RACE RELAY

A Multi-Media Production about Race Relations

 

Theatre is to cross our frontiers, exceed our limitations, fill our emptiness - fulfill ourselves…

It is for the spectator who has genuine spiritual needs and who really wishes, through confrontation with the performance, to analyze himself."   

Jerzy Grotowski    

                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                          

 

 

A project of Common Peace Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence

 

RACE RELAY is a theatrical production using drama, music and video to discuss the state of race relations today in America. Utilizing actors, recollections of actual personal incidents, and projected images from various media, RACE RELAY integrates entertainment, reality, humor, and frankness. This multi-media presentation, along with accompanying audience discussion, is designed to invite the audience to examine their feelings and attitudes about race in a non-threatening way.



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BACKGROUND

In 2007 an early half-hour version of RACE RELAY was presented at the Tinlark Gallery in Hollywood, CA with 5 actors and a percussionist.  The audience was small but enthusiastic. Their response: give us more, and build  more opportunities within the presentation for us to share our stories as well.

 Over the next two years a script emerged,  incorporating video clips from broadcast news and tv events that expose the problems of race in our society. We included quotes from other media: books, magazines, the internet, in an attempt to demonstrate the multitude of racial messages, insidious and otherwise, that bombard us in our daily lives. Finally, we affirmed that this theatrical presentation must be connected to an ongoing community dialogue, in order to make a significant impact. To accomplish this, we are pleased to partner with Common Peace, a dynamic organization experienced in sensitrivity workshops and community building, and which shares the same goals as RACE RELAY. 

 

As a performance that attempts to represent contemporary issues, RACE RELAY is constantly  being updated to include up-to-date references.  Therefore, this production is continually evolving to reflect the fluctuating nuances in our  society.  We believe it presents information that may be personally challenging, but ultimately non-threatening in its approach. It's our strong desire that this production creates a space where audience participants can let down their guard and experience an honest sharing that moves the conversation about race forward. 

 

Throughout this journey we have benefitted from the helpful presence of the City's Human Relations Commission, whose encouragement has been a godsend. Begining with the previous executive director, Rabbi Allen Frehling, who attended our early presentation,  to our relationship with the present director, Patricia Villasenor, the Commission's support is truly appreciated.  We look forward to their continued involvement.

 

CONTACT US

 

Race Relay Project

COMMON PEACE

1223 Wilshire Blvd # 472

Santa Monica, CA 90403

www.commonpeace.org

tel. (310) 390-7278

fax (818) 936-0573

 

 

Race Relay's Creative

Collaboration Team

 

Denise Hamilton

 

 

Denise is a writer-producer for tv and theatre, producing  documentaries and programming for NBC and ABC affiliates in New York and Los Angeles. Prior to moving to L.A. 

Denise was a stage director in N.Y. and was active in arts administration. She's a member of the Urban Possibilities theatre council, which provides writing workshops for

Skid Row residents; and is Co-Chairperson of the Black Assoc. of Documentary Filmmakers-West.  Her multi-media theatre piece "Parallax: In Honor of Daisy Bates" is published in the anthology WOMEN HEROES: Six Short Plays, Applause Books.

 

Colleen Passard 

Colleen is a novelist and screenwriter. She graduated from Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto, and completed her graduate studies in Existential Counseling Psychology in London, England. She is a certified life coach and conflict resolution mediator currently on the TSA mediation panel. As an artist, Colleen is committed to theatre as an alembic of transformation.

 

Colleen’s first novel The Betrayal of Innocence, a spiritual thriller, was published in 2004. She is currently working on her third novel.

 

Fred Sugerman

A movement artist and facilitator, Fred is the founder of Medicine Dance which he has taught for the past 13 years, and is offered through UCLArts and Healing.  Mr. Sugerman is a consultant with the Mindful Movement Program for Breast Cancer Survivors funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program in collaboration with the City of Hope, and is also a certified Dance Alive instructor.

SCHEDULED EVENTS

 

Spring, 2014 - Presentation of RACE RELAY

at the

Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum

Culver City, CA

A PILOT FOR THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

 

RACE RELAY is an educational tool that can be refined to assist different neighborhoods in recognizing, dealing and healing problems and wounds around racial tension.  It is our intent to make this multi-media theatrical production and the accompanying discussion available in various cities around the country.

