In December, we brought together a group of One Love Teen Ambassadors to write about the subjects most important to tackle within their peer groups and for adults to understand as they communicate with youth. With our grounding goal to normalize conversations about sexual violence, healthy & unhealthy relationships and consent, these videos hold nuanced, realistic depictions of conversations necessary to both imagine and hold with those we love.
Shot entirely over Zoom in response to COVID-19, Part 2 of the series imagines these essential conversations happening virtually, as so many of our conversations are taking place right now. Uncomfortable conversations don’t stop because of distance, hectic schedules, or even global pandemics.
Please join us for this free virtual Screening & Discussion on Thursday, August 13th at 7:00 pm, co-facilitated by both ATB & the One Love Boston Teen Ambassadors!
Participants will be sent a Zoom link ahead of the screening.
Want to support our work? Tax-deductible donations of any amount are appreciated!
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Website-Header-Front-Page.png6501500Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2020-07-27 09:50:572020-07-28 11:17:49TUCxATB Youth Video Series is here!
Content Warning: discussion of sexual violence, stats on violence against trans folks
The systemic issues of intimate partner violence and rape culture that we’ve been exploring this season have direct intersections with systemic racism, and specifically the treatment of Black women and Black trans folks. While our Uncomfortable Conversation video series explores the contemporary implications of rape culture and the normalization of intimate partner violence in our society, there is a deep history that cannot be neglected with direct impacts on our current culture. There is a deep history of abuse and neglect around the reporting of sexual violence, which for Black women and trans folks is disproportionately unjust.
More than 40% of Black women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research’s Status of Black Women in the United States. In comparison, 31.5% of all women will experience domestic violence.
A report from the National Center for Victims of Crime found that 53.8% of Black women had experienced psychological abuse, while 41.2% of Black women had experienced physical abuse.
According to the 2015 US. Transgender Survey, fifty-three percent (53%) of black trans and non-binary people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetimes, while thirteen percent (13%) were sexually assaulted in the past year.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of black trans and non-binary people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, including acts of coercive control and physical violence.
In the same survey, nearly one-third (29%) of respondents reported acts of coercive control by an intimate partner related to their transgender status, including being told that they were not a “real” woman or man, threatened with being “outed” by having their transgender status revealed to others, or prevented from taking their hormones. Forty-four percent (44%) experienced physical violence by an intimate partner.
We share this information to ground the video series we’ve created in partnership with The Uncomfortable Conversation, and to honor the work of Black women & trans organizers and scholars have done to bring these necessary realities and accounts to the forefront of the conversation on sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
We invite you to join us for a freevirtual Screening & Discussion of these videos on Thursday, June 25th at 7:30 pm, where we will be highlighting some of these intersections along with the work of some amazing Black Boston actors you should know.
Participants will be sent a Zoom link ahead of the screening.
This event is free. In lieu of donations to our company, we suggest that you donate, if you are able, to one of the many organizations engaged in on-the-ground action for racial justice. You can find some links here and some more over here.
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Screen-Shot-2020-06-22-at-2.18.21-PM.png191799Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2020-06-22 14:34:232020-06-22 14:34:24TUC Meets BLM: Grounding Our Work
In September, we shot Part One of the series in 1 day, 2 locations, 28 videos, and with over 40 actors and volunteers. Now, you have a chance to learn from the actors involved, dive into the core issues of these videos, and come away with new tools and resources.
We invite you to join us for this virtual Screening & Discussion, where we will premier 6 new short films as we work together to normalize conversations about sexual assault and healthy and unhealthy relationships. Discussions will be led in small groups by teams of facilitators.
Participants will be sent a Zoom link ahead of the screening.
This event is free, but donations are accepted.
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Website-Header-Front-Page-1-1.png6501500Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2020-05-19 22:04:442020-06-08 18:20:00Uncomfortable Conversation Video Premiere!
Artists’ Theater of Boston is hosting an open audition for our 19/20 Season: Gender & Power
Season Auditions will take place on Sunday September 8th, at a location near South Station to be given upon audition confirmation.
Auditions will take place between 2pm-8pm. To request an audition slot, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred time frame as well as your headshot and resume. If you cannot attend our 9/8 audition but wish to be seen for our season, please email us regardless so that we can possibly book another time with you.
Please prepare a 1-2 minute contemporary monologue, and possibly be prepared to read sides as well.
ATB recognizes that the themes our season is centered around hold complex and deeply personal meanings to everyone. We strive to support all folks involved in our work as they navigate potentially difficult materials and conversations they are part of, from the audition process onward. If any material you encounter during any component of working with us, including the audition process, brings up anything for you that you’d like support around, please let us know and we will direct you to trusted resources we are connected to.
Artists’ Theater of Boston is committed to producing thoughtful, evocative works that challenge systemic injustices facing our communities through the collaborative process of making theater. ATB is committed to inclusive and equitable casting.
