Tuesday, November 13, 2012

21st Century America: What Can Brown Do For You?


When Pat Buchanan talked about a 'cultural war' in he frightened the hell out of me. Amidst of a sea of screaming white faces in suits I wondered how a small, privileged group that has had every luxury and right afforded to it could be so hateful against a diverse multi hued conglomerate of Americans who just aspired to have half the chances promised. The rage seemed more psychological than based on any statistics. Twenty years later I can finally see what all those screaming faces were talking about. Pat Buchanan was right but not in the way he thought. A war has been waged against Black and Latino people for hundreds of years in the Western hemisphere to the advantage of European travelers. In this war every method of violence, police action, chemical warfare, judicial injustice, media manipulation, religious reasoning has been used. And after centuries of success, the cracks in the armor are starting to show in the domination of White America.

In 1992 Buchanan was right. Statisticians have looked at US population and have been waiting for the tipping point in race: that point where White voters/consumers can't control things solely just through their own power. Winning national election was possible just on getting the White vote because there were more of them. And every Republican president since Nixon has relied on winning overwhelmingly the white vote. Mitt Romney tried the same thing and pollsters and statisticians warned their campaign that this would be the last time they could ever attempt this and it probably wouldn't be that successful. 

The triumph of Obama's re-election on Tuesday wasn't his soaring rhetoric. His speeches have been mostly dull and subdued affairs. The greatest thing about the shift going on isn't the man in office, but the tidal wave that is carrying the man in office. 

Black and Latino power is uniting into an unwilling coalition of voting and consumer power. Geographically located in urban areas of the country and focused in America's major trade hubs, there is an "Urban Nation" rising up. It's comprised not just of Blacks and Latinos, but single mothers, college graduates, women, progressive Catholics and a more multi-hued variety that isn't fully served y the monolithic words: Hispanic and Latino. Central Americans and South Americans are diversifying the picture of "Latino America" and it's no longer a simple triangulation of Mexicans in LA, Cubans in Miami, and Puerto Ricans in New York. 

Florida politics have been dominated by Cubans. If this was 10 years ago, Romney would have won Florida easily. Conservative Cuban voters would have tipped Dade and Broward county to the Republicans in a straight party ticket. But the fever of anti-Castro Miami politics has broken. Latinos from other regions now outnumber older Cubans who are dying off...AND THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT CASTRO. The shameless ring-kissing of presidential candidates coming down to Miami and cursing Castro out is now antiquated and unnecessary. Younger Cubans born in America have no direct hatred of Fidel and therefore, it's like hearkening back to Reagan to win over Generation X'ers who were in diapers during the Gipper's first term. 

There will be a shift in media companies, content, and concepts. This will happen first in the online community where people vote in clicks. Marketing companies that are still 95% white and male (which is mostly Madison Avenue titans) will have to do some fast adaption to a market that is shifting away marketing sweet spot: white male age 18-45.

The new Urban nation will show itself politically in the next 10 years in the Gulf region: from Texas all the way through Florida. This U-shaped corridor will be the center of power shift. New Mexico has already shifted away from voting Republican and conservative ideology. Arizona is already in the process of shifting as it's sandwiched in between two states (California and New Mexico) which are going to become more liberal in the next generation. But the political heartland of the Old South is Texas. 

Texas is so large that it's like several states glued together. Their even a state with their own political family in the Bush's. But even this privileged and favored name might have a problem winning office in a new Texas because it brings up too many bad memories and divisiveness to unite such a big and socially diverse state. There are progressive hipster based in Austin which seem like they were imported from Portland. They will never vote conservative in the 21st century.The far western region is sparse but marked by San Antonio as a center of power, but Mexican Catholics are in control of that region. Northern Texas is almost entirely rural. Dallas/Ft Worth is the shimmering twin cities of glass with energy companies, and financial markets.  Houston is a city that's a sleeping giant. Largely Mexican and Black, this coalition has been unwilling to join together so both populations have less power than their potential. But if Houston woke it, so would the rest of the minorities in Texas. It seems absurd to talk about a solidly blue Texas, but the demographic numbers are already in place. The only thing that's missing is the empowerment of people that turn that would turn them into hypothetical numbers and a tidal of actual voters, consumers, and active citizens. 

