(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents a full slate of international programming, introducing audiences to global artists with a series of online and in-person events, kicking off with #HudsonGives 24-hour online giving event on Thursday, May 12, 2022. #HudsonGives unites local communities around local causes to benefit hundreds of area nonprofits. Donations can be made online between now through May 18.
“Because of our dedicated supporters across Jersey City and Hudson County, we, in turn, can support hundreds of incredible local, national, and international artists. Last year, over 400 artists participated in JCTC programs and productions,” says Olga Levina, JCTC’s executive producer. “#HudsonGives helps us fulfill our mission to create conversations through the arts. This week alone, our programs feature artists representing countries across 3 continents. It is an honor to be able to bring such high caliber talent – from IDR and Palesa Mazamisa to Dr. Tawanda Hubbard and Molly Kirschner – to audiences here,” she adds.
On Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 12:00pm (ET), JCTC presents an online staged reading of the powerful play Lazy Boy by Palesa Mazamisa, a South African playwright. The production features actress Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala and tells the story of a woman seeking to triumph against all odds. Set in a time of fear and anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the play takes the audience through a journey of desperation, anger, sorrow, and ultimately a sliver of humanity.
The Red Ants are scurrying about, creating piles of destruction in an already bleak informal settlement. Agnes is left despondent and hopeless in the space that was once her shack, but she vows not to give up. She addresses two Red Ants carrying away the only possession she cares about, her chair. Already exhausted, depressed and frustrated, she needs the lazyboy to get through the assault on her dignity, her right to live in a home, however shambolic it may be. So she begs the young men to return the chair, her symbol of independence, the first item she bought for herself after leaving the man who used money to control her. Her sanity is vested in this chair, it’s her solace, her comfort spot that allows her to think and hatch a plan to move back to her home province where she’s left her two daughters in the care of their father, her ex. Lazy Boy is a woman’s plea for her dignity amidst chaos.
Tickets are $10 and available for purchase online.
On Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 2:00pm (ET), their online talk series “Black Space” returns with an all-new episode. Host and JCTC associate artistic director Ashley Nicole Baptiste welcomes accomplished social work educator and practitioner Dr. Tawanda Hubbard. Hubbard and Baptiste will discuss the fatigue and challenges of living up to being resilient in the face of negative images and messaging about Black women.
Dr. Hubbard is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers University School of Social Work (RUSSW). She was honored in 2021 with a national Teaching Leadership Award in Higher Education by JV Educational Consultants. In addition, Dr. Hubbard is a licensed clinical social worker with over 17 years of child welfare, mental and behavioral health, advocacy, case management, and clinical experience with a small private practice and consulting firm. She is currently pursuing a second doctorate in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University. This event will be streamed live on Facebook Live and YouTube via Zoom.
The event is free and open to the public. Click here to register.
Also on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 6:00pm (ET), musical group IDR (Italian Doc Remix) performs live at JCTC Studios (165 Newark Ave., Jersey City, enter on Barrow St.). IDR includes vocalist Francesco Pellegrino, guitarist composer Marco Cappelli, clarinetist Doug Wieselman, trombonist Roberto Schiano, contrabassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Jim Pugliese.
IDR (Italian Doc Remix) has carved out a unique musical niche. The ensemble fuses jazz improvisation, rock, and Italian folkloric/early music sources to excavate the cultural memory of generations of Italian immigrants and explore the musical space where traditions blur and cross-contaminate, memories fade and distort, and new post-immigration sounds are born. IDR’s newest album, Pandemonium, takes their project to the next level with the addition of a half-dozen of Southern Italy’s finest musicians to the group’s usual lineup.
Tickets are $20 and available for purchase online.
In addition to these newly added events, JCTC’s 6th Annual New Play Festival enters its second week with an in-person event on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 7:30pm (ET) also at JCTC Studios; doors open at 7:00pm. JCTC will showcase a full-length play, Woman with a Parasol, written by Molly Kirschner and directed by Hamutal Posklinksy. A Q&A and discussion will follow the performance.
Woman with a Parasol tells the story of a neighborhood cat who frequents three different households, taking the place of what is missing in each. It takes strength for a couple to bring a child into a world like ours: a polluted world with a limited lifespan. It requires strength for an abandoned young man to love, particularly to love a cat that belongs to someone else, which he can’t possibly keep. Strength is also what drives a woman’s decision to eschew a conventional life to pursue her artistic dreams, even at the cost of forsaking her child. In this tale of interconnectedness and unspeakable emotional distances, the characters struggle to find the strength necessary to fulfill their desires, and in the process, cause harm to those closest to them.
This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2022 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; New Jersey Historical Commission.
Tickets are free with $20 suggested donation. Click here for tickets.
Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our times through the arts. Co-founded by Executive Producer Olga Levina, an immigrant from Belarus, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) produces and presents universal yet locally relevant works, emphasizing social justice and human rights.
Since 2006, JCTC has provided a platform for all artistic voices to be heard. When we share stories through the arts, we spark meaningful dialogue that leads to our ability to build a greater understanding of each other, mutual respect, and better communities together.