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Irondale Theater to Present Two-Part Zoomcast with NYPD and Civilians

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The series will be livestreamed on the company's YouTube page, September 24

Irondale Theater to Present Two-Part Zoomcast with NYPD and Civilians

Irondale, Brooklyn's leading theatrical think-tank theater ensemble, with cooperation of the New York Police Department, will host a two-part zoomcast discussion with past To Protect, Serve and Understand participants , September 24 and October 1 to continue their mission of social change, activism and humanity. The series will be livestreamed on the company's YouTube page and will be moderated by members of the Irondale ensemble.

While the 9th cycle of the 10-week, 40 hour workshop of To Protect, Serve, and Understand (TPSU) was sidelined last spring due to extensive theater closures in New York City, current tragic and brutal events have placed an even greater scrutiny of modern policing and the loud cries of activist groups calling for racial equality makes programs like these more necessary than ever. TPSU is a one-of-a-kind workshop that employs actor-training techniques and explores unique problem solving and real-life communication skills. That can only happen when people can gather in one room. This zoomcast welcomes back both police officer and civilian program alumni willing to continue the tough conversations about real-time current events in the community and on a national scale. Evening participants will perform short monologues developed from guided interviews conducted prior to the zoomcast between police officers and civilians, diving into each other's experience and perspectives. Representing the stories of the other, this exercise encourages compassion, empathy and experience-

a nod to one of the exercises used in the main-stage full workshop. A discussion to follow will cover topics that include the recent police reform and defunding, the repercussions of political action and protest, the shift in community dynamics, and accountability for both the actions of the NYPD and the communities they serve.

"We are facing an unmistakable crisis that have both police and civilian lives at stake," explains Irondale Executive Director and TPSU founder Terry Greiss. "Change can only happen when we can truly hear each other and understand each other. That takes work and guts.," he continues, "And while programs like TPSU feel urgent right now, we will gather virtually to begin the work to lead to change in our community until we can safely gather in person in our space once again."

To date, 53 police officers and 53 civilians have participated in To Protect, Serve, and Understand in seven series of workshops. Performances have seen audiences at capacity, with more than 2,500 community members attending the open forum. The conversations continue with an official Protect, Serve, and Understand podcast, featuring alumni from various workshop groups. The podcast is available on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tpsus-podcast/id1458368437?mt=2.

To Protect, Serve and Understand: The Zoomcast will take place on September 24 and October 1, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

The live discussion will stream on the company's YouTube page, https://www.youtube.com/user/IrondaleEnsemble. These events are FREE to the public.


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