We have exciting news to share!
Volpone-Yangon: We are returning to Myanmar to stage our satirical send-up of greed and corruption thanks to a TCG Global Connections grant!
League of Professional Theatre Women: Joanna is being honored with the Lee Reynolds award for her contributions to social, cultural and political change!
Afghanistan: Our election project is inspiring thousands of women and men to vote in the upcoming election!
Myanmar – Youth Initiative: We have been awarded a major grant by Open Society Foundations
to engage youth in conflict resolution!
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A New Theatre in Myanmar
Bond Street Theatre has been awarded its second Global Connections grant from Theatre Communications Group to complete our dual-language production, Volpone-Yangon.
The satirical play warns against the potential abuses that come with economic growth as Myanmar opens to the world. Our adaptation blends Burmese and Western performance styles and language. As contemporary theatre is new in Myanmar, we are curious to see how audiences will take to it!
On January 22, Joanna and Michael traveled to Yangon to stage the finalized script in collaboration with our Burmese partners Thukhuma Khayeethe. Later this year we will return to give a fully realized production its world premiere in Yangon, Mandalay and Lashio, and then bring the show to the US!
League of Professional Theatre Women
We are excited to announce that Joanna Sherman is the recipient of this year's Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women! The award is given annually to a woman active in any aspect of theatre whose work has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change.
Joanna will be honored at the annual LPTW Awards Celebration on March 10, which will be held at the Signature Theatre. Fellow honorees include renowned actor Zoe Caldwell, who is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Voter Education in Afghanistan
Our Voter Education & Fraud Mitigation project has proven immensely successful! Performance in Shaheel Abdul Kalif park in Kandahar
Our men's and women's theatre troupes have been bringing their entertaining plays to towns
and villages to encourage Afghans to vote in the presidential elections on April 5, 2014.
The project is especially aimed at women who could gain or lose their rights with the new leadership, and youth who are voting for the first time.
So far the women's and men's theatre troupes have presented over 200 shows for a total of more than 98,000 people! Responses to these performances have been overwhelmingly positive. Performing for girls' high school in Bamiyan
Here are a few quotes from audience members that show the significant impact of our presentations:
"We were unaware of our rights before, but now we know how important it is for us to vote. I will participate in the upcoming elections."
– Salih Jan from Kandahar
"In the village I live in, women are not interested in voting. . . But I think about our future, the future of our children. . . I am going to vote this year, although I didn't last year and worked at home. I am going to talk to the women in my village to make a group and go for the vote."
– Sabria from Bamiyan
"This kind of drama is so useful for us. We don't have TV and when we hear something from radio, we can't get anything from it. By your stage show and drama we can easily get your information."
– Shugla Arazoo from Kandahar
"All of us mu
st participate in the election and we will send this message to our families and villages." – Madrassa student in Kunar
New Youth Initiative in Myanmar
Bond Street Theatre has been awarded a major grant from Open Society Foundations to initiate a conflict resolution program with youth in Myanmar with our Burmese partners, Thukhuma Khayeethe. As the country opens to new influences and new freedoms, the risk is great for sectarian conflict, previously contained by an authoritarian regime. Youth are caught in the transition without the tools to understand their role and responsibilities in a free society. Our Youth Initiative will address issues of diversity and mutual respect, and engage youth in theatre-based activities to promote community engagement and conflict prevention.
We will begin the first phase of youth programming in fall of this year.