Videos

Voices From Chornobyl

2012 was the first year since 2005 that my April hadn’t been all about promoting awareness of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. The history of the project is longer than the piece itself, and explore this site for more information. I adapted the play from 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices From Chernobyl.

For the thirtieth anniversary of the accident, I’ll tweet the entire script during the month of April. Follow @VoicesChornobyl to read.

Below is a sample of the script and a demo video we produced for the 2007 International Chernobyl Conference. We used to promote awareness and raise funds for Chernobyl charities by doing readings around Los Angeles. If you are interested, please contact me.

CHARACTERS (and ensemble members)

Katya Shimanky, young girl at the time of the accident (Kappa Victoria Wood)

Vasily Shimanky, Physicist (Brad Beacom)

Irina Shimanky, Doctor at a Radiation Hospital (Katie Sweeney)

Anna Sushko, Resident of Chornobyl (Enci)

Arkady Filin, Clean-up Crew Member (Aaron Lyons)

Grigory Brovkin, Former Soldier, Leader of a Clean-up Crew (Michael Laurino)

Stepanov Morozkov, Vasily and Grigory’s Supervisor (Brian Sparrow)

Sergei Gurin, Cameraman from Minsk (Shawn Macaulay)

Ludmila (A Solitary Human Voice), Wife of a Fireman (Kristin Mochnick / Carolyn Blais)

Valentina (A Lonely Human Voice), Wife of a Clean-up Crew Member (Daryl Dickerson)

NOTE

At times the characters speak to their Interviewer and at times they are back in the moment. If there is a slash (/) on one line, then the following line should overlap at the point of the slash (/).

 

VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL 

Adapted by Cindy Marie Jenkins

From the book by Svetlana Alexievich

 

KATYA

You’re writing a book, but so far no book has helped, explained it to me. No more than the theater or the movies. I figure it out without them. By myself.

ANNA

There was no sign.

KATYA

We’re all going through this alone, and we don’t know what to do.

ANNA

Anna inspiration

Inspiration for ANNA

Sometimes, your palm itches and you know to get ready. But today, no signs.

KATYA

We don’t know what to do. I want to love, I try to love! I pray for my love! And—-

VASILY

My first reaction was to call my wife and warn her. But all our telephones at the Institute were bugged. That eternal fear, beaten into us through the decades.

ANNA

The first fear came out of the blue, over water—

VASILY

My family didn’t know.

KATYA

My father is particularly bewildered.

VASILY

My daughter – at this moment she would be walking to school. With friends. Outside.

 

KATYA

He always taught me to live by books. And suddenly books cannot help. My parents are confused. My father does not know how to live without the counsel of books. Without Chekhov and Tolstoy, and the old Greek masters.

Remember? I want to remember and at the same time I don’t.

VASILY

Shut the windows.

KATYA

I remember my mother’s phone call in the early morning.

IRINA

There’s a fire at the atomic station. Orders are to keep the radio on.

KATYA

We lived in Pripyat, just three miles from the reactor. I was born and bred there.

VASILY

Listen to me very closely.

IRINA

What are you talking about?

VASILY

Quiet. Shut the windows. Put all the food in plastic bags.

Put on rubber gloves and wipe every surface with a wet rag. Then put the rag in a plastic bag and get rid of it. The laundry drying on the balcony has to be washed again.

IRINA

What’s happened ther—

VASILY

I hung up. She was in medicine. She was bound to understand.

KATYA

Remember? Perhaps it’s better not to. Just in case. We saw the fire—

ANNA

–and we figured it was temporary, and no one was worried about it. We didn’t know about atoms, I swear! One nightingale sang all night—that means a sunny day.

LUDMILA

In the middle of the night, I heard a noise. I –I don’t know what to tell you about! Death or love? Or is it one and the same? What shall I tell you? We were newlyweds. We still held hands in the street, even if we were just going to the store. I told him: “I love you.” But I didn’t even know how much. I had no idea. We lived in the hostel of the fire station where he worked. Below us, on the first floor, were the fire engines.

Red fire engines. That was his work. That was all he ever wanted to do.

(Takes a deep breath) In the middle of the night, I heard a noise. I looked out the window. He saw me and said, “Shut the windows and get back to sleep. There’s a fire at the reactor. I’ll be back soon.”

(pause)

I did not see the explosion itself. Only the flames. Everything seemed to flow.

ANNA

fire truck on fire

KATYA’s drawing from 2011 production: Voices From Chornobyl Jr.

