Bay presents a week full of stories told from a variety of perspectives, in a variety of venues.

Coming soon- the festival schedule, venue list, tickets and more. Like us on Facebook to keep receive up-to-date info on schedule and venues.

 

Beauty & The Burg interview with Your Real Stories

On the next Beauty & The ‘Burg: Art to open the lines of community conversation… That’s what Your Real Stories Inc is all about and they are doing an amazing job.  Co-founders Dr. Lillian Dunlap and Jaye Annette Sheldon stop by to talk with Cindy Stovall about how theater breaks down pbarriers and helps us to understand our WHOLE community.

Now hear the podcast archive at Beauty and the ‘Burg Episode #57 if you missed tuning in on Wednesday 7/29/15 at 6pm to www.lifeimprovementradio.com
or Friday 7/31/15 at 5pm to www.liraFterdark.com to hear Cindy Stovall’s conversation with Jaye and Lillian,

**Program Sponsored by Wake up with Edie Darling**

Decades of Day Work V – March 27 at 7pm

Decades V front Decades V rev

Your Real Stories presents Decades of Day Work V Friday, March 27 at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Avenue, St Petersburg at 7:00PM. “Very special and enlightening.” “Powerful…extremely well told… (an) important contribution to social healing.” That’s what audiences say about “Decades of Day Work,” a series that uses live theatrical presentations, music, spoken word and audience discussion to tell the stories of the real life ‘help’ –domestic day workers, the people who hired them, and the authentic relationships that survived sometimes in spite of segregation, discrimination, and racism.

Seventy-eight-year-old storyteller, Alonza Wade, grew up in Miami. His mother was a domestic day worker who worked for a white family on Miami Beach. But, because of segregation and Jim Crow laws, she could not be on Miami beach unescorted. “She had to ride in the back of the bus to the beach,” he says, “Give the attendant her ID card, go to the next station and pick up her pass. Then, get back on the bus. At the next bus stop, the owner[of the house] had to be there to take her to work.”

Elaine Woodward shared the story her “forty-six-year sisterhood” with her maid, Celia Gee, who was Black. Woodward, who is white, told the people assembled for Gee’s funeral, ” I had always hoped she would outlive me because she was so much a part of my daily existence. I miss her now and I will think of her every day for the rest of my life.”

Your Real Stories is a non-profit organization that uses storytelling and the magic of theatre and other media to challenge people to talk and listen to each other across perceived differences of identity, experience and opinions. When the movie version of the book The Help was released, Your Real Stories directors decided to invite people to share their own real life stories about ‘domestic day work’.

In 2014, Decades of Day Work IV at freeFall Theatre featured guest storyteller Dr. My Haley, widow of author Alex Haley and collaborator with him on the iconic book and television mini-series Roots. Each “Decades of Day Work” is presented in two parts: a dramatic reading of the stories by professional actors and a moderated panel discussion that includes the original storytellers and reaches out to the audience.

Decades of Day Work V brings us the stories of a maid who taught her daughter the value of work along with the necessity of protest; one man’s memory of his mother and the family she worked for, whom he came to consider as his own; and three sisters, who tell the story of a mother who regularly proved she was much smarter than the people who hired her.

Join us for Decades of Day Work V Friday, March 27 at 7PM at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, 33710.

General admission tickets are $15 and available at the freeFall Theatre box office, by phone at (727) 498-5205, and online at freefalltheatre.com. Student tickets $12 with valid student ID, may be purchased online or at the box office.

“My Soul Looks Back: Decades of Day Work Photographic Exhibit ” March 10-14

“My Soul Looks Back: The Decades of Day Work Photographic Exhibit” opens Tuesday, March 10 and runs through March 14 at the Studio@620, 620 First Avenue South in St. Petersburg. Produced by Your Real Stories, the exhibit showcases archival photographs from the people who shared their stories about the Black maids from the 1930’s through the 1990’s and the White families that employed them. The photos gathered for the popular “Decades of Day Work” theatrical series, speak volumes about how domestic day work has impacted the history of millions – across generations and ethnicities. The Studio @620 gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 12:00PM-4:00PM. The exhibit reception includes a staged reading and is scheduled for Friday, March 13th from 6-9pm.

