THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EDWARD SNOWDEN

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER TELLS HIS OWN STORY IN LOCAL ACTIVIST’S SATIRICAL NEW PLAY
Thursday, November 14th at 8:00 pm.
PROP THTR, 3502-04 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
$10 tickets on sale at brown paper tickets.
Friday, November 15th at 7:30 p.m.
The Berger House Mansion, 6205 N Sheridan Rd Chicago, IL 60660
$20 tickets on sale at brown paper tickets.

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CHICAGO – W.C. Turck, a Chicago-based activist and playwright, has announced the premiere of The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden, a comedic poke at the security state and spy culture through the (fictional) words of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, appearing consecutively at Prop Thtr and Berger House this November.
 
The man responsible for one of the biggest intelligence leaks in US history is talking again, but this time he’s telling his own story. In this satirical triumph by local activist W.C. Turck, Edward Snowden emerges from his undisclosed location to hold a very personal press conference on what brought him to expose the dirtiest secrets of our National Security Agency. With a razor wit, Snowden reflects on his journey, his new home in lovely Russia, and the comfort he takes in our government’s promise not to torture or execute him. 
 
With a directing team plucked from political sketch comedy company Democracy Burlesque, The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden takes an irreverent, poignant look at freedom and privacy in our time. Is Snowden a traitor? A hero? Could this be “the Most Dangerous Play in America?” You decide.
 
“We think this is an important play. We think this is a play that needed to be done now,” said Turck. “One of the things we want to do here is talk about privacy and freedom, and how the two are inextricably connected. We’re going to do that in a fun, entertaining and comedic way with a great cast and a great directing team.”
 
This is the second play by W.C. Turck, following his 2011 Occupy Chicago collaboration, Occupy My Heart, A Revolutionary Christmas Carol. Based upon the Dickens classic, Occupy My Heart was written as a celebration of the movement, intended to bring the spirit and message of the Occupation to a broader audience. It gained national attention with a series of free performances at Grant Park, Prop Thtr, and Studio BE. Now Turck has once again taken up his pen to illuminate another issue with comedy, heartbreak, and hope.
 
“The goal is to encourage as much conversation as possible,” said Turck. “And hopefully some change from the current security system that we feel threatens our democracy, civil rights, and the rights of those around the world.”
 
 
The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden
 
Thursday, November 14th at 8:00pm.
PROP THTR, 3502-04 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
$10 tickets on sale at brown paper tickets.  
 
Friday, November 15th at 7:30 p.m.
The Berger House Mansion, 6205 N Sheridan Rd Chicago, IL 60660
$20 tickets on sale at brown paper tickets.
 
For more information, visit the show’s official website: RepublicofSnowden.com.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
 
W.C. Turck is a Chicago-based author, activist, broadcaster and playwright who in 2011 wrote and produced the Occupy movement-inspired play Occupy My Heart, A Revolutionary Christmas Carol, which drew standing room audiences and received national attention. Turck grew up amid the civil rights movement, visited the Pine Ridge reservation during the “uprising” in the mid 1970s, witnessed the war in Bosnia, and organized relief for Rwanda during the genocide. Those momentous events have informed his work ever since. The first of his three novels, Broken, One Soldier’s Unexpected Journey Home, was recommended by the National Organization of Mental Health Institutes for its treatment of PTSD. His second book, Everything for Love, a memoir of his experiences in the Bosnian conflict brings a wholly unique human explanation for the conflict. An expert in Balkan history and culture, Turck studied nationalism and genocide, looking for a simple, single framework common to all nationalist movements; an idealized culture, victimized demographic, an external enemy and an internal betrayer. His third e-novel Burn down the Sky, is based on his very real experiences on the front lines of the so-called war on terror. In March of 2012, he published the novel The Last Man, about a world run by a single corporation. Turck is currently the co-host of the popular Chicago public access TV show Revolution and Beer in which a panel discusses political issues over great craft beer. For more visit, RevolutionandBeer.com.
 
