History of Root Map

In order to create “Root Map”, core members “met” via Skype sessions during the course of a year to develop a unique creation process, which began with sharing their own migration stories and then reacting artistically to these stories. These stories were eventually developed into dialogue by Purvis and Sen Sharma, who are both experienced playwrights. Rocio Anica, a Cornell graduate student in Creative Writing and original team member, also wrote one of the scenes. Initial rehearsals were also held via Skype sessions.

In January 2017, the Ithaca artists traveled to Kolkata to finish the rehearsal process and to stage the global premier of the play. Additionally, musicians from Chaepani created an original musical soundtrack for the piece, which they performed live at the two performances in Kolkata. Aside from performing “Root Map,” the team led a theater workshop at Jadavpur University and attended an academic seminar in the department of Comparative Literature.

In February 2017, Sen Sharma and Chakraborty travelled to Ithaca, NY, and the team rehearsed for 2 weeks with Ithaca musicians and cast members and performed its US debut at Barnes Hall Auditorium at Cornell University on March 2. The next morning, the team travelled to El Paso, TX, to rehearse for one day with El Paso-based musicians and actors and performed at the William & Mary Wise Family Theater in UTEP on March 4. In August the team traveled to Akwesasne to work with members of the Mohawk nation on a version of the play presented on August 26, 2017 at the Almanzo Wilder homestead, in collaboration with the Native North American Travelling College.

“The number of immigrants living in Spain grew nearly eightfold between 1990 and 2013”.

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