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shamless self promotion: support As Long as Fear Can Turn to Wrath

November 20, 2011

When I left New York City and the theater company through which I had produced and directed while living there, I thought, “Well, at least I’ll never have to fundraise again.”

That wasn’t the only naïve thought I’ve ever had, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The truth is that because theater is not an object than can be possessed or an investment that can guarantee high returns, making theater in a capitalist culture pretty much requires asking for donations. And though I cannot promise you tickets to the premiere, meetings with stars, or a return on your dollar, I can offer you something in exchange for your support.

I can offer you the opportunity to participate not just in the representation of culture but also in the very making of it. Art does not just reflect. It is not just a way of looking at the present or the past and understanding something new, though it certainly is that. It is also a way of shaping the future: In the theater we are forced to face the consequences of the world we live in and we are enabled to imagine the possibility of a different future. Theater can change the way people feel, think and behave. And I don’t know about you, but I’m of the opinion that change is needed.

As Long as Fear Can Turn to Wrath, an adaptation of selected chapters of a certain great American novel, will be presented as part of Son of Semele Ensemble‘s Company Creation Festival in January and February. The play, like the book, begins by illuminating the consequences of an unregulated home loan industry. We then follow the collective Okies as they are swindled by used car dealers, forced to beg for bread to feed their children, denied pay for work they have already performed, and kicked off the one piece of land – the Hooverville – they have chosen to occupy. By focusing not on any one individual or family but rather on the more than 300,000 people that made up the “Okies,” our production shows that the scourge of poverty infects whole societies, not just individuals.

People will not believe that the words of this theater piece were not written about current events. The problems these families face and the conclusions they draw are separated from those of today only by time, not by sentiment.

We believe that there is power in telling stories and that awakenings can happen when people witness the real human struggles of poverty, hunger and oppression, if only in performance. In this piece, we hope to reveal the consequences of joblessness, convince the viewer that our current path will only lead to more division, and reinforce the necessity of collective action in solving problems.We must change course, and that doesn’t just take action – it takes a movement.

Be a part of the movement: Give today. We only need $3500 to make this show happen. (I know, right? That’s nothing!) That would cover the set, costumes, lights, sound, and tiny, tiny fees for the 11 individuals without whose creative talents this kind of art does not happen. That’s all we need, and you can help.

If you believe in that art is necessary to creating and maintaining a healthy, equal society, support this project. Click here to donate: No gift is too small to make a difference.

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