Rascal Roll Call- Dara Silverman
"I'm excited to create in the wilds of the Everglades and then bring that wildness to the cities and towns of a densely populated state, to bring that feeling of expansion to the developed landscape."
Rascal: Dara Silverman
Rascal Vet: 3rd tour
Role: Artistic Director/ Creator
Special Talent: Can sit for hours even days on end at a computer when doing things for Agile Rascal
Lives: Oakland, CA
From: Lexington, MA
Go-To Biking Snack: chugging applesauce
Favorite Song-to-Sing while biking: anything Kate Bush
Cyclist Rating: 5/5... this is her 3rd tour
Why did you choose to have Agile Rascal tour Florida next?
Occasionally, Lelia, our managing director, and I talk about what will happen when we get older. One joke we had was that we would tour through Florida from retirement home to retirement home. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Florida really was the perfect spot for our next project. We could tour in winter, which meant we could perform when school was in session, and it also meant that, because the sun sets earlier in winter, we could perform outdoors, in the dark, but still at a reasonable hour, and have a lot more fun with theatrical lighting. Also, because Florida is so flat, we can carry a lot more weight, which means we could build a heavier, more interesting set. Additionally, as a creative prompt, Florida is the absolute opposite of Montana, with its wet, tropical climate, amusement parks and dense suburbia. And lastly, of course, is the need. Florida has one of the worst cycling infrastructures in the country. Not so fun for us, maybe, but at least we'll be bringing visibility to a much needed issue in this dense, gas guzzling state!
Should the need arise, what is your strategy for wrestling crocodiles?
Please, just let it eat me quickly and get it over with.
What makes you excited about performing and biking in Florida?
For prior tours, we have made our plays in the comforts of civilization, and then taken them out into the wild, spacious landscape. This year I'm excited to flip that model on its head, creating a play in the wilds of the Everglades and then bring that wildness to the cities and towns of a densely populated state to bring that feeling of expansion to the developed landscape.
And what is intriguing about Florida to you?
I used to visit my grandparents in Florida growing up. I have dark, murky memories of the state—hot and wet and colorful, but always with something mysterious lurking just out of view. I'm excited to be in that space with that feeling again, because I think it's a great place to create from.
Do you have any personal goals for this theatre project?
Agile Rascal was envisioned as a way to smash theater and cycling together, and so far, these things have sort of mushed up against each other, but still remain somewhat oil and water in the mix. My goal with this project is to really emulsify these two things by bringing our theatricality onto the road and bringing the physicality of bicycling onto our stage.
Can you tell us a funny bicycling story?
So here's a funny story! This one time I was on a bike tour with my theater company through the state of Montana, and on our third day out, I was blabbing with a fellow Rascal
down a gravel road and wiped out really hard. I had to be carted off in an ambulance and spent the next month on crutches. Luckily I was able to finish the tour on my bike in time to ride through the prettiest parts of the state, including the unforgettable "Going-to-the-Sun road." Lesson? Just say no to gravel.
Why do you choose to do live theatre?
Because, as our culture becomes increasingly solitary and mediated by screens, live theater feels increasingly radical, simply by the fact that it requires people to leave their houses, put their phones away, and sit down in the dark next to a stranger, and be open to whatever emotional roller coaster the piece might take them on. And that, in and of itself, feels brave and subversive.
Tell us about an outdoor or free theatre experience (besides Agile Rascal)
I just saw Bread and Puppet last week on a farm. The grass beneath their feet was green and the sky above their heads was a pastel sunset fading into twilight. The show was colorful, clever and full of heart. Just being with them there felt like a tiny slice of utopia. The play itself didn't rattle me to my core, or change the way I saw the world, but the bigger vision they embodied in the way they were living, creating and traveling together was bigger than the play itself.
What will it mean to intersect bicycles, environment and theatre?
Agile Rascal baby! It means trying to find a new way of being in the world that's physical, connected, creative, collaborative, brave and a little foolish. And it means taking that experiment and living it boldly and theatrically, sharing our findings with our audiences, people we meet along the way, and YOU, our friends at home.