Category Archive: 2018-2019

Event Chronology

Crown Heights, Brooklyn: A Chronology

1991

Crown Heights

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 2000: Mayor David Dinkins looks on while a Hasidic Jew and a black man argue during riots in Crown Heights. Rioting erupted after two black 7-year-olds, Gavin and Angela Cato, were hit by a car driven by a member of the Hasidic Jewish community. Gavin died. Hours later, Yankel Rosenbaum. a young Hasidic scholar, was attacked by a mob and fatally stabbed by Lemrick Nelson, a 16-year-old black.Street violence continued for days with confrontations between blacks and Hasidim. (Photo by Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

 

August 19

8:20 P.M. A station from a police-escorted entourage bearing Lubavitcher Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson careerns into two Guyanese American children at the intersection of Utica Avenue and President Street. Seven-year-old Gavin Cato is killed, and his cousin Angela suffers a broken leg. As an angry crowd gathers, the twenty-two-year-old Hasidic driver, Yosef Lifsh, and his two Hasidic passengers are taken from the scene by a private ambulance.

11:30 P.M. Three hours later and five blocks from the car accident, Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting twenty-nine-year-old Hasidic history professor from Melbourne, Australia, is stabbed. Just after the incident, sixteen-year-old Lemrick Nelson, Jr., a Trinidadian American from Brooklyn, is arrested in connection with the stabbing.

 

August 20

2:00 A.M. Yankel Rosenbaum dies at Kings County Hospital.

PRE-DAWN Rioting begins on the streets, as Blacks and Lubavitchers set fires, throw stones and bottles, and unleash insults at each other and the police. The rioting continues throughout the day.

Yosef Lifsh leaves the United States for Israel.

By the end of the day, police report sixteen arrests and twenty policemen injured.

 

August 21

8:15 A.M. Yankel Rosenbaum’s funeral held at Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights. Afterward, Rosenbaum’s body is flown back to Australia for burial.

Rioting continues and several stores are looted.

Before leading a march of nearly two hundred Blacks down Eastern Parkway, the Reverend Al Sharpton and Alton Maddox hold a news conference demanding Yosef Lifsh’s arrest.

New York mayor David Dinkins and New York police Commissioner Lee Brown visit Crown Heights to urge peace, but both are silenced by rocks and bottles and insults.

Lemrick Nelson, Jr., is charged with the second-degree murder of Yankel Rosenbaum.

 

August 22

Rioting continues.

Police presence in Crown Heights is increased to over fifteen hundred officers. By the end of the day, police report 107 arrests overall.

 

August 24

Led by the Reverend Al Sharpton and Alton Maddox, approximately fifteen hundred protesters march through Crown Heights, while nearly as many police officers patrol the immediate area.  

 

August 26

Gavin Cato’s funeral is held in Brooklyn. The Reverend Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy.

 

September 5

The Brooklyn grand jury does not indict Yosef Lifsh in the death of Gavin Cato.

 

September 17

The Reverend Al Sharpton flies to Israel to notify Yosef Lifsh of a civil suit brought against him by the Cato family. The day is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

 

January 26, 1992

The Cato apartment is destroyed by fire. Fire officials determine the fire resulted from children playing with matches.

 

April 5

Lubavitchers demonstrate outside City Hall to mourn Yankel Rosenbaum and demand more arrests in connection with his slaying.

 

April 13

Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes says that it is unlikely there will be more arrests in connection with the death of Yankel Rosenbaum.  

 

October 29

5:20 P.M. Lemrick Nelson, Jr. is acquitted of all four counts charged against him in the killing of Yankel Rosenbaum.

8:40 P.M. More than one thousand Hasidic Jews rally outside Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights. Some bottle throwing and shouting matches ensue. Police report one arrest.

Mayor Dinkins offers a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Yankel Rosenbaum’s murderer.

 

October 30

New York governor Mario Cuomo orders a state of review of the case.

New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly asks his chief of detectives, Joseph R. Borrelli, to review the entire case from the scene of the accident to the announcement of the verdict.

