Archive for June, 2012

Posted on: June 27th, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Volunteer for IMPACT 2012

WANTED: Motivated and energetic volunteers for IMPACT 2012, a festival of political art focusing on critical issues leading up to this year’s national election. Each week is themed according to a different political topic of debate; ranging from immigration and healthcare to the environment, American foreign policy and the media. The Festival will take place from July 14th through late August at Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street).

We are looking for volunteers to help with Festival outreach, marketing and planning as well as production assistants, house managers, concessions staff, and ushers. Volunteers will be offered free access to Festival events. We are looking for passionate, dedicated volunteers who are local to NYC and have a desire to make a difference in this election. If interested, please email with your availability, interests and resume.

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Directors Call: Be a Part of IMPACT 2012

Culture Project is seeking proposals from directors for the first of two upcoming Directors’ Weekends, July 14-15 and August 25-26 as part of Culture Project’s IMPACT 2012 Festival, drawing attention to important issues leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

Beginning July 14 through late August, Culture Project’s mainstage will be offered to artists, activists, musicians, directors, economists, provocateurs, filmmakers, occupiers, transformers, patriots and visionaries. The Festival will consist of documentaries, satirical and political comedy, and new theater created by emerging and established artists, along with provocative conversations focusing on subjects crucial to the decision-making process and the preservation of our democracy and constitution. One of Culture Project’s oldest initiatives, the goal of the Directors’ Weekend is to create a laboratory for new ideas and inspiration, and to provide opportunities for directors to put their work in dialogue with one another and to participate in our national conversation.

As the kick-off to the Festival, we are asking directors to consider how we as artists can lay the groundwork for change. How can art engage the dormant voices of justice? We’re interested in how you explore and address the following prompt in your own work and are inviting you to propose a 10-15 minute piece in response. Work can be completely original, an interpretation of a classic, or anything in between. Each selected director will be given a small production grant towards the piece, to be allocated as he or she sees fit, limited rehearsal time, and tech time in the space.


July 14-15

What issues in this election are do or die? What are your dreams and nightmares about the next four years, and what utopias and dystopias might our future hold? What forgotten histories might hold the key to progress? How can we use the art of storytelling to inspire civic participation and political action?

Selected proposals will be presented in a festival format in Culture Project’s mainstage theater at 45 Bleecker St. on July 14 & 15 at times TBD. Tech will take place during the day on Friday, July 13 or Saturday, July 14. Please apply only if you are available on these days.

Please send your resume and one or two paragraphs describing your proposed project to by Monday, June 25th at 12:00PM. Accepted directors will be notified by Wednesday, June 27th.

The topic for August 25-26 will be announced in the coming weeks. Directors are welcome apply to both weekends.

Directors of all experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


Posted on: June 13th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

Silent March to End Stop and Frisk

In response to the slew of public debate regarding the New York Police Department (NYPD)’s policy of “Stop and Frisk,” various civil rights, community, faith, and labor groups have organized a protest march for this upcoming Sunday, June 17th. The march is going to be silent—a technique pioneered by the NAACP in 1917—in order to highlight the seriousness of stop and frisk and various forms of racial profiling used by law enforcement officials. The protestors hope to bring to light the ethnic inequalities propagated by such tactics, for example, that 84% of the 685,724 New Yorkers who were stopped and frisked in 2011 were Black or Latino. The Twitter hashtag #SilentMarchNYC is being used to popularize such statistics, as well as to raise awareness about Sunday’s march and affiliated roundtables and rallies.

The march was initiated by 1199 SEIU, NAACP, and National Action Network, and has since been endorsed by over 200 other organizations. The march kicks off from West 110th St. and Fifth Avenue at 3pm on Sunday, and will proceed down Fifth Avenue to 78th St.

