Agents & Assets

Directed by John Malpede
Performances & Symposium
about Fallout from the War on Drugs.

November 24, 26, 27, 28, 2004
Co-produced with and presented at the Cleveland Public Theater with participation of the Y-Haven drug recovery program, Cleveland, OH.

About the Project

LAPD’s remounted “Agents & Assets” in Cleveland with a combined cast of LAPD’ers and Cleveland residents, including seven from the Y-Haven drug recovery program.  The production was co-produced by the Cleveland Public Theater. We chose to mount the show in Cleveland because it now claims the dubious title of “poorest city in America” and because we wanted to find out what happened to the drug reform efforts in Ohio.

Agents & Assets’ public forums participants included, ED Orlett, former state representative and the campaign manager of 2002’s failed reform initiative and Dan Forbes the free lance NYC journalist who had broken the story of the Governor’s zealous efforts to defeat the reform initiative.

Participants’ Comments:
“This goes back to the root of growing, selling and manufacturing narcotics. We make more money on narcotics and the tentacles of it than anything else this country is involved in. Illegal drugs and legal drugs, jails, hospitals, treatment centers and all. See, this is the biggest business center in the world!”
“This about conquering people, taking over Nations.  The United States wants to be the sheriff of all of it, and we are! We are the businessmen for this enterprise: the world business. So, we are the victims.”
“Ohio has the second largest penal system in the US. Now, does that make sense to you?”
“The strongest asset that the African American community has, is a black man who is not addicted, who is educated and who is spiritually connected: that is our responsibility.  I mean that is the antidote.”
“The smoke screen of the Iran / Contra is still happening in this past election. Where they took nobody looking at the homelessness, the poverty level, the war, and all that other stuff that is going on here. They took it and said: “ same sex marriages” and  “a woman’s right to say no”.   And they’ve got all these people to come out to vote for this one candidate that stood on the platform of “God” , this, and “I believe in”.  And it had nothing to do with the real issues and struggle and the cancer in this country. They stood on that platform and had up a smoke screen.”


Wednesday, November 24
7:30 PM “Agents and Assets” peformance
Post performance discussion with:  Ed Orlett, 2002 campaign manager for Proposition 1, the treatment not jail initiative on the Ohio ballot, speaks on the impact of the war on drugs on Ohio’s communities.  Brian Stefan-Szittai, Director of the Inter Religious Task Force and Cleveland Attorney Maria Smith on the impact of the war on drugs in Central America and Columbia.

Friday, November 26
8:00 PM “Agents and Assets” performance
Post performance discussion with:  Alfred McCoy, historian, U. of Wisconsin, author of ‘The Politics of Herion in Southeast Asia”, speaks on the current drug trade in  Afghanistan.  Journalist Dan Forbes on the national propaganda campaign to defeat drug reform. Tony Vento, Director Inter-Faith Council, on the impact of the war on drugs in Central America and Columbia.

Saturday, November 27
8:00 PM “Agents and Assets” performance
Post performance discussion with : journalist Dan Forbes, Cleveland Attorney Myron Watson, and Brian Davis, Director NE Ohio coalition for the homeless, speak on the organized govermental opposition to drug reform in Ohio and the impact of the war on drugs in urban communities.

Sunday, November 28
3:00 PM “Agents and Assets” performance
Post performance discussion with : Dan Forbes, journalist, speaks on drug policy reform and the reaction against it.   Reverend Charles Hurst, Pastor North Presbyterian Church, on the impact of the war on drugs in Central America and Columbia.  Rickey Mantley,  Los Angeles Community Action Network, on community organizing for social change.


AA_Cleveland cast
Melina Buckingham – Mme. Goss, Chair, Henriëtte Brouwers – Ms. Pelosi, Brandon Cornelius – Mr. Lewis, Mark McCunningham – Mr. Harmon, Sheffia Dooley – Ms. Maxime Waters, Henry B. Fain – Mr. Bishop, David Hila – Congressional aid, Sue Holland Johnson – Ms. Millender- McDonald, Johnnie Mack – Mr. Skelton, Rickey Mantley – CIA Inspector General Mr. Hitz, Tony Parker – Mr. Dixon, Mark A. Perdue – Mr. Skaggs, Alexander the Poet – Mr. Dicks, Victor Torres – Mr. Gibbons

Agents & Assets: Witnessing the War on Drugs and on Communities
A publication focused on a decade of Agents & Assets performances and conversation.  The book can be purchased for $12.95.

buy the book