community based plays

Community-based Plays are a cornerstone of Civic Ensemble programming. Through an 18 month to 2 year process, community members come together in story circles and facilitated community workshops to create a new play around a topic that is meaningful to them. The process culminates with public performances and community dialogue - bringing the conversations back out to the community where they began. 

2021-2023 Community-Based Play

In our next Community-based play, Civic Ensemble will explore the question, "What does it mean to be well?" In the context of COVID-19, racism and inequality, who has access to healing? How do systems of oppression impact our physical, mental, and emotional health?  

Fertile Grounds is being written in collaboration with playwright Katie Ka Vang and our local community. Thanks to a generous grant from the Network of Ensemble Theatres & Playwrights' Center, Katie will be in residence in Ithaca to connect with our local community and listen to stories. 

In Fall 2022 as we prepare to produce the play in spring 2023, join Civic Ensemble for a series of events surrounding the themes of health and healing:

  • August 28 from 1-3pm: The Peace Tree Project with artist Tahila Mintz. Join Tahila and Oji:sda' for a cyanotype participatory art project inviting you to share wishes of peace and healing. Click here to register for the event. Free. The Peace Tree Project is part of Oji:sda's Herbal Medicine Harvest Party volunteer day.

  • Community Soup - date TBA

  • More events to come!

Katie Ka Vang.jpg

Katie Ka Vang is a Hmong American playwright and theatre artist. Her work explores the complexities of culture, identity, dis-ease, survivorship, and the familial. Her plays and work include WTF, Hmong Bollywood, 5:1 Meaning of Freedom; 6:2 Use of Sharpening, Fast FWD Motions, In Quarantine, FINAL ROUND, Spirit Trust, AGAIN The Musical, and more. Her work has been developed and presented at Theater Mu, Playwrights’ Center, Wonderlust Productions, Pillsbury House Theatre Late Nite Series, Leviathan Lab, Bushwick Starr, Park Square Theater, Brown University, The Royal Court Theatre (London), The Walker Art Center, Out North Art House, Theatre Unbound, Pangea World Theater, and more. She's received support from The Jerome Foundation, Knight Foundation, NPN, MRAC, MSAB, and Coalition of Asian American Leaders. She is a 2020/21 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights Center and a member of the 21/22 Playwright’s Group at East West Players in (L.A.). She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.

Previous Community-based Plays:

2019 - The Next Storm

2017 - The Class Divide

2015 - On the Corner

2014 - Safety

2013 - Parent Stories