The 2016 election inspired a broad-based Resistance not seen in the United States in decades. People from all walks of life have been protesting, marching, mobilizing, and organizing in an effort to take back our country and create a more compassionate and just world. Artists are vital to this work. This fall, the American Repertory Theater and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy – in collaboration with Pangyrus and other literary and arts initiatives – are launching a new series of intimate performances on the theme of “Resistance.” Each of these five evenings will feature a diverse group of artist-activists telling powerful stories and performing politically engaged works that read, move, sing, and speak truth to power in these troubled times.
Resistance Mic! is part of the A.R.T. of Human Rights series, an ongoing collaboration between the American Repertory Theater and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Resistance Mic! will take place on Wednesdays at 8PM at OBERON, A.R.T.’s second stage theater, and will be co-hosted by Timothy Patrick McCarthy and Sarah Sweeney.
The final Resistance Mic! of spring 2018 is May 16. Guests include Ethan Gilsdorf, Robert Pinsky, Stan Strickland, Shuchi Saraswat, The True Colors Troupe, and Artistic Noise.
Sarah Sweeney (@LooseGringa) is the author of Tell Me If You’re Lying (Barrelhouse Books, 2016). Her poems and essays have appeared widely, including Washington Post, Salon, Catapult, Oxford American, and other venues. She works as a writer in Boston. Find her at www.sarah-sweeney.com.
Timothy Patrick McCarthy (@DrTPM) is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist who teaches at Harvard University. He is author or editor of five books from the New Press, including Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love, forthcoming in 2018. He is also the host and director of the A.R.T. of Human Rights series. Find him at https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty/timothy-patrick-mccarthy.
American Repertory Theater (@americanrep) at Harvard University is a leading force in American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. The A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under her leadership, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theater experiences. Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, as well as the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater. Under Paulus’s leadership, the A.R.T.’s club theater, OBERON, has become an incubator for local and emerging artists. Dedicated to making great theater accessible, the A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area.
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (@carrcenter) at Harvard Kennedy School trains future leaders for global careers in public service and social justice. Its research, teaching, publications, and programming are guided by a commitment to make human rights principles central to the formulation of good public policy in the United States and throughout the world.
Pangyrus LitMag (@Pangyrus) publishes stories, poems, essays and journalism that make artful and original connections, explore the unexpected, and break the constraints that keep people and ideas isolated. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we publish continuously online, and in print twice a year. Currently we are accepting submissions for our Spring 2018 issue and a special Resistance themed edition. You can find our latest publications and news at pangyrus.com.
Resisters for May 16, 2018:
Ethan Gilsdorf is a nerd who writes a lot. He wrote the travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, which was named a Must-Read Book by the Massachusetts Book Awards. His work has also been cited in the anthology Best American Essays 2016. His articles, commentaries, essays and film and book reviews, and poems have appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Salon, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Esquire, National Geographic, and Boston Globe. Gilsdorf is the cofounder of GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP) and serves on GrubStreet’s board. Read more at ethangilsdorf.com.
E. Dolores Johnson’s writing on race has appeared or is forthcoming in The Buffalo News, the Writers of Color Anthology, Narratively and Lunch Ticket. Her multigenerational memoir in progress about mixed race life takes the reader on the journey of the browning of America and changing attitudes about race-mixing. She is looking for a publisher. Johnson completed the Memoir Incubator program at Grub Street and studied creative writing at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation. She has been awarded residencies at Djerassi, Blue Mountain Center, Ragdale, and the VCCA. She has consulted on diversity for think tanks, universities, major corporations and nonprofits. Johnson holds a Harvard MBA and a Howard University BA. Follow her on twitter@ elladolo and FB at Dolores Johnson.
Timothy Patrick McCarthy (@DrTPM) is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist who teaches at Harvard University, where he is Core Faculty and Director of Culture Change and Social Justice Initiatives at the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is author or editor of five books from the New Press, including Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love, forthcoming in 2019. He is the host and director of the “A.R.T. of Human Rights” series. Find him at https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty/timothy-patrick-mccarthy
Robert Pinsky is a poet, essayist, translator, teacher, and speaker. His first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such visible dynamism—and such national enthusiasm in response—that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Throughout his career, Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world. Known worldwide, Pinsky’s work has earned him the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, Italy’s Premio Capri, the Korean Manhae Award, and the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, among other accolades.
Stan Strickland is a vocalist, saxophonist, and flutist. He is the leader of the Stan Strickland & Ascension and the Stan Strickland Trio, and has performed with the Boston Pops, Take Six, Herbie Mann, Marlena Shaw, Pharaoh Sanders, Danilo Perez, and Yusef Lateef. He is a professor at the Berklee College of Music.
Shuchi Saraswat‘s photographs and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Ecotone, Tin House online, Women’s Review of Books, and Quick Fiction. Her essay “The Journey Home” received a special mention in Pushcart XLII 2018 and will be anthologized in Trespass: Ecotone Essayists Beyond the Boundaries of Place, Identity, and Feminism, published by Lookout Books in Fall 2018. Excerpts of her novel have won her the Gulliver Travel Research Grant from The Speculative Literature Foundation and fellowships and scholarships to Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Writers Omi at Ledig House, The Writers’ Room of Boston, Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is Curator of The Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith, an independent bookstore in Boston, and is the Advocacy Coordinator at GrubStreet.
The True Colors Troupe (part of Theatre Offensive) is a theater program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth and their straight allies, ages 14-22. All Troupe plays are written and produced by youth with the guidance of experienced teaching artists and activists.
Artistic Noise exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system. Through visual arts and entrepreneurship programs in Massachusetts and New York, our participants give voice to their experiences, build community through collaborative projects, and learn valuable life and job skills. Artistic Noise creates safe spaces where court-involved youth can be seen, heard and supported on their path to adulthood. We believe the practice of making art offers opportunities for young people and communities to transform.