Weekly roundup: Legislative Theatre, Twilight revisited, more!
“THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED NYC” HAS FESTIVAL JUNE 4-6: Our friends at Theatre of the Oppressed NYC have their third annual “Festival of Legislative Theatre” this June 4-6 — and it’s electric stuff! If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll attend one or more of the performances and other events, all of which are free. In the group’s methodology, audiences are not passive viewers but active “spect-actors,” and can even get up on stage to act out alternative approaches to social problems.
“TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES 1992” NOW STREAMING ONLINE: Los Angeles erupted in riots in 1992, after a jury acquitted police officers who had been caught on videotape savagely beating an African American motorist named Rodney King. Playwright-actress Anna Deavere Smith interviewed hundreds of people involved in the situation, and reenacted portions of selected interviews in a one-woman play called “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.” The film of that play is now streaming on PBS, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the riots, and recent events in Baltimore.
“MERCY SHIPS” STORIES: The organization Mercy Ships sends medical ships to some of the poorest ports in Africa, and provides free, life-saving medical care. The group has a page of stories on its website. The stories are impressive not only for their high production values, but also — like this one, about a Madagascar man named Sambany who has an enormous tumor — for the way they tell of one person’s challenge, put him in a larger context, illustrate the organization’s response, and show the community of people involved. Viewers might easily be inspired to donate or even imagine themselves as volunteers on board. Those are storytelling techniques that can help people in any issue area.