7/22/13, Day 13,773: Hard Conversations and Hardcore Moves
Since the verdict on Trayvon’s murder, I have been desperate to talk to people about it, and those conversations have happened on Twitter, on Facebook, but most importantly, in person. This Monday, Heather and I had a hard/beautiful/inspiring/difficult conversation with one of our dearest friends about what we can do–about what we must do–as people, as artists, as Flux Theatre Ensemble–to respond. More on that anon.
That conversation was followed by some hardcore dancing at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards (Flux was nominated of the 5th straight year) which I talk a little about here. In short, an amazing day.
7/23/13, Day 13,774: Willing Participant for Tuesday #Trayvon
On Tuesday night, I joined Willing Participant for Tuesday #Trayvon, What felt like around 30-40 people gathered to rehearse and perform a poetic theatre action in response to Trayvon’s murder and trial in Times Square. They’ll be sharing out media from the event shortly, and so I’ll talk more about this soon, as it really should be its own post. Suffice to say, this was a powerful, transformational experience that I’m working through.
7/24/13, Day 13,775: Compassion for Kessler, or Reaching the Unreachable
I was deeply disturbed by the series of violent, homophobic rants posted by Gilberton Borough police chief, Mark Kessler. I don’t know how a liberal or LGBTQ person could possibly expect equal protection from this police chief, and I don’t believe it constitutes a violation of his free speech to pressure Gilberton officials to request an apology from him on those grounds. It’s also an interesting thought exercise to imagine how differently people would react if Mark were a black or Muslim man making threatening statements about government officials while firing off assault rifles. But beyond all that, I feel deep pity for a man who was raised with so little compassion for others, and so little self-awareness, and I wonder if it’s possible to reach someone who is both so deeply afraid and gleefully cruel. What are the limits of persuasion? How could we convince such a man that liberals and LGBTQ people are worthy of respect and compassion, not insults and threats? After the high of the previous two days, this video–and similar news of violence towards LGBTQ persons in Russia–brought me down.
7/25/13, Day 13,776: Letters to Guantánamo
I had the pleasure of attending Letters to Guantánamo, produced by New Georges for Women Center Stage, and created by Dipika Guha bake-off style with many wonderful playwrights like Crystal Skillman and Gina Fermia (who contributed a particularly haunting piece). It is extremely important to keep attention on Guantánamo, and I’m curious if the model of Gun Control Theatre Action, led in such inspiring fashion by Caridad Svich, holds potential for this work, as well. I hope to meet and discuss this possibility with Dipika soon.
I also had the pleasure of meeting with activist/artist, aka, artivista Kayan Irani for lunch. She is a truly inspiring person who has done a lot of Theatre of the Oppressed work here and in places like Kabul, Afganistan, and you should know more about her.
- I signed the emergency petition to save the Voting Rights Act.
- Heather and I contributed to Somewhere Safer, the awesome play by Lauren Ferebee produced by the equally awesome Jennifer Somers Kipley.
- I sent an urgent message to FWS demanding that they withdraw their delisting proposal.
- Heather and I contributed to Candice Holdorf’s upcoming book –she is amazing, and well-worth your support!
- I asked President Obama to stop fracking in public—on our public lands.
- I participated in multiple conversations about Trayvon Martin’s murder and trial, including conversations with those who do not agree with me.
- I signed this, too: Last month, 50,000 bumble bees died after trees in Wilsonville, Oregon were sprayed with dinotefuran, the neonicotinoid ingredient in Safari pesticide. This was the largest bee die-off ever recorded. With bee populations declining across the country at an alarming rate, I urge you to support the “Save America’s Pollinators Act” to restrict the use of these chemicals until we can be sure that they are safe and being used properly.
- I connected a new director I met with a potential collaborative partner, and I learned that previous instance of connecting director to project turned out well!
- I joined the fight to EXPAND Social Security — can you join? Click here.
- I participated in the Tuesday #Trayvon action.\
- I ate vegetarian, and many of our meals were made from the organic, local food from our CSA, Katchkie Farms.
- I bought vegan, organic shoes that turn out to be quite stylish!
- I posted some amazing essays on the TCG Circle, including this report back from Pakistan by Aizzah Fatima.