Thursday, May 07, 2009

Auguso Boal Interview w/Amy Goodman

AMY GOODMAN: Augusto Boal, the legendary Brazilian political playwright and popular educator, died this weekend at the age of seventy-eight. He was the founder of the Theater of the Oppressed, a popular international movement for a participatory form of theater as a means of promoting knowledge and democratic forms of interaction. Boal conducted workshops all over the world. His techniques of using theater to discuss power and oppression have been widely inspirational and influential.

In 1971, the Brazilian military dictatorship imprisoned and tortured Boal for four months. After his release, he was forced into exile for fifteen years. He’s written a number of books, including Theater of the Oppressed and Games for Actors and Non-Actors, as well as The Rainbow of Desire and Legislative Theater. In the ’90s, Boal also served as a city councilmember for Rio de Janeiro.

Boal was tireless ’til the end of his life. According to a statement from the Center for the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio, Boal left behind a completed new version of his book The Aesthetics of the Oppressed, and he spent the day before his death, May Day, in a solidarity vigil with workers.

Later this month, Augusto Boal’s son Julian Boal will be in New York leading workshops at the Brecht Forum on the techniques developed by his father and performing them at Riverside Church on May 25th.

I interviewed Augusto Boal here in the firehouse studio in June of 2007. This interview, we never aired before. I began by asking him to describe the Theater of the Oppressed.
AUGUSTO BOAL: Theater of Oppressed is theater in what it is more essential. It is not theater in a playhouse, not theater with written script, not theater like—some theater become the cemeterial theater, because theater is what we have inside. We are animals that have the privilege of being actors, because we are acting all of the time. But at the same time, we are spectators of our actions. Most animals or most none of them, only some dolphins, some elephants, some—I don’t know what—can do that, can do—can observe themselves in action. So we have theater inside, because we act and we are the observer. We are the spectators.
At the same time, when we get together many people looking at one point, they create a space which is different from the physical space. It’s more than a physical space. It is pentadimensional, not three dimensions. It has also memory and imagination. So we create the theatricality.

And third, we use
the language that the actors use on stage. So there is no difference. When we are in love with someone, we talk differently than if we hate the person; we don’t talk in the same way. So we do exactly what the actor does on stage, but the actor has the conscious of that, and we don’t have it in normal life, in daily life.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, “we”? Who is we?

AUGUSTO BOAL: It’s all of us. It’s the—any people, but especially, in our case, the oppressed. We believe that all relationship between humans should be a dialogue on nature. We should have the moment in which we listen to the audience, moment in which we speak. But we know that between men and women, between blacks and whites, between north hemisphere countries and south hemisphere, all those dialogues, they become very soon a monologue, in which only men speak, only whites speak, only the north hemisphere speak. And then we want to reestablish the dialogue. We want to have the right also to say our words. So that’s what “we” mean, mean us, the oppressed, be it oppressed—sexually oppressed, be salary oppressed, be politically oppressed; any kind of oppression, we fight against.

AMY GOODMAN: And talk about what inspired you, Augusto, how you founded the Theater of the Oppressed.

AUGUSTO BOAL: Well, always I was very much preoccupied with that, because I—my father, he was a—had a bakery. And sometimes, when I—


AUGUSTO BOAL: In Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, in the working quarters of Rio. And then, every morning that I went to work with my father, when I was twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old, and then I saw all those workers, and I saw how they were oppressed. And always, I was preoccupied with them. I was fascinated by how could they not rebel if they were so oppressed.
And then, my beginning, it was at fifteen years old; I started writing plays about them. And I was in a moment in which I thought that as I was not oppressed as their oppression, I was not in the same circumstance, and I was pretending to be an artist, I was superior in some way. And then I said, “I’m going to teach them what they have to do to fight.” So I entered in the line of the political theater of the ’50s, of the ’60s, in which they had messages to give.
And one day I learned that I did not know more than they did, unless in the theater. In the theater, yes, I knew more. But their lives, they knew more than I. And it happened on a day when I was working for peasants in the northeast of Brazil, and I was doing a play in which the protagonist said, at the end said, “We have to spill our blood to save our land.” And then we were all singing, dressed like peasants. We were not peasants; looking like peasants, but we were not peasants, and saying, “You have to spill your blood, our blood, to save our lands, to reconquer.”
And then a peasant came to us and says, “Well, you think exactly like we do. So why don’t you take your rifles,” because we had rifles on stage, very beautiful, colorful rifles, and he said, “Why don’t you come with your rifles, and let’s go to fight against some landowners that occupied our land. We have to spill our blood.” And then we said, “Forgive us, but our rifles, they are not true. They are fake. They are setting rifles.” And he said, “OK, the rifles are not true. They are not real rifles. But you are sincere, so you come, because we have rifles for everybody. Let’s fight against them.” And then we said, “No, we are truly artists, not truly peasants.” And he said, “When truly artists say, ‘Let’s spill our blood,’ you are talking about our true blood of truly peasants and not about yours.” So I understood that we could not give a message to women, because we are men; to blacks, because we are white; to peasants, because we live in the city. But we can help them to find their own ways of fighting.

