On Thursday, Aug. 23, students from the North Brooklyn Development Corporation Summer Camp, a community-based arts program that offers young people the opportunity to use theatre and visual art as a tool to respond to environmental concerns, demonstrated their creative talents with a play about Newtown Creek, showing their vision of the creek's past, present and future.
The play was held at McGolrick Park in Greenpoint, and approximately 65 children participated in the production as part of “Everybody Act,” a program that encourages theatre in youth that was founded by Kevin Ray
Ray, a resident of Greenpoint, said he applied for a grant with the North Brooklyn Development Corporation for the project and raised $2,000 from neighbors through the website Indiegogo.
Carrying a blue, papier-mâché puppet, Ray said the three large puppets used in the play represented the spirit of Newtown Creek at different stages of its history.
“We created the puppets and the performance in the last two weeks,” Ray said. “Newtown Creek is very close to us.”
Kasia Selwesiuk-Swietochowski, program director for summer camp, helped organize the play. “Our performance shows the children's vision for the creek,” she said.
With paper fish and long, blue sheets for water, audience members could imagine what the creek might have looked like before decades of damage, including a massive underground oil spill.
“All these kids live in the neighborhood, and they are very aware of the pollution in the creek,” Selwesiuk-Swietochowski said.
Concluding the play, each child spoke about their hope for the creek's future. From swimming to fishing, everyone had a dream about the possibilities of clean water.