Minority Voices TheatreA Project of The Very Little Theatre
Welcome to Minority Voices Theatre
Theatre that creates a sense of belonging
MVT is a community outreach project of The Very Little Theatre (VLT). MVT is designed to offer an opportunity for members of minority or marginalized communities to participate in staged readings of plays as actors, writers, directors, designers, and/or audience members.
MVT’s first year (2017) was a very exciting and illuminating time. We produced staged readings of three plays (Having Our Say, Vita & Virginia, and Now I Am Your Neighbor). We helped sponsor two community events (DisOrient Film Festival, Eugene Children’s Film Festival), and we offered a scholarship to a summer film/animation camp to a young person of color through the Academic Achievement Center Foundation.
At the end of 2017, VLT and MVT decided to join forces, giving VLT an active community outreach strategy, and giving MVT a home, a 501(c)3 for fund raising, and the support of one of the oldest continuously running community theatres in the country (VLT has been producing plays in Eugene, OR every year since March, 1929).
In April 2018, MVT/VLT partnered with Trans*Ponder to present a staged reading of Transfigurations – a 1998 play that explores the lives of Oregonians who identify as transgender. And, in the same event, we introduced the first annual Trans Monologues, bringing up-to-date the stories and experiences of our local Transgender/Gender non-conforming community.
Approximately 1250 people have come to see our productions. By sharing donations at the door with our community partners, we raised approximately $3500 for local non-profits (NAACP of Lane County, LCC MultiCultural Center, Soromundi: Lesbian Chorus of Eugene, Community Alliance of Lane County, Centro Latino Americano, the Islamic Community Center of Lane County, and Trans*Ponder).
Going forward, we are exploring the possibility of creating an ongoing series of workshops that walk people through the process of writing and performing slices of their own lives – leading to an evening of local stories reflecting the diversity of our community. We are also in talks with local organizations who serve and advocate for people in marginalized communities, including youth and people with disabilities, to create events that provide the opportunities to perform at the Very Little Theatre, presenting their stories to the community.
To learn more about the history of MVT, please check out the About MVT page. Our upcoming productions can be found in the panel to the right. Other relevant performances and community events can be found on the Related Events page. To learn more about The Very Little Theatre, visit TheVLT.com.
Please use the form below to sign up for our periodic e-newsletter or to contact us with ideas for future productions, related events you’d like us to help promote, and any messages of encouragement you’d like to pass along.
MVT Upcoming Productions
The Training Bra Monologues
Sunday, September 30 at 2pm – Very Little Theatre – Stage Left
Ophelia’s Place – a community for girls
In partnership with Ophelia’s Place, Minority Voices Theatre presents The Training Bra Monologues – a collection of stories about being female.
For the past few years, the girls and young women at Ophelia’s Place have been creating original performance pieces in tribute to Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising movement, and they have called it The Training Bra Monologues. Usually performed in February to coincide with the worldwide V-Day performances of Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, the current members of the organization’s Women’s Advisory Council for Youth (WACY – pronounced “wacky”) have agreed to share their stories for a special MVT performance on September 30. This one-hour performance will explore what it means to be female in today’s culture.
Ticket price: $5-$50 “Pay-What-You-Can”
This will be a fundraiser for WACY to enhance and support their current programming. WACY’s mission statement: “WACY is a group of awesome young women committed to leadership, empowerment, and equality for all people. We support the mission of Ophelia’s Place through awareness raising, advocacy, and fundraising activities… with fun, humor, and chocolate!”
WACY is also running a tampon and pad drive for women in local shelters. Please consider donating feminine hygiene products. There will be a donation box in the lobby.
Since 2005 Ophelia’s Place has operated as a space for girls to grow as people and learn about themselves, while also learning how to overcome difficult and stressful times in a space where counseling and supportive adults are readily available.
by Yussef El Guindi
February 15 – March 2, 2019
MVT@VLT is proud to present the Eugene premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World. Set in a large American city, Musa is an Egyptian cab driver, and Sheri is an all-American waitress who fall madly in love with each other. Just don’t let Musa’s fiancée Gamila know. Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World is a romantic comedy that proves, no matter where we’re from, we’re all on this human pilgrimage together. Directed by Michael Malek Najjar, this charming and revealing play takes a typical love triangle and infuses it with the tensions of the east/west cultural divide. And we are very excited that Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi will join us for this event.
“The play addresses the complicated situation many immigrants face having to negotiate their cultural traditions with their new lives in America,” says Najjar. “How can you stay true to your religious and social traditions while living out the American dream?”
This will be MVT’s first fully staged production, with sets, lights, and actors moving around the stage (with memorized lines of dialogue). We are excited to be able to bring this play to you.
WHERE: VLT Stage Left
WHEN: February 15 – March 2, 2019
PERFORMANCE DAYS: Thursdays*, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30pm – Sundays at 2pm
TICKET PRICE: $14
*Thursdays, February 21 and 28 – Pay-What-You-Can – $5-$50 sliding scale
Date(s) for the ASL interpreted performance(s) to be announced soon.