Every 28 Hours
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Dear Colleague -
I am writing to you in my new capacity as the chair of Campus Outreach, for “Every 28 Hours” to invite you to participate in staging this project in some capacity on your campus in 2016 as part of a national rollout. If you are interested, please write to me at email@example.com with the subject header “Every 28 Hours: (the name of your school).
The Every 28 Hours Plays consist of around 80 one-minute plays inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, with participation from artists across the country including David Henry Wang, Neil LaBute, Stew, Universes, Kristoffer Diaz, Jacqueline Lawton, Migdalia Cruz, Lisa Loomer, and Lynn Nottage among others.
Produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival under the leadership of Claudia Alick (OSF’s Associate Producer, Community) and The One-Minute Play Festival with Dominic D’Andrea (Producing Artistic Director,) in association with local St. Louis theatre companies, and writers and directors across the country, we have developed The Every 28 Hours Plays, in a national partnership focused on the widely shared and contested statistic that every twenty-eight hours a black person is killed by vigilante, security guard, or the police in the United States.
During Phase One, we connected with theatres and playwrights around the country to craft a selection of one minute plays reflective of the current civil rights movement, or to send artists to St. Louis to develop the work on the ground with us.
During Phase Two, Claudia and Dominic traveled to St. Louis along with some other national artists and engaged in a week of artistic exchange with guest and St. Louis-based artists. They attended a lecture in UMSL Touhill Theatre by Dr. Terry Jones on race relations, and the history of St. Louis that led to the events in Ferguson; met with Duane Fosters' students at Normandy High School (Michael Brown's school); toured Ferguson with artist/activist Marty Casey; and facilitated a conversation with activists, artivists, and a police officer at The Urban League.
All of this rich community engagement and artistic exploration seeded a productive environment to write more original plays on-site that were then integrated with the at-large collection. The entire collection of plays was then presented as staged readings in St. Louis at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and in Ferguson at the Dellwood Recreation Center, on October 23, 2015.
Now we are in Phase Three. This consists of the plays being done all over the United States with concentrated programming taking place in October of 2016. This phase is already underway. Theatres like Trinity Repertory Theatre on the east coast and American Conservatory Theater on the west coast produced their own engagements on October 26 and 28 2015. However, in order to engage the wider population, who don’t necessarily attend theatre, we want to move this art into public spaces and educational institutions to engage with these issues. The directors of the project have ear-marked October as the time to do this.
Any number of approaches could work. It could be a reading in a class or the plays could be fully staged at a campus venue. It is up to you. We think it is a wonderful opportunity for student directors and activists to engage in the material. One of the ways that we addressed it in the initial workshop in St. Louis was to have 8 different directors work with their own individual teams of 4-7 actors who played multiple roles. And then we brought all of those sections together. We are open and supportive of your efforts.
We are asking that you use all of the material and that it take place in October 2016. If you do decide to work with us, the project has asked for a nominal contribution (of your choice) to help defray the costs of developing the material. We are also requesting organizations not make a profit on this project either charging no fee to attend any version of this production, whether it is a reading or fully staged. Or they should donate profits to an appropriate organization of program of their choice. I truly hope you might consider working with us.
Below you will find a link to media about the project.
New York Times:
St. Louis Magazine:
St. Louis American:
Oregon Shakespeare Festival:
Thanks and all Best,
Producing Artistic Director, That Uppity Theatre Company
2015 Recipient of the ATHE Award for Leadership in Community Based Theatre and Community Engagement