5th Grader Inspires 15-Minute Musical for Culture Project's Directors' Weekend, 7/14-15

Allan Buchman has announced the line-up for the Directors' Weekend, the dynamic jump-start for Culture Project's IMPACT 2012 Festival, which attempts to tackle issues of human rights, social justice, and political action over 44 days at their old-is-new-again home on Bleecker Street.

For the two Directors' Weekends during IMPACT 2012, seven directors are invited to develop and present pieces of their own choosing in response to a particular topic. For this weekend (July 14th at 7pm and July 15th at 5pm), the directors are busily working on pieces relating to the upcoming presidential election. The director participants for this weekend are: Joe Barros, Reginald Douglas, Vanessa Lancellotti, Sara Lyons, Ashley Monroe, Jonathon Musser, and Michael Rau.

"I'm particularly proud of the piece Joe Barros is working on," shares Artistic Director Allan Buchman. Barros' piece, Political Speeches by Young People, is inspired by Kameron Slade, the Queens fifth-grader who won a class speech contest with a piece about gay marriage, but was then forbidden to deliver it as part of the schoolwide competition.

Continues Buchman: "From the very first moment I heard the story of this fifth grader whose creativity and intelligence were being shut down by a rigid thinking academic environment, I knew this story was meant for the Culture Project stage. I was thrilled to see these directors and young artists respond so enthusiastically to this topic and the spirit of the Festival."

The 15-minute musical Political Speeches by Young People directed and choreographed by Barros will star Giuseppe Bausilio (Billy Elliott), Noah Galvin (The Burnt Part Boys), Ying Moccia, and Aubrey Omari Joseph (The Lion King). Music by Tim Rosser, Book/Lyrics by Charlie Sohne, Casting by Jason Najjoum.

The latter Directors' Weekend (August 25 & 26) will focus on foreign policy. Participants are to be announced at a later date. For a full lineup of IMPACT 2012, visit CultureProject.org.

Joe Barros is a Director, Choreographer, and the Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn. New York: 59E59 Theatres: I Married Wyatt Earp (with Heather Mac Rae); Fringe NYC: The Legend of Julie Taymor (with Jennifer Barnhart); PCTF: The Empress of Sex; Gallery Players: Side Show, Reefer Madness, Little Shop of Horrors. Regional: assistant director/assistant choreographer, Arlington's Tony Award winning Signature Theatre: Brother Russia (Eric Schaeffer, dir.; Jodi Moccia, chor.). Int'l: Fall In Love (Seoul, Korea). Film: Mangus, Petunia (Ash Christian, writer/dir.). Upcoming/In Develpment: Speargrove Presents, Hot Mess In Manhattan (Araca Project), Falsettos (FIPAP).

Culture Project is dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by shining an artistic spotlight on injustice. Founded by Allan Buchman in 1996, 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. Culture Project also produced Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum, a groundbreaking concert at the United Nations to commemorate the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Most recently, Culture Project presented James X, directed by Gabriel Byrne and the revival of Rinde Eckert's acclaimed And God Created Great Whales, in addition to hosting the world premiere of Tennessee Williams' final full-length play, In Masks Outrageous and Austere. In 2012, Culture Project celebrates its return to the theaters at 45 Bleecker Street.

Culture Project presents Directors' Weekend: IMPACT, Saturday, July 14th at 7pm and Sunday, July 15th, 5pm. Tickets: $10, purchase online at CultureProject.org or by calling OvationTix at 1.866.811.4111. Culture Project is located at 45 Bleecker Street (at Lafayette St), New York, NY.

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You