The independent theater company’s first in-person production since early 2020 examines the historic movement’s impact on a small town in Arizona.
BROOKLYN, NY -- September 28, 2021 -- Theater in Asylum, a New York-based ensemble-driven independent theater company, today announced the company’s first in-person production since 2020, Occupy Prescott by Andy Boyd. The production will run from October 16, 2021 through October 31, 2021 at the Jalopy Tavern in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Ten years ago this fall, activists gathered in Lower Manhattan to peacefully occupy Zuccotti Park and to declare opposition to an economic system clearly inadequate for the majority of Americans, the 99%. Occupy Wall Street galvanized people around the world and inspired hundreds of activist occupations, big and small, united in a call to radically rethink the economic order.
Occupy Prescott follows five Occupiers in the small, southwestern city of Prescott, Arizona in their efforts to change their town and the world. The protestors broadly agree that the one percent is too powerful, but that agreement breaks down as they search for specifics. Reaching consensus on what a better world looks like—and how to get there—is frequently frustrating and rarely glamorous. Never easy, but urgently necessary.
“After many months of virtual productions, readings and community events, Theater in Asylum is so excited to be making live, in-person theatre again,” said Katie Palmer, Co-Artistic Director of Theater in Asylum and Co-Director of Occupy Prescott. “The issues raised by the Occupy movement are just as relevant today as they were ten years ago and we look forward to exploring them with audiences at the Jalopy this October.”
"We are living in a world created by Occupy Prescott - with the Fight for 15, the fight for Medicare for all and the recent push to expand the social safety net," said Paul Bedard, Co-Artistic Director of Theater in Asylum and Co-Director of Occupy Prescott. "In many ways these struggles were propelled by the Occupy movement. We want to pay homage to the people who planted the seeds and encourage our audiences to keep dreaming and fighting."
Occupy Prescott stars Julie Cai as Connie, Christopher DeSantis as Devin, Alec A. Head as Rex, Emily Johnson-Erday as the Musician, Regina Romero as Dolores and Fernando Vieira as Father Carlos. The production features stage management by Cody Hom, dramaturgy by Al Parker, scenic and lighting design by Dan Stearns and costume design by Andrea Lynn. The play is directed by Paul Bedard and Katie Palmer and produced by Kathryn Appleton and Theater in Asylum. Rounding out the production team are Hilarie Spangler (Community Engagement), Charlotte Dow (Marketing and Publicity) and Fatemata Krubally (Ticketing and Front of House Management).
A very limited number of tickets for Occupy Prescott are on sale now at theaterinasylum.com. All performances will take place in Jalopy Tavern’s outdoor patio with contingencies in place for inclement weather. Audience members must show proof of vaccination to enter Jalopy Tavern and must wear a face-covering throughout the duration of the performance.
Occupy Prescott is presented as part of the City Artist Corps Grants program, presented by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre. The program is funded by the $25 million New York City Artist Corps recovery initiative announced by Mayor de Blasio and DCLA earlier this year. The grants are intended to support NYC-based working artists who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
What: Occupy Prescott by Andy Boyd
When: October 16,17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 3 PM
Where: Jalopy Tavern, 317 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Tickets: $20 General Admission, $30 Hero Admission, $10 Student/Artist/Low Income Admission. All performances will have a $0 ticket option and all tickets to the first performance on October 16th are FREE.
About Theater in Asylum
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower its community. TIA joyfully pursues rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making to create performances that investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. TIA prizes space to process, space to question—asylum—for its members and community. Past TIA productions include Hephaestus by Willie Johnson at LPAC’s Rough Draft Festival; Totally Wholesome Foods by Alice Pencavel at the Episcopal Actors’ Guild; The Brontës by Katie Palmer, Lucas Tahiruzzaman Syed and Sarah Ziegler at Brooklyn’s Old Stone House; and ¡Olé!, conceived and directed by Paul Bedard, presented at the Prague, Rochester, and Chicago Fringe Festivals. Other ongoing TIA projects include The Debates, a series of plays inspired by local and national elections, the Cold Readings series and TIA’s Cabarets.
Marketing & Publicity, Occupy Prescott
About Occupy Prescott
10 years ago this fall, activists gathered in lower Manhattan to peacefully occupy Zuccotti Park and to declare opposition to an economic system clearly inadequate for the majority of Americans, the 99%. Occupy Wall Street galvanized people around the world and inspired hundreds of activist occupations, big and small, united in a call to radically rethink the economic order.
