Joe’s Movement Emporium partners with Hyattsville Community Development Corporation with new project “Mapping Racism”

Partnership seeks to highlight racist legacy of “restrictive deed covenants” attached to many properties in the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District

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Joe’s Movement Emporium (Joe’s) and the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC) will launch a series of workshops, dance, music and theatrical experiences for the Gateway Arts District of Prince George’s County called “Mapping Racism.” This project is made possible through a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Events will begin January 2019 and are integral to Joe’s 2018-19 Season, “Resilient Cultures, Rising Truths.” Artist partners include Ally Theatre Company and Orange Grove Dance with plans to include other local arts groups. Events will take place throughout the Gateway Arts District.

Planning meetings between Joe’s and Hyattsville CDC have already begun. Joe’s will be the provider arts programs to accompany the research, maps and images derived by Hyattsville CDC. The plans include a theater performance by Ally Theatre Company about specific land restriction events in history; a site-specific performance by Orange Grove Dance where Windham Road splits Brentwood and North Brentwood; creative response workshops facilitated by Alonzo Davis, land use experts and local elected officials; and a video exhibit at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMC) that will also include images and maps part of the Mapping Racism project.

Restrictive covenant

In its 1948 Shelley v. Kramer decision, the Supreme Court ruled restrictive covenants in real estate unenforceable. Discriminatory covenants included in deeds throughout the Washington area had barred the sale of property to Jews, blacks, and other minorities. Click for Image Source

“One form in which I find institutional racism still present are vestigial restrictive deed covenants,” states Stuart Eisenberg, Hyattsville CDC Executive Director. “They lie hidden within the fabric of Hyattsville homes, properties and institutions. Although the restrictive deed covenants rarely rise to the surface, many properties stand upon these embedded directives that previous land owners have written into their deeds of sale as preconditions limiting future use of the property.”  Read his full February article in the Hyattsville Life & Times by clicking here.

“When we engage in the creative process as a group, something special happens to address the bits of society that other structures can’t,” says Brooke Kidd, Joe’s co-founder and Executive Director. “The creative community has the real juice to foster what we want in a just society … when people feel art, they get to know culture and they see the similarities. Mapping Racism is a project that is essential now more than ever.”

ABOUT JOE’S MOVEMENT EMPORIUM

Established in 1995, Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity. Based in Mount Rainier, Maryland in the Prince George’s Gateway Arts District, Joe’s serves more than 70,000 visitors annually. Joe’s has five arts-based youth programs that bridge the creative divide between under-resourced families and those with means. Through programs and productions in education, performing arts, and work readiness, Joe’s integrates progressive education, creativity, and youth development.

In 2016, Joe’s achieved the Standards of Excellence through the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, which validates and promotes our exemplary work in youth arts education programming. Additionally, Joe’s earned the highest possible rating through Maryland EXCELS (level 1) based upon nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. This rating allows Joe’s to receive state funds to expand our reach in providing high quality arts education to youth in our community.

ABOUT HYATTSVILLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization. The CDC’s mission is to develop arts and public spaces, to spur economic development and the quality of community life, to encourage widespread leadership for community revitalization, and to rebuild the City’s commercial corridors. envision Hyattsville as a healthy, diverse, well-planned, and thriving community of homes and businesses where the arts: visual, performing and public, are a part of our work and the fabric of our lives.

We are professionals, tradesmen, business owners, artists, longtime and new residents. We work to reverse indifference and blight in the City of Hyattsville and surrounding communities. We recognize Hyattsville’s social, cultural, and material assets, and are committed to harnessing our community’s potential and talents to revitalize the City and neighboring areas. Our board and staff are comprised of Hyattsville residents and local stakeholders.