A smart media/polling company could easily capitalize on this corridor of growing power and influence. And corporations and candidates would pay a lot of money to be linked up with those gatekeepers of a new America.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ARTIST WORKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Decision Theatre Group


On Sunday afternoon Three Jewels was transformed into Decisions Play Festival. This was the second day of a 3-day fundraiser to help out Limitless Health Institute and Hurricane Sandy victims. Over $500 has been raised for a good cause while having a good time.

The afternoon started off with "Nigeria," a hilarious play for anyone who has ever received one of those spam emails from someone in another country claiming to be wealthy and in need of assistance. Writers Neil Rhodes and Qaadir Howard parallel a businessman's ongoing obsession with a Nigerian con artist with his love life problems.

Neil Rhodes and Qaadir's partnership on this story is a play in itself. Qaadir is a youtube star with his own hit page under the name, TIMAYA. Qaadir created the video I WISH TO GIVE YOU $250,000,000. "Nigeria" was loosely adapted from the video and has a lot of great potential to be expanded by the Rhodes/Howard writing team. Director Alexis Williams ties it all together nicely with a funny and daft cast.

Next up was Mariah MaCarthy's "A Really Good Mayor" about a woman victimized by a powerful mayor. A choice has to be made between being exposed to media attention. "Mayor" is a powerful drama by an exciting and emerging writer. MaCarthy is a Fringe Festival hit with "Magic Trick" and Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story." Director Laurie Strickland expertly paces out the taut drama.

Christopher Paul Moore's "Pearl Street and Climate Change" tackles the weighty topics of New York history, climate change, and political courage. The play is a professorial monologue about the sites and sounds of Manhattan throughout the ages. Surprisingly, "Pearl Street" is lifted by the poetic language and the power of the message. J. Julian Christopher's directions help cull out the transitions and quiet moments in tribute to old Manhattan that feels both like an obituary notice and a promise of a new day.

Wrapping up the festival was "I Miss Birth Control" by Jennie Berman Eng. The satirical dystopia takes place in an America where people have to create their own birth control and condoms from whatever vegetables, and animal skins they can find while dreaming of fleeing to Canada and grabbing a few Trojans. Director Adam Knight also shines in directing this comedy that hits all the right notes.

Monday is the last night of "Decisions Play Festival." The grand finale will feature all eight plays from both Saturday and Sunday.



3J banner header
After all the hype and voting what do we have as a nation and a people.  The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.

Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre peices. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.   Produced by Aurin Squire

Ten Minute Play  Festival
The Decision 
*Saturday 11/10, 7:00pm
*Sunday 11/11, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)



Space is limited!  Reserve your seat today.
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon 
in the subject line.  

SERIES A (Saturday and Monday) 
Decisions Made a Mile High by Matt Vorzimer and directed by Rajendra Mahara
Coming Home by Ron Holsey and directed by Snehal Desai
HR 212 by Garlia Jones and directed by Kira Simring
Dead Wives Dance the Mambo by Desi Moreno-Penson and Directed by Abigail Ramsey

SERIES B (Sunday and Monday) 
Nigeria by Neil Rhodes and Qaadir and directed by Alexis Williams
A Really Good Mayor by Mariah MacCarthy and directed by Laurie Strickland
Pearl Street by Christopher Moore and directed by J. Julian Christopher
I Miss Birth Control by Jennie Eng and directed by Adam Knight  

If you are unable to attend, please consider donating today!
Click here to donate  We accept Visa, Mastercard and donations through Paypal

The Three Jewels, New York City is a volunteer managed, donation based non profit organization. Your support helps
us continue to offer meditation, yoga and dharma courses on a
"by donation" basis. All donations, large or small are greatly appreciated.   You can also contribute a recurring monthly donation of $30 or $50.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

THEATRE ARTISTS AT PLAY: Decisions Festival in East Village


Last night kicked off the start of "The Decision: Play Festival" at Three Jewels New York. It was an evening of exciting, funny, dynamic plays around the theme of our city and our nation's future after the election. 

"Decision" is a fundraising arts event for Limitless Health Institute as well as victims of Hurricane Sandy. The three-day festival is based around 4 plays the first two nights with the Monday finale of all 8 plays. 

