Glenn Beck, Now a Theater Festival Is Named After You

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It had to happen. And I’m thrilled to be involved.

Some of you may remember what the subhuman Glenn Beck tried to do to the Brecht Forum. Well, this is the response.

So dear Glenn Beck: Now there’s a theater festival named after you.

And we won’t rest until you — well, you just wait, sir.

The following press release is sent to the CFR courtesy of Adam Klasfeld, artistic director of One-Armed Man and the man behind this brilliant idea:

The 9.13 Project
An Internationale Theatre Festival at The Brecht Forum (June 9-20)

One Armed Man is proud to announce The 9.13 Project, a two-week theater festival in support of free expression and radical thought at The Brecht Forum (451 West St. between Bank and Bethune, NYC) from June 9 to 20 at 8pm, unless otherwise stated.

Theater communities in New York, Philadelphia and London will stand up for Social Justice, Free Expression and against the Culture Wars in The 9.13 Project, a “Beck-lash” showcasing nine plays and 13 events in total. The name spoofs Glenn Beck’s self-styled movement, the 9.12 Project, which exploits fear of terrorism and patriotic sentiment to push right-wing paranoia.

Playing from June 9 through 11, the first third of the festival (titled “Patriots and Dangerous Radicals”) features one-man portrayals of three radical historical figures:

  • Citizen Paine: (June 9) Bill Hollenbach’s portrait of Thomas Paine, starring Adam Altman – produced by Iron Age Theatre
  • Marx in Soho: (June 10) The late Howard Zinn’s portrait of Karl Marx, starring Bob Weick – produced by Iron Age Theatre
  • The Report of My Death: (June 11) Adam Klasfeld’s portrait of Mark Twain, starring Michael Graves – produced by One Armed Man

The second third of the festival (titled “Reviving McCarthy”) runs June 12 through 16 and investigates the legacy of the anticommunist witch hunts, with new and classic plays about personal conscience and state control:

  • Finks: (June 12) Joe Gilford stages a reading of his play fictionalizing the experiences of his parents Jack and Madeline Lee Gilford during the blacklist.
  • FreEpLaY: ANTIGONE remix: (June 13 at 7:30) This ancient Sophocles drama, which has long been considered one of the world’s earliest and most powerful historical documents of civil disobedience, is spontaneously re-adapted by the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and students of the Manhattan International HS.
  • Works-In-Progress Administration: (June 16) American theater artists showcase new work at early stages. Leonard Jacobs and Liz Burke collaborate on Right Wing Jeopardy!, and Julie S. Halpern of Love Street Theatre presents a sneak peak of an upcoming play Diminished Fifth, about the plight of female theater artists during the blacklist.

The third third of the festival (titled “Theater of War”) runs June 17 to 19 and presents dispatches from the military-theatrical complex:

  • In My Name: (June 19) This staged reading of Steve Hevey’s “brave and exciting” (NY Times) West End drama about apathy, paranoia and terror will have its first American staging at The 9.13 Project.
  • Captain Ferguson’s School for Balloon Warfare: (June 18) This world premiere production of a new play by Isaac Rathbone involves the strange and true history of World War I military technology.
  • Military Act(ion)s: (June 17) This short play series includes SUPERWOLF’s staging of Naval Officer Drew Hildebrand’s Swim to Shore and auteur johnmichael rossi’s mounting of his performance piece Operation Ajax and the Country Behind the Curtain.

In addition, there will also be a special guest lecture on the McCarthy era by those who lived and depicted it; the New York City premiere of Steve Schalchlin’s song cycle New World Waking!, following a hit performance by San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (June 20); a night of political improvisation from Strike Anywhere and verse from the Mayhem Poets (TBD); and an answer to the Tea Party through the inaugural Coffee Klatsch (ongoing). All curtain times are 8pm unless otherwise stated.

The theater company One Armed Man proposed “The 9.13 Project” to The Brecht Forum after learning about Glenn Beck’s 10-minute rant against the arts and education venue on his show in early March.

“Beck’s viewers responded to the segment by opposing public funding for the arts in New York State,” says Adam Klasfeld, artistic director of One Armed Man. “This was not just a smear on a venue that has supported my work, like so many in the community. This was an attack on free expression.”

Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, The Brecht Forum is a place for people who are working for social justice, equality and a new culture that puts human needs first. It offers a wide-ranging program of classes, public lectures and seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops, and language classes. These activities are developed in collaboration with the many diverse communities of this most cosmopolitan of cities, and our programs bring together leading intellectuals, activists and artists from New York, across the U.S., and internationally.

One Armed Man, Inc. is a production company that emphasizes politically and aesthetically daring new work. It produced The Report of My Death, which premiered last summer on the deck of the Steamship Lilac in Manhattan – and has toured in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Alaska and Iowa. It produced two plays in the New York International Fringe Festival, The Prostitute of Reverie Valley (2006 – Last Frontier Theatre Conference participant) and Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (2005 – chashama AREA Award). At the Brecht Forum, it has presented workshops of The Report of My Death and a reading of the feature screenplay Club Red: The Innocents Abroad.

Tickets range from $10 to $50 on a sliding scale and varying per event. Half of all proceeds will benefit The Brecht Forum. Visit www.the913project.info or www.brechtforum.org for more information.