AMY GOODMAN: Augusto Boal, you, yourself, were imprisoned. When? By whom?

AUGUSTO BOAL: It was in ’71, in ’71, exactly, because in the beginning of the Theater of the Oppressed, we were doing the first form, which was called newspaper theater, in which we try—as we had been persecuted by the police, by the paramilitary organizations, and persecuted really, not—we were not paranoiac. But sometimes we had to go on stage with a loaded gun in our pockets. And it was not paranoia; it was self-defense. And so, the situation was so terrible. To do theater was such a risk always, to do the kind of theater in favor of the population and against the dictatorship. It was so terrible that we had to take that protection. And then, OK, during that time, they were arresting people, killing people, torturing people. And I was one of them that were arrested. And happily, I am alive.

AMY GOODMAN: How did that experience change your view also of theater?

AUGUSTO BOAL: In some way, it had been changed before we did this episode, in which I found that I was telling—giving advice to someone, but I was not able to take the same risks. Che Guevara used to say something very beautiful. He said, “To be solidarity is to take the same risks.” And I was not taking any risk. I went there, I did the play, and then “Go and fight,” and I take the plane back home. So my—had already changed.
But at the same time, to be in a solitary cell, to be alone there, not talking to anybody anytime, and most of the time not seeing anybody, made me, for the first time in my life, to listen to silence. I had never listened to silence. I listened to sounds. But I listened to sounds. And then, in that moment, I learned. I learned that in this moment of the silence, your thoughts, they become more concrete, almost objects.
And then, when I was moved from this cell to a cell with many other prisoners, political prisoners, I learned something very important also, that when we are free in space, we are arrested in time. We have to go look at the watch. It’s what time? And we have to go here, we have to go there. We are arrested in time. And when we are arrested in space, we have the free time. We have the liberty of using our time.

AMY GOODMAN: Describe what has happened since the dictatorship and how things have changed in Brazil under Lula.

AUGUSTO BOAL: Things changed, yes. There is no more censorship. We can do anything in the theater. But during many years, it was more or less the same idea, the same ideas, that prevailed from before. It started to change with Lula, when he was elected. And then it really changed. Now Brazil is no longer what it was ten years ago.
What did not change yet and that I regret, but I don’t know why it did not, is the agrarian reform. The land is still in the hands of those people who robbed the land, because they did not really buy nothing. It’s false; their documents are false.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the MST, the landless people’s movement in Brazil.

AUGUSTO BOAL: Yes. I worked before with the Peasants League in 1960 until ’64. What they had wrong, it was that they had one person, Francisco Juliao, who was the boss, let’s say, so—of the Peasants League. He was the leader, and he decided many things, and the peasants obeyed. So this was not good. The movement of peasants without land now, the MST, know. They are democratic. They decide. Each group decides. They have general laws, internal law that they have to abide by. But the tactics are decided by each group. So sometimes one group does things that the central direction, which is really democratic, because they have many people there from many parts of Brazil, they would not approve, but they did it. They say, “Don’t do that.” They discuss. So they are democratic. They never invade lands; they occupy lands. The land that are not productive, they occupy.

AMY GOODMAN: How many are part of MST?

AUGUSTO BOAL: How many people? Oh, millions. I don’t know. I don’t know exactly how many, but several millions, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, here, with Lula, who was talking agrarian reform before he was in power, and with the power of the landless people’s movement, it still hasn’t changed.

AUGUSTO BOAL: It still hasn’t changed. And it has changed, to tell the truth, yes, but not as much as we need it to change. And this comes also from the politics of Lula. Even when he was a worker and a president of the trade union, he was a negotiator. He has the habit of negotiate. ANd then, in the parliament, there are many people that represented the landowners, and they have a force, and they can prevent Lula from doing certain things. And I believe that’s a negotiation that is there. But I believe that he still has three years and a half to go, and many things are going to be done in those three years and a half.

AMY GOODMAN: What does the United States look like from the south, when you look up to the United States?

AUGUSTO BOAL: I think that from the south, from the north, west and the east, and from up, if we look at the United States, what we see, we see a country that is doing what they want. And not a country—we see a group of people or corporations that decide what they want to do. And they don’t respect anything. They don’t respect for.
They invaded Iraq. Now, more than half-a-million people, Iraqis, were killed, not by United States only, but also among themselves. Three thousand and five hundred US soldiers were killed. I don’t know how many billions were spent with that war. And they did that, because they said, “Oh, they have weapons of massive destruction.” And then the United Nations says, “No, they don’t have.” “Oh, yes, they have. So I go there anyway.” They invade wherever they want. They are used to that.
And we cannot appreciate that type of government. I have so many friends here in the United States. I love those friends, and I love many things here. But I cannot accept a government that does what they want and they don’t care absolutely for the public opinion or for the opinion of other countries. They do what is in their interest.
Even that billions and billions of money that were spent, in reality, it was not thrown away in the garbage. It changes the hands. That’s the money that comes from the population, from the taxes, from all that, that belongs to the state. And it goes to whom? To those who provide the weapons, to those who provides the uniform, to those—so it changed. It’s not that they burned the money. They changed the hands that have that money. So, we cannot, even though we are sympathetic of the US revolution against England, it was very nice, we have lots of heroes here, and we appreciate so many things here, but the government that does what they want without any consultation with the population itself, because I don’t believe that the population of the United States is in favor of the war. I don’t believe. Many people are, but not the great majority, I believe not.

