"Riding the Arc of History"
This One Man Storytelling Show explores Social Justice through the eyes and life of a gay son of two Holocaust Survivors who becomes a German citizen. It has been performed in a College theater setting, but can also be conducted in High Schools, Synagogues, Churches, or at your organization's space. People can laugh while tackling difficult subjects.
This is not a stand-up comedy show, but rather a series of stories of a gay son of two Holocaust Survivors who grows up in New York shortly after the end of World War II, becomes active in the LGBT Movement in the 1970's and becomes a German citizen in 2007. Through these eyes the audience sees how segregation and discrimination was prevalent during the post war world in New York City; and how it influenced my life.
From a curriculum development perspective, the contents can be geared for the specific audience and age group. The stories presented can be skewed to either a general, Jewish or LGBT audience and can be geared to any specific age group. We have even tried this as a Walking Show, with the story being told in parts as we walk.
The presentation is a multi-media show with slides and graphics reinforcing the stories. The first show was conceived at Marymount Manhattan College in 2014. The following quotes were from this production.
"I just want to thank Rick Landman for having the courage to debut his show in my Arts & Social Justice course at Marymount. I also want thank you so much for allowing my students to collaborate with you & join you on this beautiful journey of storytelling. What a wonderful exercise in combining art, social justice, & storytelling. Gracias!" Daphnie Sicre, Instructor.
Sample of Comments from the students:
I walked away excited to go tell someone else about what I had just experienced. I was absolutely fascinated by Rick's story, humored by his impressions, and inspired by his preservation and good spirit. There are so many aspects to Rick that make him amazing; that I could make a list that goes on and on and on. I am amazed that someone can know that much about their family history, about their religion, about events throughout history, and about themselves. Rick truly knows himself and can define his identity, which I think is something many people struggle with- is knowing who they are.
I really loved the premise for all of it and I really got a strong sense of his passion for it and I think its a really important issue and history that people really need to be aware of. I left with a lot of new information I hadn't had before! He has such an inspirational story and has done so much for the LGBTQ community as well as the Jewish community.