>>WHAT CAN WE DO RIGHT NOW? | POST-ELECTION ACTION ITEMS

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With a significant change in our country’s leadership, there is concern for our city and nation’s most vulnerable communities. Since many of us at times can feel powerless, our dramaturgs and engagement staff are continually compiling resources that may empower us all to fight against our changing government. We will periodically share this ever growing list of events, protests, volunteer opportunities, and community meetings  many of which are hosted by our peers in the #BosArts community so that together we can set our nation on a course towards inclusivity and safety for all its citizens. These lists will include a range of post-election resources, from concrete action items to performances centered around issues of social justice. If you would like to submit an event or resource, please email hspivey@companyone.org.

 

 

>>POST-SHOW PROGRAMMING | REALLY

Want to extend your #RevoltWithC1 experience? There will be post-show programming following every Thursday evening performance and select matinees!

>>Performing the Revolution: A Conversation with Director Summer L. Williams and the #RevoltWithC1 Cast

Thursday, October 27th, following the 7:30pm performance

Curious about the artistic process of #RevoltWithC1? Stick around after the show to speak with Summer L. Williams and the cast. 

 

>> PlayLab Panel and Kick-off Party

Sunday, October 30th, following the 2:00pm Pay-What-You-Want performance

Join incoming PlayLab participants for a panel discussion on all things playwriting, followed by a kick-off party for the new play program.

 

>> Smashing the Patriarchy: A Panel

Thursday, November 3rd, following the 7:30pm performance

Stick around after the show for a panel discussion on the themes of REVOLT – A little #MasculinitySo Fragile, some #EffYourBeautyStandards, and a whole lot of #SmashThePatriarchy. Panelists include: Linda Luz-Alterman from Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, Nicole Mazzeo from Pleasure Pie, Day Marcucci of Boston Feminists for Liberation, and Professor Erika Williams from Emerson College.

 

>> Zine-Making Workshop

Thursday, November 10th, following the 7:30pm performance

Feeling woke? Feeling creative? Channel that energy in a zine making workshop led by our friends at Pleasure Pie and Boston Feminists for Liberation.

 

>>Smashing the Patriarchy (Again): A Panel

Thursday, November 11th, following the 7:30pm performance

Stick around after the show for a panel discussion on the themes of REVOLT – A little #MasculinitySo Fragile, some #EffYourBeautyStandards, and a whole lot of #SmashThePatriarchy. Panelists include: Linda Luz-Alterman from Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, Day Marcucci and Nicole from Boston Feminists for Liberation, and Professors Erika Williams and Claudia Castaneda from Emerson College.

>>Imagining our Future: A Conversation with Summer L. Williams

Company One Theatre production Dramaturg Jessie Baxter sat down with Director Summer L. Williams to talk about the Revolt. She said. Revolt again. rehearsal process and what life might look like for women in a world without patriarchy.

What grabbed you when you first read the script and made you think, “This is a project I need to work on?” 

SLW: I love when I read something and it feels like I don’t actually know how to read anymore — that was my first experience reading this piece. On the page it made wonder who was meant to be speaking, and who I wanted to be speaking. It made me think about the bodies that the words inhabit, and the effect those bodies have on the words. I loved that it was so open, because I could create a vision for it in my head. It was so malleable that it was scary, and anything that’s super scary feels like the thing I want to do.

What do you think the expectations might be for audiences coming to see this play? What ideas do you hope to upend?

SLW: I think the expectation might be that this is a play about some badass women who are doing some badass things in the name of feminism or women’s rights. What one might not expect is the darkness that surrounds all that. I think Alice is offering an entry point into a conversation about what it means to be a woman, and the particular ways society feels women should behave, but that idea can’t actually be explored without including the nastiness behind all of it.

It’s about walking that line of confident badassery, but also showing the vulnerability. There has to be both.  

SLW: Right. This is not necessarily the emblem I hold highest for feminism, but the thing that struck me about Beyoncé’s recent, acclaimed visual album Lemonade was here she is, hot sauce in her bag, skipping around in her Oshun yellow dress, owning shit and kicking ass. But also, several moments later, she wants to reconcile with this man who hurt her so deeply, but who she loves so profoundly. And she understands that it’s cyclical, because she watched her father do the same thing to her mother, but understands the love they carried for each other and for their children. It’s a really full package, and we don’t always talk about how heavy that package is: to want to walk confidently and boldly in the world, but also needing to reconcile your heart within all of that too.

I think this play also asks us to think about what life as a woman looks like now, versus x-number of years from now. How are you thinking about that question?

