The American [in] Tent

the american intent

Even in the worst of times, we cannot allow the silencing of art. Whether attending a live theater event or an art gallery, people value their engagement with art. It is the most succinct interface between what we experience in our world and how we process it. 

All of us have undergone incredible challenges over the past few years.

The American (in)Tent is a collective of artists interested in speaking to the American narrative. We honor diversity and positive inclusion while freely exploring everything that ails us. We are also interested in promoting fruitful cultural exchange, greater global awareness, and exploring ways to ensure that even in the darkest of times, the artist’s voice will be heard.

We believe artists are thought-leaders.

Conceiving of a better American narrative means we expose truths and acknowledge them. We can’t apply sugar to wounds. The works represented move along the performance spectrum – from soft to hard, funny to upsetting. We invite you to share in the journey.

Our mission is to accomplish our intent by adapting work to the Spoken Word format as an alternative avenue for creative expression. We spotlight Americans who aren’t politicians, but rather, artists motivated by the inner voice. We don’t claim to speak for America, but we do seek to express ourselves through mindful reflection. 

We are committed to:

—assisting young artists through incubator projects in addition to a youth outreach dedicated to commonality, inclusion, and collaboration among young artists across waters. 

—focusing on travel sustainability by giving artists a virtual global presence.

We begin with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, arguably the largest festival in the world dedicated to the theatre arts. We offer a 24-month road to the Fringe celebrating the first year as Spoken Word and our second year as live performance at the Fringe. We also offer more organic marketing through podcast exposure. This year’s works are a prelude to their stage conclusion in 2022, they focus on the artist’s process as its own expression of theatre. What inspires creation is no less passionate and insightful than the final result of inspiration.

The theatre of process on the podcast stage

Our main stage performances for our first Spoken Word event gather around the theme of the stranger. Americans as strangers, cultural and personal estrangement in one’s own country, the strangers in our families, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, learning to celebrate all the different parts of one’s identity despite societal prejudices, and the quiet injustice and ostracism of citizens seeking parity in our justice system. Our roster includes a play about the effects of miscegenation and colonial prejudice; a jazz opera about baseball that plays out like Othello;  Robert Burns as a modern thinker through the eyes of contemporary rap poets; an American voice artist exploring her Filipino roots; a meeting of women under the moon to chat about the door opened by Rosa Parks to the Civil Rights Movement and the brave protests via Black American singers in their music; one man’s reflection on growing up Black in 1970s Mississippi; a one-woman play about how the American Justice system easily dismisses and victimizes the victims of rape; an exploration by a performance artist of his remarkable work over the years and a new work about Covid, Q-anon, and Mother Earth; a recollection of a famous Los Angeles impressario of club art delving into the value of explorations of self-expression that cross thresholds of theatre, music, poetry, and movement; an author’s process in converting the written word into the SpokenWord meanwhile responding to the business of selling books as a beat poem, followed by a short performance of a novella about an astronaut piloting the first manned mission to Mars just to get a little perspective; an exploration of gender-identity by a gifted international opera bass; and a story based on the Lost Boys from Barrie’s Peter Pan exploring gangs, prejudice, the vulnerability of our youth.

  • John K
    I am a witless forger of my fate, a fate that should have been about touching a life, providing someone insight into their humanity, reminding whomever that all of us are everything. We are all, we are…
  • Seven Strangers
    Spoken word production based on Mercury’s Wake by Stephanie Vlahos and mixed with Blasto! by Wayne Peet’s Doppler Funk
  • In the Moon Room
    Everlasting, steadfast beacon, she moves in phases of renewal. The moon. We stand in her sanctuary.
  • Cooperstown – a jazz opera by Sasha Matson
    The story of Cooperstown is an American story about the great American pastime–baseball. It speaks to the heart of country and of our passions and how they easily and guilelessly blur or tear apart.
  • The First Mrs. Rochester – a play by Willy Holtzman
    Written by Pulitzer Prize nominee, Willy Holtzman, The First Mrs Rochester evinces the wit and depth of character of Jean Rhys. It is part of our exploration of the stranger. We are all foreigners.
  • Getting Ready With Bear Princess
    Matthew Anchel explores gender identity, expression of self and liking and accepting the different facets of ourselves that we all have.
  • She Said
    I was raped in New York City during my final week of college in 2013. This moment marked a rupture in my childhood freedom and forced the beginning of my autonomy as an adult.
  • Lawd Ham Mercy
    This is show about my family. It travels from West Point Mississippi to New Orleans Louisiana in the 1960s and 1970s to Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s to LA in the 1990s to the present.
  • What the Fleck?
    A successful performance artist known as one of the infamous ‘NEA Four’ – along with Karen Finley, Tim Miller, and Holly Hughes – whose lawsuit against the National Endowment of the Arts achieved notoriety in the early 90’s.
  • Rap O’Shanter
    This truth fand honest Tam o’ Shanter, As he frae Ayr ae night did canter, (Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses For honest men and bonie lasses.)
  • Jean-Pierre Boccara
    widely known as a restaurant and nightclub owner as well as an artist. He created several seminal clubs in Los Angeles
  • White Boy Scream
    Micaela Tobin’s latest album under the White Boy Scream moniker, is an anticolonial missive that was inspired by precolonial Philippine mythology.
  • Never Say Never Unless It’s Forever
    A show that takes its inspiration from the Lost Boys of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. A 40-minute theatrical presentation that focuses on alienated youth, gangs, intolerance, and perspective. The show includes rap and some music.
  • Althea Waites
    Waites has said that she has been on a “crusade” to perform music by Black women composers.