New Perspectives Theatre Company
Melody Brooks, Artistic Director presents
THEATRE FROM THE STREETS
An international pilot program creating conversations across borders
Round Two featuring The Philippines and Tanzania
and the Launch of Round One’s Programming on YouTube
October 2 – November 27, 2022
(NY, NY) NPTC is pleased to announce sessions for Round Two of THEATRE FROM THE STREETS (TFTS), our virtual platform for artists and activists to connect across borders and to use the medium of theatre to bring authentic stories of average citizens to a wider audience. TFTS is specifically focused on countries and regions experiencing increased authoritarian oppression and loss of civil rights. The program is intended to circumvent biased political and media narratives, and bring to light the realities for ordinary people “on the ground” trying to live their lives and care for their families.
In sharing a series of short theatrical pieces from selected areas with a global audience, our hope is to create a groundswell of enlightened and engaged citizens ready to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. The platform also provides support to theatre artists working in these locations and connects them to their peers elsewhere. Moderators for performance events–drawn from theatre and cultural scholars, political scientists, and elected officials–put the theatrical work in context for the invited audience, which includes global theatre practitioners, educators, cultural leaders and activists. TFTS started August 1, 2021 as a 12-week pilot project prompted by discussions among theatre women involved with the 2020 Gilder/Coigney International Theater Award, given by the League of Professional Theater Women.
Round 2 begins with a spotlight on The Philippines on October 16 and 23 at 9am ET (U.S.) curated by Charles Yee, a Chinese-Filipino artist-educator from the Philippines. He recently completed an MFA in Directing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, the Asian Cultural Council, and a Lillian Disney Scholarship. Tanzania will follow on November 20 and November 27 with works curated by Grace Gachocha Nakaka, an Educator and Co-Director of Talanta Tano Organization, which she founded in 2012 to use Theatre as a developmental tool with young people seeking to make change in their communities.
The pieces are performed in English in a 90-minute live Zoom meeting. Audiences are invited to engage in a moderated discussion immediately following the readings to deepen our understanding of the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed peoples in these areas. Tickets are by Invitation Only. Attendance Capacity is limited.
TFTS also announces the launch of Round One programming on NPTC’s YouTube channel featuring excerpts of performances and conversations from the India, Palestine/Lebanon, and Venezuela sessions last year. Three episodes will center on the themes: “Authoritarianism is a Pandemic”, “Mothers and the Motherland” and “From the Streets to the World”. The videos will be available starting October 2nd.
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
Facebook: NPTCtheatre | Twitter/Instagram: @NPTCTheatre | YouTube: NewPerspectivesTC
MELODY BROOKS (Producer/Project Director) 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.
THE ADVISORY TEAM
IMAN AOUN is the 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
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 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award program 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 was formerly Executive Vice President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, is 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. http://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. http://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. http://www.brightontheatre.com