 
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS:
 
Celia Forrest last collaborated with Commedia Beauregard as the assistant director for Corleone, and has previously stage managed the Chicago debut of A Klingon Christmas Carol. Celia studied theater at Macalester College in Minnesota and spent five years working for Stages Theatre Company as a resident artist, actress, stage manager and teacher. She is a producer for Democracy Burlesque, Chicago’s longest running political sketch comedy troupe. 
 
Erik Parsons is currently the artistic director for Democracy Burlesque, Chicago’s only political sketch comedy company (only the politics are naked!). He also helped found the New Suit Theatre Company (entertaining educational theatre for adult audiences) where he served as the associate artistic director from 2009-2011. Growing up in a family of artists and educators, Erik developed a deep affinity for live performance at a young age. Prior to setting down roots in Chicago in 2006, Erik was life-long nomad, having lived in 15 cities and 10 states at last count. Through his travels and experiences, Erik has developed what he calls an ‘equal opportunity sense of snark’, which infuses his artistic work with a distinct sense of humor and unyielding honesty. When he is not producing, directing and/or performing, Erik works with wonderful children on the autism spectrum with HFAS to help them reach their immeasurable potential.
 
 
ABOUT THE CAST: 
 
Nick Haugland (Edward Snowden) is from Buffalo, New York, and after finishing college at the University of Tampa, moved to Chicago to join Second City. Currently he is a write of wrong and actor of evil with Democracy Burlesque, Chicago’s only political sketch comedy comedy. Past credits include The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Tampa bay Performing Arts Center, Die Mommy Die! at the Orlando International Fringe Festival and, most recently, at the Abby Hoffman Festival in Chicago.
 
Arne Saupe (NSA Agent Flenkins) came to Chicago from Kent, Ohio with a degree in Applied Mathematics and has since become a graduate of the acting program at the Second City Training Center. He has appeared in such plays as Johnny Theatre and Leaving Iowa; InnateVolution Theatre’s The Infernal Machine, Right as Rain,and the 5-3-1 New One-Act Play Festival; the Cornservatory’s Dr. Astronaut; and Commedia Beauregard’s Master Works: The Van Gogh plays.   
 
Catherine Povinelli (Russian Agent) was a Finalist in The Most Dangerous Stand Up Comedy Competition. She is an Ensemble Member in The Hard Comedy Offline @ The Camden Fringe Festival London, Belle in The Hard Comedy YouTube Channel’s Real World Disney Princesses, Semi Finalist in London’s Funny Women Stand Up Competition 2012, and has performed numerous stand-up gigs in London, Edinburgh and Chicago. 
 
 
ABOUT THE VENUES: 
 
PROP THTR is a Chicago storefront theater focused on original or newly adapted theatrical works based in literary traditions. Prop was established in 1981, making it one of the oldest surviving non-equity theaters in Chicago. Prop Thtr has produced over 80 productions in its history, over 40 of them being world premieres, and is home to a number of Resident Companies and guest performances. For more, visit PropThtr.org.
The Berger House Mansion is a breath-taking Historical Landmark located on Sheriden Rd in the Edgewater community, the park overlooks beautiful Lake Michigan. As an early proponent of developing street-end beaches on Chicago’s north side, Berger Park Cultural Center has now become a neighborhood icon.
The mansion also boasts a magnificent outdoor space along Lake Michigan with breathtaking  views. Located just minutes from downtown, this unique space offers many opportunities for special event and meeting rentals including three rooms that can be used individually for intimate gatherings or together for functions that can accommodate up to 100 guests.
Berger Park
Chicago, IL 60660

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Reactionary of The Week: Penis Riot!

putin

Between this and the upcoming play that I’ve written and produced, “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden,” the likelihood that I’ll be welcomed in Russia any time soon is rather remote. That’s all right though. I hear the Chinese are still a bit pissed at my loud and vocal disappointments over their little massacre in Tiananmen Square back in 1989. Not like I was jumping on a plane tomorrow, so whatever. For that matter, after this, I probably won’t be welcome in many fundamentalist-leaning parts of this country. Have I ever told you how much there is to do in the City of Chicago? It’s almost bottomless with cultural diversity, as long as you don’t mind block-to-block segregation, and huge swaths of the city (usually more melanin deficient areas) neglected to the point of post-apocalyptic nightmare scenarios, but I digress.

