The Courtroom is a re-enactment of deportation proceedings. In 2004, an immigrant from the Philippines who was married to a U.S. Citizen came to this country on a K3 Visa. After inadvertently registering to vote at the DMV in Chicago, receiving a voter registration card in the mail, and voting, her removal proceeding was set in motion. It began in Immigration Court and her case was eventually heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The Courtroom will be performed entirely verbatim from the court transcripts.
With text arranged from real court transcripts by Waterwell co-founder and Tony Award® nominee Arian Moayed, this unique production will play four performances in two active legal spaces. Waterwell Artistic Director and Obie Award-winner Lee Sunday Evans will direct. Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly.
“As an immigrant from Iran, I can’t tell you how profound and life-changing it is to have become a United States citizen. I have benefited so much from the incredible resources that this country has given my parents, brothers, sister, and children,” said Arian Moayed. “I also recognize – in a deeply personal way – how difficult it is to come to this country as a stranger and navigate American cultures, new languages, and the overpowering bureaucracy of the law. These actual transcripts give an invaluable insight on how difficult it can be for a new immigrant in an unfamiliar environment.”
“The tension between the rigorous procedure of due process and the human drama of how the life of an individual, a family will be impacted by the court’s decision is what makes these court transcripts so powerful to re-enact,” said Lee Sunday Evans. “Arian and I spent a day sitting in immigration court downtown and it hit me – this is a public space that I have never spent time in before. We have sought out these site-specific venues so that the audience can experience what it is like to enter one of the courtrooms where enormous questions about who gets to be a U.S. Citizen are playing out at the granular level every single day.”
The Courtroom will play the Fordham University School of Law (150 West 62nd Street) on Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00pm, and Saturday, January 26 at 7:00pm.
Tickets are free and available now at waterwell.org.
The Courtroom is co-sponsored by Fordham Law School and made possible by the lead support of Angelina Fiordellisi.
Waterwell (Lee Sunday Evans, Artistic Director; Adam J. Frank, Managing Director; Heather Lanza, Director of Education; Arian Moayed, co-founder and Board Chair) is a non-profit, civic-minded theater and education company that strives to prove itself a vital presence in the lives of its audience by remaining always responsive: responsive to the events affecting the world, to changing modes of expression, and to the individuals attending each performance. Through entertainment and arts education, Waterwell hopes to inspire audiences and students to change their lives and the world in which they live. The company’s two most recent productions were a dual-language, English-Farsi Hamlet,and Blueprint Specials, a collection of short musicals written during WWII performed by a 60+ cast comprised of veterans and professional actors on the hangar deck of the Intrepid Air + Space Museum. Founded in 2002 by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely, the company’s blend of music, theater, and social dialogue has been nominated for a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award, and a Village Voice Best of NYC. The New York Times hails the company’s work as, “brilliant, original, and inspired. Alive enough to surprise even the performers themselves,” and TheaterMania writes, “Waterwell has staked a claim on our collective conscience.” Since 2003, Waterwell has