10 Weeks till Jaws Drop

Mar. 27, 2014

by Casey Tova Markenson. This entry is part of a series in preparation for our 2014 Legislative Theatre Festival.      

Legislative theatre makes jaws drop. I’ve seen it happen. “We invite legislators and policy makers to watch plays based on the actors’ own experiences, and legislation is drafted based on what happens onstage,” I say when I explain it. Cue universal jaw droppage. 

In ten weeks, senators, city council members, assembly people, borough presidents, and New Yorkers will come together to watch live theatre that investigates racism and discrimination in the criminal justice system. The scenes presented on stage won’t be fiction – they’ll be the first-hand experiences of the actors in the plays.  Audience members will have a chance to intervene in the conflict, and to imagine radical alternatives. The legislative team sitting in the room will draft policy changes based what the actors and audience members demand. And all of the people in the room will vote on the legislation. 

We want every New Yorker to be in the room. To broaden our reach, we’re launching a 10 week blog series. Every Thursday, we’ll post reflections, stories, and interviews that engage with questions that the festival raises. 

TONYC strives to catalyze change. To support this year’s legislative interruptions and interventions, we invite you to give $10. Your $10 will go toward our goal of raising $10,000 to fund rehearsal space, food and stipends for our actors, graphic design and PR support, and a sound system to guarantee that all voices are heard. Click here to join me in making sure that all votes are counted at this year’s Legislative Theatre Festival. 

How can we change systemic racism in the criminal justice system? TONYC is brimming with stories which investigate that question. Hold on to your jaws.

 This year’s Spring to Action: 2014 Legislative Theater festival will take place Thursday, May 29th – Saturday, May 31st  at the Church of St. Luke’s in the Fields. Contact Artistic Director Katy Rubin at [email protected] or 646-504-4582 to  collaborate and participate.