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‘YOUR BRAIN IS A BOMB: a revolutionary conversation series’
to follow select performances of HOME/SICK in June
Los Angeles, CA (June 1, 2016) — New York City theater collective The Assembly will present a curated conversation series to accompany the West Coast premiere of HOME/SICK, a theatrical re-imagining of the history of the Weather Underground. Select performances of The New York Times ‘Critic’s Pick’ production, which is set for a limited, four-week engagement in a co-production with West L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre Ensemble from June 11 through July 3, will be followed by discussions with former Weathermen, historians, activists and artists engaged with today’s political struggles. To date, four speakers have been confirmed: Los Angeles Poverty Department founding artistic director John Malpede on June 15; activist Eric Mann on June 16; historian Jon Wiener on June 17; and former Weatherman Mark Rudd on June 19.
HOME/SICK explores real events during the 1960s U.S. student political movement. Disgusted by the Vietnam War and rampant inequality at home, a handful of leaders from the 1960s U.S. student movement seized control of Students for a Democratic Society and reshaped it in the name of overthrowing the United States’ government. This conversation series will examine the Weather Underground’s inspiration and idealism, infighting and ultimate disintegration in a passionate examination of collective action.
The Assembly is a collective of multi-disciplinary performance artists committed to realizing a visceral and intelligent theater for a new generation. Assembly members unite their varied interests in service of wide-reaching, unabashedly theatrical and rigorously researched ensemble performances that address the complexities of our ever-changing world. The company embraces collaboration as the core of the creative process, allowing all the elements of text, action and design to develop side-by-side within the rehearsal environment. The Assembly is dedicated to rooting its artists, audiences and peers in a profound sense of community. Central to The Assembly’s mission is creating work that fosters dialogue within our community, and the company is excited to offer up this wide range of experience to audience members.
Discussions will run for approximately 20 minutes and take place immediately following performances of HOME/SICK. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90025. Audience members are invited to stay after the show, or join for the talk. No extra reservation necessary. Tickets can be purchased online at odysseytheatre.com or by calling (866) 811-4111. For more information and updates about the talkback series, go to assemblytheater.org/talkback.
John Malpede (June 15) directs, performs and engineers multi-event arts projects that have theatrical, installation, public art and education components. In 1985 Malpede founded and continues to direct the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), the first performance group in the nation comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people. LAPD creates performances that connect lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty. Malpede has produced projects working with communities throughout the U.S. and in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Bolivia. Malpede has received New York’s Dance Theater Workshop Bessie Creation Award, San Francisco Art Institute’s Adeline Kent Award, Durfee Sabbatical Grant, LA Theater Alliance Ovation Award and individual artist fellowships from New York State Council on the Arts, NEA, California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles’ COLA fellowship and California Community Foundation’s Visual Artist Fellowship, as well as numerous project grants.
Eric Mann (June 16) is a 48-year veteran in anti-war, labor and environmental organizing (working extensively with Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society and the United Auto Workers); a graduate of Cornell University; and the author of seven books and two films on social movements and organizing theory, including “Katrina’s Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast” and his most recent book, “Playbook for Progressives:16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer.” In 2001 he was a delegate to the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa where he participated in the protests against the U.S. government’s walk out. He returned to South Africa in 2002 as part of a Strategy Center delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. He is co-host of Voices from the Frontlines radio show.
Jon Wiener (June 17) is a contributing editor to The Nation magazine and teaches 20th
century U.S. history at the University of California Irvine. He sued the FBI for their files on John Lennon — the story is told in his book “Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.” The case went all the way to the Supreme Court before most of the outstanding issues were settled in 1997. Wiener’s other books include “How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey across America,” “I Told You So: Gore Vidal Talks Politics–Interviews with Jon Wiener” and “Historians in Trouble and Professors, Politics and Pop.” Wiener has hosted an afternoon drive-time interview show on KPFK since 1999.
Mark Rudd (June 19) led the legendary occupation of five buildings at Columbia University in 1968, a dramatic act of protest against the university’s support for the Vietnam War and its institutional racism. As chairman of the Columbia chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, Rudd went on to become a national symbol of student revolt. In 1969, he co-founded the Weathermen faction of SDS, which helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in Chicago. Rudd went underground in 1970 and eventually surrendered to the authorities in 1977. After serving a brief jail sentence, he moved to New Mexico where he became an instructor of mathematics at Central New Mexico Community College. In 2009, he published Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen.
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