The Story of Travis
The Story of Travis is a new stage play inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's Broadway classic A Raisin in the Sun. About the importance of having dreams, making your voice heard in a world that doesn't seem set up for you and finding a home. In poetic monologues, recognisable family situations and spiritual dialogues, the performance questions the burden of the black (American) dream and what it is like to be sent into the world as the only hope of your family.
Run time tba
The Story of Travis
As a teenager, the American Travis (played by Ruurt de Maesschalck) exchanges his native Chicago for a nomadic existence. Then he falls in love, has children and builds a new life in the Netherlands. At the age of 78, Travis takes another trip and returns to Chicago. During his visit to his family grave, he looks back on his life. By reminiscing about the past and engaging in conversation with family members, Travis prepares for his transition to the afterlife.
Between 2016 and 2019, Well Made Productions introduced the Dutch theatre audience to the Raisin Cycle. Similar large edited bi-cultural stories for a diverse audience are still produced sporadically, which is why Well Made Productions and Theater Rotterdam will join forces in the 2022-2023 season.
The creative crew consists of five black women; unique in the theatre landscape. Initiators Ellen Tjon A Meeuw (business production) and Samora Bergtop (artistic production) of Well Made Productions team up with writer Esther Duysker to create a new play inspired by A Raisin in the sun (the first part of the Raisin Cycle). Director Romana Vrede gives the black family story its unique signature and Alida Dors (artistic director Theater Rotterdam) is co-creator for the choreography.
Esther Duysker about The Story of Travis
'In 2015 I became acquainted with the work of Lorraine Hansberry and translated her play A Raisin in the Sun for Well Made Productions. As a young black writer, this was a great honour. The veracity of the piece made me feel the urgency to tell and pass on this accessible, authentic family story. Due to the increasing social awareness in the West, there is increasing scope for recognising and dismantling the deprivation of the black voice and the black body. With The Story of Travis we once again claim the space to let a young generation from a recognisable family speak. We let the public take a look at the Afro-European diaspora and provide insight into how much hope and combativeness it takes to make your dreams come true. With The Story of Travis I hope to contribute to making a more balanced world in which words and world views collide. A world that, like our theatre landscape, should of course be multiform. A world that is about everyone with aspirations and desires.'
text Esther Duysker
director Romana Vrede
dramaturgy Karim Ameur
choreography Alida Dors
set & lighting design Niek Kortekaas
sound design Ata Güner
costume design Erik Bosman
performers Dionne Verwey, Howard Komproe, Jennifer Muntslag, Jetty Mathurin, Joy Wielkens, Ruurt De Maesschalck, Yamill Jones, Ritzah Statia
Co-produced by Theater Rotterdam and Well Made Productions