On Saturday, the first series of plays started off with a bang. Literally. Percussionist and electronica producer Matt Vorzimer's play "Decisions Made a Mile High" was a funny story blending personal tales of struggle in New York alongside rock and electronica. The cabaret performance was highlighted with Matt's amazing skills on the drums and sound board that talked back to him throughout his piece. The story concludes on an open-ended note of Matt not being able to decide whether he can continue to tough it out in a city battered by storms, financial strife, personal woes, but also musical inspiration. "Decisions Made a Mile High" was a well-executed cabaret sample of a piece that could be expanded in the future. Director Nick Petrie helped find the layers of nuance in between the sound and fury of electronic punk and percussion. 

"Coming Home" was a different take on living in America post-election in a iApartment controlled by a Siri-like master. When a guy brings home his date for an intimate evening his apartment e-host mucks up the plans by over-controlling the environment and his date. 

"Coming Home" playwright Ron Holsey takes the audience on absurd love story where our social media and technology becomes the 'third corner' in a love triangle. Director Snehal Desai and his cast brought out the laughs in a tightly-written sample of modern life. 

Garlia Cornelia Jones-Ly offers a Swift-ian story about women's reproductive rights in the future with "HR 212." After being raped, Margaret goes for help with her unwanted pregnancy and is faced with opposition because of a new congressional bill. "HR 212" was both darkly comedic and a disturbing 'what if' nightmare about America under the control of anti-abortion extremists. Director Kira Simring crafts the story to move quickly while veering between the satirical and dramatic. 

 The evening concludes with the hilarious "Dead Wives Dance the Mambo in Hell" by satirists Desi Moreno-Penson. If twin sisters suddenly find themselves trapped in Hell looking for their mother, will the charismatic mambo dancer that they encounter be their savior? Or will they be forced to dance the Mambo against their wills? The author is certainly skilled at taking an absurd premise and running with it. But like any good satirists, the extreme 'means' are really to highlight the ends of a society that's lost its moral compass. Director Abigail Ramsay and her casts play the story to hysterical laughter from a packed audience. 

Decisions Play Festival will continue Sunday afternoon with a new series of 4plays as well as a grand finale of all 8 on Monday. 

For more information about the festival please check out the Decision Play Tumblr or email 2012playfestival@gmail.com.



THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  




Friday, November 9, 2012

THE DECISION FESTIVAL ARTISTS: QAADIR HOWARD AND NEIL RHODES

Qaadir Howard has produced over 350 videos for youtube under the channel name 'Timaya.' These videos showcase his original characters and skits, personal narratives, musical performances, and pop culture commentary. To date, "Timaya" has nearly 85,000 subscribers and 14 million video views. This is the first stage reading of Qaadir's work.

Neil Rhodes has been a fan of Qaadir for four years, after first viewing "Did I just Get Rejected From McDonald's?"After a chance meeting in LA, Neil and Qaadir became fast friends and decided to collaborate on NIGERIA, based on Qaadir's video "I Wish To Give You $250,000,000."


INTERVIEW (w/ Neil Rhodes)

1. What inspired you to write this play?
Qaadir/Timaya's YouTube video entitled "I Wish to Give You $250000000."

2. How has this election been different for you?
This election has challenged me to make a decision about how much I will engage with the political scene going forward.  With a tendency to keep elections and politicians at a distance, I questioned during this campaign whether politicians are truly the con artists I always paint them to be.  How wide is the brush I use to express my disdain for both Republicans and Democrats?

3. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically to your community (or do you think you even have one)?
My responsibility as an artist is only to write down the words in my head.  I trust that the impact of NIGERIA and other plays I will write in the future will be felt, but I have no idea how that will play out.

4. What would it take for you to vote for the other party?
A candidate with a proven track record of honesty and success.

5. What's the most exciting thing about this election being over?
We are now aware of where we stand ideologically.  The lesson, I believe, is that our differences are our strengths - and that there is room enough on this planet for everyone to disagree, believe, doubt, challenge, and coexist.  Differences make us understand ourselves with more clarity if we are open to it.

