The Tiny Banger by Alice Stanley uses the Tramp archetype of Charlie Chaplin to unpack modern pervasive perceptions about homelessness. The play introduces you to Dope Fiend, Jailbird, and The Tiny Banger in the silent film world, and this aesthetic slowly unravels as we encounter the family's complex lives as they strive to stay together through cycles of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness.
The Tiny Banger will be produced at Trinity Street Players, which is housed in First Austin Baptist Church, opening December 7, 2018. We are partnering with the church's existing homeless outreach and programming, and inviting people experiencing homelessness in downtown Austin. We hope to ignite community conversations and activism, and bring homeless and housed audiences together through this production.
Each performance will have an informal conversation after it. We will have food (provided by a man who is currently experiencing homelessness and works at the church as a custodian) and will facilitate discussion between homeless and housed audience members. These are two groups that interact infrequently, and we believe that connection is the start of change.
We are also scheduling a tour for the final week of the performance (December 18-23). We hope to bring this play to the Drag and to the Community First! Tiny Village in order to reach people who are homeless throughout the city of Austin. We have already had readings with people who are homeless and are working with them to adapt the script for Austin.
The play uses humor and a strong visual aesthetic to invite all audiences into the story. Our hope is that these common stereotypes will be unpacked, and we can engender empathy for the human story that we ultimately tell.
Funded by Austin, TX (December 2018)