AMY GOODMAN: Augusto Boal, what do you still hope to accomplish?

AUGUSTO BOAL: I hope so many things. I hope so many things. I always say that we are always looking after a dream. And we know that a dream is a dream. But that’s the function of a dream, is to be a dream. It’s not to be—not to get there. You have to have always a dream.
And I only have one dream. It’s to dream all my life. That’s my only dream. I would like to go on dreaming. And if I can dream of things, well, I dream of solidarity among men and women, black and white, solidarity among countries, and solidarity to create ethics.
What we think sometimes, we don’t think that there is a difference between moral and ethics. Moral is mores. It’s customs. And it was moral in this country, my country—slavery. It was moral. It was moral to buy a human being. So I’m not moralist, because I know that in moral there are horrible things. But I am ethical. We need to create an ethos. In Greek, it means the tendency to some kind of perfection. And my kind of profession is solidarity, is dialogue, is democracy—real democracy, not one that we see. That’s my—I want to—not to accomplish, because to accomplish—not to accomplish, to go on. To go on.
There is a poet, a Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, who says, “The path does not exist. The path, you make by treading on it. By walking, you make the path.” So we don’t know where the path leads, but we know the direction of the path that we want to take. That’s what I want, and not to accomplish, but to follow, until I can’t.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, thank you for making your path here today.

AUGUSTO BOAL: Thank you very much.

Monday, May 04, 2009

hamilton clancy, producing artistic director


April 24-May 10, 2009
Additional Performance Wednesday, May 6
Thursday-Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 3pm

78th Street Theatre Lab
236 West 78th Street
New York, New York 10024

FREEDOM is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

This performance is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Producing Artistic Director....................... Hamilton Clancy
Assistant Artistic Director........................ David Marantz
Managing Director.................................... Jane Guyer
Lighting Design.............................................. Miriam Nilofa Crowe
Scenic Design................................................. Jen Varbalow
Sound Design................................................. Christopher Rummel
Costume Design............................................. Lisa Renee Jordan
Stage Manager................................................ Billie Davis
Photographer................................................. Fred Marco
Graphic Artist............................................... Phillip DeVita

board of directors
Robert A. Wilson, Jefferey Grieb, Hamilton Clancy and Karen Kitz

special thanks Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden, West 82nd St. Owners Corp., Danielle Kilcullen, Kate McCamy, Poly Prep, City Lights Youth Theatre, PS 87, Rena Shapiro, Wendy Rothstein, Eric, Ruth, James and Thomas Nightengale, Billie Davis, Karen Kitz, Rebecca Darke, Roundabout Theatre, Select Equity Group, Tom and Libya Clancy, Bennett Webster

the mission

Founded in 1999, TheDrillingCompany, a not-for-profit company, invites artists of various disciplines to create new works which explore a single, unifying theme. By selecting these themes, TDC provides a springboard for a variety of interpretations, each emerging from the same beginning. Our primary mission is to attract a diverse community of ideas and individuals that become more unified through more awareness of one another.

Our secondary mission is to create an organic home for professional artists to discover their highest quality potential.
the project

In January, we asked playwrights to respond to a now famous Franklin Delano Roosevelt address to Congress in 1941, in which he enumerated four basic freedoms that he believed the United States must work to secure for everyone, everywhere in the world. Those four freedoms were freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship and religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. That address is reprinted in this program.

We hope this evening’s offering of newly commissioned plays contributes to the discussion, and is entertaining along the way.

We invite you, in the spirit of Freedom, to join us this summer for Free Shakespeare in the Parking Lot on Ludlow and Broome Streets, when we present “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Measure For Measure”.


Hamilton Clancy, AD

Rightsized by Kate McCamy
directed by Hamilton Clancy
Lexi........................................................ Michael Gnat*
Sheila..................................................... Shaun Bennet Wilson

The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson
by Sean Christopher Lewis
directed by Rob Wilson
Charles................................................... Tom Demenkoff*
Sarah...................................................... Sonja Rzepski
Jonathan................................................. Daisy Stone

Caseworker by Richard Mover
directed by Richard Mover
Eric........................................................ Sean Patrick Reilly*
Ducky.................................................... Don Carter*

Bong Hits 4 Jesus by Eric Henry Sanders
directed by Tom Demenkoff
Joe......................................................... Jordan Feltner

Why is This Man Dead by C. Denby Swanson
directed by Alan B. Smithee
This Man................................................ Sajeeve Pillai
Sabrina................................................... Erin Mallon*


