Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2018-19

(Brooklyn, NY)Modesto Jimenez

Project Description

Taxilandia is an immersive play and staged tour of a specific regional neighborhood. The audience of up to 4 are picked up in a cab by Flako while I narrate their journey. As I cruise along the neighborhood, We will make stops at sentimental spots, and regale my customers with an epic yarn: seamlessly switching between poems and stories, anecdotes and testimonies of past customers, both passenger and driver find themselves rolling down ‘Flako’s memory lane’ of the town. Meanwhile, the neighborhood explodes into life! With an ensemble of performers, some young and some old, residents of Bushwick. Along the ride, the audience experiences the neighborhood through the local landmarks and businesses where I will make “pit stops” as well as through an official Taxilandia App and website and theater multimedia exhibition featuring poetry, testimonials offering the passengers an accessible means to explore the history of the area and region in greater detail. Inspired by my 7 years driving a taxicab and my conversations with passengers, residents, natives and immigrants to the neighborhood. Weaving a dramatic performative ‘tapestry’ that interconnects generations, social classes, races and cultures, challenging us to answer: “What is my personal road map of home?”

Taxilandia Team

  • Creator/Writer/Performer: modesto flako jimenez
  • Director: William Burke
  • Technical Director / Video Designer: Kevin Torres
  • Producer: Jane Yung
  • Production Manager: Skye Morse Hodgson
  • Line Producer: Ann Marie Dorr

Biography

Modesto Flako Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised theater maker, producer, and educator. HOLA Best Ensemble Award Winner for 2015. ATI Best Actor Award Winner for 2016. HOLA Outstanding Solo Performer for 2017, NY Times and Wall Street Journal profiled. Flako is best known for original productions and three signature festivals – Ghetto Hors D’Oeuvres, One Catches Light, and Oye! Avant Garde Night! – produced with his company Oye Group. Flako has appeared on TEDxBushwick, Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr/IATI theater), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK). Take Me Home (3LD/ Incubator Arts Project), Richard Maxwell’s Samara (Soho Rep.), Kaneza Schaal’s Jack &. (BAM/On The Boards). Modesto received the 2016 Princess Grace Award Honorarium in Theater. In 2018 he became the first Dominican-American Lead Artist in The Public Theater Under The Radar Festival with his show Oye For My Dear Brooklyn.