Side by Side

chair frames and baby toys, 

jackets, toothbrushes coffee cans and pillows

wrapped up in paper bags made of memories

nylon homes buried under lives made of storms… Povertyskola

 Sunday, February 12, 4PM @the Lab, 2948 16th Street in San Francisco

Sunday, February 26, 4PM @PianoFight, 1540 Broadway in Oakland

Six houseless residents of San Francisco, LA and Oakland live outside in tents, cardboard boxes & RVs, surviving together in community, interdependently, until each City deploys a giant machine and multiple poLice and state agencies to crush all of their belongings, tents, walkers, wheelchairs and more. The exciting new play Crushing Wheelchairs, which incorporates magical realism, poetry and myth culminates in violent tragedy and hope rooted in decolonial self-determination. The production includes a cast of only houseless or formerly houseless and disabled actors who have been participants in a series of theatre and writing workshops led by the playwright Tiny (Lisa) Gray-Garcia aka @povertyskola.

“I had everything taken from me, things I will never be able to replace no matter how many hoops I went through—I could never get them back from CalTrans,” said Brokin Cloud. 

Houseless in Oakland for over fifteen years, Brokin Cloud is one of more than twenty co-creators, actors, and writers who have been meeting in a workshop led by the playwright, poet, actor and visionary PovertySkola also known as Tiny Gray-Garcia, who herself was houseless first as a child with her disabled mother for the majority of her childhood, and then again as a single mother with her son due to the violent gentrification of the Bay Area throughout the last decade. 

“This play and all of the theatre work we do at Theatre of the POOR has helped me to heal from the multiple traumas I have dealt with as a houseless disabled Black woman, and survivor of eviction and poverty,” said Aunti Frances Moore, Black Panther, POOR Magazine povertyskola, co-founder of Homefulness, and founder of the Self-Help Hunger Program in Oakland, who plays the character Reggi, based on one of the ancestor povertyskolaz honored in this play, all of whom died because of the violence of anti-poor people-hate, politricks and/or poLice Terror. 

“I created this play based on my life as a child who barely survived poverty and homelessness, criminalization and incarceration. I created this play based on my mama’s life and the lives of countless fellow houseless youth, mamas, and elders who have barely survived and often died from the position of being without shelter in a system that values “private property” over people. A system that values the hoarding and acquiring of stolen resources and indigenous land over the safety of children and families and elders and disabled people, and actually views us as trash —to be swept or put to death,” said playwright tiny Gray-Garcia, formerly homeless, incarcerated, single mother, poet,co-founder with her mama Dee of POOR magazine, visionary of Homefulness and co-author of many publications including Criminal of Poverty – Growing Up Homeless in America and more. 

“This play honors and pays tribute, prayer, and art to the stories and spirits of Steven Taylor, Papa Bear, Luis Demetrio Gonogra Pat, Luis Temaj, Laure McElroy, Desiree Quintero, and Shannon Marie Bigley,and so many more  all who passed from the violence of sweeps, poLice terror, and hate of us poor people,” said Tiny. “This play honors our lives as well—currently in struggle homeless povertyskolaz, in cities like ours. In San Francisco where we are being swept in the rain or hosed down by individuals like art gallery owner Collier Gwin. In Oakland the Wood Street Commons residents are currently struggling with an eviction notice from their longtime neighborhood in West Oakland in the middle of torrential rains.” 

“I feel blessed to rehearse, heal, and co-write my own story of decades of homelessness into the new play Crushing Wheelchairs,” concluded Brokin Cloud. Brokin Cloud also just moved into Homefulness – a rent free housing project created by houseless people at POOR Magazine.This play culminates with Indigenous and all nations prayer for ancestors of homelessness and a discussion about solutions like Homefulness—a homeless peoples solution to homelessness and Wood Street Commons—a homeless resident led community in West Oakland with housed advocates and Houseless residents present