Mobile Unit's Summer of Joy!
MOBILE UNIT’S SUMMER OF JOY will be a pop-up experience in New York’s open spaces with three key community and performance elements. Each day will begin with the National Black Theatre’s Stage for Healing and Resilience, co-produced by The Public Theater and National Black Theatre in continuation of a relationship that dates back to the 1960s. This community stage will be followed by VERSES @ WORK – THE ABRIDGED MIX, written and performed by Mobile Unit artist Malik Work. The experience will culminate in SHAKESPEARE: CALL AND RESPONSE, conceived and directed by Patricia McGregor. A couple of tour stops will also be visited by People’s Bus, a project of the NYC Civic Engagement Commission that focuses on five initiatives: well-being and mental health; climate justice and environmental health; know your rights education; food security; and participatory budgeting and economic empowerment. When joining us on tour, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask and to practice physical distancing.
TOUR SCHEDULE - All Stops Start at 4:30pm:
- July 31-August 1: Astor Place (Manhattan)
- August 5-6: Roberto Clemente Plaza (Bronx)
- August 7: Johnny Hartman Plaza (Manhattan)
- August 8: 125th Street Plaza (Manhattan)
- August 12: Osborn Plaza (Brooklyn)
- August 13: Albee Square (Brooklyn)
- August 14: Johnny Hartman Plaza (Manhattan)
- August 15: 125th Street Plaza (Manhattan) *CANCELLED*
- August 19: Minthorne Street (Staten Island)
- August 20: Albee Square (Brooklyn)
- August 21: Myrtle/Wyckoff Plaza (Queens)
- August 22: Myrtle/Wyckoff Plaza (Queens) *CANCELLED*
- August 26: Minthorne Street (Staten Island)
- August 27: Minthorne Street (Staten Island) *CANCELLED*
- August 28: Osborn Plaza (Brooklyn) *CANCELLED*
- August 29: Osborn Plaza (Brooklyn)
Locations, dates, and times are subject to change.
In SHAKESPEARE: CALL & RESPONSE, the cast recites Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29. While many of his sonnets seem to reflect on and bemoan the loss of relational love, Sonnet 29 takes a slightly different bent: Love as a soothing and powerful balm for enduring the pitfalls of life. Now its time to write YOUR own verse...
What's Your Verse?
In partnership with the National Black Theatre, MOBILE UNIT’S SUMMER OF JOY invites audiences into a space of reflection and meditation, as well as actively giving voice to their own experiences, through National Black Theatre’s Stage for Healing and Resilience. The community stage features artists from Mobile Unit’s community partners sharing their own narratives of resilience and hope in spoken word, poems, monologues, and songs.
National Black Theatre’s Healing and Resilience
Learn about the cast, Shakespeare Character Types, Play Summaries, and themes.
Rooted in the vibrant interplay between performers and audience, SHAKESPEARE: CALL AND RESPONSE is an hour-long celebration of text, music, dance, and improvisation with a live crowd.
Shakespeare: Call & Response
National Black Theatre
National Black Theatre (NBT), the nation’s first revenue-generating Black arts complex, was founded in 1968 by the late visionary artist Dr. Barbara Ann Teer. NBT is the longest-running Black theatre in New York City, one of the oldest theaters founded and consistently operated by a woman of color in the nation and most recently included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. NBT's core mission is to produce transformational theater that helps to shift the inaccuracy around African Americans' cultural identity by telling authentic stories of Black lifestyle. As an alternative learning environment, NBT uses theater arts as a means to educate, enrich, entertain, empower, and inform the national conscience around current social issues impacting our communities. Under the leadership of Sade Lythcott, CEO and Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director, NBT’s 3 core programs—the Theater Arts Program, Communications Arts Program, and Entrepreneurial Arts Program—help reshape a more inclusive American theater field by playing a dynamic and critical role providing an artistically rigorous and culturally sensitive space for artists of color to experiment, develop, and present new work. Working with trailblazing artists from Nona Hendrix to Jeremy O. Harris, and helping to launch the careers most recently of artists such as Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Mfoniso Udofia, Saheem Ali, Lee Edward Colston II, and Ebony Noelle Golden, and incubating Obie Award-winning companies like The Movement Theatre Company and Harlem9’s 48Hours in Harlem, NBT’s cultural production remains unparalleled. Located in the heart of Harlem, NBT welcomes more than 90,000 visitors annually and has produced 300+ original works, won 53 Audelco Awards for theater excellence, a CEBA Award of Merit, and for the last two years, been nominated for multiple Drama Desk awards for its excellence in theater production. NBT is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, Shubert Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia Service Society, and private donations. Visit www.nationalblacktheatre.org or follow NBT on Facebook (@NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).
The New York City Department of Transportation
The New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of our primary customers, City residents. NYC DOT’s Public Space Unit oversees the agency's efforts to create, manage, and maintain public spaces that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists across the city. Public space programs include Open Streets, Plazas, StreetSeats, and more. The Mobile Unit is being brought to plazas through the Public Space Activations program which seeks to provide high quality activations to public spaces in high-need neighborhoods, with a particular focus on areas hardest hit by COVID-19.
The People's Bus is a project of The New York City Civic Engagement Commission and their Public Artist in Residence, Yazmany Arboleda. The Civic Engagement Commission was created in 2018 through a Mayoral Charter Revision Commission and citywide vote. CEC’s Mission is to enhance civic participation in order to increase civic trust and strengthen democracy. The Commission is committed to engaging and listening to community while lifting up the voices of all New Yorkers, particularly the underserved and marginalized. The People’s Bus is a retired NYC Department of Correction vehicle that is being transformed into a mobile community center—democracy on wheels. The People’s Bus aims to meet New Yorkers where they are—literally and figuratively, providing them with resources, education, and engagement.
(Johnny Hartman Plaza)
(Roberto Clemente Plaza)