The Story Box is a multi-genre storytelling event using text, visuals, music, and experiential learning to explore the importance of safeguarding our civil rights through the lens of Japanese American identity. Grounded in Takahashi’s own family history, and a traditional form of Japanese street theater and storytelling called kamishibai, The Story Box is deeply personal and universal for many immigrant families from across the globe.
Representing the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII, the audience will receive a name tag and suitcase, inside of which is a wireless headset and a family photo album. Each unique family photo album documents an account of the problematic history of Asian people in the U.S., and more recently, the rise in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.
The Story Box is inspired by the events of writer/performer Suzi Takahashi’s own life. Performed and delivered through Takahashi’s own words, transmitted via the headset, The Story Box asks audience members to reflect together on the stories in each suitcase. At the end of each performance, audience members are invited to turn to their neighbors and read aloud the letters written by Asian Americans which have been packed into their suitcase. Through this intimate and communal act, the audience breathes life anew into these stories. As the experience draws to a close, the audience is invited to leave a story of their own behind for future audiences.
WHEN & WHERE:
September 23 at 6:30pm – Bethany Arts Community in the Garden of Peace and Love, 40 Somerstown Road, Ossining, NY
September 24 at 4pm and 7pm – Ossining Waterfront Park, Ossining, NY