By Oye Group
Coming November, 2020
Taxilandia, created and written by Oye Group’s Modesto Flako Jimenez, is a site-specific play-within-a-tour of a city. The piece immerses its audience in the flavors, sounds, sights and dynamic history of a neighborhood confronting social stigmas and the realities of gentrification. Weaving a dramatic, performative ‘tapestry’ that interconnects generations, social classes, races and cultures, Taxilandia complicates our notion of what it means to be a native, an immigrant or a resident of a place, challenging us to answer: “What is my personal roadmap of home?” Originally developed in Jimenez’s own neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, the piece was inspired and drawn from his nine years driving a taxicab and his documentation of conversations with passengers, residents, natives, and immigrants to the neighborhood. The Oye Group now works with companies all over the country to develop local versions of the piece specific to each city. The piece is devised in three phases, beginning with a series of virtual salons with local artists whose work intersects with gentrification. Phase two involves a creative collaboration with one of the salons, where Jimenez works with the Playhouse and the local artist to identify a tour route, conduct interviews, write a script and photograph portraits of community members. Once public gathering is allowed, phase three will include live presentations and an interactive gallery.
Oye Group is a Brooklyn based Production Company that serves as an incubator for artists both native and immigrant to New York City. We present an eclectic mix of theater, dance, poetry, music, video installations and film, through festivals and productions. They curate work that sparks a dialogue over political and social issues critical to our community’s growth. They work with emerging artists to create, play, and grow in an environment that challenges and supports them. They also provide quality arts education programming that gives our Brooklyn Community the tools to generate forward-thinking art.
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