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Girl Be Heard Examines Rape Culture in BLURRED LINES Premiere Tonight at HERE

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The award-winning ensemble Girl Be Heard, a nonprofit theatre company that amplifies the stories of young women, will present the World Premiere of BLURRED LINES, a revolutionary new show about the normalization of rape culture in contemporary society at HERE (145 6th Avenue, one block south of Spring St., enter on Dominick St.) tonight, February 9, through February 19.

Each show will have a talkback directly following the performance hosted by a special guest. Ticket information is available at here.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Running time is 60 minutes with no intermission, plus a 20-minute post-show talkback. This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.

BLURRED LINES is a newly devised theatre piece that reveals the powerful and insidious role rape culture plays in campus sexual assault and all forms of sexual abuse. While calling for a shift in awareness, Blurred Lines challenges the audience by asking: How do we define consent? No means no. Yes means yes. Silence means...? Who decides? Who do you believe? These questions all too often are dismissed or ignored, made light of and blurred in our culture, in our laws and with each other. BLURRED LINES draws attention to how young women navigate and survive in a world where 1 In 5 college women are raped.

Based on researched experiences by the cast, this ensemble theatre performance is written and performed by Girl Be Heard company members Gabriela Carrera, Maria Diez, Allison Lee Flom, Ray Johnson, Jesse Krebs, Me'Khai Lewis, Jewel Phillips, and Lise Wedemeyer. The production will be directed by Girl Be Heard 2010 Alumni Tiff Roma in partnership with Artistic Director Kim Sykes and producer Jessica Greer Morris, with Art Design by Mark Fina, Lighting and Multimedia Design by Jason Fok, Set Design by Rebecca Kleinman, Musical Contribution by Jai "Bush Tea" Raphael and Ray Johnson, Choreography by Ian Fields Stewart, and Costume Design by Laura Wynne. The production will be Stage Managed by Cristin Gordon with Assistant Stage Manager Chiara Johnson.

Tiff Roma (Director) is a Girl Be Heard Alumni from 2010. She has been a full time staff member for Girl Be Heard for the last three years. During this time, she has continued to take on leadership positions both in the developing of the GBH Curriculum, facilitating workshops and trainings, as well contributing to the creative direction for a variety of Girl Be Heard artistic endeavors. Tiff is a New York City based interdisciplinary artist who utilizes performance art, circus techniques, and movement as a collaborative storyteller who is interested in using art to promote positive change and conscious questioning of the status quo. Tiff holds a self-designed BA from the City University of New York in Theatrical Public Relations and is the founder and creative director of La Bella Roma performance art collective that utilizes burlesque as a tool for conversation.

Kim Sykes (Advising Director) is the Artistic Director of Girl Be Heard and advising director for Blurred Lines. She was formerly the Director of Special Projects at the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). Kim is also an actress and writer and a member of The Actors Center. In 2015, her full-length play, In A Roundabout Way was part of Guild Hall's JDT Theater Lab series in East Hampton and the Dorset Theater Festival in Vermont. Kim Sykes has several short stories published by Akashic books Noir Series. Her short story Arrivederci Aldo was selected for The Best African American Fiction of 2010 by Nikki Giovanni. SAG-AFTRA/AEA/Dramatists Guild. kimsykes.com

Jessica Greer Morris (Producer) is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Girl Be Heard and Lead Producer of Blurred Lines. Jessica is a social justice activist, grassroots organizer, published playwright, performer, cabaret singer, and public health expert. She was featured as one of Newsweek's 2012 "150 Fearless Women Who Shake Up the World" and awarded the 2013 SELF Magazine's "Women Doing Good" Award, among other accolades for innovative leadership at Girl Be Heard. She has produced theatrical work for the United Nations, TED Women, the White House, the New York International Fringe Festival, the EstroGenius Festival and spearheaded Girl Be Heard State-Department public diplomacy tours in seven countries to raise awareness about and use theatre to move the policy needle to address human rights issues affecting women and girls.

Girl Be Heard develops, amplifies, and celebrates the voices of young women through socially conscious theatre-making. If a girl can change her own life, she can change the lives of girlseverywhere. We envision a world in which every girl is valued and encouraged to be a leader and change maker. What began in 2008 with twelve girls is now a renowned theatre company of 170 girlsand a global movement that engages audiences at the White House, United Nations, State Department, TED conferences, and in underserved communities locally and globally. Girl Be Heard is uniquely positioned to engage at-risk youth and open up dialogue about social justice issues affecting their communities-from gun violence to sex trafficking. We run both afterschool and weekend education programs in underserved areas of New York City, where all of our girls' theatrical work is generated. Building self-esteem, growing individual talents (step dancing, singing, rapping, and acting), and empowering girls to become leaders in and advocates for their communities is Girl Be Heard's unique model. Visit girlbeheard.org for more.


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