Further information can be found at Silent March NYC’s website:

On May 21, Culture Project’s Blueprint for Accountability series presented “NYPD’s Stop and Frisk Policy,” with Rha Goddess, asha bandele, Vince Warren, and others.  Watch the video on demand and learn more about the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy at

Women Center Stage Update

Posted on: June 12th, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Women Center Stage Update

Caroline Rothstein’s faith for one night only!
As seen in two sold-out performances in the WCS 2012 Festival! Caroline Rothstein’s honest, poetic, and breathtaking solo play about her gut-wrenching struggle to cope with the expectations and turmoil of coming of age. Written and performed by Caroline Rothstein, and directed by Alex Mallory. Presented by Poetic Theater Productions as part of the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

This special benefit performance will be tomorrow, June 14 at 8:00 p.m. at Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street). As part of Planet Connections’ socially conscious mission, all net ticket proceeds for this benefit performance will be donated to the National Eating Disorder Association. For tickets ($18) and more information visit or

We Play for the Gods
Written, Directed and Produced by the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. Including WCS alumna: Charity Ballard, Dominique Morriseau, and Nicole Watson; WCS 2011 alumna: Sarah Rasmussen, Mia Rovegno, and Jessi Hill; and our very own WCS Festival Director, Manda Martin!

The copier coughs. The air conditioner stutters. Your Post-It supply is running low. Don’t dismiss the notion that you may be reckoning with forces divine. In the world premiere production of WE PLAY FOR THE GODS, four women go to work on a seemingly ordinary day only to find that a trickster god has slid through the cracks and cubicles of their office to take them on a journey to the other side of ordinary. Who knows, today the same could happen to you.

Performances now through June 23 at Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street). Purchase tickets ($61) at

The Wild Finish goes to Norway
About the show: On a snowy Easter Sunday, Monica embarked on a bicycle journey across the vodka-soaked roads of Poland in search of the man who haunts her-a man of power, genius, fame and violence-her grandfather.

Monica Hunken’s The Wild Finish was workshopped in the Women Center Stage 2011 Festival, and a full production was mounted last January co-presented by WCS. The show made its international premiere in the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, and has now been selected for Norway’s international theater festival. Break a leg, Monica!
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CP Review: Goliath

Posted on: June 6th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

CP Review: Goliath

Like most people of conscience, I was horror-struck by the photos that surfaced in our media in 2004 depicting the torture of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers at Saddham Hussein’s former and infamous prison, Abu Ghraib. I could not make sense of the naked brutality, the willful humiliation and torture of ‘the other’ that the soldier-photographers captured as mementos of their tours of duty. I believe that these atrocities will haunt and corrupt our collective consciousness and memory as a nation.

An intimate snapshot of one soldier’s participation in the 2006 gang rape of an Iraqi woman and the murder of her husband and children just south of Bagdad is the subject of a brilliant one-act play called Goliath written by Takeo Rivera and directed by Alex Mallory. The event is real, but Rivera imagines the characters and the story.

Political drama is often stilted and didactic. Goliath, however, does not fall into the usual political theater traps. Playwright Rivera focuses his lens on a series of close-up shots of a fictional character named David, in his most intimate relationships with his parents, sister, best friend and high school sweetheart who becomes his wife just prior to his first tour of duty. Together, the ensemble cast acts as chorus and witness to the life of the boy, man and soldier, David who valiantly fights exoteric and esoteric demons. David’s devastating truth emerges on the landscape of his collapsing relationships.

Goliath offers no easy answers. Instead, the play raises questions about the nature of war, the deeply personal reasons that men choose to enlist, the misogynist and homophobic attitudes that characterize soldier-making and the 9/11 revenge motive that shrieks like the furies for death.

The brilliance of the play lies in Rivera and Mallory’s ability to fully humanize David. The usual family drama is so clearly part and parcel of our own cultural and social fabric. When David finally comes to the point about his role in the rape and murder of the Iraqi family, the play neither excuses nor fully explains his actions.

One of the motifs of the play is the sensitivity of David as a young boy. His mother recalls a scene from his childhood, troubled by the cruelty of his friends:

Some of the other boys grabbed some feral kittens
threw them into a bag
hit the bag with a hammer
and threw it into the swimming hole

Desperate for David to return home, she later calls to him:

I don’t care if you have to beat the bag with a hammer
just as long as you come back alive

The irony is that David does do something terrible, against his own nature and he makes it back alive, but his post-war reality is tragic. He cannot live with his Iraq-self once back at home. He is lost and therefore relegated, like so many other veterans I see living on our streets, to drift, unhinged from his true self; a living casualty of our war machine.

Presented by Poetic Theater Productions. May 23-June 3. The Wild Project – 195 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009 (F to 2nd Ave) Tickets $18. Visit for tickets and more information.