Houses On The Moon Will Honor Producer Nelle Nugent & Prison Families Anonymous/Barbara Allan At 2019 Gala
Houses on the Moon Theater Company/HOTM (Emily Joy Weiner, Co-Founder & Artistic Director; Kevin Connor, Managing Director), the acclaimed New York based not-for-profit theatre company with a mission to "dispel ignorance and isolation through the theatrical amplification of unheard voices," will hold their 7th Annual Gala Fundraiser, "Amplify 2019," on Monday evening, October 7, 2019 at The Cutting Room (44 East 32nd Street - between Park and Madison Avenues).
Hosted by past HOTM collaborator, writer, actor and comedian Miles Grose (Ghost Town, "Onion News Network," "Last Comic Standing"), the evening will honor two champions of unheard voices: 5-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Nelle Nugent, and Prison Families Anonymous/Barbara Allan, the recipient of the 2019 Leyton Award. The festivities, which begin at 6:30pm with a cocktail reception, will include an excerpted performance from Shared Sentences, a new work currently in development by the company, and music by jazz guitarist Saul Rubin with his musical friends Ben Patterson (organ) and Russell Carter (drums).
Sponsorships from $1,000-$5,000 are available by contacting Chandler Vinton firstname.lastname@example.org. Single tickets, ranging from $150-$275, are available now and can be purchased by visiting www.housesonthemoon.org.
Houses on the Moon Theater Company, whose work has been hailed as "potent" and "powerful" (The New York Times), was founded in 2001. Through creative workshops, original performances, and post-show discussions, Houses on the Moon helps communities come together by making meaningful connections through the public sharing of their untold stories. All Houses projects are created through an extensive developmental and research process in collaboration with its community partners, which have included Amnesty International, the AFSC Immigrant Rights Program, Human Rights First and many others. At the core of the developmental process are interviews with real people about their lives, and a creative search for those human stories that yearn for a much wider hearing. Houses on the Moon believes in the power of theater to transform lives and instill empathy. Experiencing other people's emotional lives and journeys through the lens of a character allows the company to connect in a "safe" way and to learn about ourselves and those around us.
The Houses on the Moon Board is R. Erin Craig, Jane Dubin (Board Chair), Rashad Chambers, Amy Gottleib, Jeremy Handelman, Jennifer Isaacson, Aryah Somers-Landsberger, Jenny Paredes, Jeffrey Rosenstock (Board Chair), Jeffrey Solomon, Melissa Springs, and Emily Joy Weiner.
Nelle Nugent (Honoree) has won multiple awards for her work as a producer for theatre, film and television. Her impressive list of theatre credits includes some of the most successful plays on Broadway, including such Tony Award winners and nominees as Amadeus, The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby, The Dresser, Home, Mass Appeal, The Gin Game (starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn), The Glass Menagerie (also starring Jessica Tandy), Time Stands Still, Stick Fly, Ghetto Klown, The Trip to Bountiful, Love Letters, and, most recently, M. Butterfly and Latin History for Morons, conceived by and starring John Leguizamo, now preparing for a national tour. She is the founding Co-Chair of the Producers Guild of America, East, which looks after the interests of the Producer's Team in film and television. She is a long-time member of The Broadway League, serving on the Diversity Committee. She lives in New York City, with her husband, Jolyon Fox Stern, President and CEO of DeWitt Stern Group an insurance brokerage firm founded by his grandfather in 1899. They have a daughter, Alexandra.
