Monica Hunken

"The Night the Bridge Shook"
Artistic Discipline: Theater
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Crown Heights

Monica Hunken aims to inspire bravery to acknowledge our connection to others across borders. She creates docu-adventure theater and performance interventions, both in traditional theater spaces as well as public sites of injustice, centered on social issues. She investigates stories of her own ancestral traditions, truth bared, as a channel for the audience to connect to their vulnerability, their personal ‘hero’ journeys in life and to recognize the power they have to be instrumental in making change.

She believes in the power of storytelling to awaken dormant dreams and to activate the impulse for social change. Invoking mythologies of the Norse and her own family’s Slavic traditions as containers, Hunken creates a site-specific theater piece set on pedestrian bridges exploring what we need to leave behind and what we want to build to combat the crisis intersection of climate and forced immigration. In the form of a journey performance; the audience is guided across the bridge by choral singers, puppeteers, mythical creatures, monsters and gods who sing and speak in multiple languages.

The audience experiences a fantastical meta- narrative to examine their own fears and ideas about the fate of our planet. There are several stories of the Rainbow bridge leading to the world of the gods. When Earth is destroyed from apocalypse, a team of brave mortals need to venture across to forge the emerging new Earth, rising from the seas. What happens in that space between the new and the old, that delicate and treacherous transition time?