Incognito Indigo by Andrea Moon
directed by Hamilton Clancy
Jess........................................................ William Apps IV
Renee..................................................... Selene Beretta

SNAFU by Brian Dykstra
directed by Rebecca Hengstenberg
Patrick.................................................... Franklin Killian
Dixon..................................................... Jordan Feltner

The Significance of Louden Taser by Trish Harnetiaux
directed by Alan B. Smithee
Musical Arrangement by Mike Cassedy
Louden Taser.......................................... Hamilton Clancy*

It Can’t Happen Here by Scott Baker
directed by David Marantz
Narrator/Leader/Dad Dennis Gagomiros*
Billy........................................................ Darren Lipari

The original painting, “HONOR” by John Riveaux, was created in 2004 for The Drilling Company’s HONOR series
* Actors appear courtesy Actors Equity Association
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Address to Congress January 6, 1941

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
To that new order we oppose the greater conception -- the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions -- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.
This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.
To that high concept there can be no end save victory.
From Congressional Record, 1941, Vol. 87, Pt. I.
Scott Baker (It Can’t Happen Here) is an actor-playwright whose work has been produced in New York at La Mama as well as at The Drilling Company, nationally and internationally at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Theatre Project of Baltimore, American Theatre Company of Tulsa and Tulsa's Nightingale Theatre Company. An original member

Brian Dykstra (SNAFU) Brian has written 11 plays for The Drilling Company, one of which (On Paper) grew into a full length called Clean Alternatives, and another of which (Mick Just Shrugs) is growing into a full length called Education. Brian is currently acting in a production of his play A Play On Words at 59E59 as part of the Americas Off Broadway Festival. Come check it out.

Trish Harnetiaux (The Significance of Louden Taser) this is her 4th piece with the Drilling Company, previous plays are The Dorsal Striatum, A Gopher in the Ninth Ward and Devon and Josh are New Anchors: The Death of Jeremy Jeremyson.

Sean Christopher Lewis (The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson) is the inaugural recipient of the Rosa Parks Award for Social Justice in Playwriting from the Kennedy Center. A former NNPN Emerging Playwright in Residence at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, he has toured his critically lauded solo shows I Will Make You Orphans, The Gone Chair and Killadelphia. His other plays include Militant Language (National Premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Halcyon Theatre of Chicago, Bang and Clatter in Cleveland) and The Aperture (Cleveland Public Theatre). He has been a playwriting fellow at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and has had his work developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, Lark New Play Development Center, Orlando Shakespeare Festival’s Harriet Lake Festival of New Work and at the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University.

Kate McCamy (Rightsized) is happy to be a part of Freedom and working with the Drilling Company once again. Her first play with the DC, The Deal is published by Smith and Kraus, and has been developed into a full-length play. Her theatre history goes all the way back to being a high school intern at the Circle Repertory Co. and has never stopped. She has written for film, TV, short stories (see Pink and Blue, and, of course, theatre. This play is dedicated to the memory of Robert Fuhrmann.

Andrea Moon (Incognito Indigo) is a playwright, performer, poet and director. She currently resides in Boulder, Colorado where she writes plays, performs and teaches people how to fly . . . (on low-flying trapezes).

Richard Mover (Caseworker) is an actor/director/writer living in NYC. As an actor and director Richard has helped develop dozens of new works. He is the resident director of The Open Gate Theatre, where he directed a series of One Acts, all dealing with grief after 911, called Unresolved. Past credits with The Drilling Company include Acting in and directing Kate McCamy’s The Deal. He also directed Ms. McCamy’s Safe Home and Habeas Corpus. Richard appeared in Bells And Whistles by Brian Dykstra and as Touchstone in the Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in the parking lot production of As You Like It. He is happy to contribute this time as a director and a playwright.

Eric Henry Sanders (Bon Hits 4 Jesus) Eric’s plays have had performances and staged readings in theatres across the country and abroad, including the Union Theatre (London), New Group (NY), Primary Stages (NY), Cherry Lane Alternative (NY), Abingdon Theatre (NY), Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago), the Actor's Gang Ivy Substation (LA), and Moving Parts Theatre (Paris). Honors include being a nominee for the Kesselring Prize administered by the National Arts Club (NY), a runner-up for the Princess Grace Fellowship administered by New Dramatists, and a finalist for the New Work Festival at the Mark Taper Forum. Upcoming events include a reading at Rattlestick Playwrights' Theatre on May 8th (all are welcome to attend!).