Playwright Andy Boyd hones in on Prescott, Arizona to follow five Occupiers in their efforts to change their town and the world. They broadly agree that the one percent is too powerful, but agreement breaks down as they search for specifics. Reaching consensus on what a better world looks like—and how to get there—is frequently frustrating and rarely glamorous. Never easy, but urgently necessary. On the 10th anniversary of the rallying cry heard round the world, we are thrilled to produce the prescient and hopeful play: Occupy Prescott.
The Role we’re looking to fill
We are looking for a woman-identifying-or-presenting actor, aged 30+, of east-Asian descent, to play Connie, whom the play describes as a Japanese American woman in her sixties.
When Connie introduces herself to the group, she explains that... "I heard about acid and Mao and the Grateful Dead all in one day, ran away from home, and joined a commune." After recounting the disillusionment of the era she continues, "So I did what a lot of us did, us ex-hippies. Lit out for the territories, to the Berkshires or Taos or Austin or Prescott and hunkered down, tried to keep the fire burning until the next time America was ready to try out some new ideas. There's this line by Lawrence Ferlinghetti: 'I am perpetually awaiting a rebirth of wonder.' I have been waiting for forty years."
Of everyone in the group, she has the most experience working to change the world. She has seen toxic interpersonal dynamics destroy promising coalitions, but she has also experienced the joy of true community. She relentlessly presses her compatriots to think more radically (meaning from the root) about what is wrong with this country. She presses the group to mean it, to be actually revolutionary with the world they're envisioning and fighting for.
About the Audition
Dates: Thursday, August 26th from 3:30-5:30pm.
Location: ART/NY South Oxford Space: 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Please prepare a 1-2 minute monologue. You may be asked to stay and read a side, if time allows.
Theater in Asylum seeks to make this audition as easy and friendly as possible. When you arrive, you can expect someone to greet you and show you to a waiting area. Once it is your turn, you’ll be met by Andy (the playwright), and Katie (one of the directors). We will all be on our feet and eager to work with you. Please prepare a short contemporary monologue (1-2 minutes). If you’re cool with it, we would love to play with it a little bit after you present it. We anticipate each audition taking between five and ten minutes.
Please send a headshot and resume to email@example.com.
About the Production
Occupy Prescott will perform outdoors at Jalopy in Red Hook, Brooklyn. All performances will be matinees, with 3pm shows (additional 12pm shows possible), Saturdays and Sundays, October 16-31, 2021. In the event of a rained out performance, a 12pm show may be added on another show day.
Occupy Prescott is written by Andy Boyd, and co-directed by Paul Bedard and Katie Palmer of Theater in Asylum. Producing work is shared by Andy, Paul, and Katie, as well as Theater in Asylum’s managing director Kathryn Appleton and community engagement manager Hilarie Spangler.
About the Process
Occupy Prescott will rehearse September 15 - October 15, 2021 with a combination of online and in-person rehearsals. Online rehearsals (table work, etc) will utilize Zoom. In-person rehearsals will typically take place in Brooklyn either at Jalopy or at ART/NY’s South Oxford Space. We will do our absolute best to work around everyone’s schedule (day jobs, other commitments, etc) and anticipate rehearsals to be nights and weekends.
To protect ourselves from the ongoing pandemic, we are requiring that all collaborators and audience members be vaccinated against Covid-19. The cast will also test weekly and mask when rehearsing indoors.
Theater in Asylum prizes community and seeks to create a safe and invigorating environment for all. We are looking for friendly, respectful, and caring folks to join our community. Occupy Prescott will have a fast process and our hope is to foster a strong team to present the most compelling possible work to our audience.
All applicants must be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Unfortunately due to the size of our budget, we are not able to work with union artists, including those in Actors Equity.
Theater in Asylum believes in Equal Opportunity Collaboration. We are committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and offstage. We encourage applicants with a unique cultural perspective inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, class, physical ability, and sexual orientation to apply.
All performers will receive a $300 honorarium. This position will be considered an independent contractor of Theater in Asylum.
Please note that all collaborators on Occupy Prescott, regardless of role, will be paid equally. We know that this honorarium is less than you (and we!) are worth. We understand that this is not a living wage and certainly limits things. We commit to do everything we can to respect and support folks to make the process as sustainable and rewarding as possible for all of us.
Theater in Asylum values transparency and always shares the complete show budget with signed-on collaborators. See our full Transparency commitments here.
About Theater in Asylum
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community.
