For five years, I have been creating a One-Person Show on the life of Muhammad Ali, WHEN A MAN STANDS ALONE: The Life of the Louisville Lip, and now, I am finally ready to take the Show on the road. As I travel throughout the U.S., a documentary will be made that follows three artists traveling from Columbus, OH., to Miami, FL., back again, and everywhere in between as they perform in venues and on the streets attempting to engage in a conversation with a range of people through artistic endevours.
This "conversation" relates directly to Muhammad Ali, who has inspired me for a very long time. He led by example of how to stand up for youself, to fight for your principles, and to strive to make the world a better place. His message is pertinent and relevant today for everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, or creed. This message is fitting now more than ever as we face financial stuggles and international turmoil while we watch principles erode. It seems someone is causing a scandal every day, and sadly, it no longer comes as a surprise- our "heroes" creating their own demise.
I am a Political Science and Theatre student at the Ohio State University. I am using this project to graduate with distinction in the spring. As part of the project, I have assembled a crew of talented individuals who are in their early twenties and, as artists all, we are standing on the verge of the abyss, unsure of what the future holds but ready to take that first step, hoping to be the proverbial ripple in the water, the voice for change in the world for better. Ali's message motivates us and participating in this experiment stimulates our curiosities. We anticipate a dynamic dialogue that awakens the voices of America. The performance of "When A Man Stands Alone" is only half of the project; recording the reactions of the audience as we travel through the U.S. is a social experiment that has everyone involved energized.
So, in March, 2012, with a crew that includes musicians, writers, and film, sociology, and philosophy majors; budding artists all, we are going to hit the road and travel together through the U.S. as they help me to perform and document this piece. I am also pleased to announce that my good friend Hugh Trimble will be a part of this journey and provide the accompanying soulful music. (With your pledge of $50 or more, you will receive his debut album, SOLD FOR FIRE.)
Leaving Columbus, Ohio on March 3nd, 2012
Philadelphia, PA- March 4th
Baltimore, MD- March 5th
Washington, D.C.- March 6th
Yorktown High School, Arl. VA: March 6th, 6:30 pm: PERFORMANCE
( To Reserve a Seat http://yhsmanstandsalone.eventbrite.com/ )
Richmond, VA- March 7th
Knoxville, TN- March 8th
Chattanooga, TN- March 8th
Birmingham, AL- March 8/9
Tuscaloosa/Selma, AL- March 9th
Montgomery, AL- March 10th
Atlanta, GA- March 10th
Augusta/ Savannah, GA- March 11th
Jacksonville, FL- March 12th
Miami, FL- March 13th
Gainesville/Tallahassee, FL- March 14th
Jackson/ Vicksburg, MS- March 15/16
New Orleans, LA- March 17/18
Baton Rouge- March 19th
Houston, TX- March 19/20th
Austin, TX- March 20/21
Dallas, TX- March 22nd
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss): March 23rd: PERFORMANCE
Memphis, TN- March 24/25
Nashville, TN- March 26/27/28
Louisville, KY- March 29/30/31
The Muhammad Ali Center (Louisville) March 31st: PERFORMANCE
The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)- April 2/3: PERFORMANCE
In Louisville, I willI be performing at the Muhammad Ali Center. Thanks to the Center, I have been able to gather invaluable information about Ali and their help has been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
Before my journey begins, I need your help. The Ali Project will only happen if I can fund it. The Ohio State University has provided some seed money, but it only covers a fraction of the costs. I need $9,000 before February 29, 2012 to make this dream come true. Please help with any level of donation.
I can't wait to see how the world reacts. While, in my heart, I believe it makes no difference that I am a White-Asian American Jew portraying an African-American Muslim, the world doesn't see it that way; to most people I talk to, skin color is a divider and Ali's universal message of good-will toward man is lost in a world where race relations are still a volatile issue. The reaction to me on the street and in performance halls while I speak of race relations and the state of the world we live in- post-civil rights, post-feminism, post-Cold War, during the internet age of disconnectedness- is the subject of this documentary with the throughline of the story of Muhammad Ali.
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