Heart of the East End – March 3rd, 2022

Clarence Taylor, Thoughtful Thursday underwritten by Guild Hall

Co-author of Historic Black Brooklyn discusses how women, including Shirley Chisholm – a political pioneer as the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress – shaped Brooklyn. Born Shirley Anita St. Hill, Chisholm’s political ambitions extended beyond what Taylor said American culture made possible during her time noting that her presidential run failed largely because of those who didn’t take seriously her nor her run, including some political colleagues. Clarence Taylor & Brian Merlis’ Historic Black Brooklyn can be purchased at nycoldphotos.com

Huck Hirsch, North Fork Community Theater

The director of NFCT’s latest play, The Laramie Project, discusses visiting Wyoming to prepare for immersing himself in difficult subject matter, as well as the importance of the work in affecting possible change at a moment when legislation is changing regarding hate crimes in America. From the NFCT website – NFCT.com – “Hailed as a captivating and encompassing piece of contemporary theater, The Laramie Project shocks, challenges and moves audiences profoundly as it reveals the lowest depths of hatred and the greatest heights of compassion that lie within the people of this typical American community now dealing with the horrific trauma of an unconscionable hate crime in their own backyard. On October 6, 1998, in Laramie, Wyoming, a 21-year-old gay college student named Matt Shepard was kidnapped, savagely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die. 18 hours later, barely breathing but alive, he was miraculously found by a kid riding his bicycle. On October 12, 1998, after five days in a coma, at a hospital in Colorado, his family by his side, Matt Shepard died. A month later, Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project in New York traveled to Laramie to interview a community in shock, struggling to make sense of what happened. They would return to Laramie six times in the course of a year, seeking perspective in the aftermath of this tragedy. Over 200 of those verbatim interviews were then edited and crafted to become an astonishing piece of documentary theater, revealing the complicated impasse of a broken community torn between the wreckages of hate and glimmers of hope.”