Productions & Readings will include an actor stipend.
She Eats Apples is a nonlinear exploration of rape culture as seen through the eyes of four teenagers embroiled in the complexities of growing up. When sixteen-year-old Ashley realizes her first time was significantly less than perfect, Ashely is forced to navigate through the realization that sometimes the people you love and trust don’t view betrayal the same way you do. What does it mean to identify as a survivor when you are a teenager, and what are the risks if you don’t? Reality and fantasy intertwine as Ashley finds the breadcrumbs of her experience in biology lessons, hopscotch rhymes, fairytales and art history. The play asks: How can we imagine a culture of consent and healthy relationships when we are embroiled in the complex web of rape culture, when we are taught through media, casual conversation, and uncritiqued views of history that what doesn’t feel right inside our own bodies, is just normal?
She Eats Apples is the winner of the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award and runner-up for WomenWorks 2015. The play has been developed around the country including significant development through educational institutions such as Boston University MA, Queensboro College NY, Carthage College WI, Breaking Barriers at Strath Haven High School PA.
ASHLEY: 16, f, any ethnicity. An A student, book smart and kind of a good girl, but being good means filling certain roles.
LILY: 16, f, any ethnicity. The best friend, the self-styled “slutty friend,” perky, flirty, the evolution of Emily Post.
BEN: 16, m, any ethnicity. The boyfriend, a dreamboat who thinks he’s a sidekick.
SHE: 16, f, any ethnicity. The outcast, the group-styled slut, Jeanne d’Arc suffragette, victim of the rumor mill… if not more.
GIRL 1: f, any ethnicity. Plays Sarah, 8; Mason, 16, the bro; Teacher, 37; a Witch; a Psychiatrist.
GIRL 2: f, any ethnicity. Plays Becky, 8; Trevor, 16, the sports star; a Witch, a Police Officer.
In the near future, an inexplicable plague infests La Gran Colombia. Ingrid Bolivar–the brilliant, mad ex-wife of Colombia’s leader–is the only one who knows that the plague is carried by young women of the streets, whom she adopts and uses as weapons against the government. Policarpa, a girl with magical gifts, is supposed to be Ingrid’s secret apocalyptic weapon. But when Policarpa falls in love with a top government official, she resists becoming an instrument of destruction and instead seeks to become a savior through sacrifice. Rooted in traditional Latin American magical realism, the nightmare magic science fiction world of Policarpa exists in a neither here-or-there.
Policarpa has been developed by The Drama League’s Rough Draft series, Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Latinx Play Project, and Milagro Theatre’s Ingenio play reading series. It received an Honorable Mention for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Policarpa: f, 19, Colombian, Indigenous. Dark hair and skin. She is la Salvadora. Can be played by: Indigenous, First Nation, or Native American, Latinx/o/a or Hispanic.
Bibiano: m, 19, Colombian, Indigenous. Policarpa’s twin brother. Can be played by: Indigenous, First Nation, or Native American, Latinx/o/a or Hispanic.
Ingrid: f, 40s-60s, Colombian, White Latinx. The queen of the barrios. Runs a high end sewing shop as a front for her revolutionary actions. She is dark and dangerous. Can be played by: Latinx/o/a or Hispanic
Valentia: f, any age adult, Afro-Latinx, Colombian. An army general, Joan of Arc. Tough. Has prosthetic legs. She’s not young or old. Can be played by: Black, African, Caribbean, or African American, Latinx/o/a or Hispanic
Paciencia: f, 30s, Colombian, Latinx/a or Hispanic. A brilliant woman. A computer geek. An inventor. Looks much younger than she really is.
Realidad: f, 18, Colombian, Latinx/a or Hispanic. Paciencia’s daughter. Stunning, ripe. A killer.
Laurelia: f, 30s-60s, Colombian, Latinx/a or Hispanic. A pacifist nun. Older woman.
Soldado: m, 20s, Colombian, Latinx/o or Hispanic. A series of young boys.
Viejo: nb, 60s+, Colombian, Latinx/o/a or Hispanic. A very, very elderly person, prototype “General Sandua”
A project to be announced soon:
L: 30s, trans man, any ethnicity. He comes from Tennessee and works the night shift as a mechanic for the MTA. He is handsome and slightly gruff.
B: early 20s, non-binary trans masculine, person of color. They have a very academic look and speech. Nerdy, stylish, cute, confident, and bubbly.
C: 40s, trans woman, any ethnicity. She is calculated, self-assured, motherly, and has kind eyes. She works the front desk of a real estate agency.
J: late teens/early 20s, non-binary trans feminine, black. They are confident with a polished androgynous look. They are sweet, sharp, know who they are and have a give-no-fucks attitude. They work at Sephora and are a minor internet celebrity among queers.
