About the project
What's your definition of a Good Old Boy?
“What’s your definition of a Good Old Boy?”
...is the springboard for GOOD OLD BOYS, a performance and dialogue experiment focused on southern working class white men. The Good Old Boy project is centered on a series of participatory activities and performances.
Participatory activities include meeting folks where they already are and doing stuff like: sittin' a spell in gas stations at 5am, inviting grown folks to play with remote control cars and answering trivia questions, and hosting viewing parties to watch the Dukes of Hazzard and talk about the politics of the show.
The performance includes original old time music and characters inspired by the Dukes of Hazzard hosting an event that fuses live action roleplay, political discussions, and a remote control car race. Designed as a portable show to tour easily, performances happen for small, southern audiences where they already hang out: a 7-11 parking lot, a mechanic’s shop, Hardee's over breakfast, etc.
ashley sparks is a southern theater maker and engagement strategist. As a director, she prefers making site-specific devised work and participatory events that may involve line dancing or gospel singing. Or other things that instigate giggling and joy. As an engagement strategist she’s worked with dozens of artists and organizations to deepen the connection art can have with a specific audience.
Talking about race in a predominantly white community is complicated and can raise eyebrows for some. The following folks are part of a multi-racial accountability team that are in an ongoing conversation with ashley about the complexities and implications of this project:
- Cristal Truscott (Progress Theatre)
- Johnathan Clark (The Carpetbag Theatre)
- Phil Cramer (New Noise Ensemble Theater)
- Mark Valdez (independent director)
- Sage Crump (National Performance Network and Cultural Strategist)
- Jenni Kitchen (Activist and Organizer in Augusta County)
- Jason David (White People 4 Black Lives LA)
- Pam McMichael (SURJ National Advisor)
- Peter Howard (Cornerstone Theater Company)
Ryan Anderson, Drew Bergman, Dan Brawley, Candice Dryer, Reed Graves, Jerry Grillo, Paul Hildebrandt, Jeff and Jenni Kitchen, Tad Janes and actors from the Maryland Ensemble Theater, Robert Martin, Lisa Q. Mount, Mary, Keith and Rusty Ogden, Sam Patterson, John Reedy, Ron Short, Roger and Rosemary Sparks, Nick Szuberla, Ellen and Connie, Todd, Jill, and Erford, the dozens of men that I’ve had coffee with. This project is funded in part by A Blade of Grass.