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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jersey City Theater Center Invites Audiences to Explore Origins


How do our Origins influence our lives?

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) explores that question in a series of art events that begins October 29th and runs through December 3rd. .

The Origins series features community dialogue, theater, film, interactive workshops, multimedia presentations, readings and visual arts. JCTC selects topics that are global in scope yet relevant to the community, then through a multitude of different voices and art forms, examines the theme from various points of view.

Origins takes place in Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, which features  professional artist studios, art gallery and black box theater.

Origins — made possible in part with a grant from the New Jersey Council of the Humanities (NJCH) — has two objectives: looking at how our roots form both our identities and our communities; and finding out more about the different cultural backgrounds represented in our society.

JCTC-ORIGINS-olgalevina“The topic of Origins speaks directly to American society,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC (photo right). “Once the word got around that Origins was our next theme, the outpouring from artists and the community was overwhelming. That response was really a confirmation that Origins is a topic that many people care about.”

Jersey City, which earlier this year was declared “The most diverse city in the United States” by the financial website,, is a fitting setting for the Origins series. “With issues of race and immigration dominating current headlines and political debates, a deeper understanding of the meaning of Origins is more crucial than ever,” said Levina. “When you find out more about your own origins, you also realize a  core set of values is shared by different cultures.

Today, there are more people from different backgrounds living side by side and the best way to encourage tolerance is to instill an appreciation of different origins.”

October 29: 6:00pm-10:00pm

Origins Art Show: JCTC Gallery Opening & Reception; panel discussion with gallery artists and previews of upcoming events in Origins Series (free & open to the public)

November 6: 7:30pm-10:00pm

Before Me & After My Time: Multi-Media lecture & discussion on the Ramapough Lenape, New Jersey’s indigenous peoples, featuring Italian artist, Angelo Bellobono, Ramapough Lenape artist Jack Crying Raven and Chief Anderson Dwaine Perry, human rights and environmentalist activist. ($5 suggested donation)

November 7: 7:30pm-10:00pm

Through your Breath to your Roots: Interactive Workshop with international Artist Ekaterina Abramova, who uses symbols, images and breathing exercises to take the audience on journey of understanding how our roots influence our everyday lives. ($5 suggested donation)

November 12: 7:30pm-10:00pm

JCTC – Conversations: Readings on “American Origins” with Talk-Back moderated by Michael Aaron Rockland, Rutgers American Studies professor ($5 suggested donation)

November 13 & 14: 7:30pm-10:00pm

JCTC ArtLab: Origins, a revised theater piece performed by The Barn Collective, which was developed through the JCTC ArtLab theater residency program. (Tickets $15 online, $18 at door)

November 18: 7:30pm-10:00pm

JCTC New Play Reading: The Showman and The Spirit, a play about stereotypes, McCarthyism and race in 20th century America by Elizabeth Karlin, followed by Talk-Back featuring playwright and actors.

November 19: 7:30pm- 10:00pm

JCTC Books: Readings & Signings – an evening with two local authors whose books depict two very different perspectives on Origins & Race – Debra Devi/Language of the Blues and Joe Monteperto/ The Edge of Whiteness (free & open to the public)

November 20: 7:30pm-10:00pm

JCTC Films: Screening of Young Lakota, an award winning documentary about 20-somethings on the Pine Ridge reservation, followed by Talk-Back with the filmmakers, Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt (tickets $10 online/$12 at door)

December 3: 6:00pm-10:00pm

Origins Art Show: JCTC Gallery Closing (free & open to the public)

Jersey City Theater Center Inc. ・ 335-337 Newark Avenue ・ Jersey City NJ 07302

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