December 5, 2016
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HARLEM STAGE HOSTS READING OF OBIE AWARD-WINNING PLAY

 "Black people and the police...it goes on forever."

-Adrienne Kennedy, award-winning playwright

 


COMMUNITY FORUM ON RACE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

 

WHAT:           Staged reading of “Sleep Deprivation Chamber,” with post-performance discussion

 

WHEN:          Monday, August 17, 2009, 7:00 pm

 

WHERE:        The Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 

150 Convent Avenue
 at 
West 135th StreetNew York City

 

WHAT:            A staged reading of OBIE Award-winning play “Sleep Deprivation Chamber” about police brutality and its impact on a black family – written by Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy – forms the backdrop for a community discussion of race relations and law enforcement on Mon., Aug. 17, 7 pm. at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.

 

In the wake of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates’ arrest in Cambridge and the arrest of 32 black youths on route to a friend’s funeral, the story behind 1996’s “Sleep Deprivation Chamber” remains relevant today.  It recounts one black family's struggle to cope with the vicious beating and wrongful prosecution of its brilliant young son, pulled over for a broken taillight.  Partly autobiographical, the play “exposes ugly truths about the nature of police brutality, and poses questions about what do in the face of such madness.”

 

After the performance, a panel of experts in civil rights, law enforcement, and cultural criticism will lead a discussion about how pervasive racial profiling affects the lives and liberties of its victims, and how a community can respond.

 

“Sleep Deprivation Chamber” is co-produced by Patricia McGregor (Co-Founder, Angela’s Pulse Projects), and writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, in association with Harlem Stage.

 

WHO:             “Sleep Deprivation Chamber” is directed by Patricia McGregor.  The cast includes:

·         Brandon Victor Dixon (Tony Award nominee, Broadway’s “The Color Purple”);

·         Lizan Mitchell ( “John Adams,” “Having Our Say” at McCarter Theater);

·         Kevin Geer (“Twelve Angry Men,” Broadway)

·         Da'Vine Joy Randolph (“LATE: A Cowboy Story”at Yale Cabaret);

·         Eddie Brown (“Passing Strange” at Sundance Theatre Lab);

·         Amanda Mason Warren ( “Three Sisters” Classical Theater of Harlem);

 

Discussion panelists include:

·         Chuck Berkeley (ret. NYC policeman, member of “100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care”);

·         Damon Hewitt, assistant counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund); and

·         writer/cultural critic Greg Tate.

 

Adam P. Kennedy (Playwright) is a writer and publisher.  His “Sleep Deprivation Chamber,” co-written with Adrienne Kennedy, won a 1996 Village Voice OBIE Award for Best New American Play. He is CEO of Kennedy Publishing and in 2007 won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for “Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?” Mr. Kennedy received an Alumni Mentor Award for Activism in Social Justice and Arts from Manhattan Country School in 2007.

 

Adrienne Kennedy (Playwrightbegan her theater career in 1964 with her OBIE Award-winning play, Funnyhouse of a Negro.  She has since received Rockefeller, Guggenheim, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Awards.  Ms. Kennedy’s work has been commissioned by director Jerome Robbins, the Public Theater, Royal Court TheatreLincoln Center, Mark Taper Forum, and more. She received the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award for "individuals whose life work has had an impact on racism." And CalArts School of Theater is devoting a full year to the production and study of Ms. Kennedy's work in 2009-10.



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