COMMON WEALTH & COMMON DEBT
The Conciliation Project (TCP) is an anti-racist group whose performances begin with research: they interview diverse groups of citizens and collaboratively develop a script based on the voices and ideas they encounter. They are using this methodology to construct COMMON WEALTH & COMMON DEBT. Based on conversations with Richmond citizens, this new production considers deep histories and the upheavals of 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests.
Originally planned as a live performance, due to COVID-19 this work will be filmed in the ICA’s auditorium and on location in Richmond. Watch the premiere of The Conciliation Project’s COMMON WEALTH & COMMON DEBT with an introduction from Commonwealth co-curator Stephanie Smith. A live talk-back and Q + A session will follow the broadcast featuring The Conciliation Project leaders VCUarts Theater professor Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates and educator, activist, and drummer Dr. Ram Bhagat.
About the creative team:
Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates is a playwright, director, actor, poet, writer/scholar-activist, and teacher. Dr. T is Professor of Graduate Pedagogy in Acting and Directing at Virginia Commonwealth University and the the artistic director and founder of The Conciliation Project, a non-profit social justice theatre company whose mission is “To promote through active and challenging dramatic work open and honest dialogue about racism and systems of oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.” Dr. Ram Bhaghat is an educator, arts innovator, and peacebuilder who is committed to healing trauma in classrooms, schools, and communities. Ram is an international conflict resolution trainer, an expert in culturally responsive circles, a specialist in arts integration, certified in restorative justice, trauma awareness & resilience, and yoga & mindfulness. He co-founded Drums No Guns, a world percussion ensemble to engage youth in “healing community with rhythm.” The project evolved from Pettiford-Wates’ and Bhagat’s participation as program leaders for Summer Sessions: Commonwealth in 2019, a public research and discussion series that considered the larger ideas of Commonwealth in relation to Richmond.