Prison Families Anonymous/Barbara Allan (Leyton Award Winner) is a self-help organization whose purpose is to help the families and friends who now have or once had a loved one involved in the criminal or juvenile justice system. PFA began in February of 1974 because three women were concerned about the impact on the family when a loved one becomes involved in the system. It was the hope and intent of the founders to provide a way to keep families from facing their fears and trauma alone. In addition to providing emotional support, PFA educates families about the criminal justice system, about jails and prisons, about re-entry issues, about pending legislation, about resources they might not be aware of. Information is empowering and families need to know that they do have a voice in how the system operates. PFA cares. PFA is committed to helping strengthen those families who are "doing the time on the outside." PFA feels that the family has been sadly neglected. PFA is dedicated to creating awareness, in the system, of the family and its needs, to filling the gap between the arrest and the eventual release back into the community. PFA believes that the family is a valuable and vital resource for preventing recidivism. Strengthening the family serves to strengthen the offender, both during incarceration and after release. Barbara Allan was a schoolteacher, wife and mother who had no contact with the criminal justice system until 1966 when her husband was imprisoned. As she tried to deal with her feelings of isolation and confusion, she became aware of a new organization, The Fortune Society, whose goal was to disseminate information about a failing prison system. In a letter she wrote to Fortune, she said that she was doing time on the outside. That was the beginning of Barbara's advocacy. Barbara, along with two other women, formed Prison Families Anonymous, an organization that provides support and advocacy for loved ones impacted by the juvenile or criminal justice system. A source of pride for Barbara was the work she did to institute contact visits in her state. She served on the board of directors of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty; was on the Advisory Board of a maximum security prison for women; a Victim's Advocate of the Lauderhill Police Department; and volunteered at Women in Distress, a domestic violence agency.Currently she is on the board of directors of 3 Criminal Justice agencies, including one that is International.Barbara has been published in the Congressional record, written her memoir, "Doing Our Time on the Outside: One Prison Family of 2.5 million" and advised on the publication of the folio edition "All I Ever Wanted... Stories of the Children of the Incarcerated." She has appeared in two documentaries, and is currently working with Houses on the Moon to help bring stories of the Prison Family to the stage.
The Leyton Award, named in honor of Mauricio Leyton, a Chilean born, talented actor and a beloved, committed member of Houses on the Moon. He was a natural leader and activist, dedicated to helping both individuals and communities grow and come together. He tragically passed away December 1st, 2013 of an aortic aneurysm. Following his unexpected death, Houses on the Moon created this award and grant to honor his memory. The Leyton Award is granted annually to an individual or organization that champions the unheard voice through community service. The grant is funded by a percentage of the proceeds from the Houses on the Moon annual fundraising Amplify Benefit and by private donors. Past recipients include New Sanctuary Coalition; Save Our Streets: Bronx; Elaine Lane, Founder of David's Shoes; Susan Goodwillie, Founder of The Creative Solution Symposium Ryder Farms; Libertas Center for Human Rights at Elmhurst Hospital; Judy Sennesh, Board member of PFLAG NYC and Founder of TransFamilies Project; Lenni Benson, Founder and Executive Director of The Safe Passage Project.
More About Houses on the Moon Theater Company
HOTM was founded in 2001 with the mission to dispel ignorance and isolation through the theatrical amplification of unheard voices. Partnership with community groups and extensive interviews with real people about their lives are at the core of the company's developmental process. Through creative workshops, original performances, and post-show discussions, Houses on the Moon helps communities come together by making meaningful connections through the public sharing of their untold stories.
The company's inaugural production in 2001, Building Houses on the Moon, dealt with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth issues, and, in addition to its many ongoing student and Teacher Training performances, was seen at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York and the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival where it won the Award for Best Ensemble Production. The play tours New York City Public High Schools each year in conjunction with "Respect for All Week," the NYC Department of Education's Anti-Bullying and Harassment Initiative.
In the Spring of 2017, Houses on the Moon presented two world premiere productions in repertory at the A.R.T./NY Theaters: The Assignment and gUN COUNTRY. Both pieces were developed through workshops with people whose lives have been touched by guns. DC Metro Theatre called The Assignment, "Socially relevant and thought-provoking, profoundly heartrending and funny."
In December 2017, Houses on the Moon presented a revival of its documentary theater piece De Novo through Next Door at NYTW. De Novo tells the story of an undocumented immigrant teenager fleeing gang life. The play had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2010 at 59E59 Theaters Americas Off-Broadway Festival. In 2011, the company mounted an all-Spanish version of the play in El Salvador with a special focus on reaching impoverished young people most at risk for migration. Houses on the Moon was honored to remount this acclaimed piece in partnership with New York Theatre Workshop.
Additional original company works include Tara's Crossing, one of the first plays ever to deal with political asylum for refugees fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The play had its World Premiere in 2005 at the L.E.S. Tenement Theatre and is still presented widely in theaters and as a training tool on gender identity and legal issues. TRANSformation is a storytelling performance piece about gender identity and family, with the aim of educating the public and empowering these families in their struggle for inclusion. It was most recently presented in partnership with the NYC Council Speaker's Office.
The company is currently workshopping a new piece about family members of the incarcerated, Shared Sentences.