C. Denby Swanson (Why is this Man Dead) graduated from Smith College, the National Theatre Institute, and the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers, where she was a fellow in playwriting and screenwriting. She has been a William Inge Playwright in Residence, Jerome Fellow and McKnight Advancement Grant recipient. Her work has been developed in the Southern Playwrights Festival, the Women Playwrights Project, the Lark Theater’s Playwrights Week, PlayLabs, SVT Reads, NYS&F (through P73), JAW: A Playwrights Festival, Culture Project’s Impact Festival, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, and the Circle X Theater Company’s public reading series. Her work is published by Smith & Kraus, Heinemann, and Playscripts, Inc. She won a 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Special Prize for her short play The Potato Feast, produced by the Drilling Company, which was also nominated for a New York Innovative Theater Award in 2008. She is a former Artistic Director of Austin Script Works and on the faculty at Southwestern University. Her blues play Blue Monday was developed at ZACH Theatre Center as part of the NEA/TCG National Theater Residency Program for Playwrights in 2008.


Hamilton Clancy (Rightsized); Artistic Director Founded the Drilling Company in 1999. Produced and conceived 16 short play projects, over 175 new American short plays which have been recognized by NYIT awards, the Heideman Award and the publication of over 30 of the titles. As an actor, Cohen Brothers latest film, Burn After Reading. Recent: American Gangster. TV: All My Children, Fringe, The Unusuals. He is married to actress Karen Kitz and devoted to his son, Joe.
Tom Demenkoff (Bong Hits 4 Jesus) Ithaca College graduate. Acting for TDC: Theft, Honor, Service, Hero, and Mutant Sex Party. NYC: Original productions of Godspell Off-B’way and Grease B’way, Macbeth Hudson Warehouse, Winter’s Tale AGT, and The Way, The Truth, The Life Vital Theatre. Regional: Art Cape Fear, Zoot Suit Mark Taper Forum, Julius Caesar Theatre at Monmouth, Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins FST, Music Man WVPT, George M! Goodspeed, and All My Sons, The Skin of Our Teeth, Metamorphoses Cornell University. TV: Law & Order, 100 Centre Street, Ed, Fantasy Island, General Hospital, Eight is Enough. Film: New York Crossing, aka Lobster Boy, Anger Management, Two Weeks Notice, Rollerblade, Sgt. Peppers…, and Surf Nazis Must Die. Directing for TDC: Theft, Honor, Justice, Sarasota Actor’s Workshop’s Honor and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s Romeo and Juliet. Directing: Equus and Talking With Wallkill River Rep, Breaking the Code Performing Arts of Woodstock, Another American: Asking & Telling Provincetown Repertory, Gypsy and 1776 NMOB, and A Few Good Men Shadowland. Visit:

Rebecca Hengstenberg (SNAFU) Rebecca received her bachelor's from University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point directing emphasis. Past directing credits include: Keely and Du, Horse Country, Songs For a New World. NYC directing credits include: A Fresh Start, Conversation with a Kleagle, and Calculating Route. Rebecca would like to thank Brian Dykstra, The Drilling Company, Franklin and Jordan. Special thanks also to Jake and family for their continual love & creative support.

David Marantz (It Can’t Happen Here) Has also directed pieces for TDC in HERO, SECURITY II and REVENGE II. TDC acting credits: Atomic Farmgirl, Theft, Both, Honor parts I and II, Security I, Revenge I and Justice. For TDC’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, Sir Toby in Twefth Night, Mercutio in Romeo And Juliet along with roles in 2 Gents and Tempest. Other credits include Kippy in Take Me Out for The Human Race Theatre in Dayton, OH, productions with The Mint Theatre, TheatreWorks USA, and Nicu’s Spoon. Film and TV: Another World, As The World Turns, One Life To Live, Law and Order, and the award-winning Indie, Nail Polish. David was producer/GM for New York Musical Theater Festival entries Castronauts (2008) and The Family Fiorelli (2007). When he joins the 21st Century you’ll be able to visit him at, but not just yet.

Richard Mover (Caseworker) See Playwrights

Alan B. Smithee (Why is This Man Dead, The Significance of Louden Taser) First time director for The Drilling Company, and happy to have the opportunity to work with these fine actors. Alan is the Grandson of famous film director Alan Smithee, whose name appears on many of the great films of the 20th Century. Thanks to Joe for his tireless efforts.

Robert A. Wilson (The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson) Robert has been acting and directing with the Drilling Company since early in its inception. He as worked as an actor regionally, Off-Broadway and on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show. He is the proud father of three amazing girls!


William Apps IV (Jess Incognito Indigo) is excited to be working with the DRILLING COMPANY again. His first experience with the Drilling Company was in the staged reading of Healer. William hopes that his work will force people to feel and give them a desire for understanding of self and humanity alike. “I was told once that as actors we are on a path to enlightenment , and more and more I find that to be true”

Selene Beretta (Renee Incognito Indigo) was born in Switzerland and grew up in Australia before moving to NYC in 2005. She is thrilled to be working with The Drilling Company for the second time. Recent New York credits include; Loni in The Amoralists' Amerissiah, The Chorus in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot's Henry V and Kate in Gin & Milk. Other favorite roles include; Hedda Gabler, Cassius, Phebe, Carol Cutrere and Lil in Last Summer at Bluefish Cove. She is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She thanks her crazy family back home for their wildness and her NY family for their inspiration. "This is for Odette and Mauritz who taught me how to find freedom despite all the odds".

