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Modern-Day Griot’s ‘In Transit’ at the Transit Museum

Ghost trains: Subway car performance tells tales of straphangers past

All an act: Actors from the New Griot troupe stand in one of the train cars where they will perform their pieces about historical life on the subway.
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Subway drama never gets old.

Now, a Fort Greene theater company is dredging up straphanger drama of years past with “In Transit,” a series of short, immersive plays that will take place inside the New York Transit Museum, simulating subway activity through the decades.

“We want to explore the human relationships that happen when we travel the New York transit system,” said Pharah Jean-Philippe, founder and artistic director of the Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company. “It is a chance for the audience to observe with no repercussions.”

The scenes will take place on June 5 and 6, inside the vintage trains that are on display within the subterranean Downtown museum. The vignettes will include a scene from the 1980s, where two girls talk smack about everyone who enters their train car; a scene with a woman in the 1930s pining for the days of real gentlemen; and a scene from 1913, in which two vagabonds play music and dance in their own old-timey version of the modern-day Showtime.

An actor playing a conductor will escort the audience between the cars and plays.

“It is a tapestry of the diversity of our city,” said Jean-Philippe.

“In Transit” at the New York Transit Museum [Boerum Pl. at Schermerhorn Street in Downtown, (718) 694–1600, web.mta.info/mta/museum]. June 5 and 6 at 7 pm. $25.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
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