Surrender to AboveGroundZero
So I went to the AboveGroundZero festival this weekend to see Emily Conbere‘s Broken Dog Legs/The Jamal Lullabies, which I enjoyed. I actually didn’t know there was a festival, I just went to see the show. Apparently the festival was inspired by – or is a complement to? – Paul Bargetto‘s Undergroundzero Festival at Collective:Unconscious, which I totally meant to go to but, in the chaos that was this summer (you may recall I was working two jobs and didn’t sleep for about 6 weeks) I missed. Anyway – I’m going to try and see some more of the shows. It looks like there’s some interesting, promising work by young artists.
While I was there I ran into the festival’s co-curator/producer Josh Fox – founder, director and impresario of International WOW. He told me about the festival and also about the workshop that he’s conducting on Sunday afternoons as part of the festival. Its called SURRENDER and it is billed as “a new kind of action play” that is being created in collaboration with Iraq combat veteran Jason Christopher Hartley.
Here’s what happens:
1. You arrive at the theater.
2. They issue you BOOTS, a UNIFORM and a replica M-4 assault rifle (standard issue in Iraq and Afghanistan).
3. You train for 100 minutes in basic combat techniques, including rifle handling, room clearing and engaging the enemy with Jason Christopher Hartley, Author of “Just Another Soldier”, Iraq War Veteran and active duty reservist. www.justanothersoldier.com
4. You raid rooms full of insurgents and detain them. By the end of the afternoon you have learned something about the way a soldier has to think, move and act. You are propelled into a new realm of consciousness that you hadn’t expected.
6. You’re discharged (for the time being)
Sounds pretty wild! Here’s the details:
a first phase workshop
Written by Jason Christopher Hartley and Josh Fox
Conceived and Directed by Josh Fox
WHEN: January 13th, 20th and 27th (All Sundays) 3pm
WHERE: Sandford Meisner Theater 164 11th Ave (At 22nd street)
MAKE RESERVATIONS NOW (SPACE VERY LIMITED):
Members of International WOW Company trained in combat techniques with Jason Hartley when filming “Memorial Day” the company’s first feature film (Opens May 14th at select theaters). It was a surprisingly fun, exciting and meditative experience that went beyond words and challenged some of our most fundamental assumptions. Come, train and find out.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Will I get yelled at like in basic training in the movies?
No. That’s just in the movies.
2. Can all ages/types come to this training session? What about women?
All ages, all types are welcome, of course, including women. Women are a crucial part of the military in Iraq and Afghantistan today.
3. What if I don’t want to wear a uniform?
The uniform is a fundamental part of the training, so it’s required. We have uniforms and boots in all regulation sizes. There will be a place for you to change in private.
4. What if I really hate “audience-participation” kind of stuff?
This isn’t audience participation. There is no audience. There are no actors. This is a training session that is designed to cultivate cross-cultural thinking. It’s more like a class or a work-out session.
5. Is this theater?
Yes. But you should prepare for it more like a day at the roller-rink or the gym than a night out at a “play.”
6. What if I am anti-war? What if I am pro-war?
The training is non-ideological.
7. Who do you expect to come to this kind of thing?
In the first phase we expect our friends and family and people in the theater community who get emails from us to come to it. We will open the show, in a much larger format, July 4th 2008 and run it as long as possible, at least a few months. The military training phase (which is just act one of the larger show in the summer) will probably be most attractive to people who are athletic or who do extreme sports or extreme forms of theater training, such as Suzuki or Method acting or something like that. We are hoping for a broad base of audience appeal, eventually. If you belong to a Gym like Crunch or Equinox, etc. we would love to talk with you about how to get your fellow gym members involved in the project.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS PLEASE EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-913-9610
For More INFO about the SURRENDER PROJECT (FULL PRODUCTION OPENING JULY 4th, 2008)
go to: http://mapfund.org/grant_528.html
FOR MORE INFO on Jason Christopher Hartley
go to: www.justanothersoldier.com
FOR MORE INFO ON INTERNATIONAL WOW COMPANY
go to: www.internationalwow.com
FOR MORE INFO ON THE ABOVEGROUNDZERO festival: