New Brooklyn Theater Raises Funds to Purchase Brooklyn's Slave Theatre; Planned Season Announced
By Michael Gioia
September 28, 2012
New Brooklyn Theater (NBT), a non-profit theatre company that is raising funds to purchase the historic Slave Theatre in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, hosted a community forum Sept. 27 in Bed-Stuy, where NBT artistic director Jonathan Solari and executive producer Sarah Wolff announced the outlines of the company's inaugural season.
NBT supporters include Brooklyn artists/activists Talib Kweli and Danny Simmons, Reverend Al Sharpton, Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza), Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities), Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher), Tony Award-winning actress Melba Moore (Purlie) and publicist and press representative Dennis Crowley.
New Brooklyn is currently in the process of raising $200,000, through a Kickstarter campaign that is intended to raise awareness, establish a community consensus about the building's future and raise funds for the building's purchase. For more information, click here.
NBT is also finalizing plans for its education program, community engagement activities, project development and its first season, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2013. The company's inaugural season gala will be held Sept. 29 at the Flatiron Hotel (9 West 26th Street in Manhattan) at 8 PM and features a performance by The Chris Norton Extravaganza Band, as well as a DJ-led post-party.
Here is a look at the company's planned season:
Jump Jim Crow, How to Produce Your Own Minstrel Show
Conceived and directed by Donya K. Washington
Book by Jesse Cameron Alick
Music by Justin Levine
"Using the minstrel show as a platform to expose the stereotypes that have permeated American culture, this play with music is a harsh and riotous exposé of the origins of modern theater and entertainment in the United States."
Sense of an Ending
By Ken Urban
JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Place
"This world premiere of the recipient of the L. Arnold Weissberger Playwrighting Award follows an African-American journalist seeking redemption of his own professional shortcomings through reporting in post-genocide Rwanda. Overcoming his own preconceived notions of truth and hearing the stories of those who he meets, he himself becomes part of the story."
Nights in the Park
"New Brooklyn Theater's Summer Festival will provide an opportunity for families to enjoy an evening outdoors while seeing some of New York's most exciting, emerging musicians, dance companies and theater troupes. Partnering with local Bed-Stuy businesses, Nights in the Park will be a celebration of the culture, cuisine and commerce of our historically rich neighborhood. Submissions to participate are welcomed at NBT@newbrooklyntheater.com."
Conceived and directed by Jonathan Solari
"The myth of Prometheus, the half-man/half-god who brought fire to man, will be re-imagined with a score built from hip-hop and gospel traditions. This modern opera follows a day in the life of the eternally-bound Prometheus as he discovers that his true punishment is not exactly what the Gods had intended."
Ongoing, beginning February 2013
From the Vyne
A Development Series
Bed-Vyne Wine, 370 Tompkins Ave
"New Brooklyn Theater's bi-weekly development series, graciously hosted by our partner Bed-Vyne Wine, will bring our audience into the Brooklyn playwright's artistic process. Every performance will be followed by a wine-tasting and discussion exploring how to continue the play's life in the quickly growing landscape of Brooklyn theater. Submissions are currently being accepted at NBT@newbrooklyntheater.com."
Feb. 4, 2013 - Alan Deeb
Feb. 18, 2013 - Kesav Wable
March 4, 2013 - Patricia Ione Lloyd
Ongoing, beginning Fall 2012
In partnership with The Brooklyn Children's Museum
"Under the leadership of New Brooklyn Theater's education director, Brian Kushner, children of all ages will learn important life-skills through performance. Using hip-hop culture, debates and intergenerational workshops to explore Howard Gardner's Eight Multiple Intelligences, our team of teaching artists will challenge students to grow, while reinforcing their strengths."
New Brooklyn Theater intends on being an inclusive space. To submit a proposal, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.