World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby everything on Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:58 pm

Wow, Milenials, hahahahaha. They really come across like idiots in situations like that even though the few I know are normal, nice people. I'm sure they'll grow up.

That is terrible about this "controversy" with your play, though. Apparently, it's not the issues you wrote about that people need to grapple with at the moment.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby Taste of Death on Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:57 pm

The BSU objected to one line in the play. And for this my play is cancelled.

Shit, I forgot I know kung fu. Next time I will destroy them with my death stare.
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:53 pm

sorry to hear it went down like that. People need to find more constructive hobbies.
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby grzegorz on Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:59 pm

What is going on in this world?

Sorry to hear.

Perhaps you can find another location? Even if for just one show?
Last edited by grzegorz on Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:23 pm

Dear Nicholas,

thank you for contacting NCAC. We also got your press release from the Dramatists Guild. This is disturbing, especially coming after two other race-related cancellations on college campuses.

Before we decide on a course of action, could you possibly send me the script for the play with any casting instructions?
Also, in your estimate, is there any chance that the play would be re-scheduled? What do you think would be the best course of action in your opinion? What would you like to see happen? Also - have you spoken to press yet? From the video I understand that the story was based on the experience of your girlfriend, is this the case?
Any other details I need to know are welcome!

Thank you,

Svetlana Mintcheva




Svetlana Mintcheva, Ph. D.

Director of Programs

National Coalition Against Censorship

Office: 212-807-6222, ext. 103

[email protected]



19 Fulton Street, #407, New York, NY 10038

ncac.org
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:25 pm

Dear Svetlana,

The play has nine characters, four of whom are black. Only one black student auditioned for the play. I contacted the Black Student Union to help put out the word that we were looking for black students to audition. The department would not extend the audition period beyond the first weekend of school and we were left with a dilemma. I rewrote three of the roles so the characters would not be identified as black anymore but the themes of race, gender, identity and otherness remained.
I have spoken to several professors in the Theater Arts department and Michael Chemers, Professor of Dramatic Literature and Director of Graduate Studies (https://theater.ucsc.edu/faculty/chemers), has offered to shepherd me through the process of getting my play restaged. How this will happen remains to be seen. The fall quarter ends this week then there are finals next week followed by winter break. There will be a town hall meeting that Dr. Chemers will chair at the beginning of winter quarter where the play's cancellation will be discussed.
The play was not cancelled because of the protest but rather due to the cast and crew's reluctance to continue. I believe that they were encouraged or allowed to continually disparage my work when behind closed doors without me being allowed to defend it. I only found out about this after the fact. I met with the protestors a week after the disruption and they would like to see the play performed with black actors laying the roles as they were originally written. The cast and crew were mostly white and they were uncomfortable being in a work about complicated issues. The lead actor, who is black, was devastated that the play was cancelled. As was I. We spoke for almost two hours last week to try to move forward and find some closure. She and the lone black crew member are the only two members of the cast and crew who have reached out to me since this all happened.
I contacted many news outlets but nothing came of it. If I was a black woman and a bunch of white kids shut down my play, this would be a big story. Everyone is afraid to touch it. Even the school newspaper did not publish their interview with me. Millennial cancel culture wins again!
My girlfriend lives in an RV in a mobile home park, is black, had to beg for money when she was younger on a long distance train trip, and is unable to have children. The play is about a black homeless woman searching for the daughter that she was told was born stillborn.

Thank you,

Nick Domich
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:26 pm

Thank you, Nick -
Briefly - the video showed the students protesting the lack of positive imagery in the play not the casting. I assume in the original casting not all the homeless are black (is the version you sent me the original casting?) - neither were they apparently in the actual casting. Why then the racial focus? This isn't a play about homelessness as a specifically black issue, right?

Do you have some manner of artist's statement about the play? That would help advocate for it.

When will the town hall meeting take place datewise? I am also happy to speak to Michael Chermers to see how we and the Dramatists Guild could help - we are very concerned about the cancellation.

Best,

Svetlana
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
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Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 pm

From Professor of Theater Arts James H Bierman:

What in the World? was selected as the winning play among the scripts submitted for the annual Dharma-Grace Foundation playwriting competition by a committee composed of four senior members of the Theater Arts faculty. It clearly stood out among the scripts submitted, and had the full support of the selection committee. The only consideration that was raised in our discussion of the script was that it was likely to be difficult to recruit the seven African-American actors called for in the original draft of the script. That consideration was put aside for two reasons: the first was that the play was, in our consideration, clearly deserving of a production, and the second was our hope that this production might serve as a catalyst in increasing the participation of students of color in our program and our productions at UCSC in the future. Needless to say, we had high hopes for the production.

I hadn’t met Nick Domich at the time I read his script, but I had the distinct impression that he was clearly familiar with the urban milieu depicted in the play. From my first reading of the script, I imagined that he had to be from Sacramento, where the play is set, and that he had some close contact with the homeless community there. Both of those suppositions turned out to be true.

Nick’s depiction of the urban homeless community in his play is written with great authority, conviction, confidence, and a gift for finding the telling details of the poverty that casts its shadow over the lives of his characters. While there is ample room for pessimism regarding the effects of poverty on Nick’s characters, What in the World? conveys a sense of uplift that I consider fundamentally spiritual in nature. In the end, the inhabitants of the world Nick created treat one another with kindness and compassion, along with a knowing appreciation for the restraints they are facing. The action takes place during the Christmas season, and the hope that characterizes that season lingers despite the sad realities and events of the drama. The two policemen and the hospital nurse who function on the edge of this impoverished world share in the supportive values that are expressed in the milieu of the play.

It appears to be a sad fact that the victims of the poverty depicted in What in the World? are disproportionately people of color, substance abusers, or mentally ill. These demographics are there in Nick’s play, and they are mixed in with lightness and humor, no matter how oppressive they are.

What in the World? is a beautiful and engaging piece of dramatic writing, and there is much to be learned from it. I find it hard to comprehend what was in the minds of the students who forcefully closed down its production at UCSC, but I hope to enter into discussion with them over the issues that have so greatly animated them. Above all, I hope that, one way or another, the play will get the audiences and the attention that it deserves – if not at UCSC, then elsewhere. At this juncture, my hopes for the present production are that it will be allowed to complete its run at UCSC, and that we will be able to have a thorough and civil discussion of the issues the play dramatizes. The strong reactions that the play has generated could provide an admirable learning opportunity for both students and faculty, and I hope that a forum can be found to take advantage of that opportunity.

I would like to add that the process of creating the current production of What in the World? has not been an easy one. The difficulty we experienced in casting the roles, the re-writing needed to accommodate the changes in the cast, the emotional demands of developing those roles, and the limited resources available for the production, all added to the complexity of mounting the production. What has resulted from the hard work of the play’s cast and crew should serve as a demonstration of their dedication, their ability to overcome obstacles, and their faith in the play itself. Particular recognition should be given to Brian Carmack, the play’s director, for his inventiveness and resourcefulness, and the energy he put into pulling this difficult project together.
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
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