Also searching for actors/ artists for two additional projects:
Collaborators whose gendered experience intersects with masculinity, including but not limited to cisgender men, trans men, trans masculine individuals, trans women, trans feminine individuals, and nonbinary individuals, for The Masculinity Project, a DEVISED THEATRE PROJECT.
Collaborators of all genders, ethnicities, abilities, and identities interested in working on The Uncomfortable Conversation, a VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY-BASED WEB SERIES aimed at normalizing conversations about consent, healthy & unhealthy relationships, and gendered power. This project is produced in collaboration with The Uncomfortable Conversation and One Love, and is a community action project. More details below at this link!
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/auditions.png10801080ATB Administratorhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngATB Administrator2019-09-03 21:18:002019-09-03 21:18:02ATB Season Auditions!
Artists’ Theater of Boston is committed to ending relationship-based, gendered, and sexual violence. We are committing to the year-long pursuit of a project in an effort to work towards this goal, and we hope you will join us in this fight.
We will begin our 19/20 season with a volunteer project, combining the shared missions of several incredible organizations as we work together to normalize conversations about sexual assault and healthy and unhealthy relationships through education and action-oriented projects for people of all ages. ATB will be working in collaboration with The Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc. to produce these videos.
Here’s how you can get involved in this first stage of our volunteer action!
Writers, Activists, Improv Creators, & All Interested Folks:
Friday, September 13th, 7-11pm
Write & create the scripts for 10 videos addressing topics of consent, setting boundaries, rejection, and more.
Actors & Production Helpers:
Saturday, September 28th, between 9am-11pm
Help film this video series!
Actors may stay anywhere between 2 hours to the full day of filming, understanding that staying for longer means acting in more pieces.
Email email@example.com with:
why you are interested in being part of this action, and
if you have a specific idea for a video you’d like for us to consider!
In addition to collaborating with the Uncomfortable Conversation, we are honored to be supporting One Love’s mission to educate people about the difference between healthy & unhealthy relationships, empowering the next generation to love better and put a stop to relationship abuse. We are also thrilled to be collaborating with Company One Theatre’s Stage One program for our youth component of this action, which will be announced soon.
We want to reiterate that this is an intentional volunteer project. ATB recognizes that ending systemic issues of oppression necessitates the community involvement of many people from the ground up. This does make this project explicitly different than a regular “gig” for those involved. To that end, we have intentionally entered into this action hoping to engage as many of our community members as possible in various stages of this effort, acknowledging that not all people who are artists may feel that a volunteer action is right for them in the current stage of their career. There will be later opportunities for screenings in schools and other community spaces, so folks should feel free to join in whatever way is most right for them.
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/atb-uncomfy.jpg960960ATB Administratorhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngATB Administrator2019-09-03 00:06:332019-09-03 21:23:30The Uncomfortable Conversation Video Series: Call for Collaborators
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/tenement1.jpg7501000Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2018-08-22 09:00:492018-08-21 20:20:05Gentrification by the Numbers
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Blair_Nodelman_0126_8x10name-e1531970909429.jpg16381638Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2018-08-21 09:00:142018-08-19 17:00:59An Interview with Actor Blair Nodelman
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/MJ-picture-e1531840561354.png627627Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2018-08-19 17:17:122018-08-19 17:17:12An Interview with Playwright MJ Halberstadt
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/tenement1.jpg7501000Stephanie K Brownellhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngStephanie K Brownell2018-08-16 22:14:032018-08-16 22:14:03Tenement Tourism: Housing as a Microcosm of Discrimination
(Featured image: Unbothered by the rainstorm outside, my cat Dexter sleeps on the radiator in my childhood home.)
For this blog, I asked some This Place/Displaced actors and production team members to answer a simple, open-ended question: What does home mean to you? I worried that perhaps the question was too broad or would inspire only a litany of addresses, but the responses are as lyrical as they are diverse. Without further ado:
Dominic Carter, Actor: What Home means to me? Whenever I’m with my best friends I think Home! It’s the safest place for me. We have been friends for over 15 years, been through ups and downs, and we trust each other no matter what. Being around people who build you up and never break you down. My friends are the ultimate meaning of Home.
Stephanie K. Brownell, Playwright and Costume Designer: I’m a nester. Like… I’m not waiting around for kids or a family. I’m a nester for myself. Having a comforting home environment is hugely important to me and the fact that I’ve nearly always been able to achieve that in my life is a true privilege. I wish I could say my space didn’t matter to me so much, but as an introvert, home is a place to recharge.
When I’m sad, when I’ve had a hard day, I crave the arms of the people I love, but since the vast majority of my loved ones live far far away, my cozy blanket and the pillows that my mother made for me when I went off to college often have to do. There’s one story in This Place/Displaced where a teen is facing the prospect of leaving her neighborhood, her job, and all her friends. I moved away from my family and hometown voluntarily and it’s still hard. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be forced to leave. That separation would be much rougher if I couldn’t surround myself with meaningful objects, or–you know–feel secure in my house. I do believe we can make our own homes, but I don’t believe we do it alone.
