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YSoA, Fall 2020
Critic: Emily Abruzzo
Selected for Retrospecta 44

Dixwell’s Community Theater anchors the north end of the Dixwell Avenue corridor. This theater of the everyday is conceived of as a site within which the neighborhood’s social life encounters itself as art. The quiet exterior of the theater complex is counterposed to the messy life the interior enframes. The building acts as an armature to support the performance and teaching of theater, especially for younger people, but it also supports the community’s shared life. The interior spaces are all connected through an active enfilade and freely shift from hosting sobriety support meetings to improv classes, from sewing costumes to mending wedding dresses. “The Revolutionary Theater,” writes Amiri Baraka in an essay of the same name, is made by “men and women digging out from under a thousand years of ‘high art,’” whose performances “treat human life as if it is actually happening.” Along Dixwell, the show has already begun.

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