 

As a performance that attempts to present contemporary issues, RACE RELAY is constantly being updated to include up-to-date references.  Therefore, this production is continually evolving to reflect the fluctuating nuances in our society. We believe it presents information that may be personally challenging, but ultimately non-threatening in its approach.  It's our strong desire that this production creates a space where audience participants can let down their guard and experience an honest sharing that moves the conversation about race forward.

 

Almost every week a new incident demonstrates that America needs to come to grips with its issues around race.  Americans would like to have a serious conversation about race, especially now.  They want to do it - but don't know how.  RACE RELAY proposes to be one step towards correcting that.

PARTICIPANTS/OBSERVERS FROM OUR WEST ATHENS PRODUCTION

The underlying message of RACE RELAY is that story is medicine; that telling stories with emotion at the core can be healing. So the healing begins with the process of hearing stories having a common thread; a thread that ties all human beings together - through our desires, our fears, and our racial biases.  The intention of the evening is to dissolve disunity among those who are seated together, enable them to see a pattern to our biases, and perhaps go beyond tolerance to understand the commonality of our frailties.

HISTORY

It began with a group of friends and acquaintances talking in a living room in 2005.  Colleen, Fred and Denise invited people of various ethnicities to come sit in a circle, and share a moment in their past when race made a difference.  Over the course of three afternoons we heard stories from folks of Latino, white,  black, Asian,  and mixed ethnic backgrounds. Their incidents were often sad, sometimes amusing or astonishing; always insightful and compelling.  Our intention was to draw upon these instances to create a theatre piece; one that would use the healing aspects of story sharing to address racial issues.  

From these stories, monologues were molded, and skits were crafted into a half-hour presentation. In 2007 this early version of RACE RELAY was presented at the Tinlark Gallery in Hollywood, CA with 5 actors and a percussionist.  The audience was small but enthusiastic. Their response: give us more, and build more opportunities within the presentation for us to share our stories as well.

Over the next two years a script emerged,  incorporating video clips from broadcast news and tv events that expose the problems of race in our society. We included quotes from other media: books, magazines, the internet, in an attempt to demonstrate the multitude of racial messages, insidious and otherwise, that bombard us in our daily lives. Finally, in 2011 we presented an extensive version of RACE RELAY in the West Athens community with the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission.  The result was a confirmation that this was an appropriate means to assist communities in addressing racial issues.

 

RACE RELAY

A MULTI-MEDIA

PRODUCTION

ON

RACE RELATIONS

COMMON PEACE

CENTER FOR THE

ADVANCEMENT OF

            NONVIOLENCE

 

Common Peace is a non-profit, Los Angeles-based organization with year-round programs and services in various stages of development and implementation.  It offers on-going support for education and the practical application of the principles and strategies of nonviolence.  The programs include trainings, seminars, community healing forums, and our annual 64 day Nonviolence Campaign.

 

Our Mission: To heal, empower and revitalize lives and communities through the practice of nonviolence as a way of life.  Through education, inspiration, and cooperative action, we are creating a sustainable society that honors the dignity and worth of every human being.  We believe that each person can move the world in the direction of peace through their daily nonviolent choice and action.

         Please see our website

 www.commonpeace.org

  

A COLLABORATION:

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION

AND

 COMMON PEACE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF NONVIOLENCE

 

Throughout this journey we have benefitted from the helpful presence of the City's Human Relations Commission, whose encouragement has been a godsend. Beginning with the previous executive director, Rabbi Allen Freehling, who attended our early presentation, to our relationship with the present director, Patricia Villasenor, the Commission's support is truly appreciated. 

Currently the Commission has selected communities to participate in RACE RELAY, and we look forward to their continued involvement.

 

"We shall learn to live together as brothers or we shall perish together as fools."

     Dr. Martin Luther King

 

 

The Human Relations Commission


In January of 1966, the Human Relations Commission of the City of Los Angeles came into being. It's mandate - according to the City's Charter - is to "Assist in assuring to all people the  opportunity for full and equal welfare and safety of all residents in the Los Angeles community through activities and programs designed to reduce discrimination, tension, and violence, and to advance improved intergroup relations.  The Commission supports efforts to create a city free of racism and violence where residents may live and work in an environment of respect, mutual tolerance, and human diversity.'

Please Donate

 

To help continue the work of Common Peace and the Race Relay Project, you may make a donation through PayPal, or send your check payable to:

 

Common Peace

1223 Wilshire Blvd #472

Santa Monica, CA 90403

Indicate 'Race Relay' on your check

Non-profit i.d. # 95-4684608