What kind of future will you have living in these here United States?
Remember when you were eleven years old and you had a bike, one that made you dream about a world bigger than the one in which you live? This is that memory. Except it is now.
Script History: In the US, this script has been developed at the Lark and New Dramatists, both in New York City under the direction of Emily Mendelsohn. In the UK, this script received a reading in June 2017 produced by Chaskis Theatre as a benefit for children arts charity Anno’s Africa at the Cervantes theatre in London under the direction of Simon Evans. Performers that have been part of the play’s history: Jocelyn Kuritsky, Sofia Jean Gomez, Maddy Hill, and Aaron Anthony. RED BIKE is an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Kilroys List.
“Svich’s RED BIKE is a luminous piece that tackles our common dreams and dangers with magic, poetry, and a sense of both possibility and loneliness. A beautiful work!” — Cristina Garcia (novelist, Dreaming in Cuban)
“What I admire about Svich’s powerful work is the continual theatrical risks she takes, the poetic layering of too often repressed voices, and the kick in the ass at realism. RED BIKE is a beautiful ride.” — Naomi Wallace (playwright)
“In RED BIKE, Svich sees poetry in the everyday, passion in politics, power in citizenship. In this play-monologue told from the perspective of pre-adolescent exploring a world in distress (closed businesses, poverty on the street), Svich channels Carson McCullers’ Frankie in A MEMBER OF THE WEDDING — our unnamed protagonist observes astutely, accepts the parameters of their world, feels the possibilities of dreams. The bike is transportation and a dream mobile moving from one viewpoint to another, like a magic carpet. “Somebody gotta make red bikes somewhere,” they muse, “so kids like me can dream.” This dreamscape is haunting and gorgeous.” — Martha Wade Steketee, freelance critic and dramaturg
“I often find Svich’s mastery of the slippage between the everyday and the timeless blindsiding, but particularly so with Red Bike, which launches us into a dreamscape where greed stabs us in the heart with its fork, burns away our better parts, and reveals our deepest desires. The play enacts a relentless gaze into the unkindness and loss of our time while daring to dream and play and let in real joy. Red Bike is a soulful, masterfully carved project.” — Emily Mendelsohn (director)
“RED BIKE is a uniquely timely play with a big imagination that explores the idea of class in modern American society through the eyes of a young child. Like the best of Caridad’s work, I was taken by the poetic theatrical language that felt grounded and accessible. I especially love the fact that the play leaves a lot of room for interpretation (can be cast with any race or gender, and can be a solo show or divided amongst a number of actors).” — Evren Odcikin (director)
“RED BIKE is like a painting that catches your eye in a museum and makes you stop—because it is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, simple yet complex, accessible yet layered with meaning. This play by Caridad Svich is full of imagery and modernist poetry; it evokes for me the kind of American imagery of Norman Rockwell, William Carlos Williams, and Muriel Rukeyser. We learn what America is through the eyes of an eleven year old with a red bike, who could forget all their observations the moment they turn 12.” — Heather Helinsky (dramaturge)
“Caridad Svich’s RED BIKE is as far reaching as it is exhilarating. She takes us on a journey that bumps, jumps and spins through emotional corners and existential turns. Hold on for the ride.” — Bryce Lease (Royal Holloway, University of London)
“Caridad Svich’s Red Bike takes us on a beautiful ride across the landscapes of place and memory.” — Jose Cruz Gonzalez (playwright)
“Caridad Svich’s RED BIKE is a beautifully vulnerable freefall into the precious last days of childhood. Its blend of teen bravado and innocence lost put me in mind of a 21st century Harper Lee. In its London reading Chaskis Theatre evoked the wide-eyed joys and fears of the next generation of North Americans in Caridad’s poetic drama with their trademark honesty and subtlety.” — Ben SantaMaria (Playwright/director)
“RED BIKE invites us to take a ride into the unknown. With child-like wonder we encounter all the joys and terrors of being truly alive, as we fly past all that is settled and secure in our lives. It is a great exploration of the tension between fact and fiction, desire and fear, holding on and letting go – moment by moment by moment.” — Elizabeth Hess (actor-writer and educator, NYU Tisch School for the Arts)
“In the few moments before a child crashes their red bike, we explore the socio-economic divide, capitalism, globalism, nationalism, gentrification, the racial tensions and immigration, our relationship with technology, the differences between rural and urban communities, and the gap between old and young – all through the eyes of an eleven year old child. Red Bike is a rich, poetic, insightful and wonderfully theatrical text.” — Jack Paterson (Co-Artistic Director, TheatreBoucheWHACKED!, Vancouver)
This script is available for perusal on NNPN’s NPX at https://newplayexchange.org/plays/90847/red-bike
My essay ‘Taking a Ride on a Red Bike” is live on The Theatre Times:
New Essay, “Riding Uphill on a Red Bike” is live as the closing reflection in the Stages of Resistance series, hosted by The Lark Theatre:
RED BIKE has been selected for NNPN’s 2017 National Showcase of New Plays! https://www.broadwayworld.com/philadelphia/article/Works-by-Caridad-Svich-David-Jacobi-Winter-Miller-and-More-Set-for-NNPNs-2017-Showcase-of-New-Plays-20170915
Promo trailer featuring actor Maddy Hill:
Just over a week to go and tickets for RED BIKE are going fast! Join us and support the fantastic charity that is Anno's AfricaWednesday 21 June, 7:30pm at Cervantes Theatre, Southwarkhttps://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/189218See you there!
Posted by Chaskis Theatre on Monday, June 12, 2017