People took their small children outside, lifted them up and said, “Look, how beautiful! Don’t forget this.” We stood in that horrible black smoke.

LUDMILA

The whole sky. The flames were high. And smoke. Horrible heat.

KATYA

The smoke over the station was not black or yellow, it was light blue.

ANNA

We did not know that Death could be so beautiful.

IRINA

The police and the military set up roadblocks, they were letting no one out. We spent all day watching TV, waiting for Gorbachev to speak. The authorities were silent.

KATYA

I stared all day out of the closed window. It was just an ordinary fire, being put out by ordinary firemen.

LUDMILA

And he was still out. They went off to the fire without their protective gear, just in their shirt sleeves. They were summoned as if to a normal fire. I sat and waited. Four o’clock.

VALENTINA

I’d go to church, where it was so quiet.

LUDMILA

Five……

VALENTINA

The way it is in the mountains sometimes.

LUDMILA

Six……..

VALENTINA

So quiet. You can forget your life in there. But in the mornings, I’d wake up. I’d wake up and feel around for him. Where is he? I’d shut my eyes and think about him until I fell asleep. In my sleep, he would come to me, but very quickly. Vanish immediately.

LUDMILA

Seven o’clock.

VALENTINA

Where is he? I can’t tell you what it is like. I don’t know how I manage to stay alive.

LUDMILA

At seven they informed me that he was in the hospital. I ran over there, but police would not let anyone in. Only ambulances could drive in. The policemen shouted: the ambulances are radioactive, don’t’ get close. I was not alone, all the wives whose husbands were at the reactor that night, were there. I grabbed onto a Doctor as she walked by—“Get me inside!”

IRINA & LUDMILA

I can’t. He’s in a bad way. They all are.

LUDMILA

Pleas! Just to see him.

IRINA

(Hands her a form)

Sign this.

Do you have children?

LUDMILA

I thought, I have to say yes. If I say no, they won’t let me see him.

Yes.

IRINA

How many?

LUDMILA

A boy and a girl.

IRINA

Now listen. The central nervous system is completely damaged, the bone marrow is completely destroyed.

LUDMILA

AL right, so he’ll be a bit nervous…….

IRINA

And listen—

IRINA & LUDMILA

If you cry, I’ll throw you out right away. You may not hug or kiss. Don’t come close.

LUDMILA

I’ll give you half an hour.

VASILY

That day, April 26th, I was in Moscow. On a business trip.

ANNA

The first fear was…..in the morning we found dead moles in the garden. Who killed them?

KATYA

We’re all going through this alone, and we don’t know what to do. I cannot comprehend it with my mind. My grandmother said she had no childhood. She had the war. Their childhood is the war and mine is Chornobyl.

GRIGORY

I had just returned from Afghanistan. I wanted to live, to get married. I wanted to get married right away. And instead I got a notice with a red stripe

Meaning “Special Draft.” Show up with your things at the following address within an hour. My mother started weeping. She thought they were sending me to war again.

ARKADY

At the time I was thinking about something else. This will seem strange to you.

GRIGORY

(To ARKADY) Get in the van.

ARKADY

But just then I was getting a divorce from my wife. Everything else seemed minor. They would come suddenly and a special van was waiting downstairs. Just like 1937.

VALENTINA

I loved him madly. Maybe you shouldn’t use my name.

VASILY

I called once, two, three times, but they wouldn’t put me through.

VALENTINA

There are secrets. People say prayers in private. Whispering.

VASILY

I found an assistant. “I’m calling from Moscow. I have urgent information. About an accident!” As soon as I started talking about the accident, they disconnected me.

VALENTINA

No, use my name. Say it to God.

STEPANOV

I heard that there was a fire there, and it’s been put out.

VASILY

That’s a lie! Deceit!

It’s a serious accident. According to my calculations, the radioactive cloud is moving towards us. Towards Belarussia. We must immediately give prophylactic iodine treatment to the population and move out everyone living close to the station. People and animals within 100 kilometers have to be moved away.

STEPANOV

Had a phone call. From the Kremlin. From Gorbachev. Something about not starting a panic in Belarussia. The West are making too much of it already.

KATYA

At the foot of the hill puffs a tractor

At the top of the hill a reactor

If we hadn’t heard it from the Swedes

We’d still be eating all those seeds.

Shawn original

Actor Shawn Macaulay in front of his painting for original 2006 production, Open Fist Theatre

clean up crew

Actor Aaron Lyons painted this image of the clean up crew for original 2006 production, Open Fist Theatre. 

