After The Jungle returns to St. Ann's Warehouse in the spring, the Brooklyn theatre and Good Chance will bring the critically acclaimed production, which has been newly repurposed for touring, to the nation's capital. The D.C. production, co-presented with Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth, will be the first stop on a national tour, with more cities and dates to be announced.
As previously reported, the Off-Broadway return engagement of The Jungle will kick off at St. Ann's April 2, with Ammar Haj Ahmad and Ben Turner reprising their performances. The D.C. run is scheduled for August 25–September 13 at Sidney Harman Hall, leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Additional casting for both productions will be announced at a later date.
The Jungle is written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin. The immersive show transports audiences to the French refugee camp known as the Jungle—where thousands of refugees from Africa and the Middle East built a society while they waited for their “good chance” passage to Britain.
The work is performed by an international company of actors, many of whom come from refugee backgrounds, including some who lived in the Calais Jungle, and who now reside in the U.K.
“The Jungle offers a poignant response to harsh government policies toward refugees and worsening conditions for migrants across the globe," says Susan Feldman, the founding artistic director of St. Ann’s Warehouse. "More and more people are suffering as abuses are hidden from view and totalitarian governments rise on the backs of those in need. We hope the production’s return to New York, the simultaneous construction of a Good Chance Dome on our border with Mexico, and the tour of The Jungle to American cities—including, first and foremost, the nation’s capital—will sound the alarm and encourage people to take action on behalf of our shared humanity.”
In addition to the tour, Good Chance will erect a Jungle-like dome (the show is staged in a dome modeled after the real-life French refugee camp, Calais Jungle), in Tijuana, Mexico—a city that is a temporary home to thousands of migrants and refugees seeking to claim asylum in the U.S. The dome, constructed in partnership with the Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (IMAC), will host performances by local artists, in addition to inviting artists from across Mexico, the U.S., and around the world to present workshops in theatre, dance, singing, drumming, puppetry, poetry, illustration, and other art forms. Each week will culminate in a Hope Show, where the public is invited in to see what has been created, to share different cultures, and to hear the stories of the people living in their city.
The initiative is overseen by Good Chance and three curators, including Jesús Quintero and Ramón Verdugo, who will work with partners across Tijuana, including theatre company Tijuana Hace Teatro and humanitarian organizations Families Belong Together and Border Angels. The project is being led by two core members of the Good Chance team: Claudia Benítez, from Mexico, and Ana Guerrero, from Colombia.
Good Chance's The Jungle debuted in London in 2017 in a co-production with the National Theatre at the Young Vic. In 2018, it played in the West End before making its American premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse, followed by a run at San Francisco's Curran in 2019.