THE SPACE BETWEEN THE LETTERS is a new multi-disciplinary, research-based
performance project that investigates adult learning, the production of knowledge, and
the socio-political fabric of education in the United States. Integrating recorded
interviews with adult students and teachers, interactive video, live-drawing, and
choreography, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE LETTERS explores the perspective of
adult learners, and considers the ways in which education can provide tools to become
empowered as a citizen. Eva von Schweinitz is a Harvestworks 2018 Artist in Residence.
When: May 5 @ 8pm and May 6 @ 7pm
Where: JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Located between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave. in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
C train to the Clinton-Washington stop, one block away
G train to Clinton-Washington, a few blocks away.
15-minute walk from BAM or the Barclay’s Center.
Runtime: Approx. 45 minutes. There will be a post-show discussion after both performances.
Following previous investigations into aspects of homelessness and child poverty by
Lead Artist Eva von Schweinitz, this performance project examines adult literacy and
education in the United States through a historical and personal lens. Merging
interviews with adult learners at local adult basic education programs with live-drawing
technology and choreography, the performance translates a wealth of research and
data onto the stage and into an audiovisual experience.
According to a study conducted in 2012 and 2014 by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 18 percent of U.S. adults performed at the lowest level of the PIAAC literacy scale (at or below Level 1), which is the equivalent of about 44 Million adults. Further, 25% of people (16 years and older) in NY and Kings County lack basic prose skills, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2003
THE SPACE BETWEEN THE LETTERS sheds light on a pervasive issue and an experience largely unseen by mainstream society: how low literacy skills affect a person’s life in regard to their job, health, finances, relationships, and day-to- day decisions, and the strategies used to cope in a world dominated by written language. Acquiring literacy skills as an adult is a radical act of self-empowerment and civic
engagement – an effort that needs to be illuminated.
The performance further examines the ways in which the classroom can become both a
space of possibility and a space of oppression. Exploring the layers between text,
meaning, symbolism, and metaphor, it suggests possibilities for valuing alternative
means of expression and forms of literacy. Working with video, sound, live-drawing, and
interactive technology, it explores ways of animating written language into "dancing"
letters that have a personality of their own, creating a visceral experience of the act of
reading and writing, highlighting both the struggle and process of discovery.
Working without a script, the project is being devised through collaboration and
collective research. It has been developed as part of the Civilians’ 2017-18 R&D Group
and is being produced in part at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center through the
Artist-In- Residence Program where the live-drawing software, that turns writing into
drawing into painting and vice versa, was custom-designed for the performance.
The ensemble is presenting a first work-in- progress showing at JACK on the first
weekend of May, hosting discussions after each performance.
Eva von Schweinitz is a German-American interdisciplinary theater- and filmmaker. Her
work has been presented at Tribeca Film Festival, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, The
Doxsee, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Homeless Shelters, Prelude NYC, and across
Germany and its neighboring countries. As projection designer, Eva has worked with
Elevator Repair Service on MEASURE FOR MEASURE (The Public), ARGUENDO
(Associate Designer, The Public, OBIE Award Outstanding Projection Design), and THE
SOUND AND THE FURY (New York Theatre Workshop, The Public). Further
video/sound design collaborations include: Sibyl Kempson, Superhero Clubhouse, Eliza
Bent, Sarah Hughes, and Piehole. Evais a founding member of pulk fiktion, a German
theater collective which was awarded the 2016 George Tabori Advancement Award.
MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College. BA in Film from
International Filmschool Cologne.
http://www.jackny.org/the-space- between-the- letters.html
Lead Artist: Eva von Schweinitz
Ensemble: Lanxing Fu, Claire Moodey, Jonelle Robinson, Paul "P-Funk" Stalling, Chris
Choreography: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Creative Coding: Sebastian Gonzalez Dixon
Sound: Gavin Price
Easel Demon: Tyler Caffall
Set: Dan Daly
Lighting: Alejandro Fajardo
Stage Manager: Sam Silbiger
With contributions from John Gasper, Lindsay Hockaday, Barakaat Livan, Letícia
Machado, Nicolas Noreña, Alice Pencavel, Gavin Price, Courtney Williams & amp; Eleni