We’re incredibly proud of our participants — Jonathan C., Keybo C., Kailib J., and Latique O. — who all took the stage last week in the a theatre production called Sweet Water!
This production was the culmination of their hard work throughout the summer in the Stargate Theatre fellowship program. Stargate is a “theatre company within a theatre company” — it’s part of Manhattan Theatre Club, a not-for-profit that produces plays and musicals both On and Off-Broadway. Through the fellowship at Stargate, justice-involved, male-identifying individuals have the opportunity to create and perform an original play. The young men in the program are led by artistic professionals and are asked to reflect on their life experiences and the places in which they live, and bring these reflections to the stage. The goal at the end of the summer is for the participants to have created “a theatre piece that challenges its audience to see these young men in a new light.”
This year’s production was titled, Sweet Water, and it explored the different ways that love manifests in our world. The actors in the ensemble shared stories of love between mother and son, father and son, friends, siblings, and significant others. Many of the scenes focused on joyous, even humorous stories, while others shed light on the pain that can come with giving, receiving, or being denied love. Topics like substance use, grief, abuse, first love, experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, and more played out on the stage. The production moved many audience members to tears, to laughter, and moved everyone to think deeply about the concept of love.
We want to congratulate the entire ensemble of Sweet Water, and especially our very own GOSO Guys for allowing themselves to be vulnerable and to create this unforgettable play.