(NY, NY) NPTC is pleased to announce the launch of THEATRE FROM THE STREETS, a 12-week pilot project prompted by discussions among theatre women involved with the 2020 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award, given by the International Committee of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW). NPTC is partnering with U.S. and international companies to provide a platform in which theatre artists can use their creative talents to be a voice for THE PEOPLE.
The pilot program looks at the first of what are expected to eventually be worldwide regions: Palestine & Lebanon, Venezuela, and India for one month each on four successive Sundays. Each event includes the work of three invited theatre artists (12 total for each region.) To achieve the goals of the program, the theatrical pieces will focus on the themes of Correcting the Record, A Day in the Life and What Will It Take?
Palestine & Lebanon will be spotlighted August 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2021 at 12:00pm EST (U.S.) with works curated by Iman Aoun, Artistic Director of ASHTAR Theatre, the oldest youth theatre in Palestine. A renowned international trainer in theatre of the oppressed techniques, she works with marginalized youth in devising pieces based on their personal stories, including the global sensation The Gaza Monologues. Aoun is an award-winning actor and director, and has received numerous commendations for her work from different countries, international organizations and festivals. http://www.ashtar-theatre.org
Featured artists for the first four programs will include Abdelfattah Abusrour, Ali Abu Yasin, Raeda Taha, Bassem El Dirawi, among others.
The pieces will be performed in English in a 60-minute live Zoom meeting. Scripts in the native language will also be made available during the performances. Audiences will be invited to engage in a discussion immediately following the readings that will contextualize the theatre pieces and deepen our understanding of the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed peoples in these areas.
Each event will be recorded and posted to the YouTube Channel of New Perspectives Theatre Company, a NYC-based non-profit which has been dedicated for 30 years to giving voice to the “other”. Partners in this endeavor include ASHTAR Theatre (Palestine), Brighton Theatre (U.K.), Darpana Academy of Performing Arts (India), LPTW International Committee (U.S.), Teatro La Comarca (Venezuela), and Theatre Beyond Broadway (U.S.).
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THEATRE FROM THE STREETS TEAM
NEW PERSPECTIVES THEATRE COMPANY (NPTC) is an award-winning, multi-racial company performing for the last 30 years in Midtown Manhattan, communities throughout NYC and the Northeastern U.S., and as of 2015, internationally. The Company’s mission is to: develop and produce new plays and playwrights, especially women and people of color; present classic plays in a style that addresses contemporary issues and restores forgotten female theatre practitioners to the Canon; and extend the benefits of theatre to young people and communities in need. Our aim is not to exclude, but to cast a wider net. http://www.nptnyc.org
MELODY BROOKS is the founder and Artistic Director of NPTC. She is an award-winning producer, director and dramaturg and recipient of the “Spirit of Hope Award” from Speranza Theatre Company for her career-long support of women theatre artists. Brooks and NPTC also received the “Trailblazing Women and Arts Institutions Award” from Rhythm Color Associates. She currently leads NPTC’s Women’s Work Project, which develops new plays and rescues plays by women from the past. Brooks is on the Board of LPTW and has co-produced the triennial LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award Program since 2014.
LINDA CHAPMAN is a long-time member of the League of Professional Theater Women serving as Chair of the Lucille Lortel Committee and Co-chair with Joan D. Firestone of the International Committee. She is a Founding Board President of Youth Arts NY (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons coalition member – 2017 Nobel Peace Prize). Chapman was Associate Artistic Director at New York Theatre Workshop from 1995-2020; co-adapted Ann Bannon’s Lesbian classic, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (GLAAD Media Award winner, nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award) for the stage with playwright Kate Moira Ryan. Co-writer/performer of OBIE Award winning Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with life partner, Lola Pashalinski.
JOAN D. FIRESTONE is a familiar figure in NYC’s cultural and civic communities, having held policy level positions in the for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors including: Assistant Director of the New York State Council on the Arts; President of Primary Design Galleries; Executive Director of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Association; Director of Economic Development and Cultural Advisor to the NYC Comptroller; Special Advisor in the Arts to the NYC Schools Chancellor; and Executive Director of The Moth. Firestone maintains an active role in the theatre community in the development of innovative new works promoting social change. A former Co-President of LPTW, she is currently co-chair of the International Committee and serves on the Boards of The Moth, En Garde Arts, and New Yorkers for Culture and Arts (NY4C&A).
LUPE GEHRENBECK is an award-winning playwright and director with a 30-year track record. She has collaboratively developed and independently produced more than 25 plays in Caracas and across three continents in multiple cities, using the same independent collaborative format to adapt them to the local audiences. She also created “Theater Without Borders” for UNESCO, working with at-risk migrant children populations in Mexico. Gehrenbeck has received numerous awards for her work; an anthology of eight of her plays was published in 2018. She is Vice President of Gimnasio de Actores, Caracas and a member of the PDW of the Actors Studio NYC. https://www.lupegehrenbeck.com
MALINI SINGH MCDONALD is the founder of Theatre Beyond Broadway which provides a platform to promote and support a broad range of independent artists through producing, publicity, education and a podcast. McDonald is currently Executive Vice President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and has been recognized with a Woman of Distinction Award from the City of New York for her contribution to Media, Arts and Culture. www.theatrebeyondbroadway.com.
MALLIKA SARABHAI is a celebrated Indian performer and activist best known for playing the lead role in Peter Brook’s magnum opus, The Mahabharata. She has traveled the world with her work for four decades, using dance, theatre, music, puppetry, video and martial arts to draw attention to issues relating to women, violence, human rights and the environment. Sarabhai received the second and third highest civilian award from France and India, numerous human rights awards, and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. www.darpana.com
FAYNIA WILLIAMS is a multi-award winning international theatre director and BBC producer of drama and documentaries. She has been artistic director of five UK theatres including her current post at Brighton Theatre, where she uses the power of the arts to go “where politics cannot, with the aim of effecting change”. Williams has also worked with a number of international organizations, including serving as honorary president of UNESCO’S International Theatre Institute Dramatic Theatre Committee. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. www.brightontheatre.com