New Full-Length Film Features Queens in Pandemic

Queens Theater

A new full-length film produced by Queens Theatre and written and directed by Queens’ Harris Doran will debut on April 22nd. I See You and You See Me is based on real stories provided by Queens residents through the Queens Memory project. Queens Theatre will debut the film on YouTube on Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 PM (EST).   Here is a short video to show you the hard work of so many caring artists and a glimpse of what is to come on April 22: 

 

Written and directed by Harris Doran (Beauty Mark, Bleeding Love), and produced by QT’s Dominic D’Andrea, it stars 11 actors presenting the accounts of Queens residents who shared their stories about their lives last year with the Queens Memory Project at the Queens Public Library. To learn more and RSVP to see the film for free, visit https://queenstheatre.org/event/coming-soon-i-see-you-and-you-see-me/.

During the pandemic, Queens once became the epicenter of the pandemic. Emerging from the borough were stories of pain and fear, but also resilience and hope.  At turns sad, frustrating, angry, humorous, and even hopeful, these stories illustrate the emotional and psychological impact of the events of 2020 on our lives. As the film opens up, it reminds us that when New York shut down due to the virus in March 2020, “the stories of Queens were silenced. But the voices of Queens still called out to be heard.”

“At Queens Theatre, we always are seeking ways to connect with the diverse communities we serve, and during the pandemic have connected more broadly with a global audience,” says Taryn Sacramone, QT’s Executive Director. “This exceptional, moving film, shares the stories of hope, of pain, and of promise – and all originating in Queens – with the world. By presenting these beautifully scripted stories – all based on true accounts – we hope to show that we are not alone, that we all truly are in this together, and that we will prevail.”

The film stars (in order of appearance): James Seol (Lucille Lortel Award nomination “KPOP,” “The Flight Attendant”); Deirdre Lovejoy (“The Wire,” “The Blacklist”); Khalid Rivera (“Pose,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”); Kate Rigg (Mile 22, “Oz”); Pooya Mohseni (“Law & Order: SVU,” “Madame Secretary”); Carol Mazhuvancheril (The Inheritance); Rocky Vega (On That Day in Amsterdam); Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots); Deborah S. Craig (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, “The Blacklist”); Brittany Vicars (I Didn’t Come Here to Make Love); and, Alana Raquel Bowers (Chicken and Biscuits).

The film adapts stories that emerged last year from residents of Queens. Those stories featured in the film were provided by: Kaffy Abdul; Hector Biaggi; Seo-Young Chu; Karen Fisher; Emily Hepding; Sto Len; Douglas Lyons; Carrie Marino; Natalie Milbrodt; Demetries Morrow; Sheena Pachon; and, Sarah Pousty.

Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. QT presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, Queens Theatre launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, Queens Theatre has produced a range of digital programming – readings of new plays, wellness checks with performances for seniors, original dance showcases, a Storytellers series, an online round of its TFA training program for Deaf/Disabled actors, and more.

Queens Memory is an ongoing community archiving program supported by Queens Public Library and Queens College, CUNY. We engage with Queens residents in our two-fold mission to (1) push local history collections out to the public through programming and online resources, and (2) pull new materials into our collections from the diverse communities of Queens. The goal is to raise awareness and a sense of ownership in the production of our shared historic record and our dream is that any Queens resident who visits these collections feels his/her experiences and perspective are represented.

 

By Victoria Larson, Editor, Side of Culture
VK Larson Communications

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