So why "The Vagrancy?"
Vagrants have been historically characterized as outsiders, and often these outsiders were the artists of a particular community. In the UK in 1824, The Vagrancy Act 1824 was aimed to remove all undesirables from public view. In some East Asian and South Asian countries, the condition of vagrancy has long been historically associated with the religious life. So as Vagrants, we are a group of people who wander this city looking for artistic inspiration, connection and community.
We honor and acknowledge the indigenous original caretakers of their traditional lands and their descendants past, present and future. We recognize our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Anishinaabe people, the People of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi (Grand Rapids, MI).
The Vagrancy is a 501(c)3 ensemble of artists committed to new, lesser-known and classical productions with ‘duende’ and the development of new works told by historically marginalized voices. We aim to provide equitable access to professional theatre and offer “pay-what-you-want” admission to all our programming.
A company founded and led by women and nonbinary artists, we hire with primary attention to artists who are women, nonbinary, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and individuals with disabilities, hoping to reach similarly diverse audiences by doing so. In addition, we commit especially to hiring directors who are women, non-binary, and/or of the trans lived experience.
The Vagrancy creates visceral work that seeks to touch the human spirit. We embrace fear, vulnerability, and embarrassment. Through the power of theatre our audiences will experience the lives of people who may be outside their personal bubble of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. They will explore new environments – some accessible only through the imagination. They will be exposed to thoughts, ideas, and opinions, which prior to this experience, they may have never considered. When the audience engages with our stories, they will bring an enriched perspective of how they understand their own lives and the lives of others. Ultimately, through the shared experience of theatre our audience will expand and enrich their definition of what it means to be human.
The Vagrancy embraces the concept of duende, seeking to share dynamic, poetic, highly theatrical, and meaningful artistic experiences with our audiences and communities.
What is 'duende'?
Duende is a Spanish term, coined by Federico Garcia Lorca during a lecture given in Buenos Aires in 1933. In reference to art, when one says a work “tiene duende,” it means that work has soul. This sensibility is often attributed to the style of magical realism.