Don Carter (Ducky, Caseworker): With the Drilling Company; Don’t Quit, Romeo & Juliet, Henry V, The Dorsal Striatum, By The Book and Thor’s Hammer. Don’s play Coming To The Table was produced during TDC's HONOR series and published in Plays and Playwrights 2005. Other NY credits: Target Margin Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Blue Coyote Theatre Group. Regional credits: Virginia Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and The Public Theatre (in Maine). Film: Hitting the Ground (Living Pictures) and Kingdom Come (Rockville Pictures). Television: One Life To Live (ABC TV). MFA/Acting: Rutgers. Visit Don’s website at

Hamilton Clancy (Louden The Significance of Louden Taser) see Directors

Tom Demenkoff (Charles The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson) see Directors

Jordan Feltner (Joe Bong Hits 4 Jesus) is happy to be working with The Drilling Company for the third time, having recently taken part in the work shop and staged reading of The Healer, as well as venturing to Ludlow and Broom to play in Henry V last summer. Originally from East Tennessee Jordan has studied his craft with some very exciting and challenging professionals from North Carolina School of the Arts, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Terry Scrieber Studio. Recent New York stage credits include, Alley of Masks at Wings Theatre, Confessions of a Stalker and A Grave For Sister Agatha at the American Theatre for Actors, and The Blank of the Blank Blank which was written and directed by Jordan's brother Ryan Feltner and performed at The Barrow Theatre. Jordan is currently working for The Castle Theatre in New Jersey in their production of Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio. Jordan thanks his friends, family, and casting directors for their continued support.

Dennis Gagomiros (Narrator/Leader/Dad It Can’t Happen Here) is ecstatic to be a part of the TDC family. He’s lost count of the number of productions he’s done with them, but they’ve all been joyous occasions filled with cherished memories. Rock on, Joe and Karen.

Michael Gnat (Lex Rightsized) plays Wall Street Jimmy in the 2008 interwoven-crime-story feature Off Jackson Avenue. Recent NYC stage: T.D. Rice in Henry Meyerson's Jump Jim Crow (MITF); Malvolio in Twelfth Night (TDC/Shakespeare in the Parking Lot); Scott Sickles's Turtles and Bulldogs (WorkShop Theater); Brendan Cowell's 967 Tuna (in The Australia Project II). Other TDC: Hero (plays by Brian Dykstra, Sheri Graubert, David A. Miller); Security I & II (plays by Brian Dykstra, Kate McCamy, Trish Harnetiaux, Colleen Cosgrove); Honor 2 (IT Award Nominee for Edward Manning's Titus Lucretius Carus); and Hamlet (Polonius) in the Parking Lot. Spotlight On Award for Kiwi Dreams by TDC playwright Reneé Flemings. Michael can be seen as yuppie would-be coke dealer Tim in the feature Bobby G. Can't Swim. His thanks & love, as ever, to Linda & Nick. [AEA, SAG, AFTRA]

Franklin Killian (Peters SNAFU)

Darren Lipari (Billy It Can’t Happen Here) is thrilled to be back working with the Drilling Company in "Freedom." His last efforts with DC was the staged reading of "Over The Line" and the play "Safe" in Security. Darren's film work can be seen on within the independent film "In Search Of." Darren would like to thank his friends and family for their constant support and optimism, Joe Clancy for his enthusiasm, Dennis for being a great stage dad (twice) Scott for such a fun script to work with and David for his insight into the frightening world of Promise Keepers! Thanks to Jennifer.

Erin Mallon (Sabrina Why is This Man Dead) One of Erin's greatest joys is contributing to the development of new plays. She's happily played with Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood Company, The Drilling Company, First Look Theatre Company, Vital Theatre Company, The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and more. This past Winter she played with folks at Les Freres Corbusier in "Dance Dance Revolution" and shot a role in the upcoming film Momma Would Be Proud. When Erin isn't onstage, you can find her teaching yoga classes throughout NYC, hammering out short screenplays on her laptop, or playing a nurse on the set of Guiding Light.

Sajeev Pillai (This Man Why is This Man Dead) started his explorations with acting in the fall of 2002. His first theatrical performance was as an ensemble actor in Shakespeare's Greatest Hits at Northlake Community College in Texas. In 2006, Sajeev attended a summer intensive actor training program with Circle in the Square Theatre School. His stage credits include The Time of Your Life, Phantom of the Opera - The Melodrama, The Father of the Bride and Romeo and Juliet.

Sean Patrick Reilly (Eric Caseworker) Recent Theatre Credits Include: Of Mice and Men (Westport); The Front Page (Williamstown); Doubt (Geva); Glengarry Glenn Ross (Alley); American Buffalo (Two River and Geva); Emancipation (Classical Theatre of Harlem); and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Broadway) Film and Television: HOWL; Bored to Death; Damages; Back; Third Watch; The Black Donnellys; Man of the Century; Following Bliss; Law and Order(s) and Sleepers. He studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse, The Atlantic and R.A.D.A.