#JoinintheDrama

I was asked to lead the Online Content Team for Center Theatre Group’s Student Ambassadors this year, and loved the experience!

One of their last projects was to create an interview series that would invite their peers to attend Student Scene Events (next one this Friday!) and as a result, see theatre (maybe for the first time).

They created the questions, the title & hashtag #JoinintheDrama, and we worked on a creative promotional campaign to ensure that people see it.

All the videos are on CTG’s Emerging Artists Green Room, but here are some hints at what you’ll find (again, all created by students!):

Join in the Drama Ash Henry

 

Join in the Drama Steven Jocelyn

 

It’s been an honor to teach these guys. I certainly learned just as much from them as they hopefully did from me!

#FundingFriday

reelectionCongrats to Re-Election: A Web Series for meeting their $25,000 Goal!

Mid-level campaign staffer Jamie must figure out how to undo an election day defeat in order to escape reliving the day over and over.

UPDATE: I had technical issues and could not broadcast today. I will post their answers soon.

How did they do it? How can you prep a Kickstarter campaign for success? Hear live today at 11am PT.

We’ll also have special guests Diani & Devine, who are currently releasing 1-2 videos a day during their Kickstarter.

Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse

Is it harder for two comedians to survive an apocalypse or Hollywood? Diani & Devine spent five months making their initial video (below) & release 1 or 3 new ones every day. You also may just see a familiar face in #Apocatips #14 .

Facebook.com/DianiAndDevineMeetTheApocalypse

Twitter.com/DD_Apocalypse

DDMTA.com

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dianidevine/diani-and-devine-meet-the-apocalypse-a-feature-fil

 for more!

Indie Arts Events

Don’t miss a segment

Lots of Arts Musings

Found Art: Dinos in Atwater Village

One day I went to Kaldi Coffee & Tea in Atwater Village, as I am wont to do.Outside in the street garden: surprise!

BONUS: Coffee. It all began with dancing goats.

Courtesy of National Geographic: Goats will eat anything. Just ask Kaldi the legendary Ethiopian (map) goatherd. Kaldi, the story goes, noticed his herd dancing from one coffee shrub to another, grazing on the cherry-red berries containing the beans. He copped a few himself and was soon frolicking with his flock. Witnessing Kaldi’s goatly gambol, a monk plucked berries for his brothers. That night they were uncannily alert to divine inspiration.

—–

Found Art is a new series of videos & photos that means exactly what it says. Send your Found Art in the comments. Found Art: Dinosaurs outside Kaldi Coffee & Tea in Atwater Village

Found by Cindy Marie Jenkins, Outreach Nerd

Original Music composed by Adam Emperor Southard

Follow him @AESPiano

follow-us-on-youtube for more!

Indie Arts Events facebook-logo1

Don’t miss a segment twitter-logo-1024x1002

Lots of Arts Musings tumblr_logo

Indie Arts Listings

LIVE:

barrymore
WHO: Good People Theater Company

BARRYMORE by William Luce

, with Gordon Goodman in the starring role as John Barrymore

WHEN:
Preview on Friday, November 8 @ 8pm
Opening on Saturday, November 9 @ 8pm
Then running 3 weekends November 15 through December 1

Fridays @ 8pm

Saturdays @ 2pm and 8pm

Sundays @ 7pm

WHERE: Greenway Court Theater
544 N. Fairfax Ave between Melrose and Beverly
WHY CARE? Practically speaking, Gordon is of those classic hard working Los Angeles Equity actors of a certain age–a guy who’s built up more than 100 acting credits over the years.  But he’s not often carrying a whole show.  Many who know him feel he’s under-rated or under-appreciated.  And we think that is about to change.  John Barrymore is someone Gordon has long wanted to explore–as an actor and a psychologist–and we’re confident Gordon is going to give us one those “performance of a lifetime” moments.
goodpeopletheaterco.orgFacebook.com/GoodPeopleTheaterCompany

WKOG small profile pic

The World Premiere of
What Kind of God? 


by Steve Julian

A gifted boy pleads for love. His only family member cries out for safe passage. One priest turns a deaf ear while another wages war against his own demon. How can any victim fight the world’s largest religion and come out whole? How many shepherds does it take to keep one lamb safe?

