New York University’s Steinhardt School presents Provocative Acts, a one-day symposium and theatre performance set in two parts, dealing with discrimination and other sensitive issues related to social justice. Provocative Acts is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Steinhardt’s Commission on Gender, Race, and Social Justice and the Educational Theatre Program in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

Provocative Acts runs from February 25-26 & March 3-5 at 8 p.m; February 27 and March 6 at 3 p.m. at NYU’s Black Box Theatre, 82 Washington Square East. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 with a valid NYU ID. For reservations, call 212.998.5281.

Provocative Acts is a compelling vehicle in which we hope to engage our students, faculty, and community members to think about issues related to social justice,” said Patricia Carey, Steinhardt’s associate dean for Student Services and Public Affairs. Carey will present opening remarks at the Symposium on Theatre and Social Justice February 26, featuring panel discussions on “The Theatre Artist as Social Commentator” (12 p.m.); “The Psychology and Sociology of the Body” (2 p.m.); and “Educating the Educator” (4 p.m.). The event is free and open to the public.

The first piece of the performance titled transfigured, is a new play by Joe Salvatore, Educational Theatre faculty member in Steinhardt’s Music and Performing Arts Professions Department program, and notable playwright Julie Marie Myatt. transfigured examines what it means to be marked or scarred against one’s will, and how the marked person moves beyond the scar. It is based on an incident that took place at a prep school in 1999. Three students pinned down one of their dorm mates after accusing him of being gay and carved the word “homo” in five-inch block letters into his back with a pocketknife, leaving a visible scar. The perpetrators were not charged, yet the victim was left branded.

The second theatre piece, (m)BODY,is devised by the cast and directed by Educational Theatre Professor Nan Smithner. This work illuminates current perceptions of the mind/body connection, exploring into the issues of commerciality, fears of aging and illness, and cultural viewpoints, as well as powerful notions of the body. The cast of 18 ensemble members, who range in age from 19 to 90 and represent diverse cultural viewpoints, brings their own stories and images about the body to life in a collage which interweaves physical theatre, movement, music, sound, and text.

Editor’s note:

The Steinhardt Commission on Gender, Race, and Social Justice is committed to challenging oppression and discrimination in their many forms through teaching, scholarship, and other academic pursuits.

The Program in Educational Theatre in Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions combines the fields of theatre and education to develop strategies in teaching and learning through dramatic activities, performance skills, and applied theatre projects.

NYU’s Steinhardt School is a rich source of ground-breaking scholarship on issues of national and global significance and innovation in research, teaching, practice, and performance. The School prepares students to be educators, health professionals, counselors and psychologists, academics, musicians, artists, communication specialists, and policy analysts. The Steinhardt School values its location in New York City, where it is engaged in research, partnerships, and community service aimed at improving urban life and the city’s institutions.

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