Sonja Rzepski (Sarah The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson) is currently spending most of her artistic time in the air as an aerialist with New York Circus Arts, but is very happy to come down to earth with her first Drilling Company production. She has recently been seen at the Kitchen in Alix Pearlstein's film After the Fall, and is very thankful to Daisy, Rob and Tom for making this such a family experience!

Daisy Stone (Jonathan The Home Schooling of Jonathan Anderson) Daisy is currently a student at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan. She has modeled for GAP, Sisley, Bloomingdales, Macy's & K-Mart to name a few. She can be seen in Greg Saltiel's short film Theory of Change and the newest Comcast television campaign. Daisy is thrilled to be acting in her first Drilling Company production.

Shaun Bennet Wilson (Sheila Rightsized) NY theatre: Summerfolk (dir. Austin Pendleton, HB Playwrights Foundation), Strangulated (dir. Kate Bushmann, Abingdon Theatre) The Letter (dir. Rasa Allan Kazlas, Emerging Artists Theatre), The Conjugality Test (Midtown Intn’l Theatre Festival), Monday Morning Baseball (The Turtle's Shell Theatre), Waiting For Anthony (HB Playwrights Foundation) and The Odyssey (Creative Educational Systems). Film: Pieces of Cake, Mothers' Day Special. Shaun is a member of the HB Ensemble and The Workshop Theater Company. She received her training at AMDA, Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting, and HB Studio. Many thanks to JC.

Designers / Technical Crew

Miriam Nilofa Crowe Light Design Previously with TDC: Justice, While You Wait, Fathers, Service, Revenge 2, and Security 1 & 2. Other recent credits include Lila Downs’s US and European tours, Flags (59E59), Manhattan Children’s Theater, The $trip (Nerve), Princeton University, Bard College, Woman in Waiting (Farber Foundry), Beowulf (Lincoln Center Festival), and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Yale Rep). Also Yale School of Drama, Yale Cabaret, BAM Next Wave, Juilliard, Chautauqua Conservatory, Adirondack Theater Festival.

Billie Davis Stage Manager

Phillip Devita Ggraphic Design is pleased to be working with the drilling compaNY once again. Phillip has created graphics for The Drilling Company's - Revenge 2, Security 1 and 2, Justice and the Youth Theatre Discovery project, Atomic Farmgirl and now HERO. Other theatrical graphic work includes Arlene Hutton's The Nibroc Trilogy: New York Off Broadway Premier at the 78th Street Theatre Lab; Phillip created the trilogy postcards, poster & website. Other works include, The Belmont Italian American Playhouse's 1995 season: Son for Hire, Turandot and The Fifth Annual One-Act Play Festival. Phillip is a freelance graphic artist and web designer as well as an accomplished painter who is currently working on the web site and marketing for The Adventures of Nicolai Fly a new musical by Greg Steinbruner. For contact information and artist's portfolio please visit:

Lisa Renee Jordan Costume Design credits include: Boy in the Bathroom, Castronauts, and Suicide, Anyone? (Off-Broadway); The Witching Hour, and Triangle (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Neglect, and Thicker than Water (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Twelfth Night, Atomic Farmgirl, Hero, Justice, (Drilling CompaNY,); Safe Home, Dr. Faustus: Occult Remix, Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Uncle Vanya, A Dream Play, Eccentricities of a Nightingale, The Seagull, Etymology of a Person, Girls Just Wanna Have Fund$: A Peddler’s Tale (Off-Off Broadway); The Underpants, Beauty& The Beast, (Regional Theatre), Nights at the Circus (NYC Fringe Festival); Mother Courage, Our Town, Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, Urinetown, Fiddler on the Roof, The Potboiler, La Dispute, (Richard Perry Theatre). Assistant Design credits include Chita Rivera: the Dancer’s Life (Broadway); Bernarda Alba (Lincoln Center Theatre). She is the resident Costume Designer at the Poly Prep School in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Costume Design from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Chris Rummel Sound Design is happy to return to TDC, having designed here over the past few years! Recent designs include Stockton (Ensemble Studio Theater), Wood (NYMF’08), Boy Girl Mind Rock Fun Love (Roundabout Theatre Co.), Big Love (Columbia University), Raised By Lesbians (NY Fringe), The Real Thing (T Schreiber Studio), The Jack of Tarts (La Mama ETC), The Listener of Junk City (New Dramatists), Pied A Terre (Stageplays Theater Co.), The Girl Detective (Ateh), Two Rooms (Harold Clurman Festival), How I Learned To Drive (TSS, NYIT nominee), Belles (Heiress Productions) Angels In America (Stella Adler), tempOdyssey (SPF), and the short films The Waiting Room, and Pirates Vs. Ninjas ( Chris is a Teaching Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company, the resident sound designer for Personal Space Theatrics, and an Artistic Associate at Stageplays Theater Company. BFA Syracuse University.

