Feminist, writer and activist Gloria Steinem, author, filmmaker and photographer Nigel Barker, actress Kathy Najimy and filmmaker Abigail Disney are all set to take part in after-show talkbacks for the powerful docu-theater drama Trafficked which was constructed by actual interviews and was created in partnership with representatives from the United Nations, telling the story of sex slavery and child exploitation through the eyes of fifteen young women across the globe. Abigail Disney will lead a talkback after the Sunday, 6/10 at 5:30pm performance, Gloria Steinem and Kathy Najimy will both lead the talkback after the Saturday, 6/16 at 4:30pm performance, and Nigel Barker will lead the talkback after the 6/21 at 5pm performance. Tickets for the shows (priced at $18) can be purchased online at www.PlanetConnections.org.
Trafficked is one of many shows appearing as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York’s premiere eco-friendly/socially-conscious theatre festival which is taking place through June 24th, occupying both theater spaces at Culture Project (at 45 Bleecker Street). This summer, the festivity will feature nearly fifty productions including new comedies, dramas and musicals, riveting docu-theater and solo pieces, one-acts, and developmental/staged readings. During the Festivity, each show partners with a charity and some of the ways they offer support are soliciting donations at shows, holding special benefit performances, fundraisers and/or talkbacks after performances with representatives from the charity.
Also among the featured talents and productions in this summer’s festivity are three-time Tony award-winner Hinton Battle who is overseeing the musical arrangements for What We Do for Love, a musical revue about relationships, looked at through Top-40 hit songs of the past four decades and Stephan Davis’ moving new musical A Dance for Rylie¸ a gay love story which focuses on the declining health of Rylie and the hospital policy that keeps his partner, Matthew away.
Other highlights include Duncan Pflaster’s Ancient Greece-set erotic comedy Empress of Sex (which will feature direction from Planet Connections Artistic Director/Founder Glory Kadigan); Jewish ghost story Bubby’s Shadow; a musical adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo; docu-theater comedy The Bad Date Project; Twelfth Night: Wall Street which is set in the modern day financial sector and highlights the current gender bias and power-play in the American work place; Pageant Princess, the Musical, which is inspired by the TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras and showcases three young aspiring pageant princesses and their off-beat families in their quest for the crown; and The American Play which focuses on two male college students who are damagingly inspired by the work of author Brett Easton Ellis as they try to define themselves as men and wreak havoc on campus. The two-man play incorporates an all-female dance company in creating a heightened, surreal and modern environment.
Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances, the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere. At the heart of the Festivity are like-minded individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, while supporting organizations which give back to the community. “Green Theatre” is also an important aspect of Planet Connections; each year they educate participating artists on how they can make a difference by continuing to create great art while reducing their carbon footprint.
For more information on the festivity, the full lineup and scheduling information, and to purchase tickets (priced at $18), please visit www.PlanetConnections.org.