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

Paula Madison brings “Finding Samuel Lowe” documentary to St Pete and Tampa

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Jamaican-American journalist and filmmaker Paula Madison called her award-winning documentary Finding Samuel Lowe:  From Harlem to China, “the fulfillment of a longing.” That longing was to find the relatives of her long lost Chinese grandfather, Samuel Lowe. We invite all of Tampa Bay  to see the film and hear her talk about her amazing journey on Wednesday, September 9 at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive in St Petersburg  at 7:00pm and Thursday, September  10 at the USF School of Music Concert Hall, 3755 West Holly Drive at 7:00pm.

Madison, who is a former NBC Universal executive,  and her two brothers began their  journey  by putting the word out to Jamaican family and friends to help them. They were led to the Haka Conference in Toronto, to beautiful Jamaica, and then to China, where they united with hundreds of Chinese relatives they never imagined existed.

” It is a story about love and devotion that transcends time and race,” says Madison, “And it’s a beautiful reflection of the power of family and the interconnectedness of our world.”

The showing of Finding Samuel Lowe is part of  the Your Real Stories second annual Story Days in Tampa Bay storytelling festival. For five days, September 8-12, Story Days will have events around the Tampa Bay region. Stories will be read aloud, sung, danced, examined, exhibited in photographs, heard in poetry, slammed and seen in documentaries.

Finding Samuel Lowe  has won the Reel Choice Audience Award and the Markham Reel Choice Audience Award from the 2015 ReelWorld Film Festival.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.com . General admission is $15, Student/Senior tickets are $12. To purchase tickets online, go to Eventbrite.com,

For St Petersburg:       https://findingsamuellowestpete.eventbrite.com

For Tampa:                   https://findingsamuellowetampa.eventbrite.com

Tickets are also available at the door.

The event is sponsored by Advantage Environmental Services,  in partnership with the School of Theatre and Dance in the USF College of The Arts, the Confucius Institute, USF World, and News Channel 8 (NBC).

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.

 

Second Annual “Give Day Tampa Bay” May 5, 2015

GDTB LogoOn May 5, 2015, people all over Tampa Bay and the nation will be donating money to their favorite charity.  It’s going to be a big “give fest” and Your Real Stories is part of it all. So ‘get your give on’ by supporting the cause of your choice. Your Real Stories will use any contributions to produce “Decades of Day Work VI,” more photographic exhibits, more community conversations and other projects.

What is it?

Give Day Tampa Bay is a one-day online giving challenge led by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation to raise support for local nonprofits and grow philanthropy in our region. It is a community-wide event to show off Tampa Bay’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local nonprofits, and celebrate the collective effort of our region.

How does it work?

It’s simple! First, nonprofits create online profiles through the Give Day Tampa Bay website to participate in the event. Then, between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 donors can log on to www.GiveDayTampaBay.org and make a donation to participating nonprofits that are located in Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando or Hillsborough County. Nonprofits may be eligible for additional prizes and bonuses!

 Don’t forget…give!

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Decades of Day Work V – March 27 at 7pm

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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