Queens Theatre to Premiere I See You and You See Me in April, Spotlighting Queens’ Stories of Fear, Resilience, and Hope Amid COVID-19
—Written, Adapted, and Directed by Harris Doran of Queens, Film is Based on Stories Shared with the Queens Memory Project—
—Learn more and RSVP at: https://queenstheatre.org/event/coming-soon-i-see-you-and-you-see-me/—
(Queens, NY)—This April 22 at 7:00 PM (EST), Queens Theatre will spotlight stories about resilience and hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic with its new film, I See You and You See Me, based on oral history and source material from the Queens Memory Project.
The film, a Madison Square Films production, was written, adapted, and directed by Harris Doran (Beauty Mark, Bleeding Love), and produced by QT’s Dominic D’Andrea, and stars 11 actors presenting the accounts of Queens residents who shared their stories about their lives last year with the Queens Memory Project at the Queens Public Library.
At turns sad, frustrating, angry, humorous, and even hopeful, the stories illustrate the emotional and psychological impact of the events of 2020 on our lives. As the film opens up, it reminds us that when New York shut down due to the virus in March 2020, “the stories of Queens were silenced. But the voices of Queens still called out to be heard.”
Queens Theatre will debut the film on YouTube on Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 PM (EST). To learn more and RSVP to see the film for free, visit https://queenstheatre.org/event/coming-soon-i-see-you-and-you-see-me/.
“At Queens Theatre, we always are seeking ways to connect with the diverse communities we serve, and during the pandemic have connected more broadly with a global audience,” says Taryn Sacramone, QT’s Executive Director. “This exceptional, moving film, shares the stories of hope, of pain, and of promise – and all originating in Queens – with the world. By presenting these beautifully scripted stories – all based on true accounts – we hope to show that we are not alone, that we all truly are in this together, and that we will prevail.”
“We made this project as a love letter to the Queens Community,” says Dominic D’Andrea, the film’s producer and QT’s Director of Community Engagement. “This project was created from the stories of Queens community members, with Queens artists, in Queens, during the height of the pandemic. At that time, Queens was the global epicenter of the epicenter. We felt an enormous responsibility to give voice to our stories in this period of deep uncertainty. While we were all experiencing this trauma together, we found beauty and laughter and existential questions and our humanity underneath. This film celebrates all of that. This film is Queens.”
“This film gives a look into people’s homes during the pandemic, and I think us getting to see the many different experiences all happening simultaneously, lets us know that we are not alone,” says Harris Doran, the film’s writer and director.
The film stars (in order of appearance): Alana Raquel Bowers (Chicken and Biscuits); Deborah S. Craig (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, “The Blacklist”); Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots); Deirdre Lovejoy (“The Wire,” “The Blacklist”); Carol Mazhuvancheril (The Inheritance); Pooya Mohseni (“Law & Order: SVU,” “Madame Secretary”); Kate Rigg (Mile 22, “Oz”); Khalid Rivera (“Pose,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”); James Seol (Lucille Lortel Award nomination “KPOP,” “The Flight Attendant”); Rocky Vega (On That Day in Amsterdam); and Brittany Vicars (I Didn’t Come Here to Make Love).
The film adapts stories that emerged last year from residents of Queens. Those stories featured in the film were provided by: Kaffy Abdul; Hector Biaggi; Seo-Young Chu; Tanya Fiebert; Emily Hepding; Sto Len; Douglas Lyons; Carrie Marino; Natalie Milbrodt; Demetries Morrow; Sheena Pachon; and, Sarah Pousty.
“The Queens Memory Project is thrilled to partner with the Queens Theatre team on this production,” says Natalie Milbrodt, Director of the Queens Memory Project. “We work every day with Queens residents sharing their lived experiences on the record for future researchers who will want to know about the realities of this moment in history. Engaging with the creativity of artists like The Queens Theatre team helps us share these stories in exciting and impactful ways to new audiences.”
The creative time behind I See You and You See Me included: Dominic D’Andrea, Harris Doran, Jay Rogers (Producers); Oscar Frasser (Cinematography); and Harris Doran (Editor). The film was shot remotely in actors’ homes and on stage at Queens Theatre.
About the Queens Theatre
Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. QT theatre presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, Queens Theatre launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, Queens Theatre has produced a range of digital programming – readings of new plays, wellness checks with performances for seniors, original dance showcases, a Storytellers series, an online round of its TFA training program for Deaf/Disabled actors, and more.
About Queens Memory
Queens Memory is an ongoing community archiving program supported by Queens Public Library and Queens College, CUNY. We engage with Queens residents in our two-fold mission to (1) push local history collections out to the public through programming and online resources, and (2) pull new materials into our collections from the diverse communities of Queens. The goal is to raise awareness and a sense of ownership in the production of our shared historic record and our dream is that any Queens resident who visits these collections feels his/her experiences and perspective are represented.