Set at a concert on a cold winter night, Kindness Committee sneaks us into the minds of seven audience members connected by varying degrees to one another. As the musician performs, each character’s inner world ignites. Some desire, others despise. One mourns, another commits to a life of living without a past. One warns of the limits of “kindness” while another embodies the act of forgiving. All of them peel away layers of their past as they reach for a sustainable present.
Kindness Committee delves deep into longings and forebodings, and examines the increasing importance of strengthening our community as our social, political and environmental problems mount.
Inspired by a concert by Bay Area-based singer/songwriter John Elliott, Hoopes creates a fictitious world of characters interacting with one another, the music and the afterglow it creates. Elliott generously lends his music to weave through Kindness Committee, allowing the audience to be transported to the concert the characters attend.
Melanie Hoopes, a Hastings-on-Hudson resident, brought us last season’s zoom performance of Six Feet, a play about living in the age of Covid. With Kindness Committee, Hoopes asks us to once again examine the present moment. As we accept our current reality, we ask ourselves how we want to live moving forward. What must we fortify and what gets recycled? Like Six Feet, Kindness Committee is darkly funny and sure to reverberate.
“John’s performance four years ago with Common Ground Concerts started it all. His breathtakingly honest and personal songwriting awed me. He exposes his regrets and defenses, no matter how misshapen or how ugly, but then treats his past with kindness and compassion. He sends the audience off to do an inventory of their own, with the same open-hearted approach. he invites the audience to do their own inventory with the same open-hearted approach. I began writing Kindness Committee to explore how others may have experienced John’s show but somewhere along the way it became a treatise on community. My conclusion is simple and needs to be screamed from the rooftops and tattooed on our arms: We are all we have. The survival of all beings and our beautiful planet depends on the strength of our relation to one another.”
Artistic Director Kate Ashby says “ We are excited to once again partner with Melanie to present this new work. Melanie’s writing holds a special combination of insight, depth and compassion. She interweaves the experiences of her characters in a way that is sure to resonate with our audiences, leading us all to consider ways we can make our world and our community a better place.”
Friday March 18, 2022
Saturday March 19, 2022
South Presbyterian Church
343 South Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY
Further Information and Tickets:
All attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination at the door. Until further notice, attendees will be required to wear masks at all indoor RiverArts events.