THE BILL COSBY ASSAULT to Debut at Philadelphia Fringe 2015; Kickstarter Launched

In the spirit of Anna Deavere Smith and The Laramie Project, several area theatre artists are creating a new work in the wake of the increased allegations against superstar and hometown favorite Bill Cosby. The Bill Cosby Assault is set to debut in the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Right now, the producer has gathered some of the city's top theatre artists and they have begun a Kickstarter campaign at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1401536246/the-bill-cosby-assault-a-play. Money raised will fund the completion of the play by a writing team and director, a workshop with the actors, and some of the production costs of the 2015 Fringe Festival debut.

Since 2005, twenty women have come forward to accuse comic legend Bill Cosby of drugging, raping, sexually assaulting or otherwise molesting them, with the alleged attacks dating back to 1965, when Cosby was the co-star of the hit TV show I Spy. The Bill Cosby Assault will tell the stories of Bill Cosby's accusers and their skeptics in their own words, through monologues, readings, dramatizations, movement and multimedia, and the work will explore the divide that exists in America when a woman accuses any man -- let alone "America's dad" -- of rape or sexual assault.

The project is the brainchild of local producer and journalist Victor Fiorillo. He has assembled an artistic advisory board that includes Amy Smith (co-founder of Headlong Dance Theatre, formed in 1993 in Philadelphia); Jennifer Kidwell (actor, playwright); and James Ijames (actor, director, playwright). Together they are developing this work.

The play's debut will mark the 10th Anniversary of the first public accusation against Cosby. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and has recently refused to address the allegations directly on multiple occasions. Reacting to the negative publicity, NBC pulled the plug on Cosby's long-awaited sitcom, Netflix indefinitely postponed the release of his comedy special, TV Land stopped airing reruns of The Cosby Show, and multiple personal appearances were cancelled.

Watch the Kickstarter video below!



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