The exhibit also features contemporary portraits of each of the “Decades of Day Work” storytellers by award-winning photographer, Boyzell Hosey. He captures the images of people who tell their stories about being day workers, employing day workers or being the children affected by the institution of day work.

Seventy-eight-year-old storyteller, Alonza Wade, grew up in Miami. His mother was a domestic day worker, who worked for a white family on Miami Beach. But, because of segregation and Jim Crow laws, she could not be on Miami beach unescorted. “She had to ride in the back of the bus to the beach,” he says, “Give the attendant her ID card, go to the next station and pick up her pass. Then, get back on the bus. At the next bus stop, the owner[of the house] had to be there to take her to work.”

Elaine Woodward’s archival photos tell the story of what she calls her “forty-six-year sisterhood” with her maid, Celia Gee, who was Black. Elaine, who is white told the people assembled for Gee’s funeral, ” I had always hoped she would outlive me because she was so much a part of my daily existence. I miss her now and I will think of her every day for the rest of my life.”

Photographs from author Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich include one of her saying goodbye to her parents as she boarded the train for Europe to begin a Fulbright Fellowship in the 1950’s. She remembers their sacrifices, “My mother was a college graduate and her parents were college graduates,” she says. “But, the only work my mother could get was day work.

This will be the second installment of the exhibit. The premiere was at the Dr. Carter G Woodson African American History Museum in 2014. The introduction to “My Soul Looks Back: The “Decades of Day Work Photographic Exhibit” describes the development of this project:

“They said yes. Time after time when Your Real Stories asked to interview families about the institution of day work, Black people and White people alike said yes. They opened their doors and their hearts. No matter how personal or painful, they told us their stories and shared their lives in pictures. Now, the pictures help to tell the story of Black maids and their often complex relationships with the White families they cared for. Each archival photograph provides a glimpse of American life during the 1930s through the 1990s –through times when the nation had laws against human connections across race. This exhibit is a tribute to the sacrifices and successes of women who worked hard caring for other people’s families just to feed their own. And in the process, helped to raise a nation. Our souls look back in gratitude”

Your Real Stories invites you to “My Soul Looks Back: The Decades of Day Work Photographic Exhibit” March 10-14 at The Studio@620, 620 First Avenue South in St Petersburg. And join us for the exhibit reception Friday, March 13 from 6 to 9. Tour the exhibit, meet the local storytellers, and enjoy a staged reading from “Decades of Day Work.” Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.  Are you on Facebook? Let us know you’re attending the exhibit and share the event with friends HERE

 

CONNECT: The High Cost of Identity: Heritage vs. Assimilation

On Monday, February 23, at 7:00pm, Your Real Stories teams up with American Stage  to present an evening of theater, storytelling, and conversation inspired by August Wilson’s Radio Golf.

Identity is arguably the most important theme in the play where Wilson raises questions about whether Black culture and heritage can survive integration.

Who are we? How much do we owe our heritage? And what is the cost of assimilation?

Your Real Stories creates live theater based on interviews from local community members who have struggled with these questions, and this theatrical and conversational event is designed to connect the themes of the play to life in St. Petersburg, FL.

Tony-nominated actor, Anthony Chisholm  (a cast member of the current production of “Radio Golf”) presents a staged reading of the story shared by Bishop Preston D.H. Leonard, (Christ Gospel Church, St. Pete) and WFLA news anchor, Rod Carter will moderate a  lively panel discussion with the actual local  storytellers and other community members who bring a broad range of experience to the questions at hand.

Radio Golf  CONNECT Community Forum
The High Cost of Identity: Heritage vs. Assimilation
Monday, February 23rd  – 7:00-8:30 pm at American Stage Theatre
Moderated by Rod Carter, WFLA News Anchor
Admission:  FREE  Reserve Your Seat Here

Producers of “Decades of Day Work” at USF Department of Theatre and Dance

The University of South Florida, Tampa School of Theatre and Dance joins forces with Guest Artists, Dr. Lillian Dunlap and Jaye Sheldon, co-artistic directors of Your Real Stories in St. Petersburg to bring a week of activities designed to showcase the power of personal stories. The week begins Saturday, February 7, with a day-long storytelling workshop. Dunlap and Sheldon will then work with faculty and students in classes throughout the week and end with a free public performance, “Real Stories, Real Power,” on Friday, February 13 at 7:00PM in the Black Box Theatre (TAR 120).

