The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) and Amnesty International USA will be hosting a rally on Wednesday, January 19 from 12 PM to 1 PM to show solidarity and support for the persecuted Belarus artists and activists, including Belarus Free Theater whose powerful production of BEING Harold Pinter was just staged to great acclaim at this year's Under the Radar Festival.
The hour-long peaceful demonstration will be held on the southwest corner of East 67th Street and Lexington Avenue, just down the street from the Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the United Nations, and will feature speeches and shows of support from protesters and the theatrical community, including Linda Emond, Stephen Spinella, Lynn Nottage, Gail Papp and Oskar Eustis. Protesters will wear gags to show the horror of persecution and the injustice of suppressed speech.
After recently meeting with and gaining the support of Hillary Clinton, the group will deliver a petition from The Public Theater, Amnesty International USA and Belarus Free Theater to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the start of the rally that sheds light on the infringements to the Belarusian artists' freedoms and rights following the disputed elections in Belarus on December 19th, 2010 and implores the United Nations to take action and investigate these injustices.
Adapted and Directed by Uladzimir Shcherban, BEING Harold Pinter, by the Belarus Free Theater, played a sold out run at this year's Under the Radar Festival and performed an encore benefit performance on Monday, January 17 to raise money for the persecuted theater company. The powerful play incorporates transcripts from Belarusian political prisoners with excerpts from Harold Pinter's lifetime of writings. Creating visually striking images with simple means and underscoring the fierceness of Pinter's words with the intense physicality of the actors, BEING Harold Pinter blurs the boundaries between art and reality, delivering a poignant contemporary commentary on violence, oppression, freedom and human dignity.
BELARUS FREE THEATER (BFT) was founded in 2005 by Natalia Koliada along with her husband, Nikolai Khalezin, who is the company's General Director and Producer. The company features Pavel Garadnitski, Irene Iarochevitch, Mikalai Khalezin, Yana Rusakevich, Aleh Sidorchyk, Dzianis Tarasenka, and Maryna Yurevich.
For more information on the January 19th rally, please visit www.zoneofsilence.org and for more information on how to help support families of political prinsoners and other oppressed civil society groups, email Belarus.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit charter97.org or amnestyUSA.org.