Adrian Peguero, Actor: When I think of home I think of a place where one is constantly grounded and not afraid to live their truth. Home to me is the people I choose to surround myself around; my chosen family.
Tom King, Connectivity: As a queer person, I’ve found home to be a complicated concept. While for many folks, “home” implies continuity of family, preservation of cultural memory, community resilience, and a recognizable shared set of cultural values, for queers these important and necessary goals can sometimes be complicated by exclusion from birth families and communities and an understanding that our desires don’t necessarily conform to the community norms that anti-displacement activists seek to preserve.
Home, for me, then has to name the capacity to make place, to foster both continuity and transformation, recognition and difference, heritage and new entanglements. It’s not always what we have now, or even what we may be in danger of losing. It’s what we constantly have to create.
Katie McGoff, Stage Manager: Home is the feeling of safety and familiarity you feel when you enter somewhere and the strength that feeling gives you. Whether it is a house or someone’s arms, home is knowing what you are walking into. It may have surprises but your feet are on solid ground.
Blair Nodelman, Actor: Home is waking in the morning to birds chirping outside your window. It’s the sunlight pouring onto your skin in the mid afternoon with children playing in a nearby fountain. It’s the feeling of the water swirling around your ankles when you first step into the ocean. It’s the sound of laughter from the people you love. It’s the warm tears on your cheeks when you look at the sky and are amazed by the stars. You feel it as you walk into your favorite bakery or call a friend or touch a brick wall on the street. You hold onto it when you’re up in a plane and finally breathe it in when you land. It’s your favorite song in your headphones and on your lips. It’s the people that make your heart swell until it nearly bursts. It’s arguing with those people, but then falling in love all over again. It’s a feeling. It’s a person. It’s a location. It’s a familiar sense of belonging. Home is where you feel everything.
Maurice Palmer, Associate Producer: Home for me is wherever I feel at peace. An environment where I can recharge, take care of myself, and relax. Home is also where my family lies, whether that family be chosen or my relatives. I think another identifier for my personal home is that it is a place where I WANT to be.
After taking a two and a half week vacation, I found myself calling Boston home. Before the vacation it was the exact opposite; I was calling Las Vegas home. But I have now realized that Boston feels more like home, because it is where I have placed my roots, I have formed relationships and made investments in the life that I have here in Boston. The trajectory of my future will lie within the choices that I make here in Boston. My new proclaimed Home.
Tenneh Sillah, Actor: Home means freedom, calm, quiet and lonely; it feels safe no matter what.
And me? (Julia Davidovitz, Blog) My image of home is a collection of specific memories; people, places, pieces of furniture. I have felt at home in my bed in the Boston ‘burbs and on my brother’s couch in San Francisco. I felt home in Hawaii, hearing my friends cackle at me for sleeping in the sand (because the biggest fluorescent green bug was in our tent and I could not hang).
I’m sorry to say that in some of the places I’ve felt most at home, like the Big Island of Hawai’i and the Mission District of San Francisco, I embody the white colonizer. I don’t say this for absolution or to role-play an enlightened progressive. It’s a fact: my presence, and that of people who look like me and come from my socioeconomic background, changes the landscape of a city. White people throughout history, unsatisfied with their cold native lands, have sought to ‘discover’ new places they love…and have made those places uninhabitable for their indigenous residents. Christopher Columbus’ bloody colonization of Native American land gave way to the quieter violence of modern-day gentrification. But the culture that canonized (and still celebrates!) Columbus unmistakably continues to practice settler colonialism.
But um…I digress, kind of. My definition of home, like the place I lay my head at night, is subject to change. Participating in the production of This Place/Displaced has expanded my knowledge of gentrification, displacement, and housing inequity; it’s forced me to confront systems of gentrification in Boston and beyond, some of which I have unwittingly participated in.
Like all art, theater is inherently political, especially grappling with the politics of identity. And our homes are a foundational part of our identities. It’s not surprising to me that so many of these answers from This Place/Displaced team members emphasize safety, grounding, and regeneration. This Place/Displaced isn’t solely a creative rendering of the insidious effects of gentrification. It also investigates the parts of ourselves that are so small, so personal, yet so fundamental: Where is your home? With whom do you share your home? What would you do to defend it?
https://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/30603644_221498218606555_8873697669587927040_n.jpg640640Julia Davidovitzhttps://artiststheater.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATB-Horizontal-Logo-Transparent-1-300x169.pngJulia Davidovitz2018-08-15 00:23:352018-08-15 10:13:23What Does Home Mean to You?