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Presented in partnership with Ping Chong + Company
After a successful run as a part of Movement ’63, 651 ARTS continues its partnership with Ping Chong + Company to present Brooklyn ’63 as part of BEATBrooklyn. Brooklyn ’63 is a theatrical performance that provides a lens into a time when the fabric of the Brooklyn community was being shaped by the radical social changes occurring throughout the nation. Ping Chong + Company used the Undesirable Elements process to give voice and help to excavate a forgotten history of community and social activism that crossed racial, religious and ethnic lines to bring about change to an increasingly diverse community, one striving to overcome decades of injustice and neglect.
The part of Elinor Barr will be read by her daughter, Rachel Barr.
BEATBrooklyn Opening Night
Thursday, September 12 | 7pm
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238
Tickets: FREE | RSVP required.
Click here to reserve your seat.
For one night only, the Brooklyn Museum becomes the “Brooklyn Museum of the Performing Arts.” Come meet the cast of Brooklyn ’63 and other artists participating in this year’s BEAT Festival performing throughout Brooklyn’s largest cultural institution.
Elinor Barr was born on July 24, 1931 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She attended Erasmus High School in 1944 and was expelled in 1947 for political activity related to free speech. She married Sherman Barr and worked for Brooklyn CORE for integration of the Construction Workers’ Union. She worked at Beachbrook Nursery, the first school to mainstream. She had three children: David, Daniel, and Rachel. Along with 25 other White families, Elinor started to bus her children to PS20, an all Black school at the time. For 40 years, she taught early childhood education at Kingsborough Community College. Her son contracted HIV and worked at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She worked on their hotline for 22 years. She was a member of Women Strike for Peace and Grandmothers for Peace.
Patrick Dougher is blessed to have been born and raised in Brooklyn. Patrick is an artist, musician, poet, educator, son, brother and father. He is a rebel with a cause who has devoted his life to love, truth, beauty and the ONE Creator of ALL. He would like to dedicate his participation in Brooklyn ‘63 to the beautiful woman warrior that is his Mother, the memory of his Father, his Children and all Brooklyn youth. Patrick would also like to dedicate his performance to the cast members of Brooklyn ‘63. It has been his honor to share the stage with these amazing souls. Peace and Blessing to All. ONE LOVE
Clyde D. Herring is a collage artist, quilter and vocalist. She recently retired from her position as an office manager at both the Baha’i International Community United Nations Office and the NYC Baha’i Center. She’s actively involved in her community as a mentor for the Mt. Vernon Ambassador youth group, where she creates projects that focus on community building. Ms. Herring currently lives in the city of Mt. Vernon, NY and is the mother of two adult children and two adorable granddaughters, Faith and Hope.
Stan Kinard, born and raised in Brooklyn, has consistently served his community as an activist and educator. A graduate of the UMass/Amherst, he was President of the African American Students Association and was instrumental in the establishment of one of the first departments of African American Studies in the country. He was Director of Brownsville Heritage House, founder of the Carter G. Woodson Cultural Literacy Project and is currently the Director of the CARE Center￼at Boys and Girls High School. Stan Kinard is an initiated priest of Obatala and a practitioner of African spiritual traditions for over two decades.
Lourdes Lebron is a grandmother of six children, a former family daycare owner of twenty-seven years, an active C.E.R.T. member (Community Emergency Response Team). In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, coming up with different creative projects, teaching others CPR and being an advocate for a quality education in all high schools. This is Lourdes’ first production and she is excited for everyone to see what everyone has been working on. She would like to thank everyone for supporting her on this new branch in her life.
Sam Pinn has maintained commitments in the struggle for social justice for African Americans along with steadfastness in the cultural promotion of jazz. He chairs the Fort Greene Council, a major human service organization and originated JAZZ966, a popular jazz venue. He’s Professor Emeritus of Social Science at Ramapo College; served as Chairman of Community School Board 16, Bed-Stuy; Co-founded Randolph Evans Scholarship Fund; Chaired Independent Brooklyn CORE; co-founded the National Black United Front. He’s married to Cynthia Doris Smith – sons Sam 3rd & Gregory - grandchildren Sydney Marie & Cameron Christopher Pinn.
