A PLAY TITLED AFTER THE COLLECTIVE NOUN FOR FEMALE-IDENTIFYING 20-SOMETHINGS LIVING IN NYC IN 2010S is headed to the 2019 Corkscrew Festival and we would love your help in creating a badass and community-conscious production that reaches beyond the traditional, insular boundaries of NYC summer festivals.
What even is a play titled A Play Titled After the Collective Noun...?
Shirin is working on a book about post-Occupy Wall Street grassroots movements, while trying not to succumb to anxiety attacks. CJ is a public defender navigating NYC’s fucked up (in)justice system, while trying to make time for a meaningful personal life. Elizabeth needs to finish college and figure out what to do next. Oh, also, there's a mysterious bug infestation in the kitchen. Hashtag millennials, amirite?
COLLECTIVE NOUN is a love letter to an unsung history of collective action, and a battle cry for radically re-envisioning conceptions of progress and what it means to fight for change.
Cool synopsis but that doesn't really answer the question... There are a lot of plays that talk about "politics" and "social change" now. Why this play?
You're so right, voice in head!
This play is Haleh's response to the explosion of media in the 2010s that purports to be about "girls," particularly millennial "girls," particularly millennial "girls" living in a major urban center. The superficial presentations of these young women, and by proxy the discourse on feminism, patriarchy, and systems of power and oppression bothered her (to say the least), because those women on screen were so far from Haleh's personal experience of being a young woman-identifying person living in a major urban center.
The portraits of the relatively affluent, politically "liberal," almost entirely white, young women being shown on TV, streaming platforms, breakout novels, were presented as "revolutionary" or "feminist," without offering an interrogation into how those works fit so easily into the structures of global capitalism, and how they de-fanged the conception of feminism into an amorphous personal identity rather than a radical political ideology. The 2016 primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders highlighted this rift, with language such as “Bernie Bro” used to erase female-identifying Sanders supporters (much less non-white supporters). Without "re-litigating" that most difficult and contentious time, Haleh needed to write the play about the young women she knew and knows, about the failures of the 2016 discourse to excavate the failures of neoliberalism and the mainstream liberal complacency of the 8 years prior to the 2016 election.
Haleh began political organizing in 2010/2011, in and around Occupy, and that work continues to be a primary part of her real life. As important as presenting actual politically conscious and engaged millennial women onstage is offering to an audience (unlike so much of the mainstage "political" theater that has emerged since 2016) the hope that she finds by doing real work on the left, away from electoralism, away from and even directly against the idea that a single president and governing institutions founded in white supremacy and capital can ever be liberating.
TL,DR: This is a play about millennial socialists who are also women, and about the faith that is required for living one's entire life against the global white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. And it's really funny and full of people caring for each other.
Why I gotta give you my money tho?
The good news is that this play is happening no matter what! We're committed to paying all our collaborators an amount that acknowledges the value of their labor, and we will do that whether we reach our fundraising goal or not.
But this play is epic, as incredible human director Lauren Zeftel is fond of describing it. With our moral obligation to pay people what they deserve, we also want to bring the show to life for you in the most exciting, fully realized form possible.
Every dollar of the $5000 raised here will go to pay for sets, props, costumes, rehearsal space, equipment rentals, and to support staff needed to produce this show this summer.
We have big plans for this show. We've all done this before, we know how to stretch a dollar and make the most out of nothing. But making theatre still costs a lot :( :( of money in NYC and we're hoping that with a little faith and trust in us, together we can create an exciting production of an incredibly relevant play. (And we hope this production is only part of an ongoing, much larger conversation into how we can all create a theatre that is accessible, to make and to attend, for every demographic in New York, from artists to audience members--and for dismantling that difference.)
What's the deadline here???
On June 8th we have to present our full production plans for the show to the festival, including all design elements. In order for us to do this, we are going to need to know how much money we have to spend. So we're launching this Kickstarter in the hopes of raising at least $5000 by June 8th to create the version of this show that we want you all to see.
THIS IS WHO WE ARE! We love each other. We love you.
- HALEH ROSHAN (Playwright)
Haleh Roshan is an Iranian American playwright. Her work fuses leftist politics with intercultural narratives to challenge capitalist power structures and trouble conceptions of identity. Plays include FREE FREE FREE FREE (Exponential Festival, 2018 O'Neill NPC finalist); THE WOMAN QUESTION, adapted from the prison memoir of a woman in 1980s Iran; THE HOUSEGUEST, adapted from a play by Mohsen Yalfani (Oye! Avant Garde); and REVERENCE, about the founding of the Joffrey Ballet (Tom Kirdahy Productions). MA: NYU Gallatin. @halehroshan / halehroshan.com
- LAUREN ZEFTEL (Director)
Lauren Zeftel creates + collaborates on stories that use inventive metaphors to embody the invisible forces that shape us - transforming abstract concepts into visceral experiences for audiences. She served as Associate Director on SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS national tour (dir. Rachel Chavkin) and on James + Jerome’s INK at the Met Museum (dir. Annie Tippe + Rachel Chavkin). First Draft Resident (The Drama League). LCT Directors Lab Alum. Williamstown Directing Corp. Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow Alum. www.LaurenZA.me
- BRANDON SMITHEY (Producer)
Brandon Smithey is a NYC based producer, working in theater, film, and television. Credits include FREE FREE FREE FREE by Haleh Roshan, short film LITTLE, award-winning play WHAT EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW by Monica Byrne, and THE WHOLE DAMN THING by Jessica Penzias. Brandon was a part of the production team behind such television series as “The Mindy Project” and “United States of Tara.” Education: NYU (MA), USC (BS).
Cast and Designers ... COMING SOON!!!
So now you want to come see it. Right?!
Performances are this July and August at The Paradise Factory on the Lower East Side (64 E 4th Street) and you can grab yourself a ticket right now by donating to this Kickstarter.
Thursday, July 18 @ 7p
Saturday, July 20 @ 8p
Sunday, July 21 @ 1p
Monday, July 22 @ 7p
Tuesday, July 23 @ 7p
Friday, July 26 @ 10p
Saturday, July 27 4:30p
Monday, July 29 @ 7p
Friday, August 2 @ 7p
Saturday, August 3 @ 4p
Risks and challenges
None! We're making this show no matter what. Help us make it even better!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)