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Monday, June 5, 2017

THE BOX: Disruption Inspired Performances Conclude JCTC Series

Disruption – the thematic series featuring theater, dance, readings, solo-shows and visual arts exploring the personal and political impact of our current era of social upheaval – comes to a close next Friday, June 16, with The BOX, one of Jersey City Theater Center’s (JCTC) signature events.
The BOX – named for the ‘black box’ theater at Merseles Studios –is curated  showcase of music, spoken-word, poetry, dance and other performances exploring the Disruption theme. Disruption – which opened on March 31st  – has been one of the most successful as well as well longest running series presented by JCTC.
JCTC presents series of theatre, performances, readings and visual arts on a topic global in scope yet relevant to the community.JCTC solicited submissions for The BOX, through notices in Back Stage and other publications, as well as entertainment & theater blogs and social media, then a panel, including members of JCTC’s Creative Board, reviewed all the submission using as a criteria artistic excellence, originality and how effectively the work reflected the Disruption theme.
For The “disruption” BOX, this curation process included an interesting evolution. As more musicians, writers and performers became aware of this unique showcase, JCTC received submissions that not only related to the theme, but songs, spoken-word pieces and other performances created specifically for the BOX.
It’s a development welcomed by Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “We already have had theater companies and dance companies create work specifically inspired by one of our topics, and of course, many of the visual artists have also submitted work they created specifically for the art show in the Merseles Studios gallery,” said Levina. “Seeing now that artists are creating work specifically for The BOX is an affirmation that our thematic  series approach – that incorporates many genres of art exploring a single topic – is having an impact. JCTC creates conversations between artists and the community and more and more artists want to join that conversation.”
The line up for this The BOX includes: Sylvana Joyce, Chrissy Roberts, Nerissa Tutiven , Zeynep Jane Bozok, Elena Zazanis, Frank Ippolito, Kenny Jaworski,  The Sensational Country Blues Band, Vita Morales, Terry Haman, Brian Lawlor, Rescue Poetix and Tiphanie.
Disruption received a high number of submissions for its BOX and according to, Dan Pieraccini, Production Coordinator, JCTC, who arranged and curated the event, one reason for this outpouring was how relevant the theme to the pervasive oppression many feel about our current era of tumultuous change.
“What's not a disruption, nowadays?” said Pieraccini. “As The BOX grows in its scope, we can begin to experiment more boldly, try some new tricks, and let our artist contributors really stretch their wings.  We're going to try and break up the cacophony with some moments of honesty, vulnerability, and positivity.”
Gary Van Miert  founder and front man of The Sensational Country Blues Wonders,  will be performing his original compositionI’ve Finally Got Myself Together But The World Is Falling Apart, a song he composed specifically for The BOX.  His band is well known on the local music circuit, and the opportunity to premier a new song in a black box  theater is a nice change from the typical gigs local musicians play, such as bars, clubs and outdoor stages. “I’ve went to a previous ‘boxes’ at Merseles Theater as a member of the audience and fell in love with the place,” said Van Miert. “The challenge of writing a song for this project appealed to me. Art, Theater and Music go hand in hand and I would like to do more performances in conjunction with the Art & Theater community in Jersey City.”
Host and emcee for the Borderless BOX is Anthony Wills jr., an actor, writer, singer, visual artist and performance artist. Wills has performed all over the country and has worked with Susan Sarandon, Philip Glass, and Tony nominee Marla Schaffe.  
Fans of the Jersey City and New York City music scene will delight in the fact that The BOX features a rare solo performance by Sylvana Joyce, of Sylvana Joyce & The Moment. Joyce will also share emcee duties with Wills for the evening, and will debut a new song Vultures, inspired by the Disruption theme.
“For Disruption. I decided to tackle the need of mankind to create power struggles;,” she said. “I think it's because we don't quite know how to transcend the survivalist mindset where it's every man for himself. It is the idea of artist as a beast with life as prey. The artist preys upon life – often the darker aspects of it - to devour, reveal, tear apart, disrupt the calm, passive mind – and revel in its savage glory.”
The BOX & Disruption Art Show/Gallery Closing
March 31st6:30pm - 10:00pm Artist Reception
7:30pm – The BOX performances begin
($5 suggested donation)
Jersey City Theater Center Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

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