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JCTC Explores Issues of Race, Oppression & Injustice with New Online Series
July 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 6:00 pm on Monday, repeating until July 27, 2020
Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents Our Times: Uprising, a virtual reading series of plays, poetry & other writings by Black American Authors. Beginning on Monday July 13, the series runs three weeks on consecutive Mondays and provides an original overview of African American history and culture while exploring issues of race, oppression and injustice for contemporary audiences.
“The Our Times: Uprising series features voices that have been ignored too long,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “As a theater company, social justice has always been in our mission, and it’s our obligation to respond to the issues of today by speaking truth to power through stories. With what is happening now in America, we felt that one of the most important things we could do was to listen to those stories.”
Our Time: Uprising¬ is a compelling mix of genres with subject matter both topical and historical. The series presents rehearsed readings by professional actors, followed by an interactive discussion highlighted by an audience Q&A.
La Race (La Raz) (July 13) depicts the realities of gentrification when a jobless woman finds meaning by running for city council.
A Collection of Poems (July 20), is an evening of poetry – ranging from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes – recited by professional actors.
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (July 27) – the life and times of Bessie & Sadie, a sister duo whose delightful yet poignant stories span the post-Reconstruction South to the 20th century Civil Rights Movement.
The series was curated by Mark Cirnigliaro, a theater director with credits on both sides of the Hudson. The series opener, La Race (La Raz) sets the topical tone by addressing issues relevant to our current era. This contemporary play depicts heated City Council election battle over the divisive issue of gentrification. “This is a beautifully executed play, one of a series of works, written by Bley Beckford-Burrell, is fantastic playwright who has a unique way of exploring the nuances and challenges of the black experience in America,” said Cirnigliaro,
Cirnigliaro worked with Broadway theater veteran and Montclair resident Count Stovall, who was instrumental in shaping the relevance of each episode to address the complex racial issues of today.
“Count felt that something comprehensive in its scope and viewpoint from the black woman perspective would give us some truth and gravitas to the our current time through the lens of wonderfully drawn, beautiful characters full of life and love,” Cirnigliaro explained. “The poetry readings are an extension of that idea. This could be love of another person, love of a people, a culture, but love is the common driving force. This mean meant presenting works by black authors, lifting up black voices for our local community and providing something more intangibly magical for people to experience.”
Our Times: Uprising is free to the public, no subscription fee or registration. Everyone is invited to watch, listen and join in the conversation. For updates and additional information, please visit JCTC’s Facebook page and its website, https://www.jctcenter.org/