6. What do you miss about Bush?
He actually had a playful sense of humor, which was fun.

7. Favorite president and why?
Ugh, I don't even know enough to pick one.

8. Any political jokes?
The whole thing is a joke sometimes - a bad one!

9. When did you think you were going to lose it about what you saw on TV, read, or saw (debates or convention)?
When Mitt Romney got that spray tan, I loved it!!!!!  To quote Qaadir, "Hola, como estas and all things of this nature!"

10. What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Another great year with my partner, Brian!

THANK YOU!!!

THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

THE DECISION FESTIVAL ARTIST: CHRISTOPHER PAUL MOORE


Christopher Paul Moore is a playwright, historian, curator and Senior Researcher for the N.Y. Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author and co-author of several works including The Black New Yorkers: 400 Years of African American History, Standing In The Need Of Prayer: African American Prayer Traditions, Slavery In New York. A former journalist and news editor for ABC Radio and National Black Network News, Chris interviewed several presidential contenders including George Romney, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George Bush. A 1986 Eugene O’Neill Playwright Fellow, Moore’s play, The Last Season, is published in Seven Black Plays: Anthology of African American Plays (Northwestern University). In 1991 Chris broke the story of the unearthing of the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan on FOX NY Channel 5. He is featured in Annenberg Media’s Teaching Multicultural Literature program, “Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore,” and New Jack City: Harlem Walking Tour with Christopher Moore (Warner Bros), directed by Mario Van Peebles, and he is a consultant to PBS History Detectives



INTERVIEW

1. You wrote historical play "Pearl Street." What's the story and inspiration?
My play is about the 2012 Election, a Wall Street worker is suddenly
overcome and transformed by the mystical presence of Peter Stuyvesant,
the long deceased Governor (aka The Boss) of the colonial Wall.

I was inspired by our daily news reports, which indicate that our
world is fundamentally changing no matter who is our president. I
would like my play to give the audience a theatrical, yet historic,
view of America since the arrival of our first ancestors. The play
believes that climate and human behavior are the most important
elements of global civilization, especially here at Pearl Street.

2. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically
to your community (or do you think you even have one)?
We are all responsible, artists et al, which is the way life is
shaped, I believe. Artists may be history’s truest historians. About
200 years ago, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote that “Poets are the
unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Playwrights are second only
to Hip Hop performers, who are the best of the best. I wish I had
their talent.

3. Favorite president and why?
FDR. I spent five years writing a book about World War II and I
believe FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt were the best team ever in the White
House. Of FDR’s “Four Freedoms” which are now magnificently on display in a park on Roosevelt Island, #3 “freedom from want” and #4 “freedom from fear” will be the hallmarks of a favorable global change.

4. When did you think you were going to lose it about what you saw on
TV, read, or saw (debates or convention)?
I counted to ten every time I read or heard about the financial needs
of the 2012 election. The dollar amounts raised and spent every day by
both candidates were disgraceful distortions of American fairness and
liberty.

5. What are you looking forward to in 2013?
I look forward to seeing how we all will continue to change our world,
hopefully for the better.


THANK YOU!!

THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  

THE DECISION FESTIVAL ARTIST: MATT VORZIMER

Matt Vorzimer is a music producer and drummer with over two decades of playing. By the time he was 13 he was playing with his band "STU" at the legendary Fox Theatre in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. He moved to New York and graduated from New School for Jazz. He composed music for webisodes series like  "MISTER" and this season of the Showtime hit, 'Dexter." He plays a variety of styles and has 4 albums out that can be listened to and purchased on his website. His sound design page is ecussionist.bandcamp.com




INTERVIEW

1. In 'Decisions A Mile High" you created a cabaret piece using electronic music and a monologue. What's the story and what inspired you to jam it out?  
Saturn's Return, is the biggest theme in my life right now. Trying to create newness in my life and find another platform to compliment music, that I could express myself on. Ultimately, writing this was better than just sitting around getting dark on my life. 

2. How has this election been different for you? 
For one, the debates seemed like pure and ironically brilliant theater. Really SNL could have wrote it and I wouldn't have been suprised, was how funny I thought they were. Also, that a third party candidate, like a Nader isn't really present in the race to divide the primary candidates votes, which I think is interesting.

3. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically to your community (or do you think you even have one)?
For me maybe it's more of a duty to deliver clear messages, and be responsible for those, whatever the content be, than it is having the responsibility to be  political. Everything in life has politics that we will never escape. In our everyday work environments, you have politics. In our personal relationships, you have politics. In the things we say about the world there are political undertones. So I think politics is just part of life. But life IS people and people ARE politics. It's just that I value my brothers and sisters in my community so much that ultimately my responsibility is to be available for my community and be of service and to connect with it's members on a true level.

4. What would it take for you to vote for the other party?
 Candidates who run that are down with gays, women's right to choose, and non racist/religious fanatic people who value demographics that are outside of their club of multi-millionaires.

5. What's the most exciting thing about this election being over?  
 Hopefully the absence of Mitt Romney from my everyday life. But depending on which way this goes, I may have to get over that. Let's just hope that accepting Mitt Romney as the leader of my country is not the decision I have to make.

6. What do you miss about Bush?
 The pure entertainment of watching him butcher his speeches and situations in general.  

7. Favorite president and why?
 Clinton. It was a good time for the arts in America. I care about jazz. He was about music and the NEA. Our economy was way better. It was also the first time in my life that I was becoming more politically aware and his whole presidency was an amazing saga that I was there to witness (although i was young) but even crazier to look back on. There is a good documentary I think it's called Clinton about his presidency.

8. When did you think you were going to lose it about what you saw on TV, read, or saw (debates or convention)?
 I almost died laughing when this cat Romney siad something about "binders full of women."

10. What are you looking forward to in 2013? 
Turning art into money.

THANK YOU!!

THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  


"THE DECISION" FESTIVAL ARTIST: MARIAH MACCARTHY


Mariah MacCarthy's plays include Magic Trick (FringeNYC '12), The Foreplay Play (Caps Lock Theatre, FullStop Theatre Collective; published by Indie Theater Now), Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story (FringeNYC '11, Looking Glass Forum Awards and "Outstanding Performance" of the Fringe), The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret (Rapscallion Theatre Collective, Purple Rep, published by Indie Theater Now), You'll Thank Me Later (Jimmy's No. 43, Theater for the New City), Detained (Left Hip),  A Man of His Word (San Diego Old Globe with Playwrights Project, winner of the California Young Playwrights Contest). She was the first playwright to receive The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences. She is Producing Director of Caps Lock Theatre, co-founder of Purple Rep, a San Diego native, a Skidmore graduate, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. 



INTERVIEW

1. You wrote "A Really Good Mayor" which is a fantastic play in The Decision Play Festival. What's your story about and what inspired you to create it?
When Ella finds herself pregnant by the mayor she works for, she calls on Bri for an unusual and violent favor. What inspired me was Kanye West's "Amazing," of all things. Also, politicians' rhetoric got mad rape-y this election. Also, years ago, a friend of mine was beaten up by a guy who was blackout drunk and didn't remember it later, and she used it to sexually blackmail him. When I told a boyfriend about this, he said, "I almost wonder if she beat herself up." I thought, that's ridiculous and kind of upsetting that he thinks that. But then I thought, what if someone DID do that?


2. How has this election been different for you?
I really thought Obama might not win, and I was sick to my stomach about it. I was SURE Kerry was gonna beat Bush, and while I wasn't sure Obama would win last time, it seemed likely that he would. This time I experienced true terror.

3. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically to your community (or do you think you even have one)?
Awareness. An openness to the very real possibility that the things I think might be wrong. A willingness to keep sharing myself and my heart and my experiences, because every time I do, someone thanks me.

4. What would it take for you to vote for the other party?
If Meghan McCain ran for office. If there were Republican candidates who were genuinely committed to reforming their party.

5. What's the most exciting thing about this election being over?
Obama being president.

6. Favorite president and why?
Honestly, Obama. I was too young to appreciate Clinton properly, and my parents are Republican so I was seeing him through their eyes at the time. Everything was blow jobs and thong jokes. I didn't really realize until this year's DNC that he is kind of other-worldly in terms of sheer charisma and star power. There's no one like him. But Obama has made strides that I thought it might take decades to make. He's a little awkward, he plays it a little too cool sometimes, but every few months he does something that makes me say, "That's my president!" I never thought patriotism like that was possible.