Core programs include original productions; themed cabarets, presenting new work from our community; and Cold Readings, a program to read and discuss published plays.
Community is of utmost importance to Theater in Asylum and some of our strategies for community safety and empowerment may be found here.
Theater in Asylum’s Community Agreements
Theater in Asylum strives to prevent harm in all of our spaces. We acknowledge that multiple systems of oppression intersect and permeate our lives (including racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and others). While we know that no space is ever 100% safe for all people, we hope to make our spaces safer with these Community Agreements. We ask everyone entering our space to, in good faith:
If any of these Community Agreements are not being lived up to, or if there is something Theater in Asylum can do to support your full engagement, please know that dialogue is welcome. See leadership contact information and an anonymous contact form at theaterinasylum.com/community.
We hope you are having a lovely summer, keeping cool and staying safe. We have been quite busy with projects, as have our friends. See below a bunch of exciting projects on the horizon.
Hope to see you soon,
Paul, Katie, Kathryn, and Hilarie Theater in Asylum
Paul is back with Bread and Puppet!
Paul is in Vermont working with the iconic Bread and Puppet Theater on their Domestic Insurrection Circus. The show, director Peter Schumann says, is “in response to our totally unresurrected capitalist situation, not only the hundreds of thousands of unnecessarily sacrificed pandemic victims but our culture’s unwillingness to recognize Mother Earth’s revolt against our civilization. Since we earthlings do not live up to our earthling obligations, we need resurrection circuses to yell against our own stupidity.”
See the show and visit the gorgeous farm in Glover, Vermont any weekend in August. The circus will play in Brooklyn on Friday, September 10 and tickets are going fast!
Katie is diving back into The Brontës!
After a dormant period, Katie is thrilled to be sprucing the show back up to send The Brontës across the pond! A MFA candidate at the University of East London is going to direct and produce the show in Spring 2022. As a precursor to that, 4 songs were presented in a floating book store on the Thames! Check out the beautiful video here. We can't wait to share more Brontë news over this next year!
Hilarie is working on Governor's Island!
Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island Richard Move & MoveOPOLIS!
This series of six free, site-specific dance performances, held two Saturdays in October, will lead visitors on a movement journey across Governors Island—from the ancient trees of Nolan Park to the secluded lawns of Hammock Grove and the dramatic topography of the Hills. Conceived, directed and choreographed by acclaimed choreographer Richard Move, each piece is inspired by and in conversation with its unique site on Governors Island, including the ecosystems, architectures, materials and species that dwell within. From the abstract to the fantastical, the work embodies various biological and natural processes in a kind of biomimicry—telling the stories of Governors Island through a series of kinetic, strikingly costumed dance installations. Learn more.
The Big Learn is starting up again!
Theater in Asylum’s leadership participated in The Big Learn last year and cannot recommend it highly enough. The program’s goal is to create space for anti-racist learning, training, and community healing that will address the needs of the large and diverse community of “downtown” and “indie” theatre artists living and working in New York City. Apply here.
Our friends at Boxcutter Collective have a free show at Jalopy!
Boxcutter Collective returns to the Jalopy Theater on Monday, August 16th to share the bill with the amazing puppeteer, Deborah Hunt, all the way from Puerto Rico! Boxcutter will be performing a short new work made in collaboration with Peter Schumann of the Bread and Puppet Theater. Learn more here.
Ama Encore (Alexis Atkinson) has a new music video!
And we are so cool with you watching this video and feasting upon Ama’s incredible music.
Jesse B Koehler’s eery play The Garden is streaming online!
“A story whose bewitching form is only matched by its fantastical content.”
Streaming online until August 15th. Learn more.
Liquid Din Din is back!
For years our dear friends Jessie Bangarang Atkinson and Kiley Etling have hosted racaus cabarets themed around dinner party guests. August looks at Hippie Grandma. Check them out for a night full of songs and stories featuring some of your favorite local artists. Learn more.
Ali Dineen is teaching an online Joni Mitchell class at Jalopy!
8/17, 8/24, 8/31, 9/7
In honor of Blue's 50th Anniversary, join Ali to learn 4 songs from Joni Mitchell's iconic album, for guitar and voice. Intermediate guitar level preferred, meaning: ability to decipher guitar tablature (but not sight-read) and basic comfort with finger-picking. Learn more and register.
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues a rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community. Core programs include original productions; themed cabarets to present new work from our community; and Cold Readings to read and discuss published plays.
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