Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights December 2019

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, January 18, 2020

New York Theater Abruptly Cancels Play on Big Oil, Facebook and Trump

Brief Statement from Josh Fox about 

For the past week I have been performing my solo show THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED at The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival. The remainder of the show's run was cancelled today without notice nor any attempt to communicate clearly the reasons for the cancellation.
THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED is a highly political monologue that addresses our current crisis of truth and misinformation in this year's highly charged electoral atmosphere. It calls directly for non-violent political revolution and it addresses the connections between big oil, big data and white supremacy. The project is a clear, straightforward indictment of the politics of misinformation of Donald Trump, Facebook, and the oil industry, and it calls for direct audience reactions to its content. It is a vitally important work of art that nightly standing ovations, strong reviews, and vibrant public reaction prove needs to be seen.
The Public Theater continually put up roadblocks to the show's success and promotion in the run up to the premiere and the staff was openly hostile towards the show in its brief tenure at the theater.

This includes verbal threats, coercion, angry tirades and physical intimidation by festival producers including Mark Russell, Jon Grenay and other Public staff members towards me personally and to members of our team. These clear violations of the code of conduct of the theater were noted, and we emailed 4 written statements to The Public Theater.. Our complaints were ignored and belittled.
In response to acts of aggression towards me, I continually and passionately pleaded with Mark Russell, Ruth Sternberg and others, saying that we were feeling unsafe and that under present conditions we felt we could not do the show. I was accused of being too emotional, complaining too loudly, and then, without notice they cancelled the remaining run of the show.
We at International WOW Company feel strongly that the use of intimidation tactics and ultimate cancellation are a clear strike against the politics of our show and that The Public Theater was uncomfortable with the outright call for non-violent revolution we were expressing. The Public Theater continually suppressed our message. We created two promotional videos at our own expense - The Public Theater told us that they would not run them because they were too political.
For a theater that promotes itself as a place for social justice, to see the outright ban and shut down of this show, reveals a deep underlying institutional hypocrisy. The Public Theater is clearly manifesting the authoritarian politics of our time.
As a Jew and as a political organizer and because I take on the oil and gas industry, I have been targeted my whole life. The theater is where I went for a refuge against this kind of daily physical violence. I did not expect to find that kind of violence and suppression at The Public Theater, yet several anti-semitic tropes were used by The Public Theater's staff against me personally throughout this horrible episode.
I am appalled and shocked and I cannot believe that this kind of behavior would occur in our theater community. Our whole company is in shock. We cannot accept this.
We, however, are undaunted in our desire to present THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED.
We will be running performances of the show at our small rehearsal space in Brooklyn, WOW HAUS, on Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8pm. We can only fit about 50 people into our space, but we wish to honor all ticket holders for our remaining shows AND ANYONE ELSE who wants to come. Free of charge.
We will be looking for theaters to continue the run of this show immediately. We reserve the right to legal action against The Public Theater and the Under The Radar Staff for their actions.

Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th at 8pm
37 Grand Ave
Brookyln, NY 11205

Please contact for reservations for shows
and for press and all other inquiries about theaters.
Thank you!



"Hard hitting, devastating, mind blowing, critical theater. IF this doesn't wake you up to climate catastrophe I don't what will. The TRUTH IS OUT!" - Eve Ensler
"Fox is an ideal narrator who grabs you by the hand and pulls you along for the entirety of the overwhelming's refreshing to feel confident that you're being told the truth." - Theatermania
"The show is a mind-blowing, terrific must-see." - Theater Pizzazz
"Entertaining, funny, insightful and important. " - Tim Robbins
"A Masterpiece. Truly one of the most extraordinary tracts I've ever read and will re-read.
There's Josh Fox, wearing a gas mask, delivering pizzas through the ash cloud of the Twin Towers; sitting in a tub with a toilet bowl lid over his head while a hurricane rips the roof off his motel room; burning his nose in a Standing Rock sweat lodge. This guy has taken the Deepwater Horizon, September 11, Cambridge Analytica, Hurricane Sandy and the dead-certain howling end to our civilization and turned it into breathtaking entertainment. Yes, it's filled with all kinds of shit-I-didn't-know-that facts but you just can't wait to get to the next page. The planet's gone psycho and Fox is the shrink we've been waiting for." - Greg Palast
"Josh Fox is a remarkable human being, and this is a remarkable document, bringing together his many lives: artist, truth-teller, campaigner. These are not, it turns out, different tasks. They're the same job, on different days. Not many Americans have seen as much as Josh Fox in recent years—not many white Americans, anyway. And you could forgive him if he'd turned bitter, turned in on himself. It is noteworthy, and even noble, that he has taken the opposite tack, become ever more immersed in the hurly burly of our political life. In the time of Trump that's no small gift to the Republic, for we need people with his slashing ability to communicate across the sea of idiocy that threatens to numb us all. Art is for breaking through numbness, and Josh Fox is an artist above all. That his art flows from fact, from science, from study makes it not dry and academic but immediate and desperate and necessary." - Bill McKibben
"Josh Fox is truly one of my favorite artists because his soul and his political determination and are intertwined. With The Truth Has Changed he delivers a jaw-dropping journalistic expose and a radical act of love as a human being. His performance is nuanced, riveting and relentless. Don't miss it." - Frances Fisher

