'Roughly Speaking' The Platform Group of NYC to Raise Awareness of the Homeless

“Roughly Speaking: Voices From The Soup Kitchen” produced by the Platform Group of NYC, is a new play raising awareness of the plight of the homeless, which captures the many hues and layers of the life of those who’ve fallen into hard times.


The Platform Group’s newest endeavor is an insightful work that is raising awareness of the plight of the homeless. It is a call to action using the wealth of production experience of the Platform Group to creatively depict varied experiences of the homeless. Six volunteers have worked tirelessly to interview actual homeless individuals who entrusted their stories to them. Material for this production was gathered by playwrights while spending their time volunteering at the soup kitchens of the St. Francis Xavier Mission, giving them an in-depth perspective.


St. Francis Xavier Mission’s Welcome Table, serves between 900-1600 hot meals weekly to the homeless. There is a raw and poignant truth about the homeless. They each have a story detailing how they got where they are. A change of fortune may have landed them in this situation. There are stories within stories. In New York City alone, records reveal that 60,000 people are homeless on a daily basis. In this populous city, as well as other points on the globe, the homeless often become invisible to some, an inconvenient reality to others, and to others still, they are a source of embarrassment.


Playwright Melissa Tien said during an interview: “The forthcoming play consists of stories such as that of a woman in her 50’s who lost her home after her husband died, and she plummeted from a a middle class life to homelessness. “She traveled every year; she had a house…now she gets up at 4 a.m. in Grand Central Station because a cop is rolling her.”


Other interviews conducted at Xavier Mission include stories of a college student who sleeps on the subway, a veteran who sill has shrapnel in is his back and suffers from narcolepsy. A musician who once played with the greats, a filmmaker that never quite made it, a paraplegic rapper who stays in shelters because they are handicapped accessible. Also, victims of domestic abuse, former gang members, those suffering from addiction, as well as stories from those who have successfully made it out of the system.


Platform Artistic Director, Shara Ashley Zeiger said: “These stories are touching, powerful and sometimes even funny. Something like this has never been done before, and we are excited to share it.”


The success of this event will allow this project to develop to its fullest potential. The productions will be used to elevate the awareness about the plight of the homeless and provide opportunities for other interested artists and collaborators in the community to join The Platform Group to create platforms, build bridges, and move mountains through theatre.


The playwrights collaborating on this project include: Shara Ashley Zeiger (Platform founder), Melisa Tien (Women’s Project, EST), Mel Nieves (LAByrinth, The Actors Studio), Jonathan Libman (IRT, The Actors Studio), Joe Norton (Broadway Cares, NY Fringe), and Erin Moughon-Smith (Old Vic New Voices).


The Platform Group, was founded in 2010 and is an Off-Broadway Theater Company that creates work that challenges, inspires and seeks to elevate its audiences and artists to new heights, giving them a platform to stand on. The team is funding the project through a Kickstarter campaign that will launch May 11, 2015.


The Platform Group depends on donors from individuals for support. For more information please visit: The Platform Group Donations.


Release ID: 81516