Samira Wiley, Jumaane Williams and More to Perform MLK Speech for Theater of War

Samira Wiley, Jumaane Williams and More to Perform MLK Speech for Theater of War

This upcoming Sunday April 30, Samira Wiley, Council Member Jumaane Williams (of Brooklyn's 45th District), and other prominent actors will give a powerful theatrical reading of Martin Luther King's final sermon "The Drum Major Instinct" at the BRIC Open Festival in Brooklyn, New York.

The readers will be accompanied by a large gospel choir composed of singers, activists, police officers, and musicians from St. Louis and Brooklyn, who will perform a new work inspired by MLK's continuously relevant words. Following the performance, the audience will be engaged in a moderated dialogue centered around racism, inequality, and social justice.

A live performance of original music composed by Philip Woodmore will accompany the reading, performed by a large gospel choir, composed of singers, activists, police officers, and musicians from St. Louis, Missouri and Brooklyn, New York. The performance will culminate in a dynamic guided audience discussion facilitated by NYC Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) Bryan Doerries, Hailey Nolasco, project planner for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project and David Gaskin, program manager of Save Our Streets (S.O.S) Crown Heights.

The event is one of over 60 events Bryan Doerries and Theater of War Productions will stage in all five boroughs of New York City as part of Bryan's appointment as the latest NYC Public Artist in Residence (PAIR), a joint appointment with the NYC Department of Veterans' Services and Department of Cultural Affairs; the PAIR events are co-produced by Brooklyn Public Library and made possible by a generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Bryan Doerries' social impact company Theater of War Productions uses a combination of theater and guided public dialogue to help communities address pressing public health and social issues. Bryan and Theater of War Productions have created events to confront combat-related psychological injury, suicide, end-of-life care, prison reform, political violence, natural and manmade disaster, domestic violence, substance abuse, and addiction.

The event takes place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 1-3 pm at BRIC House Ballroom, BRIC, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217, featuring Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black, The Handmaid's Tale) and Jumaane Williams, New York City Council Member District 45. With Discussion Facilitated by: Bryan Doerries, Public Artist in Residence (PAIR), City of New York; David Gaskin, Program Manager at S.O.S. Crown Heights and Hailey Nolasco, Project Planner for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project. Admission is free. To reserve seats, visit the BRIC OPEN Festival website.

Theater of War Productions is a social impact company that uses theater as a catalyst for public conversations to help communities address pressing public health and social issues such as combat-related psychological injury, suicide, end of life care, prison reform, political violence, natural and manmade disaster, domestic violence, substance abuse and addiction. Theater of War Productions was co-founded in 2009 by Bryan Doerries and Phyllis Kaufman, who served as Producing Director from 2009 to 2016. Doerries currently serves as the company's Artistic Director. For more information, visit www.theaterofwar.com.

Launched by the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2015, New York City's PAIR - Public Artist in Residence - is a municipal artist residency program that embeds artists in city government to propose and implement creative solutions to pressing civic challenges. PAIR artists create lasting impact by working collaboratively and in open-ended processes to build community bonds, open channels for dialogue, and create new possibilities for those who experience and participate in the work.

Doerries' two-year PAIR residency will bring theater projects and community conversations that address critical public health and social issues to all five boroughs. Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is a co-producer of the project as part of its role as a resource and advocate for civic engagement, education, artistic expression, and fostering public discourse. In partnership with the NYC Department of Veterans' Services and Department of Cultural Affairs, this city-wide project is made possible through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

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