Venture Theatre Presents Project Homelessness: And I Know…

April 19, 2013 @ 12:49 pm by jodie

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So often, we are busy racing from one place to the next, grab dinner on the fly, and land at home with just enough time to squeeze in a few moments with loved ones followed by crawling into a warm bed. Sometimes we forget how wonderful, even the craziness, all of these things are.

Take away the car to race around in, the job, the food, a home, a warm bed and even the loved ones. Now you have the situation quite a few people are living in Billings MT. Let’s also take away the stereotypes we associate with homelessness. Sure there are individuals who don’t want to work but they do not make up the majority of those seeking shelter and help.

We have two year-long volunteers, Jessie Obee and Amy Dixon, in our midst from Americorps VISTA who’s task is to present and employ creative solutions for our citizens living in poverty and without a roof. They are federal volunteers working in conjunction with the City of Billings and Venture Theatre in a very effective way. They have been conducting interviews through Montana Rescue Mission and these interviews have been turned into a play by Shad Scott and Ryan Gage.

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 Project Homelessness: And I Know… is a compelling work accurately and earnestly portraying homelessness from the actual point of view of homeless youth in our community. It is honest and and it is raw. It will yank on your emotions. The writers and actors thoughtfully, and with integrity, take the audience down the tough path each character has been traversing. Many starting out in hellish situations and doing their best to survive. Survival is the key word. The barrage of obstacles and emotional pain that must be faced to keep moving forward is at least intimidating. The shelter chaplain and counselor characters showed incredible compassion and intuition. I appreciated their philosophy of a “hand- up” not a “hand-out”.

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This is Christie Anderson’s directorial debut. She has done a beautiful job directing the course of this delicate and painful material. The two youngest cast members are making their debut as well and they nailed it! Tonight is opening night with several performances through the second week of  May. Tickets are $13 and $910 to buy out the performance.

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This is a collaborative effort by a group of highly talented and compassionate individuals. It is a must-see. While it’s imperative that as many of us donate as possible, I find it equally important as many people as possible experience this play. It will give you critical insight to a very real and growing problem in Billings. There will be an informal Q&A following the performance. All donations are handled by the City of Billings.

Links to check out:
Project Homelessness Facebook page
City of Billings Homeless Initiative Ten Year Project
Americorps VISTA  Fighting poverty with Passion
Billings Community Connect- A one day event bringing services to poverty-stricken individuals and families. 
Billings Metro VISTA Project
Montana Rescue Mission

Venture Theatre 406 591 9535

Show times and dates:

April 19, 2013 8PM (tonight)

April 20, 2013, 8PM
April 21, 2013, 2PM
April 26, 2013, 8PM
April 27, 2013, 8PM
April 28, 2013, 2PM
May 3, 2013, 8PM
May 4, 2013, 8PM
May 5, 2013, 2PM
May 10, 2013, 8PM
May 11, 2013, 8PM
May 12, 2013, 2PM
Jodie Tenicin Smith  the photo chik
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(Fearless volunteers Amy and Jessie goofing around on set!)



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