 

November 15

Despite Governor Cuomo’s assertion that Mayor Dinkins is being unfairly blamed for Rosenbaum’s death and the unrest in Crown Heights, the Hasidic community continues to harshly criticize the mayor for his handling of the riots.

 

November 17

The Lubavitch community files a federal class-action lawsuit alleging that the Dinkins administration and police department refused to conduct “any meaningful investigation” into the rioting and failed to “seek perpetrators aggressively.”

 

Source: Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights and other Identities by Anna Deavere Smith

Playwright Profile

ADS ProfileAnna Deavere Smith has had a wide and varied career. Most may know her as hospital administrator Gloria Akalaitis on seven seasons of “Nurse Jackie,” National Security Advisor Nancy McNally on “The West Wing” or her current role on the new Shonda Rimes drama “For The People.” But Smith’s work as a dramatist goes back nearly thirty years and transformed the field.

Smith worked as an actor on stages across the country throughout the 1980s. While teaching at Stanford and at Princeton, she started a project she called On The Road: The Search for American Character. It was here that she honed what would become her signature style: in-depth, on-camera interviews with diverse subjects, which she would then excerpt into monologues that she performed verbatim, including every verbal tic and self-interruption, and every accompanying physical gesture. Smith calls these pieces her ‘portrait galleries.” “What I try to do is create a kind of document of what the person said, and the physical part follows,” she has said.

The interviews themselves can take an hour or more — however long it takes for them to, in her words, “come into character. I’m watching for them to discover their own personal literature, their own poem. I think everyone has a poem.”

In 1991, she began using this technique to document the Crown Heights riots and the communities that lived through them. FIRES IN THE MIRROR premiered at The Public Theatre in 1992 to rave reviews, notably from Frank Rich in the New York Times, an early champion of Smith’s, who subsequently performed the piece in cities throughout the US and at the Royal Court in London.

Her follow-up piece, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 turned her incisive lens on the Rodney King beating. That show transferred to Broadway, where Smith was nominated in both the Best Play and Best Actress categories.

Subsequent pieces have included House Arrest, about the tense relationship between the American presidency and the media, Let Me Down Easy, her exploration of the vulnerability and resiliency of the body through the lens of the national debate about healthcare (which we’ll produce this spring at Portland Playhouse), and Notes From The Field, an exploration of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Her body of work is remarkable not only for its breadth of subject matter but for the complexity she is able to render simply by letting her subjects speak for themselves. More than any other dramatist, Smith holds a mirror up to our lives as Americans in all of our complicated, painful, joyous dignity.

-Josh Hecht, Artistic Director

Fires in the Mirror Media Release

Media Release: Fires in the Mirror

Browse Playbill:

Fires Playbill

 

Directed by Bobby Bermea

 

Starring Seth Rue

Rabbi Shea Hecht. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Rabbi Shea Hecht. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Rabbi Joseph Spiel Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Rabbi Joseph Spiel Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Ntozake Shange. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Ntozake Shange. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Norman Rosenbaum. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Norman Rosenbaum. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Michael S Miller. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Michael S Miller. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Leonard Jeffries. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Leonard Jeffries. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Leonard Jeffries 2.Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Leonard Jeffries 2.Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

George C. Wolfe. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

George C. Wolfe. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(4)

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(2).

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(1).

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(6)

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(5).

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic and Projection design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder(3).

Conrad Muhammed. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Minister Conrad Muhammed. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

Angela Davis. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Angela Davis. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder

Aaron M Bernstein. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre.

Aaron M Bernstein. Fires in the Mirror at Profile Theatre. By Anna Deavere Smith, Directed by Bobby Bermea, featuring actor Seth Rue. Scenic design by Peter Ksander, Lighting design by Carl Faber, Costume design by Wanda Walden. Photo by David Kinder.

(Un)Conditional

Profile Theatre is honored to commission Ping Chong + Company to create (Un)Conditional, a World Premier original work to be staged in February 2019.  Lead by their Associate Director Sarah Zatz, this production is a community-specific interview-based work of theater examining issues of chronic illness, caregiving, and healthcare.