SLW: It makes me think of a text exchange between a mother and daughter that recently went viral, where the mother prompts the daughter at the end of the exchange, “Which is why we…?” And the daughter responds, “SMASH THE PATRIARCHY.” That feels wildly new to me, and I’m not that old, so I know that means something about the time we’re in now and about the time that the play is maybe urging us towards. In thinking about the history of women, or the history of any group of people who have been marginalized or objectified in some way, there have been points in time where it feels like, “Now is the time to seize this new thing, to further whatever it is we are trying to do.” This feels like one of those moments to me, to smash the patriarchy. I don’t think I knew what patriarchy was when I was thirteen.

When we look at mainstream feminist history, and how it’s separated into waves, those waves were generally confined to a single generation. There’s something about this current moment, and I’m sure social media is a huge part of it, where women from different age groups, geographic regions, economic backgrounds, and racial backgrounds are connecting more than before. It feels like there’s a real conversation happening about what it means to be intersectional – to take race, class, and ability into account as we discuss gender dynamics – and I wonder how that will play out in the years to come. As we’ve been talking about that possible future in rehearsal, we’ve been exploring the ideas of AFROPUNK and AFROFUTURISM. Can you talk about why those concepts are important to this process?

SLW: Number one, it has a lot to do with my own lens, right? As a black woman, the first time I read the play I thought, “This is an awesome play, but I don’t hear or see myself in it.” I had to think about what I, conceptually, needed to be able to see or hear myself in it. That’s what brought me to afropunk and afrofuturism. The afrofuturism piece helps me see myself in it. I want to know that, even if we’re moving to a total dystopian future, I want to know that I’m there! I don’t want to be in District Eleven (the district where the black citizens live in The Hunger Games, a dystopian adventure trilogy of books and films). I want to know that I’m part of something; we’re all in something together.

Afrofuturism creates the opportunity to recognize how the past has influenced our path, and how we can make different choices to get to a better future. One of the core tenets in afropunk is there are no phobias; the idea is that you are welcome as the exact person you are in this moment, come as you are. That idea feels important to the feminist future and feels deeply resonant to me. One of the ways we all figure out who we are is in how we present ourselves to the outside world, in terms of our style and our choices. Some people want brightly colored hair, and some people want to wear skirts that are down to their ankles, right? And there has to be room for both to exist in the same space, without one being critical of the other.

One of the big questions we have been asking in this process is, what does the world look like if patriarchy doesn’t exist? What might a feminist utopia look like to you?  These are some big questions.

SLW: I think my very simple answer is, if sometime in the not so distant future, every single female-born or female-decided person, from the moment of their conception, whatever that is for them, understands that their worth is not measured by anything that has to do with their body. That the value of their life doesn’t have to pass some sort of test. If every single person can feel, immediately and continually, that they were enough. That, as a start, is my feminist utopia. And that’s not to say that I don’t think men grapple with those issues, I believe that they do, but I think when women are grappling with those issues they tear themselves up inside. If we could just figure out how to eradicate the mechanisms that have been created that make us want to tear ourselves up inside, that would, in my mind, be the place we are trying to go. So it’s not at all about women and their relationships to men. It’s about edifying, fortifying women and their relationship to themselves, so they are able to hold the space they are in confidently, without external forces trying to chip away at it.

Great, I think we nailed it. Let’s go do that.

 REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. By Alice Birch, Directed by Summer L. Williams. Oct. 21-Nov. 19. Company One Theatre. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org Tickets start at $15.

>>Grown-Up StoryTime + WE’RE GONNA DIE at Oberon

Company One Theatre is teaming up with GUST to host a night of storytelling at ART’s Club Oberon in Harvard Square after a performance of WE’RE GONNA DIE, featuring Obehi Janice, on Wednesday, October 5th! WE’RE GONNA DIE is the first half of the evening. GUST is taking over for the second half. What does this mean? For one – mark you calendars for October 5th. Two – Get your tickets.

Rules for GUST are the same: Under 1800 words (hint: even shorter tends to read better), fact or fiction (or everything in between) is welcome. Send them in to BostonGUST@bootown.org by Wednesday, September 28th. Feel free to message us or email us with any questions. Can’t wait.

New to GUST? Here are the deets:
BooTown Boston presents GUST: an hour of funny, heartwarming, crazy, amazing stories read aloud. We take short stories (fact, fiction, and everything in between) written by local writers and pair them with local readers who bring them to life once a month at Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville, MA.

>>STUDIO SESSIONS | REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.

