FringeU 2008

FringeU featured special "behind the production" events for some FringeNYC shows, as well as a meet and greet with arts service organizations and a fascinating panel about dance for family audiences. 



FringeU - FREE!

Join FringeNYC participants and staff, as well as local New York City professionals to explore a variety of topics that will electrify your brains. This summer’s FringeU is shaping up to cover a wide range of theatrical issues in as many different forms and styles of conveyance. All FringeU workshops are held at FringeCENTRAL at 6pm.

FringeU 2008:
Friday August 8th
FringeU: LUCASVILLE: Behind the Production

Why should persons outside Ohio feel special concern about the Lucasville defendants? What is different or special about these particular prisoners? My answer is that while these are not the only innocent men who are on Death Row, the Five are unique in my experience as an example of blacks and whites standing in solidarity. I was deeply involved in the Southern civil rights movement, and coordinated Freedom Schools during the 1964 Mississippi Summer. These men represent a rebirth in a very unlikely setting of the inter-racial cooperation I experienced in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s.
Three of the Five are black. Two are Muslims, one an imam, the second a former imam. The two whites were at the time of the 1993 uprising members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Lucasville, where the disturbance occurred, is a town just across the Ohio River from Kentucky. Lucasville is all-white. The guards were mostly drawn from the local population and were overwhelmingly white, whereas the prisoners were two-thirds African American.
Yet, after the negotiated surrender ended the 11-day uprising, guards who came into what had been the occupied cell block found extraordinary graffiti on the walls of the corridor and the gym. The graffiti said: "White and black together," "Convict Unity," and my favorite, "Convict Race." That is: Somebody else may say we are two races, white and black, but the truth is we belong to the same race, convicts.
This extraordinary fraternity, this unusual solidarity, has continued for 15 years among the five men sentenced to death. They share their legal materials more than do their lawyers. They hunger strike together. When my wife and I helped to file a class action law suit about conditions of confinement at the Ohio supermax, we needed class representatives. One was Jason Robb, a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. And it was Jason who insisted, "The blacks need their own spokesperson," and would regularly come to court with his good friend, African American Keith Lamar.
We attempt to convey the special quality of this experience through:
LESSLEY HARMON I have known Lessley for twenty years. I met him when he was a member of a group of General Motors workers who were concerned about their exposure to toxic chemicals. Later, after his incarceration, Alice and I visited him regularly. He plays James Were, also known as Namir Abdul Mateen.
JACKIE BOWERS Jackie is the sister of another of the Five, George Skatzes (pronounced "skates"). Not only has she committed to accompanying her brother on his journey, but she serves as an informal point of contact and clearing house of information for all the Five. She plays herself.
Finally, I offer as background information my book, LUCASVILLE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF A PRISON UPRISING (Temple University Press, 2004), at the discounted price I pay for copies, $15.

Monday August 11th
FringeU: “Family Audiences in Dance_Why Not?”

This panel will discuss the tremendous potential and the hazards of the creation of dance targeted to family audiences. The New York City dance community has a wealth of opportunities to expand its horizons, though choreographers may sometimes be reluctant to create works that are appropriate for family audiences. This reluctance could stem from a misconception that family audience oriented work could lack depth and be a lesser art form. But children are some of the most open minded and insightful audiences; New York City has savvy family audiences eager to see and experience dance. Find out why and how creating works for family audiences can challenge artistic growth and expand the number of performance opportunities available. Moderator: Eva Dean, Artistic Director, Eva Dean Dance and Union Street Dance

Renata Celichowska, Director, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center
Keely Garfield, Choreographer and Co-Curator for Dance Theater Workshop's "Family Matters"
Joanne Robinson Hill, Director of Education, The Joyce Theater
Mary Rose Lloyd, Director of Programming, The New Victory Theater
Marya Warshaw, Founding and Executive Director, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX)

Wednesday August 13th
FringeU: At Your Service! Service Organizations in NYC

New York has many wonderful service, membership, and advocacy organizations designed to assist theatre-makers in many wonderful ways! Come to this Service Organization Fair and meet some of the best, and see what they have to offer!

Participants include:

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York
Fractured Atlas
The League of Independent Theatres
The New York Theatre Experience

Monday August 18th
FringeU: ZOMBIE / The Corn Maiden: Behind the Production

How do you translate the novella of one of America's greatest living writers for the stage? Especially when the writer is Joyce Carol Oates - a great novelist, but also a distinguished playwright? If you are not careful, your respect for the writer could leave you paralyzed! It's a balancing act - honoring the source material, while attempting to distill a long-ish literary work into its essence for a different medium - the stage. It's keeping the story active and present, simple and clear - while attempting to not oversimplify the original. It helps if the writer is Oates - a generous and supportive force.

Join three writers and an art director who are a part of the "mini-Oates festival" at this year's New York International Fringe Festival.

Participants include:
Bill Connington, adapter and performer of ZOMBIE
Jess McCleod, co-adapter and director of The Corn Maiden
Justin Swain, co-adapter of The Corn Maiden
Nickey Frankel, art director of The Corn Maiden


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