Coming Soon

Written and directed by Melba LaRose

A project about walls around the globe and throughout time - why we build them, how we've lived with them (or not), what we dream will happen when they fall, and what really happens.

Coming Up


(in development)
Playwright-director Melba LaRose

"AFTER THE WALL" explores walls throughout time -- why they were built, what it was like to live with them, what people dreamed would happen after they fell, and what actually happened. It was inspired by the artistic director's touring to countries after their walls came down: Berlin, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Brazil, Krakow (Auschwitz-Birkenau), Prague. Bookended by video of galaxies far far away, the piece begins in Ancient Mesopotamia and ends at the Sloan Great Wall in outer space.

It is designed to make the audience think about why we create walls, man's inhumanity to man, and the responsibility for the aftermath. If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to create new walls, metaphorically or literally. In recent years, our projects, which have always been interactive, multicultural, socially conscious and issue-based, have grown to be interdisciplinary, with dance/ dance movement, drama/ comedy, video art, music, poetry, and more. The piece relies heavily on visuals from news reels, silent films, video/ still shots of horrors such as the camps, montages of metaphorical U.S. walls of the '50s, '60s, peaceful revolutions in the '90s, invasions by Nazis + Soviets, pictures of the "Palace of the People" built by Romania's blood-thirsty dictator Ceausescu, and more. Performers reveal their stories through interdisciplinary elements. We have worked with 10 multicultural actors for nine months and walls were chosen with their input. Actors are always nontraditionally cast, using the best actor for the role, despite race, color, gender, age. In this project, somehow it deepens the experience when one minority plays another oppressed minority, e.g., an African-American playing a Jewish Holocaust victim. Enormous research and exploration are ongoing. Each scene is a different country, a different time, a different culture, a different wall. There is also humor involved since without it, history is relentless.

Staged readings and workshopped portions will be presented soon at New Perspectives Theatre. Follow-up in-depth discussions and written evaluations are vital to this process, which will be furthered on social networks. If we can change even one person to become more tolerant, more aware, more instrumental in promoting peace, we are ahead of the game. Of course, we hope there will be thousands, (dare we dream) millions. It is expected there could be as many as 20 scenes in all, some planned for presentation at appropriate monuments, e.g., Sachsenhausen and Berlin Wall scenes in front of panels of the actual Berlin Wall on 53rd St.; Wall Street scenes at the site of the original wall. At these "pop-up" performances, information will be handed out on the piece and where it can be seen in its entirety.

NOTE: We are seeking a large unconventional space, something like a sizeable/ flexible theatre, dance/ video studio or a raw unfinished space, where projections can be done on more than one wall. It could be done in one (long) performance or split into two evenings. Since it is episodic, people could take breaks and return, especially if there's a café in the complex (ideally, with monitors). One other option we're tinkering with: the audience could be placed in the middle, with performances and projections going on around them. It would be surprising if this project were not to tour for five years (the usual duration of our performance schedule) since it will grow and develop with input from audiences served -- and sadly, there will always be new walls to explore.