Will Johnson

"Stories Will Not Mend This Broken World"
Pronouns: he / they
Artistic Discipline: Theater
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Williamsburg

Stories Will Not Mend This Broken World is a new play developed by Brooklyn writer Will Johnson and director Handan Ozbilgin of Identity Crisis Theater. This project’s genesis was a journey the playwright took to Istanbul shortly after the earthquake that devastated Turkey in 2023. That event, which triggered massive waves of migration throughout Turkey and the Middle East, is deeply relevant to the plight of migrants and their allies in Brooklyn today. In performance, this piece works to provoke conversation among artists and audiences about the nature of exile and dispossession, environmental disaster, and the relationship between language and power. What is the role of art in an age of intensifying ecological crises? How do we care for vulnerable populations when we ourselves are struggling to survive? How do we combat xenophobia in a time of heightened prejudice against immigrants? These questions are at the core of this project.