Jen Varbalow Set Design Jen is so happy to be working on Freedom with old and new friends. Jen Varbalow has been designing scenery in NYC for 11 years. Past credits include designs for Ensemble Studio Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, The DR2 Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, and many other Off and Off-off Broadway companies. Jennifer was nominated for a 2004 IT award for the design of “Hazard County”. She is a teaching artist with the Roundabout Theatre Company;, as well as TADA! and the Children's Aid Society. Jennifer received her BFA from Rutgers University and her MFA from Brandeis. Special Thanks to Hana who has curtailed my day to day freedom but opened up whole new worlds to me.

On the Death of Augusto Boal

TOBLAB and organization devoted to the work of Mr. Boal, sent out this today in memory of this great THEATRICIAN

Excerpted from the book Theater of the Oppressed
(1974; first Englishedition, 1979) by Augusto Boal

We must emphasize: What Brecht does not want is that the spectators
continue to leave their brains with their hats upon entering the
theater, as do bourgeois spectators.

The Marxist poetics of Bertolt Brecht does not stand opposed to one or another formal aspect of the Hegelian idealist poetics but rather denies
its very essence, asserting that the character *is not absolute subject*but the object of economic or social forces to which he responds and in
virtue of which he acts...

In Brecht's objection [to idealist poetics], as well as in any otherMarxist objection, what is at stake is who, or which term, precedes the other: the subjective or the objective. For idealist poetics, socialthought conditions social being; for Marxist poetics, social being conditions social thought. In Hegel's view, the spirit creates the dramatic action; for Brecht, the character's social relations create the dramatic action....

Brecht was a Marxist; therefore, for him, a theatrical work cannot end in repose, in equilibrium. It must, on the contrary, show the ways in which society loses its equilibrium, which way society is moving, and how to hasten that transition.

Brecht contends that the popular artist must abandon the downtownstages and go to the neighborhoods, because only there will he findpeople who are truly interested in changing society: in the neighborhoods he should show his images of social life to the workers who are interested in changing that social life, since they are its victims. A theater that attempts to change the changers of society cannot lead to repose, cannot re-establish equilibrium. The bourgeois police tries to re-establish equilibrium, to enforce repose: a Marxist artist, on the other hand, must promote the movement toward national liberation and toward the liberation of classes oppressed by capital.

[Hegel and Aristotle] desire a quiet somnolence at the end of the spectacle; Brecht wants the theatrical spectacle to be the beginning of action: the equilibrium should be sought by transforming society, and not by purging the individual of his just demands and needs.

I believe that all the truly revolutionary theatrical groups should transfer to the people the means of production in the theater so that the people themselves may utilize them. The theater is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it."--Augusto Boal, The Theater of the Oppressed**World Theater Day Messageby Augusto Boal. All human societies are "spectacular" in their daily life and produce"spectacles" at special moments. They are "spectacular" as a form ofsocial organization and produce "spectacles" like the one you have come tosee. Even if one is unaware of it, human relationships are structured in a theatrical way. The use of space, body language, choice of words and voice modulation, the confrontation of ideas and passions, everything that we demonstrate on the stage, we live in our lives. We are theater! Weddings and funerals are "spectacles", but so, also, are daily rituals so familiar that we are not conscious of this. Occasions of pomp andcircumstance, but also the morning coffee, the exchanged good-mornings, timid love and storms of passion, a senate session or a diplomatic meeting--all is theater. One of the main functions of our art is to make people sensitive to the"spectacles" of daily life in which the actors are their own spectators, performances in which the stage and the stalls coincide. We are all artists. By doing theater, we learn to see what is obvious but what weusually can't see because we are only used to looking at it. What isfamiliar to us becomes unseen: doing theater throws light on the stage ofdaily life.

Last September, we were surprised by a theatrical revelation: we, who thought that we were living in a safe world, despite wars, genocide, slaughter and torture which certainly exist, but far from us in remote andwild places. We, who were living in security with our money invested in some respectable bank or in some honest trader's hands in the stock exchange were told that this money did not exist, that it was virtual, a fictitious invention by some economists who were not fictitious at all andneither reliable nor respectable. Everything was just bad theater, a dark plot in which a few people won a lot and many people lost all. Some politicians from rich countries held secret meetings in which they foundsome magic solutions. And we, the victims of their decisions, have remained spectators in the last row of the balcony.Twenty years ago, I staged Racine's Phèdre in Rio de Janeiro. The stage setting was poor: cow skins on the ground, bamboos around. Before eachpresentation, I used to say to my actors: "The fiction we created day by day is over. When you cross those bamboos, none of you will have the right to lie. Theater is the Hidden Truth".When we look beyond appearances, we see oppressors and oppressed people, in all societies, ethnic groups, genders, social classes and casts; we seean unfair and cruel world. We have to create another world because we knowit is possible. But it is up to us to build this other world with our hands and by acting on the stage and in our own life.Participate in the "spectacle" which is about to begin and once you areback home, with your friends act your own plays and look at what you werenever able to see: that which is obvious.

Theater is not just an event; it is a way of life!
We are all actors: being a citizen is not living
in society,
changing it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009