HOW TO END POVERTY IN 90 MINUTES (WITH 119 PEOPLE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW)

A SOJOURN THEATRE PRODUCTION Conceived and led by Michael Rohd. Created by Sojourn Theatre and collaborators. Presenting Sponsor: United Way of Greater Cleveland.

January 24, 2018 - January 28, 2018

7:30pm (pre-show begins at 7:00pm), Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, Gordon Square Theatre.

90 min

How do we tackle poverty in America? In our community? Over the course of 90 minutes, audiences listen, explore and ultimately decide how to spend $1,000 cash from that evening’s box office sales. An experiment in dialogue, collective decision-making, shared responsibility and the potential for art to transform our world, How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 119 people you may or may not know) is spectacularly eclectic in form, often delightful and occasionally uncomfortable. The production engages audiences alongside community experts, blending adventurous theatricality with real time, task-based connective encounters amidst strangers. Regional Premiere.

Featuring: Sojourn Theatre Ensemble Artists Bobby Bermea*, Christabel Donkor, Jono Eiland, Sara Sawicki, Alejandro Tey, Nik Zaleski and Cleveland Artists Wes Allen, Ananias J. Dixon, Tim Keo, Cathleen O'Malley

*Actor appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

The Gordon Square Theatre is ADA compliant featuring a ramped entrance and an all gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

All performances of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes are sold out. For all performances, we will be starting a waiting list at 6:00pm.

Tickets: $25 (or Pay What You Can, via in-person or phone purchases only).


The Creative Production Team Includes:

Rebecca Martínez (Sojourn Theatre) - Associate Director Samantha Egle - Stage Management Consultant Courtney Davis - Costume Consultant Shawn Ketchum Johnson - Original Scenic & Pre-Show Design Danielle Littman (Sojourn Theatre) - Community Partnerships Mentor Rick Sims - Sound Design/Composer Shannon Scrofano (Sojourn Theatre) - Original Video Design Raymond Bobgan - Producer Beth Wood - Line Producer Jesse Reagan Hernon - Stage Manager Benjamin Gantose - Lighting Design Angie Hayes - Sound Engineer T. Paul Lowry - Video Consultant/Engineer Ryan T. Patterson - On-Site Scenic Design Collaborator
Remarkable Rating:

CAMEO APPEARANCES:

Wednesday: Hon. Matt Dolan, Eric Gordon, Kristie Groves, Randy McShepard
Thursday: Hon. Bruce Akers, Bernie Moreno, Jeffery K. Patterson, LaJean Ray
Friday: Rachel Dissell, August Napoli, Ana Santiago, Hon. Matt Zone
Saturday: Hon. Nickie J. Antonio, John R. Corlett, Hon. Frank LaRose, Natalie Leek-Nelson
Sunday: Diane Howard, Chris Quinn, Natoya J. Walker Minor, Tracey Winbush


Full List oF Recipients

At each performance of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes, audiences were invited to consider 5 approaches most frequently deployed in the U.S. to fight poverty: 1) making opportunities, 2) education, 3) daily needs, 4) direct aid, and 5) system change. Every night culminated in an audience-wide vote deciding what approach to fighting poverty would lead to an onstage reveal of a local cause receiving $1,000 of that evening’s ticket sales. Click here to view the full list of recipients.


 

Pictured (left): Alejandro Tey+ in the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Pictured (right, from left): Bobby Bermea*+, Hannah Treuhaft+, La’Tevin Alexander, Andy Haftkowycz, Rebecca Martínez*+, Emma Bridges and Jake Simonds in the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Photos by Brud Giles.
*Actor appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. +Sojourn Theatre Artists.


About Sojourn Theatre and Creator/Director Michael Rohd

Sojourn Theatre has been developing projects that serve the needs of civic, social service and municipal partners since 1999. Its national/international touring and reputation for innovation as artists and engagement practitioners has led to awards, being featured as a “best practice model” for arts-based civic dialogue, articles in American Theatre Magazine and Yale’s Theater Journal and partnerships with non-arts sector organizations such as city and state legislative bodies and social service agencies.

How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 119 people you may or may not know) creator Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre, on faculty at Arizona State University and author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. His work focuses on social practice, civic practice and capacity-building projects through collaboratively designed arts-based events, engagement and participation strategies. He leads the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, where current initiatives include The Catalyst Initiative (supported by The Andrew Mellon Foundation) and Learning Lab (in collaboration with Metro Arts Nashville).


How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes on Ideastream

“‘This can really be a game changer,’ Bobgan said. ‘It’s just this drop in the bucket, but that drop is going to have this real ripple effect.’ … Bobgan says one of the most important parts of this production is that strangers are able to have conversations about a difficult topic, which he says will make a big difference in the community as people start to have those conversations outside of the theatre.”

Click here or on the image to watch a video and listen to a radio feature by Lisa Anne Ryan on ideastream and The Sound of Applause about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes.


Part play, part town hall meeting – How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes
is a deep dive into what you care about and value.

Get ready to go on a journey with 119 people you may or may not know.
Some may be your neighbors. Many may not look like you, or have the same beliefs as you do.