It’s just that, at Revolution & Beer, we take hypocrisy and right-wing extremism very seriously. That said, Vladimir Putin serves these ingredients to the world with a fresh out-of-the-wok Yakisoba that would make Yoshihiro Murata nervously start sharpening his knives. But recently he’s done us all one better in the great human leap backwards.

While homophobia is nothing new in the history of power-hungry macho patriarchs hell-bent on intruding into people’s private lives when they disagree with them, the full frontal assault against homosexuals sounds yet another warning siren that too many of our species enjoy moon-walking on human rights and true liberty. Yes, the LGBTQ community is fighting the fight full-on now, but we all risk damage if we don’t “stand our ground.” How does that make your individualist streak feel? Doesn’t affect you? Well, first they came for…

Reeking Off Your Shirt

Question: does anyone see the really twisted logic in someone who professes himself as straight persecuting a band called Pussy Riot? The heter-over-confidence spews forth with all the questioning of a high school freshman’s first locker room shower experience. I mean, after all, it’s not like it was an actual riot that had to be put-down with hoses. And, from a sexually non-repressed perspective, would it be so bad if they actually did riot? Even a little? And, from a sex-positive perspective: what’s supposed to be liberatory or fun about extinguishing such a thing?

What should we make of this manly man who promotes himself as a progressive alpha male. Surely you’ve been seduced by the display of studly (homo-erotic?) topless photos of his excellency fishing, hunting, and engaging in the very non-gay activity of riding horses bareback shirtless in an Indiana Jones hat, dribbling-out laws and programs denying the simplest human rights for homosexuals in Russia. And in all seriousness, this issue is a test for the sincerity of the human race’s so-called declarations and pretense at human rights; and progress.

On the show some weeks ago we discussed women’s rights, and how they cannot be judged episodically. That is to say that the fact that Maggie in accounting gets a big raise or a promotion, or can vote and drive a car in St. Louis, isn’t evidence that sexism has ended. Does she have autonomy over her own body, or can the state intercede? More importantly, those rights must be judged amid the totality of the quality of rights the world over. The greatest of rights in one part of the world are degraded by the lack of rights elsewhere.

Feminism and Beer prt 2 here.

WOW!! Did you hear there are now annual Gay Pride Parades in cities across America?!

Yes, but we’re still dealing with nominal acceptance in much of the country, and significant acrimony from the Right-wing community about something that they have the full liberty not to engage in. This regardless of the fact that homosexual relationships are comparable in outcome to heterosexual ones, and that homosexuals contribute just as much if not more to growth and creativity within the U.S. economy. The far right evidently believes that co-existence, or allowing it, means willful participation. They’re just afraid we’re all going to turn gay. They really care that much.

While it is no longer a crime to be gay, or won’t any longer lead to a court martial or dismissal from the military, the reality of gay marriage being legal in several states still feels tentative. The culture still pretends anything not aligned with a strict bipolar sexuality is deviant, or is nominally tolerated. That carries a social sort of oppression on truly arbitrary and interchangeable terms that is far more potent and dangerous, and antithetical to liberty than any government could conceive on its own. When the government tacitly or overtly supports or encourages discrimination or worse, there should be an outcry from all people of conscience or humanity.

For anyone, this video of these Russian kids being harassed, tortured, and terrorized for their supposed sexuality should be an outrage.

Not only are these kids tormented and scarred far worse than any personal pejorative of “gayness” could ever accomplish, but these savages delight so much in their terrorism; reminiscent of images of German soldiers delighting as they teased and taunted Jews during the Holocaust. You could never accuse Nazi wannabes of being inconsistent in their tactics. Long live Neo-Fascism! :p

The true danger here is in becoming subjective about humanity and the humanity of others. Human rights must remain human rights without qualification, and the standard must be to hold oppressors accountable. It is Putin’s discriminatory laws and attitudes regarding homosexuals that threaten to make everyone’s rights ultimately negotiable. Perhaps we should deem his approach a “Penis Riot,” but that one has been raging for centuries.

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