The 2019-2020 Theater and Policy Salon season will start on October 18 at 3 pm with a Salon at New York University’s Washington DC campus at 1307 L Street, NW in downtown DC. The conversation will focus on policy and societal themes implicit in two local productions: Shakespeare Theater Company’s production of Everybody by MacArthur Fellow Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Ford’s Theatre’s production of August Wilson’s Fences.
The Theater and Policy Salon’s Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience in Sports and Society series will focus on how superstar culture in the U.S. seduces and fails young people from challenged backgrounds and struggling communities, while diverting attention and urgency from systemic obstacles and problems. Defining success in terms of a few superstar examples of success – be it in sports, in academic attainment, or other fields – covers up deep-rooted problems in these settings and promotes an all or nothing, high-risk attitude toward life choices. The plays that inform this Salon – Fences and Everybody – provide insights into how individuals from a variety of backgrounds and generations have sought meaning and fulfillment in their lives. Both plays look at the impacts of those choices, both on the self and on others. Our conversation will ask what can be done to build resilience and purpose for our vulnerable young people in the face of skewed societal expectations and economic challenges.
Confirmed Panelists Include:
April Lawson is the Associate Director of Weave: The Social Fabric Project at The Aspen Institute. She is also the designer and Director of Better Angels Debates, which uses parliamentary style to produce illuminating conversations across political perspectives. Previously, she worked with David Brooks and Ross Douthat at The New York Times. Her own research focuses on morality, feminism, and America’s current fragmentation in politics and culture. She is a Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow. She has also worked at the U.S. Treasury Department, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the New Haven Mayor’s Office. She grew up in Kansas, earned a B.A. in anthropology at Yale University, and now lives in Washington, D.C. with her dog June.
Pamela “P.S.” Perkins
Professor Pamela “P. S.” Perkins is an alumnus of UNC-Chapel Hill and holds a Masters degree in Communication Studies from New York University. Through her genius of “Word Power” and program innovation, she has developed the trademark Communication Staircase Model. P.S. is the author of the highly acclaimed business self-help book, The Art and Science of Communication: Tools for Effective Communication in the Workplace, John Wiley Publishers. P.S has a broad background as a performing artist, including theater, dance, storytelling and music. She is currently Founder and CEO of the Human Communication Institute and teaches Human Communication and the Communication Arts for the University of the District of Columbia and Prince George’s Community College.
Drew Lichtenberg is Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and adjunct faculty at Catholic University and The New School. Drew has worked as a dramaturg from Broadway to London’s South Bank, and with regional theaters in the Midatlantic (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage) as well as around the U.S. At the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Drew has dramaturged 45 productions over 9 seasons. His writing has appeared in Theater, Theatre Journal, Text & Presentation, and Contemporary Theatre Review. He holds a doctorate in fine arts from Yale School of Drama.
The Theater and Policy Salon season for 2019-2020 features a series on Refuge, Journey, and Compassion and another on Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience in Sports and Society.
The Refuge, Journey, and Compassion series will focus on migrants and refugees who face being separated from their home cultures and being outsiders in new communities. The series will look at migrants both as sufferers of displacement as well as courageous individuals who take control of destiny in the face of substantial risks.
The Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience in Sports and Society series will focus on how superstar culture in the U.S. seduces and fails young people from challenged backgrounds and struggling communities, while diverting attention and urgency from systemic obstacles and problems. Defining success in terms of a few superstar examples of success – be it in sports or in academic attainment – covers up deep-rooted problems in these settings and promotes an all or nothing, high-risk attitude toward life choices.
The October 18 Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience Salon at NYU Washington, DC kicks off the season. The Refuge, Journey, and Compassion series will open with a Refuge, Journey, and Compassion Salon on November 21 at Studio Theatre, following the 8pm performance of Thai-Australian writer Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl.
The Refuge, Journey, and Compassion series will continue on January 23 with a Salon at Theater J following the 8 pm performance of Alex Sobler’s Sheltered. This work will be in conversation with Mosaic Theater Company’s production of Pilgrims Musa & Sheri in the New World. A March 6 Refuge, Journey, and Compassion Salon, in cooperation with NYU Washington, will focus on Arena Stage’s productions of Octavio Solis’ Mother Road and Eduardo Muchado’s Celia and Fidel, along with other new works being shown in DC as part of the InSeries’ Women Composers’ Festival.
Spring Series (more panels and dates to be announced):
The Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience series will kick off with a Salon following Studio Theatre’s Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau and continue with a focus on Arena Stage’s production of Toni Stone by Lydia Diamond. These productions will frame the Attainment, Fulfillment, and Resilience conversation around the choices faced by those seeking to succeed in the dominant society, whether in education, sports, or other pursuits.
For more details, sign up on the Theater and Policy Salon website or follow @TheaterPolSalon on twitter or like @TheaterPolicySalon on Facebook