PRESS CONTACTS

Neena Narayanan, Marketing & Communications, Joe’s Movement Emporium
301-699-1819 | neena@joesmovemnet.org

Justin Fair, Economic Development Coordinator, Hyattsville Community Development Corporation
301-683-8267 | jfair@hyattsvillecdc.org

 

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Ally Theater Company returns to Joe’s Movement Emporium with daring new work, #poolparty

A thought-provoking play about the history of swimming pools, the desegregation of a private swim club, and how the legacy of racism in the water continues to affect us all. ​​

MOUNT RAINIER, MD June 12, 18—In 1974 a family was denied membership at a private, neighborhood swimming pool, all the members of which were white. Over 40 years later, that story has inspired a new play by local playwright Jennifer Mendenhall opening in the Meyer Performance Theater at Joe’s Movement Emporium’s June 23 – July 15, 2018. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for children, students and veterans. Tickets can be purchased online at www.joesmovement.org.Joe’s is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

About #poolparty

In 2015, the board president of Playwright Jennifer Mendenhall’s pool discovered documents that revealed the story of a family in 1974 which was denied membership to the then all-white pool. The father of that family had reached out to the NAACP who in turn contacted the Department of Justice. Eventually the pool offered the family a membership which the father declined fearing for his children’s safety. The 2015 pool community acknowledged this part of their history by dedicating a newly build pavilion in the father’s name and inviting the surviving family to share their experience at the ceremony. This launched Mendenhall’s research into the history of swimming pools, the desegregation of that particular Mt. Rainier private swim club, and how the legacy of racism in the water continues to affect us all. Please click here for the full Playwright notes.

Please stay post-performance for specialty themed cocktails and opportunities to meet the cast of the show and creative and production team.

#poolpartyis sponsored in part by Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council and produced in partnership with Black Kids Swim.

About Ally Theater Company

Ally Theatre Company produces theatre designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America. The company aims to join the vital conversations, sparked by generations of thinkers, writers, performers, and activists by:

-Placing underrepresented populations at the front and center of our narratives and our organization;
-Forming alliances with individuals and organizations who share a similar mission;
-Producing new theatrical works making their world, national, or local premieres; and
-Tackling existing theatrical works that forward the conversation.

WHAT:              Ally Theatre Company presents #poolparty

WHEN:             June 23- July 15 2018 | Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM Matinees at 2PM on Saturday and 4PM on Sunday | Community Preview Friday June 22nd at 8PM | Industry Night Monday July 9th at 8PM

WHERE:            The Meyer Performance Theater, Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

COST:              $25 (General Admission) $15 (Children, Students & Veterans)

FREE Self Defense and Active Bystander Training Workshops

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JULY 23 | 3:45 PM | FREE WITH PROOF OF PURCHASE

Ally Theatre Company is thrilled to announce a partnership with local anti-harassment organization Defend Yourself! Lauren Taylor and her teachers will be offering FREE Self Defense and Active Bystander Training Workshops to attendees of select Think Before You Holla performances.

The workshops will happen between shows for the following dates:
(NOTE: attendees from either show can participate in that day’s workshop, with proof of purchase.)

Sunday, July 23rd
2:30pm performance
3:45pm – 4:45pm workshop – focus: Active Bystander Training
5pm performance

To RSVP for the workshop or to get additional information, please email: info@allytheatrecompany.org.

What to bring: Proof of ticket purchase. It is recommended participants wear comfortable clothes they can move in.

PURCHASENOW

Chelsea Harrison, Victoria Mrythil and Christina Neubrand

Generated from true stories via interviews and social media, Think Before You Holla is a devised piece that examines the patriarchal roots of gender-based street harassment and its overall influence on women’s psyches. It runs July 15-23 at Joe’s Movement Emporium as part of the Capital Fringe Festival.

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Whiting Award Winning Playwright James Ijames comes to Mt. Rainier, MD

 

Ally Theater Company welcomes the Philadelphia based playwright to participate in a talk-back following their staging of the D.C. premier of The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington

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Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography

 

This Sunday, April 30th at 3 pm Philadelphia based playwright James Ijames will see how Ally Theatre Company brings his play The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington to Joe’s Movement Emporium’s black box theater. Ally and Joe’s are thrilled to host the 2017 Whiting Award Winner for the D.C. premier of the show. James will participate in a post-show talkback with the cast after the 3 pm Matinee.  Tickets still available at Joe’s Movement Emporium for $25. Joe’s is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online by clicking here.

A “fantastical-historical play” in a “sensationally cheeky production”.

-John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theatre Arts

About The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington

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Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography

The recently-widowed “Mother of America” lies helpless in her Mount Vernon bed, ravaged by illness and cared for by the very slaves that are free the moment she dies. The fever dream of terrifying theatricality that follows investigates everything from Martha Washington’s family to her historical legacy. Show is recommended for ages 16+ for implied sexual assault and violence and some strong language.

