The Assembly Announce Speakers for Curated Conversation Series Making Our Ideal America: Conversations on Coalition-Building

The Assembly Announce Speakers for Curated Conversation Series Making Our Ideal America: Conversations on Coalition-Building

The Assembly have announced speakers for their curated conversation series MAKING OUR IDEAL AMERICA: Conversations on Coalition-Building. The post-show discussions will follow performances of The Assembly's critically acclaimed play HOME/SICK, about the radical student activist movement of the '60s. More info at

HOME/SICK is devised and written collectively, directed by Jess Chayes, and features the original 2011 cast and design team. HOME/SICK runs through March 25, 2017 in a limited engagement at JACK, located at 505 1/2 Waverly Avenue between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave. in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Previews began March 9 for a March 11 opening.

"The Assembly is dedicated to building community and fostering conversation with each of our works. In addition to recounting the troubled tale of the 1960s student movement, we are excited to embark on an in-depth conversation series focused on tools for coalition-building in today's world. We invite audiences to join us at JACK, one of New York's most diverse and inclusive performance spaces, to take a new look at America's bygone revolutionaries and to listen to the current leaders of our own urgent moment."

MAKING OUR IDEAL AMERICA: Conversations on Coalition-Building features former Weathermen, as well as current organizers, activists and artists engaged with today's political struggles. Confirmed participants include: ACLU lawyer Dale Ho on March 15, former Weathermen Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn on March 16 and Mark Rudd on March 17, activist and community organizer Marla Painter on March 18, journalist Dylan Marron on March 19, co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism Stephen Duncombe on March 22, and Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition Aziz Dehkan on March 23.

The series kicks off with a Town Hall on Sunday March 12 at 6:45pm (immediately following a 4pm matinee performance): a moderated open forum to explore how artists can respond to the new political climate, how artistic missions are changing, and ways to promote inclusion. No registration is necessary; artists and activists of all kinds are invited to show up. This Town Hall will be moderated by Meropi Peponides of the theatre company Radical Evolution.

Discussions will run for approximately 20 minutes and take place immediately following performances of HOME/SICK. Performances are Tuesdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4pm. Tickets from $15 - $30 based on availability. $15 student/senior tickets will be available throughout the run. A limited amount of $40 premium tickets are also available. Purchase at or by calling 1-800-838-3006. The show contains nudity. The running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes including intermission. JACK is accessible from the C or G train to the Clinton-Washington stop. For more info visit

About HOME/SICK: Disgusted by the Vietnam War and rampant inequality at home, a handful of leaders from the 1960s U.S. student movement seized control of Students for a Democratic Society and reshaped it in the name of overthrowing the United States' government. Believing violence to be the only means to a true and lasting peace, these passionate idealists accelerated a movement to its breaking point, but left a country behind. Based on real events, HOME/SICK explores the Weather Underground's inspiration and idealism, infighting and ultimate disintegration, in a passionate examination of collective action.

Participant Information:

Dale Ho (March 15) is the Director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. His work includes litigation to combat voter suppression and legislative advocacy to open new opportunities for participation for the historically disenfranchised. Dale supervises the ACLU's voting rights litigation nationwide, with active cases in over a dozen states throughout the country. He has litigated cases under the federal Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act, including Shelby County v. Holder (defending the constitutionality of Sections 4(b) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act before the U.S. Supreme Court); Ohio NAACP v. Husted (challenging early voting cutbacks in Ohio); Frank v. Walker (challenging Wisconsin's voter ID law); League of Women Voters of NC v. North Carolina (challenging cutbacks to early voting and the elimination of same-day registration in North Carolina).

Bill Ayers (March 16) is an American elementary education theorist and co-founder of the Weather Underground. After participating in the "Days of Rage" protests and "War Council" meeting in Flint, Michigan, he spent the next decade underground, participating in the 1971 bombing of the Capitol building and the 1972 bombing of the Pentagon. After coming out of hiding in 1980, Ayers studied early childhood education at Bank Street College of Education. He received his master's degree in 1984 and is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2003, he published Fugitive Days: A Memoir.

Bernadine Dohrn (March 16) spent three years on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List from 1970 to 1973 for her involvement with the Weather Underground. The first law student organizer for the National Lawyers Guild, Dohrn served as the Inter-organizational Secretary of SDS before leading the Weatherman faction. Dohrn was a principal signatory on the Weather Underground's "Declaration of a State of War" in May 1970 and remained underground until 1980. After turning herself into the authorities, she founded the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, where she taught until 2013.

Mark Rudd (March 17) led the legendary occupation of five buildings at Columbia University in 1968, a dramatic act of protest against the university's support for the Vietnam War and its institutional racism. As chairman of the Columbia chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, Rudd went on to become a national symbol of student revolt. In 1969, he co-founded the Weathermen faction of SDS, which helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in Chicago. Rudd went underground in 1970 and eventually surrendered to the authorities in 1977. After serving a brief jail sentence, he moved to New Mexico where he became an instructor of mathematics at Central New Mexico Community College. In 2009, he published Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen.

Marla Painter (March 18) is a life-long environmental activist and community and political organizer. Formerly a member of the Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies and the Executive Director of the Rural Alliance for Military Accountability (RAMA) from 1990 to 1994, she currently consults on strategic planning and organizational development for non-profits. She is the co-author of "Taking Charge: A Community Action Guide to the Environmental Impact Statement Process."

Dylan Marron (March 19) is an IFP Gotham Award & Drama Desk-nominated writer, performer, and video maker. He is the voice of Carlos on the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, an alum of the New York Neo Futurists, and the creator of "Every Single Word" (Tumblr's "Most Viral Blog" of 2016; Shorty Award Nominee), a video series that edits down popular films to only feature the words spoken by people of color. He is a writer & correspondent at, where he created Sitting in Bathrooms with Trans People, Shutting Down Bullsh*t, and the Unboxing series.

Stephen Duncombe (March 22) is Professor of Media and Culture at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications at the Steinhardt School of New York University. He is the author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy; Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Underground Culture; The Bobbed Haired Bandit: Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York; the Cultural Resistance Reader; White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race; and (Open) Utopia. He is currently co-founder and co-director of the Center for Artistic Activism, a research and training institute that helps activists to think more like artists and artists to think more like activists.

Aziz Dehkan (March 23) is the Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition. In 1976, Aziz built a passive-solar house and started one of the first organic farms in New Jersey. His early community activism was as a member of his local planning board, and then serving as a Board member on two nonprofit agencies devoted to helping women recover from domestic abuse and breaking the cycle of poverty. He has worked for many social and environmental organizations including the Humane Society of the United States; the NYC Coalition for the Homeless; STRIVE which promotes effective workforce development opportunities; The Fortune Society, empowering the formerly incarcerated through services and advocacy; Compassion & Choices which is dedicated to comprehensive end-of-life choices; and Mother Jones. With his wife, Barbara Moss, he also consults for Solitary Watch which exposes solitary confinement abuses in prisons; and United 4 Iran, a human rights organization and Peace Action Network. He is also helping organize the Food and Farm Justice hub of the Peoples Climate Movement rally April 29th in Washington DC.

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