Thursday, October 6th | 7 – 9:3ish
Cocktail hour: Masa, 439 Tremont Street, Boston
Open Rehearsal: Deane Hall, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 537 Tremont Street, Boston

Part happy hour, part exploration of the rehearsal process, Studio Sessions is an opportunity to interact with our productions prior to opening night. Join the cast of REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. at Masa for food and drinks before heading over to Deane Hall at the Calderwood Pavilion for a look into how a Company One performance takes shape.

This event is free, but registration is required to ensure your space. Click HERE to RSVP.
Snacks are free, cash bar.

Link Roundup! – 8/12/16

Link Roundups feature articles and bits of internet goodness that our dramaturgy team digs up. If you find something you want to send our way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!

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The Guardian has a post illuminating some of the exploitative work practices in theatre:

It’s not a question of setting those in salaried positions against those who work as freelances. Or indeed those who work in different areas of theatre. Those in administration, stage management and the technical side of theatre may be in a position where, if they don’t like the contract, they can refuse the job because their skills are in demand. But that won’t be the case for many artists and companies in a theatre ecology over-saturated with talent, facing funding cuts and looking to make savings wherever they can. At the recent All Tomorrow’s Theatre event, the refrain was of artists feeling they had to be grateful and not complain about the deals they are offered for fear of not being asked by a venue again. This is “performing gratitude” as Chris Goode described it. “We spend our lives trying not to be too demanding and it doesn’t change anything.”

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The Nonprofit with Balls blog looks into the new overtime laws:

What we seriously need to discuss is the philosophical and cultural shift that we as a sector needs to make, in light of these new laws. Despite the challenges we will encounter, the new FLSA overtime law is good for the nonprofit sector and thus for our community. It will force us to address some entrenched, destructive philosophies and practices plaguing our sector. I am hoping that the new law will make us realize that:

It is not OK or normal to underpay people. I have written about our need to increase pay in our sector. Well, now we have no choice, so let’s embrace it. One ED puts it, currently “many exempt workers also qualify for food stamps, government subsidies, and can’t afford to live in the city where they work.” This is not acceptable, that so many people in our sector qualify for the services they offer clients. Progress is being made. Another ED says, “My Fiscal staff and I have worked to move us to have no positions on our staff working for an amount that qualifies them for our low-income programs. We are at 96% of that goal.” That’s awesome, though sad that we even have to work for that. We all need to do better.

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Link Roundup! – 8/5/16

Link Roundups feature articles and bits of internet goodness that our dramaturgy team digs up. If you find something you want to send our way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!

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IFThe Huffington Post has a story about the recent casting controversy surrounding a Chicago production of In The Heights:

The casting decision raises important questions about diversity and representation on the stage. When there already exist so few roles for Latinx performers, what does it say when the few roles that do exist go to white actors? In a musical that deals explicitly with the issue of gentrification as a theme, the casting seems especially mishandled.

In an interview with American Theatre, playwright and composer Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for “In the Heights,” expressed her disappointment, describing how one of the main motivations behind the musical was to create complex, dynamic roles for Latinx actors when hardly any exist. “For decades, the vast majority of Latino roles were maids, gangbangers, etc,” she said. “It’s demoralizing, obnoxious, and reductive of an entire people. It’s a lie about who we are, how complicated our dreams and individuality are.”

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival has announced a new round of American Revolutions commissions:

The commissioned artists are the 1491s, Aditi Kapil, Basil Kreimendahl, Mona Mansour, Carlos Murillo, Susan Nussbaum, Robert O’Hara and Jiehae Park. Two of the commissions are in partnership with other theatres: the 1491s with New Native Theater in Minneapolis and Kreimendahl with Actors Theatre of Louisville.

“In this extremely important election year, we are so proud to welcome these extraordinary artists,” said American Revolutions Director Alison Carey. “We have a responsibility to history to tell it and a responsibility to the future to listen to history’s lessons.”

American Revolutions is a multi-decade program of commissioning and developing 37 new plays about moments of change in United States history. Launched in 2008, the last five plays will be commissioned in 2017, with the writing and development of the plays expected to last at least through 2027.

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>>THE GENDER PLAY AFTER PARTY

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The Theater Offensive and Company One invite you to The Gender Play After Party! Linger with the TTO misfits on Wednesday, August 10 as we continue the celebration after Company One’s newest ’90s prom hit THE T PARTY. Burlesque sensations Madge of Honor and McKersin Previlus and guest DJ Manu will tantalize your eyes, get your body moving, and throw all gender norms to the wind.

The bar will be open, and guests are encouraged to dress in their favorite 90s prom attire. Remember: gender “rules” do not apply.

