Luna Stage Presents Cybersecurity/Data Privacy Face-Off Following Select Performances of ROAN @ THE GATES
Google Developer Advocate Ben Morss and New Jersey Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Levine will delve into questions of internet privacy, cybersecurity, and how much your mobile phone really knows about you at the Luna Stage World Premiere of Christina Gorman's Roan @ The Gates. The two guests will take the stage following two performances: Saturday, February 9 at 8pm and Sunday, February 17 at 3pm.
Levine's investigations into data privacy include Facebook/Cambridge Analytica and the tracking of consumer geolocation by cell phone carriers. Morss describes his work as "traveling the globe making the Web faster and more beautiful." These special post-show conversations, immediately following the performances, will help audiences relate the fictional world of the play to our real-world cybersecurity dramas.
Set in Washington D.C. and Russia, Roan @ The Gates explores what happens when personal lives collide with national security. Mel House plays the role of Roan, a data analyst for the NSA, and Aaliyah Habeeb is Roan's wife, Nat, a lawyer committed to human rights advocacy. The play, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum, has been described as "a beautiful and high-stakes adventure that illuminates the cost of secrecy."
"Roan @ The Gates springs from my alarm at the rapid pace at which our supposedly private online data is being swept up and catalogued by individuals, companies, and governments," said playwright Christina Gorman when asked what inspired her to write the play. "Now that virtually everything about ourselves exists in electronic form, is the battle already lost? Is the very notion of privacy gone for good?"
Both Levine and Morss live in Montclair, and began discussing internet privacy issues while walking their dogs on Saturday mornings.
Tickets to Roan @ The Gates are $16-39, and play tickets include post-show conversations. Tickets are available at LunaStage.org/Roan or by calling 973 395 5551. A limited number of premium Opening Night tickets are available for $59, including the post-show party with cast and creative team. The new Luna Circle invites donors of $1,500 (Gold Circle) or $2,500 (Platinum Circle) to attend an exclusive cocktail party with Morss and Levine before the Saturday, February 9 performance.
Ken Levine is a Deputy Attorney General for the New Jersey Attorney's Office, in the Government & Healthcare Fraud Section. He works on data privacy investigations, including Facebook/Cambridge Analytica and the tracking of consumer geolocation by cell phone carriers. Prior to joining the New Jersey Attorney General's office, he was an Assistant District Attorney for the New York County District Attorney's Office, and a commercial litigator for New York law firms and a New York private equity company. He graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Law and he lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife and three children.
Ben Morss is a Developer Advocate at Google, where he travels the world to help the Web be faster and more beautiful. Prior to Google, he worked at The New York Times and AOL, and before that he was a full-time musician. He earned a BA in Computer Science at Harvard and a PhD in Music at the University of California. He played and arranged with the band Cake, wrote two musicals based on the "Angelina Ballerina" series, and rumor has it that he still runs a band called Ancient Babies.
Creative Team Bios
Aaliyah Habeeb spent last summer at Shakespeare's Globe shadowing the incredible duo Claire van Kampen & Mark Rylance on the production of Othello. New York: The Fabulous Miss Marie (Off-Broadway); The Rape of Lucrece (New York Shakespeare Exchange); Love Ya Like A Sis (Venus/Adonis Play Festival). Regional: Surely Goodness & Mercy (Writers Theatre NJ); African America & Hijab Tube (Mixed Blood Theatre). BA: University of Pittsburgh, MFA: Mason Gross School of the Arts, Member: AEA. Instagram/Twitter: @aalibumaye
Mel House has played roles from Shakespeare to Ibsen, working Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally, as well as originating roles for the web, film, and TV. After producing Meir Ribalow's Shrunken Heads at Playwrights Horizons, she directed Break Like You, a short documentary about Hip Hop influencer and activist Emile Jansen in Cape Town, South Africa. She recently worked with Per Brahe doing mask-based performance in Bali, Indonesia. House is a member of the Actors Center Company and a finalist for Sundance's New Voice's Lab for her darkly comedic digital series, Hot Angry Mom. Member: AEA. Instagram/Twitter: @hotangrymom, www.melhouse.com
Christina Gorman's plays have been produced at The Public Theater, American Blues Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Prospect Theatre Company, Summer Play Festival, Stageworks/Hudson, Samuel French Short Play Festival, and Stella Adler Studios. Her plays have been developed/presented at Alley Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, hotInk International Festival, New Harmony Project, Troy Foundry Theatre, and Berkshire Playwrights Lab. Awards/Affiliations: Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, Blue Ink Playwriting Award, Samuel French Short Play Festival Award, American Blues Theater Artistic Affiliate, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Ensemble Studio Theater New Voices Fellow, Women's Project Playwrights Lab Alumna, The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group Alumna. www.christinagormanplaywright.com
Michelle Tattenbaum most recently directed Peter and the Starcatcher at Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Previous projects with Itamar Moses include the world premiere of the musical Nobody Loves You at The Old Globe (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle nomination: Best Director) and the NY premiere at Second Stage; Love/Stories (World Premiere, The Flea) and The Four of Us (LA Premiere, Firefly: Theater & Films). Ms. Estrada by the Q Brothers Collective (World Premiere) at the Flea, where she is an Associate Artist. Member: SDC. Two-time Drama League Directing Fellow. www.michelletattenbaum.com
Ari Laura Kreith recently directed Luna's production of Pirira. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy - three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages. NYC World Premieres: Mourning Sun (Theatre 167/Uganda), Pirira, Tina Howe's Singing Beach. European premiere: Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns. Immersive, site-specific: Queens Museum, NY Transit Museum; touring excerpts of Marina Budhos' novel Watched. Commissions: New Ohio; Queens Theatre. LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award; NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship. BA: Yale, MFA: UC Davis, Member: SDC. www.arilaurakreith.com
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Luna brings communities together for artistic events that catalyze conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange-a crossroads of cultures-the Company celebrates the diverse voices that surround us. Luna Stage is dedicated to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists.
Luna's classes for children and adults, and its developmental programs for early career artists, inspire community members to nurture their own creativity and vision.
Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 80 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Some of those plays have gone on to productions in New York City and beyond. Luna's unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.