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For Presenters

ARMS AROUND AMERICA 

Transforming the Gun Debate into Meaningful Dialogue

Arms Around America (AAA) is a theatrical performance that fosters dialogue on roles guns play in our lives. 

Based on stories of real families around the country whose lives have been shaped by guns, AAA challenges stereotypes on all sides of the gun debate.

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Dan Froot & Company in Pang! at CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids IA, 2017, photo by John Pemble

Full Production

1. Arms Around America - Full Production

Staged as a 21st-century update of live radio theater, AAA is an immersive sonic world. Four actors voice dozens of characters while navigating a forest of microphones and piles of play scripts. They are accompanied by a “Foley” sound effects artist (Froot) and a live band playing composer Julio Montero’s driving, Latin Pop-inflected score. 

Orchestrating all these elements is Sound Designer Duncan Woodbury, in full view of the audience, adjusting hundreds of controls on a desk-sized mixing console.

White man crouching with a basketball in his hands, poised to drop it.

Dan Froot in Pang! at CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids IA, 2017

Photo by John Pemble

Unplugged
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Dan Froot & Company in Pang! - Unplugged at University of Saint Joseph, 2019

Photo by Ray D. Shaw

3. Arms Around America -Create an Episode in Your Own Community

 

Presenters can commission Dan Froot & Company to create one or more new vignettes, based on their own communities. These can be combined with existing AAA stories to create a locally specific program.

The process of creating an episode of Arms Around America takes 12-24 months and would include, over the course of several residencies: workshops for local artists, partnerships with social service organizations, and 8-10 (1) hour interviews with participating community members. Then DF&Co adapt elements of each oral history into theatrical form (in consultation with the participants), rehearse and perform the final work. It's an intensive, deep and long-term form of community engagement.

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Dan Froot at Touching Miami With Love, 2017

Photo by Monica McGivern

Create Your Own Episode
The Kitchen Table
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The Kitchen Table

 

Every presentation of Arms Around America includes a conversation among community members, facilitated by local residents.

The Kitchen Table format is based on The Long Table from Lois Weaver's Public Address Systems. It is a highly effective mode of fostering civil cross-class dialogue around issues engendered by Arms Around America.

Dan Froot & Co performing live at Martha's Vineyard. They stand around a table, people are seated

2. Arms Around America -  Unplugged

This smaller version of AAA can be performed just about anywhere: in theaters, schools, lecture halls, etc. It is the most affordable, informal and adaptable version of AAA.

Four dynamic actors read six short,evocative plays based on oral histories of real families whose lives have been shaped by guns. They voice dozens of characters in an evening of interactive, low-tech theater.

Dan Froot & Company in Pang! - Unplugged at University of Saint Joseph, 2019

Photo by Ray D. Shaw

Dan Froot & Company in Pang! - Unplugged at The Yard, Martha's Vineyard MA, 2019

Photo by MJ Bruner

Engagement Activities

 

Whether a residency’s goal is to pave the way for a performance of existing work or to seed a new community-engaged project, DF&Co meet your community members where they are. For instance, during advance visits, the company might attend a meeting of a local group that works on issues of gun violence or attend a city council meeting. They build partnerships to deepen the connection to your community and increase the work’s relevance to your constituents. 

Other offerings may include:

  • Movement workshops

  • Storytelling workshops

  • Community organizing 

  • Self-care: creative writing, meditation, breath

  • Oral History Methods

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Dan Froot with community members in Miami FL

Engagement Activities

FOR MORE INFORMATION… 

 

Email: danfroot@me.com

Phone: ‭(310) 766-4942‬

Instagram: @danfrootandco

Dan Froot & Company in Pang! - Unplugged at University of Saint Joseph, 2019

Photo by Ray D. Shaw

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