It seems that the power of theatre & community is alive and well in Brooklyn, NY! I was talking with my son on the phone today, (he is a Theatre Education Specialist and lives in Brooklyn) and he told me he saw an interesting show, called The Death of Bessie Smith written by Edward Albee. He said he was especially impressed with the show because of the impact it was having on helping the hospital and “It was a great example of the difference that theatre can make”.
The theatre group launched the show in order to highlight the threat of imminent closure that the hospital faced and to provoke a conversation about health, race, and class. They succeeded in driving publicity to the hospital’s crisis. Check out this New York Times Article by Anemona Hartocollis on Jan 8th, 2014. The theatre was originally planning a two week run and now wants to extend the show until February 9th. Tickets are free and they are accepting donations to cover costs.
Each year Interfaith Medical Center serves over 250,000 patients, representing every racial, ethnic and national origin group in Central Brooklyn with the majority of people being Caribbean-Americans and African-Americans. (Sounds like “Health” and “Care” to me!). The original two week run was sold out and today Interfaith received a 7.5 million lifeline in state aid according to The Real Deal: New York Real Estate News. It may be hard to prove the exact impact, yet I think this is an inspiring example of the value of theatre!