The project is a community theater in Santa Maria la Ribera. Unlike a traditional theater, this theater is deformalized, composed of a large theater hub adjacent to Casa de Cultura and temporary, itinerant theater traveling to Vecindad patio. Neighborhood residents are invited to be an actor to deliver performance in itinerant theater, or simply join as an audience. This deformalizing theater is aimed to provide a theater commoning for the community that welcomes everyone to participate in theater producing and benefit from theater performance.
The entire community theater is led by a professional theater artist, who travels to different neighborhoods or institutions to organize theater activities for a short period. The artist creates drama with neighborhood residents based on their life and stories and guide them to act and bring the performance back to the neighborhood. The process of improvisation, creation, and training happens inside the large theater hub, which functions as a back-of-house, containing programs such as artist residency, library, black box theater, rehearsal forum, scene/costume shop, etc.
The theater hub connects to Casa de Cultura, takes use of the existing amphitheater tent, preserves the existing historical façade, and keeps the soccer field by elevating it to the top. Instead of housing functions in a giant building, the hub is aimed to create flexibility for performance and mock-up space. It is constructed with a gridded structure to support the soccer field at top. The structure enables a set of invented theater elements to be hung from the top, which form an informal, flexible space for artists and residents to design scenes and simulate performance.
The sets of theater elements are elements that provide basic settings for a performance or drama to happen. People can pick the elements they need and assemble according to the design of the stage and scene.
Lounge, café, scene/costume shop, and storage spaces are open, dispersed on the floor. Artist residency units, green room, dressing room, and library are enclosed as permanent programs, but allowed to be moved and changed over time.
Performance is delivered to vecindad as temporary theater. People carry the theater elements they would use to the vecindad patio. They become plug-in elements to temporarily construct a stage, based on the drama plot and how people design the scene. Vecindad residents become audience to closely engage with the performance. This method allows diverse changes of the stage and easy traveling and installation.