A ticket to the 7:30 PM showing of THE T PARTY is required for entry and can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/295uWrW

About the show
The party to redefine all parties is coming to Boston — and you’re invited. Shake things up. Bend the rules. Break the binary. Through an exhilarating series of scenes that blur the line between audience and actors, real stories and fantastical satire, THE T PARTY casts an exuberant, kinky, and surprisingly tender look at gender expression and sexuality. This wild mash-up of a performance will sweep you off your feet and take you for a ride. The only house rule? Leave your expectations at the door.

About the performers 

Madge of Honor is a queer performance artist whose work centers the body as a site of both socialization and rebellion. Madge uses femininity, sexuality, and spectacle to expose and confront social conventions, constructions, and our collective fantasies/pathologies about race and gender. Their practice evolved from and continues to incorporate the nightclub traditions of drag and burlesque.

After graduating from MMMMaven, manu. hasn’t stopped exploring sounds. His sets usually include deep, bass, techno and experimental music, and dynamic shifts where unexpected beats interact with sensual vibes. He is also known for his continued collaborations with art and dance projects in Boston, including Urbanity Dance, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Houseboi, Zuesday, Boyfriends. manu. is also the music director of Darkroom, a platform to display photography using unconventional forms at alternative spaces and combining photography with other artistic expressions.

Growing up without the means for dance classes, McKersin started absorbing every form of dance he could find from patient friends and eventually a youth program while in High School. With Ethnic-Haitian dance already in his vocabulary, he started building a bigger arsenal with Hip-Hop, Jazz and Tap. In college he started trading work hours for classes and started studying Ballet and modern intensively. At the moment, he is leading workshops throughout various parts of the country orientated towards social justice, the roots of African American culture and movement, all while working with the city to implement more youth and arts programs. He is currently aiming to launch a project next fall that shows the connection between the stigmatization of mental illness among men in inner city communities and crime, using the arts.

>>STAGE ONE TEACHING ARTIST WORKSHOP

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Company One Theatre (C1) will host a workshop for local teaching artists in preparation for the 2016-2017 school year. C1 values the knowledge that teaching artists already possess as educators and artists; convening as a community to share that knowledge will serve to enhance our skills and our capacity to serve young people all over the City of Boston.

August 19 at 9:30 am – 5 pm
Black Box Theatre at the BCA
539 Tremont St., Boston

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Workshop activities will include:
• Welcome Reception
• Peer taught best practice warm-up exercises and lessons
• Panel on ‘Success in the Classroom’ with Allyssa Jones (Senior Program Director for the Performing Arts BPS Visual and Performing Arts Department); Dr. Dania Vázquez (Headmaster Margarita Muñiz Academy); Mark Abby VanDerzee (Education Director, Company One Theatre); Kadahj Bennett (Teaching Artist, Company One Theatre)

Participation Fee: $20 per person
• Cash, checks, or credit cards are accepted upon registration.
• Checks can be made payable to Company One Theatre.

*Registration deadline: August 17, 2016
Workshop is limited to 30 participants. First come, first served basis.

>> POST-SHOW PROGRAMMING | THE T PARTY

Immediately following the listed performance date and time. 

>>Closing the Gap: A Conversation on Intergenerational LGBTQ History

Thursday, August 4th at 7:30pm

Join the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis’ John Rosario-Perez and cast members of THE T PARTY for an engaging, intergenerational panel on the history of the gay rights movement, from the Stonewall riot to present-day challenges and triumphs.

>>THE T PARTY Cahllege Mixah

Saturday, August 6th at  8pm

The celebration isn’t over after The T Party! You’re invited to a spoken word open mic event sponsored by Company One’s ONERush, happening immediately after the August 6th performance and open to all college students. Come share your own story or just sit back and listen to the skills of our featured artists as they share their own experiences of gender and sexual identity expression – spoken word style. Participate by providing support and enjoying complimentary refreshments, or get up there and share your own story! Student tickets only $15 – get yours now!

>>Join the Party: An Interactive Experience

Sunday, August 7th at  2pm

Curious about everything that goes into bringing a performance to life? Enter THE T PARTY set after the performance to check out specific design elements from the show, and learn more about how they were created.

>>Gender Play After Party with The Theatre Offensive

Wednesday, August 10th at 7:30pm 

Ain’t no party like a C1 party, cause a C1 party don’t stop! Join us after the performance to dance, eat, laugh, play, and have your expectations challenged with members of The Theatre Offensive family, the cast of THE T PARTY, and your fellow show attendees.

RSVP HERE: http://www.thetheateroffensive.org/happenings//5783db5b3f5f8903008c01b2