Directed by Aaron Lyons
Thursday, Oct. 10 & 17 @ 8pm

Friday, Oct. 11 & 18 @ 8pm

Saturday, Oct. 12 & 19 @ 8pm

Sunday, Oct. 13 & 20 @ 3pm

Starring (in alphabetical order): Brett Donaldson, Emily M. Faris, Steve Julian, Robert Keasler & Katherine McGehee *
* Appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association
whatkindofgodtheplay.com

corey-experience-2

The Corey Blake Experience – Improv Comedy

When? Saturday, October 12, 2013

No but when? 10:15-11:30 PM

Where? Neon Venus

No but where? 7023 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

How much? $5

Facebook invite? Facebook!

Santa Monica Rep’s WaveFest

WaveFest is a series of short plays presented in 3 waves. Every wave runs for two weekends and consists of five new plays (plus some surprises) from some of the most exciting and talented local playwrights around.

The Interview

Not everyone is qualified to be a parent. A play by Susan Josephs, directed by Diana Wyenn.

WORLD PREMIERE // OCTOBER 4 – 27, 2013 
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 5:00 pm
@ STUDIO/STAGE // 520 N Western Ave, Los Angeles [map]

http://www.theinterviewplay.com/

LIVE – IMMERSIVE:

invisiblecitiesCome to Invisible Cities in your best costume on 10/31 for a chance to win a pair of Sennheiser headphones!The Industry creates ambitious world premiere productions that expand the traditional definition of opera, merging artistic disciplines and building new paradigms for collaboration. The Industry aims to engage a wide demographic and cultivate curiosity through the unexpected audience experience.

Tickets: http://invisiblecitiesopera.com/tickets/

ART for SOCIAL GOOD:

odysseyartboundArtbound tweeted this link to me – using The Odyssey to allow prisoners to re-imagine their own returns home. #ArtHealsTheater has the power to change lives. Also, great targeted tweeting, @KCETArtbound !
Using Homer’s “Odyssey” to think about modern life is not a new idea. But using Homer’s “Odyssey” to get incarcerated young men to re-imagine their returns home from correctional facilities is new, and it’s what The Odyssey Project has been doing for three years now. Learn all about this initiative here:http://bit.ly/17BL2or

TRUST

by Steven Dietz, directed by Scott Marden at Theatre Unleashed’s new home.

October 3rd-November 9th, 2013
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm*
No performance on 10/31. Special performance Sunday, 11/3 at 7pm

The Belfry Stage, Upstairs @ The Crown
This venue is located upstairs and is not handicapped-accessible

Proudly Supporting

proudly supporting write girl

WriteGirl – Helping girls write their way to more positive futures.
Bring a new journal or ream of printer paper to the box office for Trustand Name Your Ticket Price to see the show! Click here to RSVP.

CALL FOR ART:

redcatREDCAT’s Studio: Fall 2013

REDCAT is seeking original performance works for the next edition of Studio, REDCAT’s quarterly series of new works in progress in dance, theater, multimedia and music. If you have a project 15 minutes or under and would like to be considered – apply now.

Applications are due by 5:00PM: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013
Showings are scheduled for: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
Performance dates: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 at 8:30 PM & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013 at 7:00PM

Visit our website: http://www.redcat.org/about/artist-opportunities and complete the online application.

FILM:

Releasing Heart – A Short Film in it’s entirety for a limited time on the interweb! This little short premiered at the 2013 No Budget Film Festival where it screened at the beautiful Vista Theatre! Even though this movie was made for ZERO dollars, we will be sending out to more festivals to see how far it can go.

If you enjoy, spread the word and like our page!
http://youtu.be/1ePdA9IZ-Ts

COMICS:

crazy maryCrazy Mary

by Michael Colbert (Author) , J. K. Woodward (Illustrator) , Ryan Sergeant (Illustrator) & 2 more
Don’t call her crazy to her face. Several years ago Mary was a professional soldier who volunteered for an upgrade program dubbed “Project Dragonfly”. The project upgraded the subjects with enhanced strength, speed and combat ability.
It didn’t go well for Mary.
Shortly after the upgrades Mary started seeing things… insane things. A world of melting walls and living fire, vortexes of thought and colored radio waves, sentient metaphors and beings that existed in an invisible layer of reality. She could communicate with these beings. She made deals with some of them.
Or she had simply gone insane.
Either way she was useless to the project and the military so she was cut loose and vanished shortly thereafter.
A few years later she re-emerged in the New York area of Megalopolis as a “freelancer” specializing in bounty hunting and search and rescue. Her upgrades give her an advantage in competing against other freelancers, Lawcom and her targets… most of the time. She can still see the weird layer of reality and her trinity of supernatural advisors helps … most of the time.
Or she could just be crazy and very lucky.
Or a bit of both.

