–photo by Mark Garvin
I’ve seen a few solo, one-act performances this season. I’m always so impressed by how impactful they are with non-stop emotions, bare minimum sets, and a big message that reminds the audiences of the power of storytelling above anything else. In Where We Belong, written and performed by Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet, we are immediately drawn into her story. Through her, we feel and meet many characters. Her ability to transform from one person to the next leaves us in her grasp until she exits the stage.
Where We Belong takes us on Sayet’s journey from growing up to moving to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. At home, she learns about her Mohegan background, her ancestors, why it’s important to keep their language and stories alive. She’s named after a blackbird, but has yet to fly. As she studies Shakespeare and travels the world with speaking opportunities, she discovers more about herself and her tribe. The UK refuses to acknowledge their role in colonialism and Sayet finds herself wondering how she can speak up for so many of her ancestors, the betrayals they have faced through centuries, and how we can do better moving forward.
Where We Belong is a beautiful show filled with a story that needs to be told. We should listen. We should think more about how we can be there for one another, stand up for one another, and acknowledge those who came before us. Philadelphia is just the first stop as the performance embarks on a national tour, in conjunction with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Folger Shakespeare Library.
In an effort to reach out to Indigenous peoples in the region, PTC will offer free tickets to Indigenous people for the run of the show. PTC has also partnered with We Are The Seeds to host events and will support We are the Seeds’ public events, as well as other local Indigenous artists and Lenape organizations.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the theatre’s website. PTC continues its 10Tix program, with support from PNC Arts Alive, to provide a select number of seats at $10 for every performance.