(WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- Luna Stage’s ambitious and timely Voting Writes Project continues this month with world premiere plays, films, a concept album, and a costume party. Luna commissioned these myriad interactive events to inspire civic engagement in the November 2020 election. All events are free and open to the public via interactive livestream on Luna Stage’s Facebook and YouTube. Previous performances can be viewed on Luna's website and IGTV.
"These stories are revelatory and emboldening,” said Maxim Thorne, Managing Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, who collaborated with Luna Stage on the project’s development.
Luna will premiere a new voting-themed play every Thursday at 8:00pm thru Election Day, with an additional production on Monday, October 12 to highlight the October 13 voter registration deadline in New Jersey. Next up is Another Number in the Pool by Rachel Shapiro Cooper on October 8, an interview-based play exploring the deeply personal reasons why people don’t vote. Jenny Lyn Bader’s My First Time, premiering on Monday, October 12, interweaves tales of political initiation echoing across time and spanning generations. Amanda Sage Cumerford’s Florida!, a fantasia inspired by letters written to voters in swing states, premieres on October 15 directed by Jessica Brater. Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin’s Count Me In, chronicling the experiences of people who learn their vote was not counted, debuts on October 22. All six Voting Writes plays will stream live for a command performance on October 29, just a few days before the election.
Vote Couture, a virtual costume party hosted by actor/writer Melody Bates on Saturday October 10 at 8pm, will combat voter isolation by inviting participants to share photos and videos wearing attire that reflects their enthusiasm for civic participation. Following on the heels of Bates’ Frock The Vote virtual party last month, Vote Couture is an all-ages event that invites participants to show off their election-themed duds and share voting inspiration.
Luna Stage’s Voting Writes Project launched in September with the debut of Jim Knable’s concept album “Songs of Suffrage.” Knable joins Luna every Tuesday night through November 3 with a twangy new track and an interview-based podcast highlighting stories of voting throughout American history. The 50 Days/50 States Social DisDance Party brought participants across the country together to learn about registration deadlines and make a plan to vote, and Bernardo Cubría’s new play The Breakout Room about non-voters trapped in a dystopian Zoom reality premiered on September 17, and can be viewed on the Luna Stage Voting Writes website.
Other Voting Writes Project virtual offerings include the short films Teens Talk Voting and Mail-In Ballot Breakdown, both created by Maggie Borgen. The Power To Vote, a documentary created by Borgen, Turron Kofi Alleyne and Luna’s Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith, shows Boris Franklin’s experience of registering to vote for the first time after incarceration.
On October 16, 18, and 19, Luna will present When They Go Low, a solo conversation with Rajesh Bose exploring race in America and asking: “When they go low, how exactly do we go high?” Presented in collaboration with SOPAC, Bose’s conversations will be followed by virtual group discussions facilitated by Emmy-nominated TV producer Riaz Patel, who creates perspective-shifting experiences that inspire real-world change. Advance registration is required for this free event here.
The Voting Writes Project is created in collaboration with the Andrew Goodman Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. All Voting Writes events are open and free to the public. A complete calendar can be found online.
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District - a crossroads of cultures - Luna brings its communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change.
Luna Stage is the recipient of the 2019 People's Choice Award for Favorite Small Theatre in New Jersey. Luna has contributed to the development of over 100 new works for the stage, many of which premiered at Luna and have gone on to be produced in New York, regionally and internationally.
As producer, innovator, and educator, Luna is dedicated to eliminating barriers to participation and allowing all community members to nurture their own creativity and vision. Luna offers classes for children and adults, as well as opportunities for early-career and established theatre artists to develop and incubate new work.