7. What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Not being pregnant. I was pregnant for most of 2012.


THANK YOU!!!


THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  

THE DECISION FESTIVAL ARTIST: JENNIE BERMAN ENG


Jennie Berman Eng received her MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama. Jennie is a playwright-in-residence at America-In-Play, a program that studies early American theatrical works and produces plays inspired by the history and texts. Recent plays include Exit Carolyn (Sans A Productions) at The Drilling Company in New York, Wildwood Flower (Speranza Theatre Company, 2011 Reading Series), Cherry (Naked Angels’ First Monday reading series, New York), Seven Deadly Sins (American Theater of Actors), An American Christmas (Id America Festival).. Jennie is a Teaching Artist for Young Playwrights Theater and Ford’s Theatre Oratory and Residency in Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband and the two cutest kids on the planet, Lily and Jasper.



INTERVIEW


1. You wrote a great play "I Miss Birth Control" for The Decision Festival. What's the story about and what inspired you to write this play?
The Republican assault on women's reproductive rights inspired me to write this play. I imagined a future where women (and men) have no contraception, and what that would do to dating, to love, and to women's choices. 

2. How has this election been different for you? 
In the last year, my family moved from Brooklyn to Virginia. I had never lived in a "red" state before, let alone a swing state. I've seen now, up close in my own neighborhood, how divided our country really is, and how emotional this election is for both sides. 

3. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically to your community (or do you think you even have one)?
 Artists must be loyal only to exposing the truth. 

4. What would it take for you to vote for the other party?
A lobotomy.

5. What's the most exciting thing about this election being over?
NPR returning to normal, informative programming. I'm talking to you, Dianne Rehm.

6. What do you miss about Bush?
Which one? From the first Bush I miss... nothing. From the second Bush, apparently he was more progressive about immigration reform than most Republicans, but other than that I just miss the parodies of him. 

7. Favorite president and why?
Clinton. Whether an act or not, he seemed to be both the smartest president we've had, and the one who cared the most about regular people. He had the ability to rouse people, and I mean that in every way. 

8. When did you think you were going to lose it about what you saw on TV?
"Legitimate rape" kills me every time. Also, every time I see a woman with a Romney bumper sticker on her car I want to lose it. 

9. What are you looking forward to in 2013?
1) More Obama.
2) Mitt Romney crawling into a dark, hidden place where he's forced to watch PBS 24 hours a day, including Sesame Street.
3) The discovery of Ann Coulter's decency-suppressing tumor. 
4) The beginning of Hillary 2016.
5) see answer to question #5 above


THE DECISION PLAY FESTIVAL

CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE

The Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.
Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.

LOCATION:
The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third FloorNew York, NY 10003

TIME: 
*Saturday 11/10, 7pm
*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm
*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm
* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)
Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Mon
in the subject line.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"THE DECISION" FESTIVAL ARTIST: DESI MORENO-PENSON

Desi Moreno-Penson is a playwright and actress based in NYC. Her play, DEVIL LAND, was selected for the 4th Annual Summer Play Festival produced by Arielle Tepper Madover. Other productions include GHOST LIGHT at 59E59 Theatre, and 3 TO A SESSION: A MONSTER’S TALE, which was recently produced at the Teatro Coribantes in San Juan, PR, this past August. The play also won for Best Play at the 2005 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival at the Cherry Lane and was originally developed as part of the 2004 New Works Lab at INTAR. In addition, a new ten-minute play, RECONCILE, BITCH was presented as part of the 1st Annual Red Shirt Rooftop Reading Series produced by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and Red Shirt Entertainment.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Dramaturgy and Theatre/Literary Criticism from Brooklyn College where she received the prestigious Samuel Levenson Memorial Scholarship for academic and creative achievement. Desi is represented by Bruce Ostler at Bret Adams, Ltd., in New York.  

INTERVIEW

1.  Your play "Dead Wives Dance the Mambo In Hell" is in The Decision Play FestivalWhat's the story behind your extraordinarily titled work as well as what inspired you to write this play? 

