dog & pony dc’s collaboration with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth on FROM: A You-Us History Project continues! Last year, dog & pony dc visited Honolulu; this week, HTY joins us in DC. Conspirator Colin K. Bills describes how the process is unfolding:

Our experience in Honolulu last December was as much a fact-finding mission as anything. We came into the HTY workshop with some thoughts about quintessential DC experiences – things that only locals would know about, things that tourists wouldn’t get even on the most off-the beaten path tour.

We wanted to find something similar in Honolulu. What is the quintessential Honolulu experience? And how would you explain that to somebody who would never be able to experience that? As part of the workshop, we created sensory experiences that would recreate the sounds, sights, feelings of paddling a surfboard, of eating shave ice, pushing through throngs of tourists in Waikiki.

We talked about trying to find those same kinds of experiences here. I hope that our friends at HTY will be allowed to have a “DC” experience that they can then take back to attempt to explain in the same fashion: riding on the Metro, getting stuck in a motorcade, hearing go-go in the streets, pushing through throngs of tourists on the Mall. See a potential connection?

But our biggest challenge is finding ways to connect our two communities in ways that are more profound than being disgruntled with tourists. We’re trying to connect kids with kids. Like a pen pal system, but through live theater. How can we bust our potential audiences out of what they know, to see how other kids live thousands of miles away. And to show how their experiences, while often vastly different, are often very much the same.

dog & pony dc’s shows are uniquely created to connect audiences sitting in a room together. Our next step is now to connect audiences across a continent. With our pals at HTY, we hope to achieve this over this next workshop and through the next year.