RALLY/CRY and GRRRL NATION to be presented as part of multi-city “National Month of Outrage” in response to 2016 Election on January 13 & 14, 2017 @ 7pm in the The Darkhorse Theatre.

Nashville, December 1, 2016 – Actors Bridge Ensemble joins theatre artists from across the United States in a series of theatrical events in response to the outcome of this year’s presidential election. Actors Bridge Ensemble will take part in the National Month of Outrage with two evenings of performances by Nashville citizens and artists with RALLY/CRY on January 13th and GRRRL NATION on January 14th.

National Month of Outrage was initially organized by Jonathan Alexandratos, an alum of the Nashville Repertory Theatre / Ingram New Works Lab, who pulled together a New York City-based team of artists to generate new work in response to the aftermath of this year’s election. However, it quickly became clear that producers and artists coast-to-coast were interested in generating similar protests for their own stages. In addition to Nashville and New York City, artists in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. are participating in this national dialogue to use theatre to process a diverse range of responses to the election of Donald Trump.

Jessika Malone, Actors Bridge Associate Artistic Director is the Nashville liaison to the nationwide effort.  She explains: “In a time when words feel meaningless and we’re struggling to make meaning from our feelings, the thing we can do to live truthfully under these unimaginable circumstances is to show up and put a show up. So, we’re gonna’ do that and we’re gonna’ do it now;  because we believe that words do matter and the performance of our individual experiences can unite us across all manner of differences, heal the hurting, and give us hope. We’re putting out a RALLY/CRY for a new nation of art-makers and risk-takers that want to make immediate change and then we’re going to make something happen, together. We are called to be both ‘tough and tender’ as theatre visionary Zelda Fichandler has taught us and so we gather to ‘share your despair and also lift you out of it’ because we’re not giving up and ‘the last to give up wins.’”

Vali Forrister, Actors Bridge Producing Artistic Director, feels a specific calling to give voice to women and girls right now.  “More than ever, we must give women and girls the strong platform to defy the cultural narratives that keep us small and silent. We must push back against those who want to diminish and divide us. We must stand united against oppression in all its forms.” Referencing her landmark writing and performance program for teenage girls, she adds, “Act Like a GRRRL has always given brave voices a safe place to grow. Now, we are inviting the artists and allies who support the GRRRLS to go first and model their resistance through creative expression. With GRRRL NATION, we will create an evening of monologues, stories, dance and song to give voice to strong women in our community with something to say.” Forrister will extend the community of support she cultivates through her Act Like A Grrrl program to the whole city in a performance event that celebrates truth-telling in these crucial times. Funds from the event will go to scholarships for teenage girls in financial need to attend Act Like a GRRRL in 2017.

RALLY/CRY, January 13 at 7pm, is an evening featuring new theatrical works written by artists in the tumultuous days and weeks following the election. To many, waking up the day after the election felt like waking up in a changed America. This event is a navigation of that new world. An explosion of response to the unthinkable, the event will include short performances by local writers, devisers and theatremakers performed by Nashville artists. Artists interested in participating should visit tinyurl.com/aberallycry for more details.

RALLY/CRY is co-produced by Actors Bridge Ensemble and The Darkhorse Theatre. The event is co-curated by Actors Bridge Ensemble Associate Artistic Director Jessika Malone and Nashville Repertory Theatre Playwright in Residence and Director of the Ingram New Works, Lab Nate Eppler. “This is a man who lies endlessly, unapologetically uses the language of hate, and purposefully exploits the very worst parts of our worst selves. And now he’s our president.” says Eppler.  “If his administration delivers on even one-tenth of these grotesque promises, a single month of outrage isn’t anywhere near enough. But it’s a place to start.  Besides, one of his first acts as President-elect was to take a swing at the theatre. I’m delighted to be a part of the response.”

GRRRL NATION, January 14 at 7pm, is an evening of monologues, dances and songs to give women’s stories of resistance a voice at a time when misogyny and hate speech is being legitimized at the highest levels of government.  We envision this as an evening of inquiry, engagement, solidarity and hope. For more information on participation, visit https://actorsbridge.org/grrrl-nation/

GRRRL NATION is co-produced by Darkhorse Theater and Actors Bridge Ensemble’s Act Like a GRRRL program and curated by Forrister. “While many of us feel powerless in the face of current political rhetoric, inside the GRRRL Nation, we can create an intentional community where we can say the difficult things and be fully seen and heard. Sharing our stories connects us across vast differences and allows us to understand and empathize with each other’s struggles and challenges,” Forrister explains. “Bearing witness is a sacred act. It is perhaps the most important thing we can give each other right now: our full, undivided attention.”

The National Month of Outrage takes place January 1-31, 2016 at theatres in New York City, Nashville, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D. C. RALLY/CRY takes place January 13 at 7pm at Darkhorse Theatre and GRRRL NATION takes place January 14 at 7pm at Darkhorse Theatre. Advance Tickets for both events are available at tinyurl.com/nashvilleoutrage. Proceeds from the events will go to local social justice organizations serving those groups most vulnerable under the incoming administration.

About Actors Bridge Ensemble: For the last 21 years, Actors Bridge has been a force on Nashville’s cultural landscape. As an actor training program, we have worked with over 4000 students who have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as film and television. There are few local productions that do not include a performer in some way influenced by Actors Bridge training. As a professional theater company, our mission is to tell the stories that impact our community by producing provocative and socially relevant theater, creating new theatrical works, showcasing emotionally authentic ensemble acting and fostering a nurturing environment for theater artists at any stage in their professional development to take bold creative risks. We have produced over 90 plays, including 15 world premieres and 45 Nashville premieres. The company is led by co-founder Vali Forrister.  For more information: actorsbridge.org

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