The extraordinary use of words such as, ''legitimate rape'', by a sitting member of congress clouds the consequences of such unscientific thinking. The story is about if twin sisters suddenly find themselves trapped in Hell looking for their mother, will the charismatic mambo dancer that they encounter be their savior? Or will they be forced to dance the Mambo against their wills?

This may sound a little strange, but for me, it was Aurin Squire…when I received his email, inviting playwrights to submit a ten-minute play dealing with some of the political issues and topics that have come up during this election, I found that I was actually feeling a great deal of emotions about some very definite issues…and this surprised me…I didn’t realize that I actually cared so much, I honestly wasn’t aware that I was as angry about this whole thing as I am. But the strange, underlying, ignorant, and bitterly misogynistic tone that I have consistently felt coming from the Republicans has really unnerved me. It surprised me that I felt such STRONG emotions about this…emotions such as anger, disgust, sadness, deep frustration, and ultimately, fear… a lot of fear…fear that so many hard-won achievements and rights could be systematically taken away from us under a Romney administration, not only as women, but as individuals living in a democratic society. So Aurin’s call for short, political plays encouraged me to look within myself to see how I was truly feeling with regards to this election, and once I did that, a story began to form in my mind.


2. How has this election been different for you? 

I was really scared during this election, you know? Much more so than any other election…I was frankly terrified at the thought of the Republicans getting back into the White House.  I’m not sure we would have been able to survive it. During the Bush administration, I felt like I was in solitary confinement for eight long years. I don’t want to go back to that again, especially since I don’t think Romney was interested at all in being President, I think he was interested in being ‘King,’ and that totally terrifies me!

3. As an artist, what do you think your responsibility is politically to your community (or do you think you even have one)? 

Honestly, I’m not sure that I bear any political responsibility to my community as an artist. Part of my overall idea about myself as a playwright is that I have the freedom to write about anything I want. If people wish to come and support it, then that’s great – if they don’t that’s fine, too. However, having said that, I also think that being a Latina theatre artist automatically makes me pretty political…what I mean by that is although I don’t necessarily see myself as a politically-minded writer, one of my goals as a playwright is to confront the pre-conceived ideas, concepts, notions and perceptions that people still have regarding Latinos…and in my opinion, that’s kind of a political goal to have.   

4. What would it take for you to vote for the other party?

Nothing. I am a staunch Democrat. However, I have to say, if I was offered something like 5 million dollars to switch over and vote Republican…okay…that would be a really tough choice for me…I mean, just thinking about having the resources to be able to produce all of my own plays and not have to worry about ever being supported again by other theatre companies…? WOW! Just the thought of that is soooooo cool!  

5. What do you miss about Bush? 

Are you kidding? I miss absolutely nothing – although I have to admit, his consistent ineptitude, pretentiousness, and idiocy was awfully good for a laugh from time to time, and I’m sure Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show” would agree with me!

6. Favorite president and why? 

I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I really loved Jimmy Carter…granted, I was only a little girl when he was president, but I always found him to be so humble, modest, unassuming, and accessible…I honestly felt like he had this almost ‘grandfatherly’ quality about him, like he genuinely cared about all of us, and wanted only the best for us as a country.

7. When did you think you were going to lose it about what you saw on TV, read, or saw (debates or convention)? 

When I heard about Akin’s comments regarding ‘legitimate rape.’ What an ignorant ass hat…!  



THANK YOU!



2012playfestival.tumblr.comThe Decision is a short play reading festival about what happens after the heated election but also where we will be or should be after this November.  This event is a fundraiser for the Limitless Health Institute and to help families affected by the storm and living in shelters supported by Safe Horizon.Join us in watching a series of funny, incisive, dramatic short theatre pieces. The Decision will feature a series of 10 minute plays written and directed and acted by some of New York's finest artists.


LOCATION:The Three Jewels, NYC61 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor New York, NY 10003

TIME: *Saturday 11/10, 7pm*Sunday 11/1, 3:00pm*Monday 11/12, 7:00pm

* *Suggested Donation $10 for Saturday or Sunday/$15 for Monday (All 8 plays)Email 2012playfestival@gmail.com with Sat, Sun, or Monin the subject line.