BIG GREEN THEATER
Big Green Theater (BGT) is an eco-playwriting program for North Brooklyn public elementary students that uplifts the imaginations of young people most impacted by our new climate reality and brings their ideas to life on stage. BGT aims to inspire students to manifest a sustainable and just community by using the power of their creative voice. Superhero Clubhouse runs this program in partnership with The Bushwick Starr. 2020 marks the 10 year anniversary of BGT.
Watch P.S.196 & P.S.75's Big Green Theater: The Movie for free on our YouTube page!
PS196 STUDENT WRITERS:
Lucas Caro, Steven Hernandez, Kaylee Ocasio, Christian Ortega, Jayla Rivas, Kiran Rivera,
Yaslyn Rodriguez, Alyssa Rodriguez, Dahiana Salazar, Eddi Salazar, Maia Steward, Liliana Tavarez, Alyssa Torres
PS75 STUDENT WRITERS:
Jaylin Collado, Jhoan DeJesus, Ethan Hernandez, Sahana Gadson, Jonathan Melendez, Noah Moore, Daniel Nelson, Leanne Samuel Hunt, Darianna Sepulveda, Keila Uchuari
Lucy Jackson & Lanxing Fu, producers
Jeremy Pickard, director
Leonhard Lierzer, Filiz Erting, & Lanxing Fu, editors
Sadah Espii Proctor, associate editor/cinematographer
Michelle J. Rodriguez, music composer/director /co-producer/co-arranger + guitarist/vocalist
Mauricio Escamilla, music mixer /engineer/co-producer/co-arranger + Drummer/Percussionist
Lexy Ho-Tai, illustrator/puppet designer/puppeteer
Yijun Yang, scenic designer/model construction
Sabrina Bianca Guillaume, costume designer
Jay Maury, sound design/technical direction
Carlos Del Castillo, sound mixing
Leonhard Lierzer, visual effects
Jan Erting & Leonhard Lierzer, color grading
Emma Johnson, production manager
Caren Celine Morris, stage manager
Katie Kennedy, assistant stage manager
Vanessa Pereda Felix, BGT program manager
Sue Kessler, marketing/graphic design
Kimberly Pereyra Monero, BGT intern
Anna Chen, BGT intern
Beethovan Oden, Isabella Sazak, Allisha Edwards, Rad Pereira, Christian Jimenez, Imani Russell, Danny Gardner, Vanessa Pereda-Felix, Maki Borden, Torian Brackett, Aja Downing, Maya Hernandez, Michelle J. Rodriguez, Serena Ebony Miller
with Dominique Brillon, Modesto ‘Flako’ Jimenez, Samuel West, Jehan O. Young, + BGT alumni and staff
PS196: Julie Bernier, Resident Teacher; Dominique Brillion, Co-Lead Teaching Artist; Jeremy Pickard, Co-Lead Teaching Artist; Allisha Edwards, Assistant Teaching Artist; Anna Chen, Intern
PS75: Jennia Nabole, Resident Teacher; Lanxing Fu, Co-Lead Teaching Artist; Dylan Guerra, Co-Lead Teaching Artist; Rashedat Badejo, Assistant Teaching Artist; Kimberly Pereyra Monero, Intern
Classroom Volunteers: David Schacht, Karsten Otto, Celia Gurney, Nastia Leshchinskaya, Ricardo Dávila, Liza Hersh, Tori Lassman, Owen O'Leary, Isabel Shaida
Guest Presenters: Leslie Velasquez, Yazmin Morales Vicente, Erinn White, Louis Burns, Joan Henry
A note from April 2020:
It's the 10th anniversary of Big Green Theater, and suddenly we're filmmakers. Though our classroom process was cut short due the COVID crisis, we are lucky enough to be able to continue paying our team of professional artists through the end of April, when our student-written eco-plays were scheduled to be performed at The Bushwick Starr. So we have stepped into new territory, taken on new positions, and are now working remotely to create... Big Green Theater: The Movie!
We rehearse nearly every day on Jitsi, an encrypted, open-source alternative to Zoom. In some ways, rehearsals are similar to our theatrical process: we review the unique gestural vocabulary that we will use and reuse for choreography; we have dramaturgical conversations and discuss the perspectives of our young writers and how they arrived at their wonderful ideas; we "hangout" using the app Slack, with channels such as "#whatdidyoueatforlunch?" and "#petsofBGT".
But in other ways, it is a wildly different process. The BGT production has always been a highly physical, ensemble event, relying on the timing of actors' bodies and live sound design; for BGT: The Movie, much of this work will happen in post-production. So our rehearsals are more about choosing camera angles with whatever device actors have access to in quarantine, and solving storytelling challenges using common household props and a little movie magic. We're also holding remote music rehearsals to record students' original songs, and while we miss harmonizing together in real time, a movie offers us the opportunity to make professional-quality tracks with more instruments than we'd have on stage.
Meanwhile, our visual designers are curating costumes from actors' closets, constructing magical mini-sets, puppets, and illustrations to bring the world of our play to life on screen. After weeks of filming, building, and recording, we will edit these elements together. The result will be two imaginative, musical, multimedia films, free for all to watch.
Throughout this process, we are focused on taking more care than ever, listening to what our brains and hearts and bodies need in this time of grief and fear. At the forefront of our minds is what has always been essential about making theater: being together, caring together, building together a fabric of resilience for uncertain times.
Whenever schools reopen, we will gather with our student playwrights for a Reflection Party and a screening of BGT: The Movie. While we are finding unexpected joy in filmmaking, we can't wait to be back in an actual room with our student collaborators, celebrating our 10th anniversary and their great achievement.
We are able to continue the BGT program and create a new culminating event that celebrates the students' work thanks to our generous supporters: the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, City Council Members Antonio Reynoso, Rafael L. Espinal, and Stephen Levin, the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family, the Cornelia T. Bailey P/Arts Program, Con Edison, and the Lotos Foundation.