The show runs April 22nd through May 20th* on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. *There are no performances May 4, 5, 6, or 7th. Tickets are $25. Students, seniors or military with ID qualify for a $15 ticket.

About James Ijames

Whiting Foundation Award winner James Ijames

Photo courtesy of artist

​Ijames is a Philadelphia based performer and playwright. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theatre and Interact Theatre Company. James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Ally Theatre (Washington DC) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre, Interact Theatre and Victory Garden. James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and one Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company. James is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha and a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award.  James is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective and a mentor for The Foundry. He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and resides in South Philadelphia.

About Ally Theater Company 

logo-print-large_1.jpgAlly Theatre Company produces theatre designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America. We aim to join the vital conversations — sparked by generations of thinkers, writers, performers, and activists who paved the way before us — conversations that continue each and every day — by:

-Placing underrepresented populations at the front and center of our narratives and our organization;
-Forming alliances with individuals and organizations who share a similar mission;
-Producing new theatrical works making their world, national, or local premieres; and
-Tackling existing theatrical works that forward the conversation.

​In doing so, we hope to play a small part in creating the space and opportunity needed to form new traditions and conversations, while steadily inching toward the eradication of systemic violence, prejudice, and racism in our society.

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Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through programs and productions in education, the performing arts, and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mt. Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups.  For additional information on programs and events, please visit www.joesmovement.org.

Welcoming playwright James Ijames to the Joe’s!

Ally is thrilled to welcome playwright James Ijames to the show!

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We hope you will join us this Sunday, April 30th, for our 3PM matinee performance followed by a talk back with James and the cast. Don’t miss this unique opportunity for an intimate look inside the playwright’s process. No added cost, tickets available now.

PURCHASENOW


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The judges have spoken!

With a vision “to elevate, illuminate, and give rise to voices that have gone unheard, to peer inside and spend time in spaces unseen,” Ally Theatre is off to a stupendous start. Its inaugural staging of The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington is theatrical discovery of the best kind—a terrific script not to be missed, a production with pizzazz, and a bold new troupe to watch out for.

– John Stoltenberg for DC Metro Theatre Arts

Photo of Nate Shelton as The Honorable William Dandridge by Teresa Castracane Photography

The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington

April 22-May 20 2017
Joe’s Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
301-699-1819

Ally Theatre Company Kicks Off its First Season with the D.C. Premiere of James Ijames’ Fevered Look at American History

When the Mother of America stands trial, will anyone emerge innocent?

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Ally Theatre Company—D.C.’s newest theatre company dedicated to art that’s designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America—kicks off its inaugural season with the regional premiere of James Ijames’ The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington.

Christmas Eve, 1800. The Mother of America, Martha Washington, lays on her deathbed at Mount Vernon, surrounded by the slaves who will be freed upon her passing. In a fever dream of terrifying theatricality, Martha and the rest of America, yesterday and today, are put on trial for their crimes.

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“I am thrilled to bring James Ijames’ brilliant play to DC after its 2014 world premiere in Philadelphia,” says Ty Hallmark, Ally’s Founding and Producing Artistic Director, who also will be directing the show. “There was never a question that Ally Theatre Company would mark its debut with Miz Washington, as it perfectly demonstrates our mission to highlight and elevate voices unheard and spaces unseen. Our first production is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long dialogue with the community, both in the Gateway Arts District and Washington, DC, at large.”

A bold, clever, and damning look at slavery, its perpetrators, and its legacy, Miz Washington holds a mirror up to America’s past and dares us to look away.

FEATURING

Ivana (Tai) Alexander*
Taunya Ferguson*
Tanya Chattman
Nate Shelton
Reginald Richard*
Jonathan Miot
With Jane Petkofsky* as Miz Martha Washington

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Audrey Bodek, Set Design; Alison Samantha Johnson, Costume Design; Lolita Clayton Horne, Dramaturgy; Katherine Offutt, Props Design; Hope Villaneuva, Sound Design; E-hui Woo, Lighting Design; Angelisa Gillyard, Assistant Director/Choreographer and Charles Lasky, Stage ManagerDirected by Ty Hallmark*

April 22-May 20 2017
Joe’s Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt. Rainier MD 20712
(301) 699-1819
Tickets on Sale Now!