Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s current show, “Sanctuary City” by Martyna Majok, features two DREAMers looking for their place in America. To tie the stage and the real world together, Berkeley Rep installed a lobby exhibit of collected stories, art works, and posters of immigration stories.
“Into the Light: Stories and Lived Experiences of Immigration” is a collaboration with three local organizations providing immigration support services: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Oasis Legal Center, and Youth Unmuted. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant also provided expert consultation services to the “Sanctuary City” cast as a part of their research and character preparation.
The exhibit includes multimedia pieces, poster art, photography, illustrations, paintings, and more, each from local artists. The artists reflect the experiences of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA (delayed actions for childhood arrival) recipients, and TPS (temporarily protected status) recipients in the Bay Area and beyond.
Asri Wulandari (she/they), a digital and performance artist featured in the exhibit, sits at the intersection of multiple identities as a refugee, queer, trans Muslim of color. Asri’s piece “Mandi Kembang,” a photograph from a larger collection on identity, questions the imposed norms, rules, and myths of our cultural and socio-political environment. Another artist, Brianna Davis, uses her piece “I am Too Expansive,” an acrylic painting of a woman, to express an affirmation of those who navigate the world with marginalized identities — not by choice, but by the mere fact of being Black or brown, queer, or undocumented.
“While Berkeley Rep takes great pride in presenting rich and diverse storytelling from the stage,” says Associate Managing Director Sunshine Deffner, “we are equally proud to support the local organizations engaged with the real-life experiences of the stories we tell as artists.”
This installation is part of In Dialogue, a new Berkeley Rep initiative that develops deeper relationships with our communities. “Sanctuary City” and “Into the Light” run at Berkeley Rep through Aug. 14.