VIDEO:

—————————

To be considered for inclusion here & other blogs to which I contribute:

Email info: cindymariejenkins@gmail.com

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Tag or mention me for faster & easier sharing:

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Live stream: by appointment with Tomas Benitez

East LA Rep

presents 

by appointment with Tomas Benitez

Wed., Aug. 14, 2013 @8pm
at East LA Rep – 1350 San Pablo St., LA 90033
(in the Legacy LA campus – free parking in the gated lot)

Topics of discussion –
Art and Activism – the early years
Self-Help Graphics – shaping an organization
Los Angeles County Arts Commission – community and politics
Latino Baseball – my true love

 

by appointment – the idea is to have a great conversation, una buena platica, with a guest we admire and are intrigued by, and to get some insight into what inspires, bothers or fascinates the guest.
Photo: East LA Reppresents by appointment with Tomas BenitezWed., Aug. 14, 2013 @8pmat East LA Rep - 1350 San Pablo St., LA 90033(in the Legacy LA campus - free parking in the gated lot)Topics of discussion - Art and Activism - the early yearsSelf-Help Graphics  - shaping an organizationLos Angeles County Arts Commission - community and politicsLatino Baseball - my true loveby appointment - the idea is to have a great conversation, una buena platica, with a guest we admire and are intrigued by, and to get some insight into what inspires, bothers or fascinates the guest. Hosted by Juan E. Carrillo during Office HoursFree and open to the publicStreamed live in partnership with Cindy Marie Jenkins at 8pm pst on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCMJstoriesPosted on the EAST LA REP YouTube channelhttp://www.youtube.com/user/EASTLAREPAbout Tomas -Tomas Benitez was born and raised in front of a TV set in East L. A.  After earning a B.A. in Theatre and Chicano Studies, he began his career in the arts as a teatrista, that is, a troubadour actor in various itinerate teatro chicano companies which toured the United States in the early 1970’s.  Tomas has been an advocate of Chicano/Latino arts and culture for 35 years, and has served as a consultant to numerous cultural centers, major institutions and universities throughout the United States. Tomas is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles. During his tenure, Self Help Graphics & Art exhibited more Chicano art and fine art prints around the world than any other institution in the United States.He is a key advisor, writer and contributor to The Latino Baseball Project: The Mexican-American Experience, a humanities based project in partnership with the Phau Library at California State University at San Bernardino. The project is a multi-year endeavor that has examined the impact of baseball on the formation of the Mexican-American identity and community in the United States, and will eventuate in a collection, permanent and traveling exhibitions and a website for the dissemination of materials and information. He remains a consultant for non-profit cultural arts organizations in the greater Los Angeles area, California and the Southwest.  He is a Commissioner for the County of Los Angeles Arts Commission (1st District, Supervisor Gloria Molina), and sits on a number of panels and advisory groups related to arts, culture and arts education.

Hosted by Juan E. Carrillo during Office Hours
Free and open to the public
Streamed live in partnership with Cindy Marie Jenkins at 8pm on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCMJstories

*If tech gods are not with us, I will live blog and upload the video at a later date.
Posted on the EAST LA REP YouTube channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/EASTLAREP

About Tomas –
Tomas Benitez was born and raised in front of a TV set in East L. A. After earning a B.A. in Theatre and Chicano Studies, he began his career

in the arts as a teatrista, that is, a troubadour actor in various itinerate teatro chicano companies which toured the United States in the early 1970’s.
Tomas has been an advocate of Chicano/Latino arts and culture for 35 years, and has served as a consultant to numerous cultural centers, major institutions and universities throughout the United States.
Tomas is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles. During his tenure, Self Help Graphics & Art exhibited more Chicano art and fine art prints around the world than any other institution in the United States.
He is a key advisor, writer and contributor to The Latino Baseball Project: The Mexican-American Experience, a humanities based project in partnership with the Phau Library at California State University at San Bernardino. The project is a multi-year endeavor that has examined the impact of baseball on the formation of the Mexican-American identity and community in the United States, and will eventuate in a collection, permanent and traveling exhibitions and a website for the dissemination of materials and information.
He remains a consultant for non-profit cultural arts organizations in the greater Los Angeles area, California and the Southwest. He is a Commissioner for the County of Los Angeles Arts Commission (1st District, Supervisor Gloria Molina), and sits on a number of panels and advisory groups related to arts, culture
 and arts education.
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