But together you will vote on strategies to end poverty, and $1,000 hangs in the balance.

This is a play that believes we can come together in a thoughtful and caring way to make a difference.


 

Pictured (left, from left): La’Tevin Alexander, Sasha Neufeld, Rebecca Martínez*+, Vin Shambry*, Alejandro Tey+, Jake Simonds and Sara Sawicki+ in the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Pictured (right, from left): Alejandro Tey+, Hannah Treuhaft+, Jake Simonds and Sara Sawicki+ in the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Photos by Brud Giles.
*Actor appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. +Sojourn Theatre Artists.


Two Articles about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes in The Plain Dealer

“‘The word philanthropy means love of humankind, and you love it fully by giving all of yourself — all of your gifts — to it,’ says Napoli. Those gifts can be a part of your paycheck, but your attention is just as valuable.”

“Can one show help change our corner of the world?” -Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer

Click here or on the thumbnail to the right to read the first article by Andrea Simakis about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes in The Plain Dealer.


“Why talk about poverty in a roomful of strangers?” one of the actors asked. “Because the chance to respectfully listen to strangers feels so rare these days. And I believe change can’t come without it.”

Click here or on the thumbnail to the left to read the second article by Andrea Simakis about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes in The Plain Dealer.


Raymond Bobgan and August Napoli on WE The People

“It’s a play, it’s a town hall meeting, it’s a discussion, it’s a facilitated conversation with the community, and it’s an education about strategies – that United Way is doing every day – to really address poverty, reduce poverty in our community.”

-Raymond Bobgan, CPT Executive Artistic Director

“When Raymond came to us with this idea, I thought, ‘Oh gosh, this is the perfect way to help demystify poverty.'”

-August Napoli, United Way of Greater Cleveland President & CEO

Click here or on the image to watch the full video.


How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes on WKYC

“Poverty is this giant, complex issue that affects a tremendous amount of people, and it’s something that we don’t often talk about – it’s often invisible in a lot of our communities.”

-Michael Rohd, Sojourn Theatre Founding Artistic Director

Click here or on the image to watch a 60-second feature on How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes on WKYC.


“Sold-out Cleveland Public Theatre show seeks to solve poverty in ’90 Minutes'” – Fresh Water Cleveland

“What this play asks of audience members is what we do every day at United Way. Through live theatre, we can expose people to the realities of this pervasive community problem and show them what’s possible.”

-August Napoli, United Way of Greater Cleveland President & CEO

Click here or on the image to read the full story about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes in Fresh Water Cleveland!


Cleveland Magazine Features How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes

“I don’t think there are a lot of spaces for civic discourse these days that are safe, imaginative and collaborative [besides theater],” says Rohd. “That’s a major value that the arts bring to our needs as a civic people.”

Click here or on the image to read the full article in Cleveland Magazine about How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes.


A message from Raymond

“This is a truly exciting collaboration between a national theatre, a local theatre, and United Way. For a long time, I’ve been wanting to bring this play to Cleveland but I couldn’t quite figure out the right partners. And it was just so exciting to have United Way of Greater Cleveland step up. So many of the challenges we face in our community come back to poverty and basic inequity. Theatre’s role is to help us as a community think deeply about what matters most.”

-Raymond Bobgan, CPT Executive Artistic Director


What to expect

How does How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes work?

Before the Show

You’re invited to arrive 30 minutes before the performance for a pre-show installation that’s part “interactive museum” and part “expo.” Experience the beginnings of the world of the play – and get ready to participate.

The Show

How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes combines discussion, statistics, drama, testimonials and even a dance number to create a kind of socially conscious variety show asking audience members to contemplate poverty in their community (in our community).

The Grand Finale

The evening culminates in an audience-wide vote that decides what approach to fighting poverty will lead to an onstage reveal of a local cause that will receive $1,000 of that evening’s ticket sales. How will you vote?

Post-Show

At the end of the show, we invite you to stay and continue the conversation CPT-style.


Sojourn Theatre’s performers and creative production team

Click here or on the image above to meet the performer/facilitators and creative production team heading to Cleveland from all over the country.


Pictured (left): Alejandro Tey+ and audience guests in conversation during the preshow of the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Pictured (right): Hannah Treuhaft+ interviews a local community cameo guest during the Regional Premiere of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY at Portland Playhouse. Photos by Brud Giles.
+Sojourn Theatre Artists.


How to End Poverty featured in the NEA’s blog

“Our hope is that whatever you come in thinking or feeling, we’re making a space that’s safe enough that you can have that point of view, but you can encounter different ideas.”

-Michael Rohd, Creator and Director of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 119 people you may or may not know)

Click here or on the thumbnail to read the full article in Art Works, the blog of the National Endowment for the Arts.


PRESENTING SPONSOR:


United Way of Greater Cleveland
mobilizes people and resources by creating solutions that improve lives and our community.

For more than 100 years, United Way has been committed to addressing the effects of poverty throughout our community and working to create positive change. United Way invests in solutions that work, and brings together partners across the region to tackle problems as a team because United Way knows we can drive greater impact through collaboration. They know that together, we’re greater.