The work will feature stories of three members of our Community Profile program, along with those of health-care practitioners and policy-makers, co-created and performed by the participants themselves.

This project is made possible by a Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Performance dates are February 8-10, and 15-17, 2019.  Morrison Stage at Artists Rep

Media Release: (UnConditional)

24 Hour Play Fest

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Profile is thrilled to announce our 2nd Annual 24 Hour Playfest – a wild, exciting and vibrant way to celebrate our mainstage playwrights and come together as a creative community!

READY: On the evening of Sunday, July 1st over 30 local theatre artists, including directors, playwrights and performers will gather on the set of The Secretaries. They’ll be divided into 6 teams and given a prompt from the show. The playwrights will write into the night, delivering their new short plays to their collaborators by 9:00 am the next morning.

SET: Monday afternoon, throughout the Artists Rep building, the teams will meet together to rehearse and polish their pieces.

GO!: Monday night we share them with you in a not-to-be-missed one-night-only performance.

Monday, July 2nd 2018 7:30 pm
Alder Stage

About The Five Lesbian Brothers

For the past 23 years the Five Lesbian Brothers have created provocative lesbian theater for the masses using the fine feminist art of collaboration. They are Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Lisa Kron. They came together as a theater company in 1989 at the Obie- Award-winning WOW Café Theater in New York City’s East Village.

Together the Brothers have written five plays, Voyage to Lesbos (1990), Brave Smiles (1992), The Secretaries (1994), Brides of the Moon (1996), and Oedipus at Palm Springs (2006) – as well as numerous event-specific show-stopping acts.

The Brothers’ plays have been produced off Broadway and off-off Broadway and beyond by theaters such as New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre, the WOW Cafe Theatre, Downtown Art Company, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, La Mama, the Kitchen and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris. The Brothers have toured their work to London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Columbus, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston and the deep woods of Michigan.

Their plays, published by TCG and licensed by Samuel French, have been produced by other companies throughout the United States and, believe it or not, in Zagreb, Croatia. The 2 Brothers have received an Obie, a Bessie, and a Lambda Literary Award, as well as a 2011 Independent Theater Award.for lifetime achievement. Their plays are taught in theater and queer/feminist studies courses in colleges and universities throughout the country.

 

 

Back to The Secretaries

In The Wake

Wake banner

It’s Thanksgiving of 2000 and the presidential election still has not been decided. Ellen insists that her friends and family don’t understand how bad the situation really is. But no one—not her loving partner, Danny, nor the passionate Amy, nor the brutally pragmatic and world-weary Judy— can make Ellen see the blind spot at the center of her own politics and emotional life. A funny, passionate, and ultimately searing play that illuminates assumptions that lie at the heart of the American character—and the blind spots that mask us from ourselves.

Click here for an ASL interpreted description.

“Triumphs in both provoking and entertaining audiences” –Willamette Week

“A smart, engaging play that will challenge you to think”Broadway World

November 29th – December 16th, 2018

Morrison Stage at Artists Rep

7:30 pm Th, Fri, Sat; 2:00 pm Sun

Runtime is 2 hrs 30 mins with an intermission.

WAKE calendar

Box Office: 503-242-0080, Tuesday-Friday, 12:00-4:00 pm

WAKE ticket

 

CAST:

Wake Cast

Directed by Josh Hecht

Josh Hecht

CREATIVE:

Dan Meeker, Set Designer
Elyse Grimaldi, Costume Designer
Jeanette Yew,  Light and Projection Designer
Matt Wiens, Sound Designer
Elizabeth Barrett, Props Master
Karen M. Hill, Stage Manager
Jamie M. Rea,  Line Producer
Breydon Little, Production Assistant

Playbill:

wake playbill

Well & Let Me Down Easy

Well Easy Page Banner

In Rotating Repertory

At the Portland Playhouse

 


 

well-ticket-button

By Lisa Kron

May 9th – June 15th, 2019

In the opening moments of this Tony-nominated Best Play on Broadway, Lisa Kron assures us this play is not about her mother and her. But, of course, it is about her mother, and her mother’s extraordinary ability to heal a changing neighborhood, despite her inability to heal herself. In this self-professed solo show with people in it, Kron asks the provocative question: Do we create our own illness? The answers she gets are much more complicated than she bargained for as the play spins dangerously out of control into riotously funny and unexpected territory.