Praise for Josh Fox as writer, director, filmmaker and theatre maker:
"There are few filmmakers who epitomize the idea of the democratization of cinema in the digital age more than one Josh Fox."
"Josh Fox is one of the most Adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde. "
Jason Zinoman, NY TIMES
"Josh Fox is one of downtown's most audacious auteurs."  
- Time Out NY, re: Hyperreal America

Praise for How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can't Change
-The Globe  
"INSPIRING!…It motivated me to be a part of the growth of change."
-Daily Buzz
"EXTRAORDINARY...refreshingly startling... a pleasure"
-Daily Journal
"POTENT -the movie takes heart in communities that have found small-scale solutions…Rough-and-ready determination'
"ENERGETIC AND POSITIVE!   [A] story about actions real people can take to engage in this important issue"
- Salt Lake Tribune
-Davi Sing, Medium
"Gasland may become to the dangers of natural gas drilling what "Silent Spring" was to DDT. The rare example of cinema art that is also an organizing tool, the pic has a level of research, gutsiness and energy that should generate sensational response everywhere it plays."- Variety
"On the want-to-see- scale, GASLAND tops the list" - Washington Post
"Riveting" - LA Weekly
"GASLAND just might be the best film of the year." - The Huffington Post
"Over the past 8 days I was lucky enough to view 40 films...The most important film I saw was the documentary GASLAND...This examination of air quality and more specifically drinking water under attack from NYC to Ft. Worth was very eye opening." - USA TODAY
GASLAND is "well done. It holds people's attention. And it could block our industry." - Oil and Gas Journal President of the Natural Gas Supply Association
"VOLCANIC…With humor and inquisitiveness, Fox has delivered 2010's most alarming wake-up call." - Hammer To Nail
"Josh Fox does it again in a brilliant GASLAND sequel"
- Alternet
"Gasland Part II shows how much higher the stakes have grown in the battle over fracking since Josh Fox made its predecessor."
- Grist

Previous Praise for Josh Fox's theatre work:
"International WOW Company is making theater unlike anything else on the New York stage. Give in to it."
-Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
Theatergoers are in a squad, racing through rooms and facing tense scenes in enemy territory: a pregnant mother bristles with resentment at the invasion of her home; lovers are interrupted in an embrace; a lifeless body conceals a machine-gun magazine.... direct, immediate and focused"
-NY Times
"Unlike anything I've ever heard of in theater or anyplace..."

"The hallway was hot, dark and loud. Bursts of gunfire and screams echoed through the warren of rooms. A frantic Iraqi woman in a headscarf blocked the doorway. "Only women and children here," she said. I pushed past her, and saw a man with a gun squatting in the corner. I switched my rifle to semi-automatic and fired twice....SURRENDER plunges Theatergoers into the chaos, adrenaline, dread and camaraderie of modern urban warfare...SURRENDER ups the ante by putting the audience, quite literally, in the soldier's shoes."  
-Wall St. Journal

"Nothing has addressed the war in Iraq—or war in general—quite like International WOW Company's Surrender."
-Time Out, New York

"Fearlessly inventive…virtuosic…very powerful…[The Expense of Spirit] makes us want to question ourselves and make deeper sense of what binds the everyday to the cataclysmic."
- Margo Jefferson, The New York Times
"Just know this: The Expense of Spirit is among the most engrossing, involving, and challenging new stage works to arrive this season. Anyone who longs for an authentic, visceral adventure in theatre needs to see it; so does anyone who cares about the future of American drama."
- Martin Denton,
"Breathtaking…unconventional…beautiful…The Expense of Spirit is a stunning exploration of the impact of grief on human beings and their relationships to one another…Just see The Expense of Spirit. Otherwise it becomes difficult to imagine how sadness could be so thrilling."
- Julie Sharbutt,
"Josh Fox is one of the most Adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde. [Death of Nations is] Hallucinatory…chilling…stunning…In a theatrical landscape that often suffers from blandness and predictability, [this] is that rare show where you never know what will happen next." 

- Jason Zinoman, New York Times re: The Comfort and Safety of Your Own Home
"It challenges your senses. It haunts your dreams. It makes you think. It leaves you wanting more…Don't miss a minute of this endlessly innovative international theater company."
- Ahn Behrens, Jersey Journal re: The Comfort and Safety of Your Own Home
"In this bursting epic, Fox blends the old and the new, earnest passion and winking irony…[showcasing] a brilliantly resourceful mastery of stagecraft…with his meteoric International WOW Company."
- Jason Zinoman, Time Out NY re: THE BOMB
"The ambitious and creative International WOW full of such energy and unpredictable action that its what-they-might-do-next possibilities command interest."
- Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
"An incredible, world-encompassing, 30-actor tour de force…International WOW has deservedly gained a reputation as one of the most innovative and prolific theater groups around…Stunning theatrical power"

 - Ben Winters, re: THE BOMB
"Hellish and wondrous visions…Josh Fox is one of downtown's most audacious auteurs."  
- Time Out NY, re: Hyperreal America
"Josh Fox is a wunderkind. A Powerhouse director."
- Time Out NY, re: Hyperreal America

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1 comment:

jpierre said...

Take it on the road!

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