Ping Chong (Co-writer/Director) is an internationally acclaimed theatre director, playwright, video and installation artist, and a seminal figure in the interdisciplinary theater community. Mr. Chong’s work has been presented at major festivals and theatres around the world including: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, La MaMa E.T.C, Spoleto USA Festival, Vienna Festival, RomaEuropa Festival, Tokyo International Arts Festival, Singapore Festival of the Arts, and many others. Recent productions include Angels of Swedenborg (La Mama), Throne of Blood (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, BAM’s 2010 Next Wave Festival), and Cathay: Three Tales of China (Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Kennedy Center, New Victory, the Vienna Festival, The People’s Theater in Xi’an, 2012 UNIMA Festival in Chengdu, China). Among his many honors and awards, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two BESSIE awards and two OBIE awards, including one for sustained Achievement in 2000, and the USA Artist Fellowship. He is the recipient of a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Upcoming projects include The Civil War Project a new interdisciplinary piece about the Civil War, commissioned by The Clarence Brown Theater in Knoxville, TN. Published works include The East-West Quartet (TCG 2005) and a collection of scripts from the Undesirable Elements series (TCG 2012), available at bookstores and online.
Talvin Wilks (Co-writer/Director) is a playwright, director and dramaturge. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod; The Trial of Uncle S&M; Bread of Heaven; and, An American Triptych. Directorial projects include the world premiere productions of UDU by Sekou Sundiata (651 ARTS/BAM), The Love Space Demands by Ntozake Shange (Crossroads), No Black Male Show/Pagan Operetta by Carl Hancock Rux (Joe’s Pub/The Kitchen), Banana Beer Bath by Lynn Nottage (Going to the River Festival), the Obie Award/ AUDELCO Award winning The Shaneequa Chronicles by Stephanie Berry (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Relativity by Cassandra Medley (Ensemble Studio Theatre – AUDELCO nomination for Best Director 2006), On the Way to Timbuktu by Petronia Paley (Ensemble Studio Theatre – AUDELCO nomination for Best Director 2008), and Anne and Emmett by Janet Langhart-Cohen (Atlas Theatre). He has served as co-writer/ dramaturge for ten productions in Ping Chong’s ongoing series of Undesirable Elements, and dramaturge for five collaborations with the Bebe Miller Company, Going to the Wall, the Bessie Award winning Verge, Landing/Place for which he received a 2006 Bessie Award, Necessary Beauty and the currently touring A History. Recent dramaturgical collaborations also include work with Camille Brown and Dancers (Mr. TOL E. RaNcE), Carmen DeLavallade (My Life in Dance and Theatre and Legends I Met Along the Way) and Ping Chong (The Civil War Project). He is currently writing a book on black theatre, Testament: 40 Years of Black Theatre History in the Making, 1964-2004, and recently curated The Aunt Ester Cycle, a theatre festival at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, PA.
Ping Chong + Company (a.k.a. Fiji Theater Company) was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. Today, Ping Chong + Company produces original works by a close-knit ensemble of affiliated artists, under the artistic leadership of Ping Chong. Productions range from intimate oral history projects to grand scale cinematic multidisciplinary productions featuring puppets, performers, and full music and projection scores. The art reveals beauty, precision, and a commitment to social justice. The company has produced over 100 works by Ping Chong and his collaborators, toured widely in the United States and throughout the world, and received numerous honors and awards.
Brooklyn ‘63 is part of an ongoing series of community-specific oral history theater works by Ping Chong + Company known as the Undesirable Elements series. Each production is made in a specific community, with local participants testifying to their real lives and experiences. The script is based on interviews with the participants who then share their stories in the final production. Since 1992, over 40 productions have been made across the U.S. and abroad. Recent productions have explored issues of disability, experiences of refugees in the U.S., and the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse. For more information on the project, please visit www.pingchong.org
The BEAT Festival features Brooklyn-based theater, dance and voice artists presented in diverse and unique spaces across Brooklyn. The 2013 BEAT Festival features performances in the Brooklyn Museum, Bed-Stuy Restoration, Downtown Brooklyn and Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope. The festival events celebrate our profoundly talented artists, diverse communities and eclectic and dynamic spaces. To learn about all of this year’s artists and events, please go to: BEATBrooklyn.com.
Jessica Lynne and DéLana R.A. Dameron reflect on ways they make a home, creatively, wherever they are.