Through the use of theatrical storytelling Frenzy Fest aims to increase awareness and empathy about the stigma of mental health issues and community dysfunctions. Frenzy Fest is a competitive bilingual English/Spanish theatrical festival focusing on social and psychological vulnerabilities of individuals and communities at large. Through an open call process, a series of short plays are selected to participate in the annual “Frenzy Fest.” Selected plays should be one act dramatic performances (English or Spanish) between thirty to forty minutes long, reflecting a form of a “Frenzy” episode, such as mental agitation, violent excitement, emotional breakdown, delirium, and or rage. All consequential matters like provocation, mortality, illness, suicide, PTSD, addiction, loss, betrayal, injustice, racism, and oppression are examples of what can lead to a Frenzy episode.Frenzy Fest Producers and the judges using a scoring method consider very carefully the artistic quality, as well as the psychological approach to the theatrical pieces from the moment of the selection of script, directors, and actors. Frenzy Fest quality control (lights, sound, theater management, etc.) also maintain by the Frenzy Fest Producers. Every play is showcased twice followed by a post-show discussion with mental health professionals in attendance giving the audience the opportunity to engage and gain a deeper understanding, developing empathy and changed perceptions. At the conclusion of the festival the judges, made up of mental health practitioners, professional writers and theater producers will vote to select a winner. The winner will be able to present their play at El Barrio’s ArtSpace PS109, without any cost to the producer and keep a 100% of their profit
(L) American Dream is a sitcom about the Latin-American ambition and idealism, funny patriotism and, in general, the American experience for any migrant that is struggling to achieve his dream without loosing hope or beat. It’s George Lopez and King of Queens kind of comedy but unlike them it’s a show about the Caribbean experience in NYC and filmed in American Family style. (L) American Dream is a show about America. It’s about “El Barrio”; YOUR Barrio, wherever you are in the States. (L) American Dream is a show about OUR dreams and the journey to achieve them.
Puerto Rican Movie Nights is a Barrio Independent Productions’ initiative in order to keep the diaspora in touch with Puerto Rican cinema. It was presented for the first time in November 2019 dedicated to the director and screenwriter Luis Caballero with the presentation of three of his films.
Elders’ Acting Workshops (EAW) developed for BIP with the Acacia Network participants’’ senior citizens, is a unique concept that can offer several health and social benefits for senior citizens. Acting, is exactly the kind of demanding, brain-stimulating activity that can help maintain and improve memory and overall cognitive health, not to mention enhance one’s engagement with life. Some studies did before-and-after testing of participants to gauge the effects of the mental effort involved in learning acting. The Elders Acting workshops will mainly help elders discover what they are capable of, in overcoming their psychological blocks. The benefits can be many: increases mental acuity, enhances the elderly’s relationships with those around them, bolsters self-esteem, and is just a lot of fun. The Workshops culminated in a short film developed by the participants with the professor’s guidance insuring the participants with the satisfaction of seeing their work on the big/small screen resulting in an improvement of their self-esteem. Professors: Amneris Morales, Belange Rodriguez and Ivan Goris