Nilaja Sun’s “Pike St.” Will Hold Post-Show Forums with NYC Emergency MGMT Dept.
Rick Miramontez/Lily Robinson/Patrick Lazour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
EPIC THEATRE ENSEMBLE
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT
TO COMMEMORATE THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY
OF HURRICANE SANDY
FOLLOWING PREVIEW PERFORMANCES OF
NOVEMBER 10 – NOVEMBER 15, 2015
A NEW PLAY
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY
New York, NY (November 3, 2015) – Epic Theatre Ensemble and Nilaja Sun are happy to announce that the first week of Pike St. post-show forums will include representatives from the NYC Emergency Management Department and L.E.S. Ready! – two organizations dedicated to rebuilding New York City after Hurricane Sandy and preparing for the next big storm. Audience members (and any individual interested) are welcome to stay after preview performances of Nilaja Sun’s one-woman show to discuss and ask questions about the relevant social issues presented in the work. Pike St. will begin performances on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in the experimental theater at Abrons Art Center (466 Grand Street) with post-show forums running from Tuesday, November 10 until Sunday, November 15, 2015.
As Robert Chelimsky, Managing Director at Epic Theatre Ensemble, explains, “A core piece of our mission goes beyond creating great theatre. It goes to creating transformational theatre that inspires action. Now, of course, if you’re in a theatre seeing Nilaja Sun for 90 minutes, you’re going to be part of a great transformational piece of theatre. Nilaja’s work will shine a light on critical issues of preparedness and inequity. But that’s the inception of the journey to action, not the end of it. We want people to leave not only feeling like they should do something, but knowing that they can do something, and knowing what that is! When our artists are developing their work we learn a lot about the issues at stake, but we’re not the experts. So we’re grateful to be partnering with L.E.S. Ready and the Emergency Management Department for the preview week Post-Show Forum Series, to present guests who can engage with audiences about the challenges we face in this city, what services are available and for whom, what services aren’t available and for whom, and what they can do about it.”
In the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, a struggling family prepares to ride out the next big storm. Unable to move her teenaged daughter Candace—whose mysterious aneurysm has rendered her unable to move or breathe on her own—out of their crumbling tenement, Evelyn plans for more than just survival: she fights for healing and redemption. With Pike St., Nilaja Sun uses her trademark humor, political incisiveness, and virtuosity to bring to life the entirety of the Lower East Side, from decorated Puerto Rican war veteran Manny, to octogenarian downstairs neighbor Mrs. Applebaum, to Candace herself. Pike St. also marks Sun’s return home to the Abrons Arts Center, where she took her first acting class and began her extraordinary artistic journey.
For ticket information, performance schedule and further information, please visit PikeSt.nyc or call Abrons Art Center at (212) 598-0400
L.E.S. READY! or The Lower East Side Long Term Recovery Group (the LES LTRG) is a coalition of community groups and institutions that will cooperatively coordinate response, resources, preparedness planning and training in response to Hurricane Sandy and in the event of future disasters. LES Ready! will focus on Manhattan’s Community Board 3 area and the immediately adjacent neighborhoods that our groups may serve. Future disasters may be events that disrupt/dislocate residents, disrupt power, communications, transportation, cause shortages in basic goods and services, threaten life and/or the community’s built environment. LES Ready! is inclusive and open to community groups, organizations, and institutions that wish to be actively involved in responding and preparing collaboratively.
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT is a coordinating agency for the City of New York. The agency plans and prepares for emergencies, educates the public about preparedness, coordinates emergency response and recovery, and collects and disseminates emergency information. The agency maintains a disciplined unit of emergency management personnel, such as responders, planners, watch commanders, and administrative and support staff to identify and respond to various hazards.
NILAJA SUN is the solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway smash No Child…, which had its initial run with Epic Theatre Ensemble followed by and a yearlong run at the Barrow Street Theatre. For her creation and performance of No Child… and its subsequent national tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Helen Hayes Award a Lucille Lortel Award, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play. Theatre credits also include The Commons of Pensacola, Einstein’s Gift, Time and The Conways, Huck and Holden, and The Cook. Television/Film credits include “Madam Secretary,” “Louie,” “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Unforgettable,” “The International,” and “Rubicon.”
As a solo performer, her projects include the critically acclaimed Blues for a Gray Sun (INTAR), La Nubia Latina, Black and Blue, Insufficient Fare, Due to the Tragic Events of…, and Mixtures. Nilaja was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective and was recently awarded a NYSCHA grant, through Epic Theatre Ensemble, to create her newest solo piece, Pike St, which will have its world premiere at the Abrons Arts Center in November. A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award winner and has worked as a teaching artist in New York City for over 15 years.
EPIC THEATRE ENSEMBLE creates bold work with and for diverse communities that promotes vital discourse and social change by Inspiring students to be creative and engaged citizens, presenting compelling topics that transform the way people think and collaborating with artists, students and thought leaders to produce plays about key issues. Founded in 2001, this collective of theatre makers and teaching artists established a new kind of artist-run theatre that built human bridges between school classrooms, professional stages, and civic centers. This integration of youth development, Citizen-Artist training, and the production of new and classic political plays reached its first apex in 2005 with the co-founding of the Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts occurring at the same time as the premiere and commercial transfer of the multi-award winning No Child… by Nilaja Sun. Epic grew rapidly over the next few years, pursuing a plan that led to deeper integration of Epic’s programming including: the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award-winning after-school program, Shakespeare Remix; an annual youth Summer Intensive, which has evolved into the Epic NEXT Arts Leadership Program; and, the festival-style New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play.
In 2011, Epic entered a new phase of its evolution, focusing on Epic’s growth as an industry frontrunner in transforming the lives of young people and building deep collaborations with community partners to produce bold theatrical work that re-imagines the critical role art must play in the fight for social justice.
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