Dunlap and Sheldon are co-creators of the popular theatrical series Decades of Day Work that typically uses professional actors to present the real life stories of Black maids, white employers and the sometimes contradictory and frequently complex family relationships that develop between them. Friday’s performance features students from the Laboratory Workshop: Solo & Duet Performance course, taught by Theatre Professor Fanni Green. The student-actors will perform their own authored stories, stories from the Decades of Day Work series, and memoirs written by students in Literature courses taught by English Professor Dr. Gary Lemons. Your Real Stories began in 2011 with the launch of www.yourrealstories.org, a story-sharing website. When the movie version of the book The Help was released, Your Real Stories directors decided to invite people to share their own real life stories about domestic day work, the limited job opportunities available to black women across the decades, and the effect of the institution of ‘day work’ on the families of workers and their employers. Your Real Stories partnered with The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg to present the stories of sixteen people in a three-part series. Then, Decades of Day Work IV at freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg treated audiences to special guest storyteller Dr. My Haley, widow of author Alex Haley and collaborator with him on the iconic book and television mini-series “Roots.”  Each “Decades of Day Work” is presented in two parts: a dramatic reading of the stories by actors and a moderated panel discussion that includes the original storytellers and reaches out to the audience. Theatre goers have described the series as, “Very special and enlightening.” “Powerful …extremely well told… (an) important contribution to social healing.”

Inviting the Your Real Stories directors to USF is the brainchild of Professor Green, who was one of the professional actors in Decades of Day Work III. ” I began then to think about ways to share this fresh approach to storytelling with my own theater students,” she says.  Prof. Green also reached across campus to enlist Dr. Gary Lemons and his students to participate in the week long residency.

Your Real Stories uses storytelling and the magic of theater and other media to challenge people to talk and listen to each other across perceived differences of identity, experience and opinions. Come and see USF student-actors present “Real Stories, Real Power”, Friday Feb. 13, 7:00PM in the Black Box Theatre on the Tampa campus (TAR 120).  There is no admission charge.

CONNECT: Community Forum February 23, 2015 @ 7pm

Your Real Stories teams up with American Stage to present an evening of theater, storytelling, and conversation inspired by August Wilson’s Radio Golf. Identity is arguably the most important theme in the play where Wilson raises questions about whether Black culture and heritage can survive integration.

Who are we? How much do we owe our heritage? And what is the cost of assimilation?

Your Real Stories creates live theater based on interviews from local community members who have struggled with these questions. This will be followed by a panel discussion with the actual storytellers and other community members who bring a broad range of experience to these same questions.

By including the widest variety of people in their interviews, theater works, and discussions, Your Real Stories strive to create a framework for building communities that are stronger through awareness of the values, goals, and challenges of all community members.

MORE INFORMATION AND TO RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKET

The Making of Decades of Day Work – Nov 11, 2014

Making DecadesJoin Your Real Stories on Tuesday November 11, 2014 at 7:00pm at The Studio @620 in St. Petersburg, FL for an engaging program which will bring insight and candor to the process of creating the acclaimed Decades of Day Work series.

The Making of Decades of Day Work,” features onstage interviews with the creators of the popular theatrical series “Decades of Day Work”, amazing video clips from people connected to domestic day work by blood or other bond, and a chance to interact with some of the “Decades of Day Work” St. Petersburg area storytellers.

Attorney and journalist, Jaye Ann Terry interviews the series’ directors Dr. Lillian Dunlap and Jaye Sheldon about the experience of finding the families of Black maids and the families of White employers willing to tell their stories about day work. And willing to share their memories about the pain of “reckless eyeballing,” segregation, working in “sundown towns,” and the power of human connections. Dunlap is the daughter of a black maid who traveled for hours by train and bus, five days a week to work for White families beginning in the late 1940s. Sheldon grew up White in the 1970’s and 1980s in upstate New York. What they learned about race, racism and each other will inspire you.

For tickets and information visit http://thestudioat620.org/events/the-making-of-decades-of-day-work