Performance & Post-Show Public Discussion Schedule - Los Angeles
Los Angeles Poverty Department Performances Frame Community Conversation With Civic, Arts, And Community Leaders. With Agents & Assets as a launching pad, civic, arts, business, community, and cultural leaders come together for a discussion of the wide ranging issues touched upon in the performance including the Constitution, the press, homelessness, poverty, health care, civil liberties, U.S. foreign policy, and the wars on drugs and terror. Specialists on various aspects of social policy and those on the front lines with firsthand experience of government policies join audience members to illuminate the issues and demonstrate the role of the arts in fostering “a culture of democracy.”
Saturday, May 21 / REDCAT / 6:30 PM Agents & Assets Benefit Performance Discussion:Endless Wars: Drugs and Terror Benefit Panelists: Alfred McCoy, historian, University of Wisconsin-Madison; author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.
Wednesday, May 25 / The Democracy Forum at The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy / 7:30 PM Agents & Assets performance Discussion:Journalism, Propaganda & the War on Drugs Panelists: Alfred McCoy (see above) Robert Parry, editor IF magazine; reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for AP and Newsweek; author of Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.
Sunday, May 29 / Compton Community College at the Forum of the Alllied Health Building / 3:00 PM Agents & Assets performance Discussion:Then & Now: Proposition 36 and the Prison Industrial Complex
Panelists: Dave Fratello, political director of Campaign for New Drug Policies and co-author and campaign manager for Proposition 36. Susan Burton, founder and executive director of A New Way of Life Foundation that provides basic living needs for homeless women with a history of substance abuse that are in transition from prison or at risk for incarceration.
Leadership for the Special Benefit Performance includes Amy Brenneman, Jodie Evans, Frank Gehry, Steven Lavine, Peter Sellars, Thom Mayne, Bill Viola, and Adele Yellin. The idea of equality is something that is only possible to demonstrate culturally. Politically there is no equality. Economically there is no equality. Socially there is no equality. In the arts and culture, we are equals. All over the planet there are people waiting for their turn. This is the time: a cultural democracy—the reality of equality—that we can demonstrate on a stage towards a future. —Peter Sellars, director, LAPD Benefit Co-chair.
These performances are made possible through support from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department; the California Community Foundation; and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional funding has been provided by Old Stories: New Lives. LAPD also acknowledges the Nathan Cummings Foundation for its major support of Agents & Assets from 2002 to 2004 and Animating Democracy, an initiative of Americans for the Arts with funding from the Ford Foundation.
Agents & Assets travels to the Netherlands
14 LAPD cast members traveled to The Netherlands for three performances. The performances were produced by the Vrede van Utrecht Festival, a multi-year Arts and Civic Affairs celebration of the signing of the Peace Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
Performances were followed by a public discussion of drug policy issues in The Netherlands. Discussion topics included: zero tolerance “mini war on drugs” against drug swallowing arrivals from former Dutch colonies, Netherlands Antilles and Surinam; an examination of the current policy of providing housing and drugs to addicted hard drug users and a soft drug policy in which it’s legal to buy soft drugs but illegal to grow them; tensions within the European Union arising from Dutch drug policy; and Dutch participation in the US led “War on Drugs” in Afghanistan, where troops from the Netherlands are deployed. Initiators of these public conversations included national and local politicians and public officials and staff from the Trans-National Institute, a drug policy institute based in Amsterdam.
Nov. 30; Panel: John Leerdam (PvdA) and Bart Swiert (defense lawyer ‘mulas’), moderator Jan Langendijk (director Social Development Facility, Utrecht): zero tolerance “mini war on drugs” against drug swallowing arrivals (mulas) from former Dutch colonies, Netherlands Antilles and Surinam.
Dec. 1; Panel: Riet van Denderen (GOUD – homeless shelter), Han (ex homeless) and Marry (Green Party, Utrecht): an examination of the current policy in Utrecht of providing housing and drugs to addicted hard drug users and homeless people, and tensions within the European Union arising from Dutch drug policy.
Dec. 2; Panel: Martin Jeltsma (Trans-National Institute, a drug policy institute based in Amsterdam) and Fawat (film maker and Afghan refugee), moderator Jan Langendijk (director Social Development Facility, Utrecht): Dutch participation in the US led “War on Drugs” in Afghanistan, where troops from the Netherlands are deployed.
As the name clearly states, the “war on drugs” imposes a military solution on a public health and social problem. It turns our own citizens into ‘the enemy’ and victimizes them and their communities. —John Malpede
Having the lawmakers played by people who have probably suffered from the policies enacted by the characters that they’re portraying is a brilliant coup de theatre; but more striking are the words themselves, which are reportedly quoted verbatim from the congressional record. What these words make clear regardless of who’s speaking them-is that the failures of the War on Drugs (committed by multiple administrations of both parties) are woefully being repeated today in the War on Terror. — James C. Taylor, Theater Talk, KCRW-FM 2005
Los Angeles cast: Melina Bielefelt – Mme. Goss / Chair, Linda Blaisdale – Ms. Millender McDonald, Henriëtte Brouwers – Ms. Pelosi, Hylen Burt – Mr. Skelton, Chas Jackson – Congressional aide, Kevin Michael Key – Mr. Bishop, Rickey Mantley – Mr. Fred Hitz / CIA Inspector General, Kareem Muhammad – Mr. Lewis, Tony Parker – Mr. Dixon, Alexander the Poet – Mr. Dicks, Phoenix Rupp – Ms. Skaggs, Ibrahim Saba – Mr. Gibbons, Marion van Schenk – Ms. Harmon, Anzella Victoria- Ms. Maxine Waters.
Utrecht cast: Anzella Victoria – Ms. Maxine Waters, Lorraine Dillard – Ms. Millender McDonald, Phoenix Rupp – Ms. Skaggs, Tony Parker – Mr. Dixon, Marion van Schenk – Ms. Harmon, Melina Bielefelt – Mme. Goss / Chair, Sashae Siatui – Mr. Skelton, Ibrahim Saba – Mr. Gibbons, Henriëtte Brouwers – Ms. Pelosi, Kevin Michael Key – Mr. Bishop, John Malpede – Mr. Dicks, Kareem Muhammad – Mr. Lewis, Travis LeSesane – Mr. Fred Hitz / CIA Inspector General.
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.
The Robert F. Kennedy Performance Project, is a series of public conversations and activities centered around the real-time, site-specific intermedia performance that recreated, on September 9th and 10th 2004, Robert Kennedy’s two-day, 200 mile “poverty tour” of southeastern Kentucky in 1968. An Appalshop project directed by John Malpede.
Visit the Robert F. Kennedy Performance Project web site.
Founded in 1985 by director-performer-activist John Malpede, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is a non-profit arts organization, the first performance group in the nation made up principally of homeless people, and the first arts program of any kind for homeless people in Los Angeles. LAPD creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams and rights of people who live and work in L.A.’s Skid Row.
Skid Row History Museum & Archive
250 S. Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012
PO Box 26190
Los Angeles, CA 90026
John Malpede: John[@]lapovertydept.org
Henriëtte Brouwers: Henriette[@]lapovertydept.org