Click here for ASL interpreted description.

This glorious and funny new play opens doors of insight and emotion that no other play in New York is opening. I fell in love with ‘Well.’ –New York Times

 

 

LMDE-ticket-button

By Anna Deavere Smith

May 16th – June 16th, 2019

In this theater piece constructed from verbatim interview transcripts, Anna Deavere Smith examines the miracle of human resilience through the lens of the national debate on health care. Drawn from in-person interviews, Smith creates an indelible gallery of 20 individuals, known and unknown—from a rodeo bull rider and a World Heavyweight boxing champion to a New Orleans doctor during Hurricane Katrina, as well as former Texas Governor Ann Richards, cyclist Lance Armstrong, film critic Joel Siegel, and supermodel Lauren Hutton. A work of emotional brilliance and political substance from one of the treasures of the American theater. Originally created as a one-person show, the Profile Theatre production will feature the same six-person cast performing Lisa Kron’s Well.

Click here for an ASL interpreted description.

Vitally important, wide-ranging and ultimately very moving. -Los Angeles Times

 

2 Dynamic Stories. 1 Ensemble of Actors.

See Both!

Profile Theatre Box Office: 503-242-0080, Tuesday-Friday, 12:00-4:00 pm

7:30 pm

2:00 pm matinees on Sundays

LMDE Well Calendar

Learn more

 

 

Fires In The Mirror

Fires banner

“I can’t recall the last time I saw a performance as good as Rue’s. It’s a masterpiece.  Rue made my heart swell and break, and then swell and break again.” -Krista Garver, Broadway World

FIRES collage

 

In August 1991 simmering tensions in the racially polarized Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Crown Heights exploded into riots after an African-American boy was killed by a car in a rabbi’s motorcade and a Jewish student was slain in retaliation. Pulitzer Prize-finalist Fires in the Mirror is dramatist Anna Deavere Smith’s stunning exploration of the events and emotions leading up to and following the Crown Heights conflict. Through her portrayals of more than two dozen adversaries, victims, and eyewitnesses, using verbatim excerpts from their observations derived from interviews she conducted, Smith provides a brilliant, Rashoman-like documentary portrait of contemporary ethnic turmoil.

Click here for an ASL interpreted description.

“Quite simply the most compelling and sophisticated view of urban racial and class conflict that one could hope to encounter.” –New York Times

 

October 12th – 21st, 2018

Morrison Stage at Artists Rep

 


Schedule of In Dialogue events:  Enriching pre- and post-show presentations and conversations with Vanport MosaicConfrontation Theatre and more.

MORE HERE


CAST & CREATIVE 

Directed by Bobby Bermea

Starring Seth Rue

 

Peter Ksander, Scenic and Projection Design

Wanda Walden, Costume Designer

Carl Faber, Lighting Designer

Casi Pacilio, Sound Design

Jana Crenshaw, Composer

Mary McDonald-Lewis, Dialect Coach

Robi Arce, Character Coach

Bonnie Ratner, Dramaturg

Karen Hill, Stage Manager

Jamie Rea, Line Producer

Breydon Little, Production Assistant

 

ADS Profile

 

Explore the Playbill:

Fires Playbill

Voices From The Riots – The Portland Observer

Dana Lynn Barbar from The Portland Observer attended a recent rehearsal and shares this piece with you.

“The Rodney King incident is this huge touchstone that rocked the whole country, but it’s just one piece of this story that precedes the founding of this country and continues right on to today, including in Portland.”  -Josh Hecht, Artistic Director

http:/?.m.portlandobserver.com/news/2018/apr/10/voices-riots

Voices fromt he riots