Culture Project's BLUEPRINT FOR ACCOUNTABILITY Launces at Times Center 5/31

Culture Project presents "Blueprint for Accountability," a thought-provoking new monthly series that gathers the world's foremost political experts and today's most visionary artists in a series combining the best of investigative journalism with the best of the performing art.

"Blueprint" launches tonight, Sunday, May 31, 2009, at 7:00pm at The Times Center with its inaugural presentation, "Working the Dark Side." Hosted by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, "Working the Dark Side" will feature special guests Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Ron Suskind, human rights attorney Vincent Warren, and the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen.

The evening, directed by acclaimed actor, writer, producer, Fisher Stevens, will pose pressing and provocative questions, using a multimedia approach that incorporates video footage, sound bites, and testimony from the public record. Punctuating the experts' discussion, Mr. Stevens will create theatrical scenes based on articles by New Yorker writers Seymour Hersh and Jane Mayer, as well as elements from panelist Ron Suskind's acclaimed books, The One Percent Doctrine and The Way of the World. Julianna Margulies, Noah Emmerich, Manu Narayan, Clara Govinden and Ramsey Faragallah are the actors participating in the evening.

"Blueprint for Accountability" gathers the world's foremost political and journalistic experts and today's most visionary artists in the worlds of theater, music, film, dance, and literature. This is a time when many people believe society's leaders have wandered off course; creating considerable harm to the very public it was intended to serve. Culture Project's "Blueprint for Accountability" aims to spotlight tangible ways to reintroduce accountability into our culture. Topics for future evenings in the series include economic injustice, human trafficking, Hurricane Katrina, and corporate media.

Culture Project is renowned for breathing life into headlines through theater, music and vital conversation. "Blueprint for Accountability" follows in the tradition of the acclaimed Impact Festival (2006) and Impeachment Series (2007) that convened some of the world's foremost thinkers, artists and activists to delve into the essential and complicated questions facing the world.

Link TV, which sees itself as the first nationwide television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture, will broadcast edited versions of the forum to a nationwide U.S. TV audience, multiple times during primetime, and also stream some of the forums live, with the goal of creating an active response from engaged participants.

"Working the Dark Side" takes place Sunday, May 31, at 7:00pm at The Times Center, 242 West 41 Street. This event is nearing sellout. A limited number of tickets are still available for $30 and at the patron level for $75.

Rachel Maddow hosts MSNBC's newest primetime success, the critically acclaimed "The Rachel Maddow Show." "The Rachel Maddow Show" features Maddow's take on the biggest stories of the day, political and otherwise, including lively debate with guests from all sides of the issues, in-depth analysis and stories no other shows in cable news will cover. Since its launch in September 2008, "The Rachel Maddow Show" has de-throned "Larry King Live," beating the long-running CNN show head-to-head in the key adults 25-54 demographic. Maddow was named a "Breakout Star of 2008" by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times named her to the "Best of Television 2008" and she was named one of the "Top Ten Political Newcomers of 2008" by Politico.com. In January of 2008, Maddow was named an MSNBC political analyst; she has been the regular guest host for "Countdown," served as a panelist for MSNBC's election coverage and also filled in for David Gregory as host of "Race for the White House." Maddow also continues to host "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Air America, where she has worked since since its inception in the spring of 2004. Prior to joining AAR she worked for WRNX in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and WRSI in Northampton, Massachusetts. Maddow received a bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University. She earned her doctorate in political science at Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. She is currently working on a book on the changing role of the military in U.S. politics, due out in 2009.

Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, has written some of America's most important works of nonfiction, framing national debates while exploring the complexities of human experience. His books include The Way of the World, The One Percent Doctrine, The Price of Loyalty, George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill, and A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League for which he was awarded the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. From 1993 to 2000, Suskind was the senior national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal. He was a contributor to Profiles in Courage for Our Times, (Hyperion, 2002), along with other prize-winning authors. He currently writes for various national magazines, including The New York Times Magazine and Esquire Magazine. Suskind has appeared on various television news programs as a correspondent or essayist and is a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth College. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen is a senior fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard University. He has served over three years as the Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to this, he served for 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts, to include Chief of the Europe Division in the Directorate of Operations, Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, Counterterrorist Center, and Deputy Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support. His overseas assignments include Stockholm (1984-1987), Moscow (1988-1990, 1992-1994), Athens (1990-1992), Yerevan (1992), Zurich (1994-1996) and Oslo (1998-2000). Prior to his career in intelligence, Mowatt-Larssen served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He is a recipient of the CIA Director's Award, Secretary of Energy's Exceptional Service Medal, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Secretary of Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Intelligence Superior Performance Medal, among others.

Vincent Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Warren oversees CCR's groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work which includes combating the illegal expansion of presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo, rendition, torture and warrantless wiretapping; holding corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; and challenging racial injustice and mass incarceration. Warren has spearheaded a public campaign, "Beyond Guantanamo: Rescue the Constitution" coinciding with CCR's landmark Supreme Court victory in Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush, which held that the detainees at Guantánamo Bay have a constitutional right to the writ of habeas corpus. Prior to his tenure at CCR, Warren held the position of national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he led constitutional and impact litigation to advance civil rights and liberties. He also monitored South Africa's historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society. Warren holds a law degree from Rutgers School of Law and a B.A. from Haverford College. Vince is a frequent national cable and network television commentator, having appeared on CNN (The Situation Room and Paula Zahn Now), BBC, ABC, CBS, as well as national radio and local television.

Fisher Stevens is an actor, director and a producer. He has appeared in over 40 stage productions including the Tony award winning Torch Song Trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Carousel. He also co-founded Naked Angels Theater in New York City, where he acted, produced and starred in over 30 productions. The company is still producing plays after 20 years. He has appeared in over 50 Motion Pictures and Television programs. Films include: The Flamingo Kid, Short Circuit, The Marrying Man, Hackers, Reversal of Fortune, Awake and the upcoming Gringos in Rio. On television he was a regular on CBS's "Early Edition" and "Key West," and also appeared on "Friends," "Frasier" and "Law and Order;" he recently produced and starred in the upcoming pilot for NBC "The Grean Teem." In 1996, along with John Penotti, Fisher founded GreeneStreet Films where he directed Just a Kiss with Marisa Tomei, Kyra Sedgwick and Taye Diggs. He produced or executive-produced over 15 films including 5-time Academy Award nominated In The Bedroom, Swimfan, Uptown Girls, A Prairie Home Companion, the upcoming Tenderness with Russell Crowe and the critically acclaimed documentary Once in a Lifetime. Last year he produced and co-directed along with Dan Klores the Independent Spirit Award winner for best documentary Crazy Love. He also just produced the upcoming documentary The Cove which has just won the audience award at The Sundance Film Festival and Hot Docs. The Cove will be released by Roadside Attractons and Lions Gate on July 31. He is currently working on a new documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy about doctors trying to build a floating hospital on Lake Tanganyika in Eastern Africa.

Culture Project is New York City's premier destination for artistic work that champions the most pressing human rights issues of our time. Showered with media praise and honors, including New York Times' #1 Play of the Year (2003,) Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award (2005,) a Drama Desk Award (2003,) an Outer Critics Circle Award (2003,) and Lucille Lortel Awards (2003, 2008,) Culture Project prides itself on providing a creative home to dynamic artists who share its passion for taking risks and creating work that amplifies marginalized voices. By fostering innovative collaboration between human rights organizations and theatre, music and film artists, Culture Project aims to inspire and impact public dialogue and policy, encouraging democratic participation in the most urgent matters of our time.

Culture Project has premiered celebrated shows including The Exonerated, Sarah Jones' Bridge & Tunnel, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Lawrence Wright's My Trip To Al-Qaeda, Tings Dey Happen, the Lucille Lortel Award-winning World Premiere of George Packer's Betrayed and Temple University's acclaimed production of In Conflict. Most recently, Culture Project produced a groundbreaking concert at the United Nations, Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum that commemorated the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

 




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