Soulciety’s ‘Unincorporated’ Stories of transformation and triumph

Soulciety’s ‘Unincorporated’ Stories of transformation and triumph

Onstage at Chabot College on September 22-23

WITH its goal to provide the youth an opportunity to share real-life stories, Soulciety is proud to invite everyone to a major event for Central Alameda County.  Presenting “Unincorporated,” a multidisciplinary theatrical production that explores racism, classism, and what it’s really like to be a system-involved youth where we live.

These are true stories of struggles, of how eight young people navigated through the system.  For some, they endured unimaginable adversity and fell deeper into the cracks.  For others, going through the system was the catalyst for major life changes.  But for all, it was a journey.  Onstage, they will honestly share their stories of courage and resiliency.

“Unincorporated” would not have been possible if not for a $75,000 National Endownment for the Arts’ (NEA) “Our Town” given to Soulciety in July 2015, to bring the performing arts to the streets of E. 14th in San Leandro.   The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.  Out of a nationwide grant process with 275 applicants, Soulciety’s Unincorporated was one of the 69 projects that were awarded funding.

Over the span of two years, the Unincorporated Theater & Arts Project worked with the community’s youth to produce a series of site-specific pop-up arts projects, bringing light to issues such as economic inequality and high incarceration rates in the unincorporated Ashland, CA area.

Soulciety was founded in 2008 by best friends Ron Carino and Aaron Horner, who grew up surrounded by the unsung talent of the community and felt the need to develop a platform for that expression.  Through the years, the non-profit has produced and worked with local and nationally acclaimed artists to bring free to low-cost performing arts programming, community arts events, and theatrical productions to the community and abroad, including the Philippines.  Soulciety has also developed an employment program for disenfranchised youth that is operated out of the REACH Ashland Youth Center.

The characters and their stories

“Unincorporated” will tell the true stories of tragedy and triumph, love and loss, oppression, resistance and redemption through the characters of:

Jasmine – An artist who found herself in a physically abusive relationship, but was helped by the people in her community to bring her back from the brink.

Daniel – An easy-going, charismatic and funny guy who has learned to work the system.  He’s dealt with the pain of needing the guidance of his parents but hides it under his charm and wit.

Joey – A young man who has grown up in the shadow of a legacy of men who do not know their fathers.

Kumari – A young man who’s learning how to believe in something — in his goals, in life and in himself.

David – A really fascinating person of contradictions by living a double life.  Being involved in gang activity at a young age, but still responsible at his job as a gardener and cook.

Amanda – Considered as a miracle in some ways, she has faced the stigma of being a teenage mother with twins, homeless and having family members with serious addiction issues.

Scarlett -  Born in Mexico and crossed the border into the U.S. at two years old, her fierce love and devotion to her family is part of everything she does.  Her story reminds us that no human being is illegal.

Gilbert -  Gilbert has been in the foster care system since he was an infant. His parents struggled with substance abuse so Gilbert and his siblings were raised in foster care, where they experienced abuse and poverty.

The cast includes artists Arabella DeLucco, Arturo Raygoza Jr., Asher Jaffe, Belgica Rodriguez, Bryan Thompson, Carlos Santana, Christophe Parker, Emanuel Morales, Regina Oliver, vocalist and pianist Ashley Larsen, duo band Astralogik, rapper Daniel Mora, beatboxer Francisco Romero, and vocalist/guitarist Iwalani Venerable.

“Unincorporated” will be onstage at the Reed L. Buffington Visual and Performing Arts Center, Chabot College Theater, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA  94545.  Show schedules are:

•  Friday, September 22, 2017

Opening Night / Doors open at 6 p.m. / Show at 7p.m.

•  Saturday, September 23, 2017

Matinee / Doors open at 1 p.m. / Show at 2 p.m.

Evening / Doors open at 6 p.m. / Show at 7 p.m.

*Suggested for audiences 15yrs+

General admission is $15, students with school ID is $10.  For more info, visit www.uninc.org or e-mail uninc@soulciety.org. (AJPress)

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