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This white-knuckle political thriller is a riveting intellectual and emotional tug-of-war. Set in an unnamed country emerging from a totalitarian dictatorship, the play explores the aftereffects of repression on hearts and souls.
Believing the good Samaritan who has just given her husband a ride home is the same man who tortured her, a woman ties the suspect to a chair and conducts her own interrogation, gun in hand. Her husband doesn’t know whether to believe his distraught wife or his persuasive new friend. This powerful play examines the need for justice as well as the cost of the relentless pursuit of vengeance, showing that some wounds may never heal. (NOTE: Adult situations and language.)
The ensemble cast features Erin Whited as the embattled Paulina Escobar, Chip Arnold as her political husband Gerardo, and Buddy Raper as the enigmatic Dr. Roberto Miranda. Each of these actors has a career of distinction in Nashville, performing variously with every professional company in the city.
The production has received an overwhelming outpouring of support from the academic community of Vanderbilt University and is sponsored in part by the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, The Vanderbilt Law School International Legal Studies Program, the Program in Jewish Studies and the Center for the Americas. In addition, the International Legal Studies Program will also host a special lunchtime panel discussion in conjunction with the show to discuss the political, legal and social aspects of the play.
“Death and the Maiden is a powerful play that deals with the lingering trauma of rape and torture,” says Ted Fischer, director of the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Vanderbilt, “as well as the complicated moralities that emerge in the search for justice and retribution. Avoiding easy moralizations, the play forces the audience to reach its own conclusions. While dealing with the dark history of Chile, it also speaks forcefully to the sorts of moral dilemmas we face in the world today. More relevant than ever, Death and the Maiden should be required viewing for all who are concerned with terror and the human condition.”
"At the Center for the Americas, we believe that it is essential to for people in the U.S. to get a better understanding of both current and historical issues in the countries to the south of our borders," says Vera Kutzinski, the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of English and director of the Center for the Americas. "Literature always plays an important role in helping us grasp how people in other countries live under circumstances we imagine impossible for ourselves. Dorfman's Death and the Maiden shows how lives are deformed and distorted under political dictatorships, and what freedom might mean in such a context. These are issues that concern all of us in the Americas and in the world today. The CFA applauds the People's Branch Theater for bringing this play to Nashville."
"In the classroom, law students learn about the legal and political aspects of international human rights violations,” says Larry Helfer, director of the International Legal Studies Program in Vanderbilt Law School, “but they don't always appreciate the psychological and emotional consequences of those violations for the individuals and families involved. Death and the Maiden exposes students to those consequences and provides a crucially important illustration of why many government officials and private actors have worked so hard to develop an international legal system to protect human rights."
Recently, Ross Brooks, executive director for People’s Branch Theatre, talked with O&AN at Café OutLoud! on Church Street about the upcoming production and future PBR projects.
O&AN: What do you think is the most important theme of this production?
Ross Brooks: I am incredibly drawn to the aspect of this show that talks about putting a human face on faceless violence. When you hear about thousands and thousands of people who are tortured and killed or simply just disappear, it may be difficult to process that. But when the violence comes down to a one-on-one experience, it makes it much more personal and hard to ignore. That goes for both sides of the equation.
O&AN: The play is set in another country over thirty years in the past. What do you see as the relevance of this production to modern day Americans?
RB: There is a direct correlation between the events dictated by this play and the current situation with the war in Iraq. The way civil liberties have eroded and restricted since Sept. 11, 2001 is only the beginning. The Patriot Act as well as the Abu Ghraib prison incident as well as Guantanamo Bay and CIA water torture are also reflected in Death and the Maiden. The political situation is obviously not as extreme in this instance but the similarities are still shocking on analysis. Many of the atrocities that were committed during the time period it depicts were done in the interest of national security. We take it on faith a lot of times that the government is doing things in our best interest but where do you draw the line between a necessary activity and what amounts to sadism?
O&AN: Death & the Maiden is an almost 360 degree turn around from PBT’s last couple of productions. While Hedwig and Irma Vep certainly weren’t devoid of intensity, there is a decidedly more lighthearted feel to those productions contrasted against the mind blowing intensity of Death and the Maiden. Why the shift in direction this time out?
RB: The idea of Progressive Theatre covers a wide range of topics. I wanted to produce a very diverse season that runs the gamut and strive to do something interesting and unique for every show. Hedwig is in a class by itself without a doubt and Irma Vep was a challenge in a lot of ways to myself and the actors. This piece is an amazing piece of theatre that is definitely not for the faint of heart. It will be a challenge not only for me and the actors but also for the audience who invests their time in the show. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride but the payoff is totally worth it.
O&AN: If the subject matter of the piece is any indication, in order to convincingly deliver their parts they will have to draw from some pretty deep wells of inspiration. How do you as the director aim to reach within your players in order to draw out that sort of power in their performance?
RB: In acting we talk a lot about dedication to your role and doing things as actors that deepens your relationship with your role therefore growing yourself as an actor. I needed actors for the roles who were emotionally resilient because I cast the roles with actors who I wanted to challenge to go with me to a very dark place filled with pain in order to call these things out into the open. One of the great themes of this piece is how to confront those things that happen to you. How do you deal with the darkness that happens to you? How do you live again when your life has been turned upside down? I am a fan of looking at the shadows because if you don’t look at the dark things and confront them for what they are then how can you properly appreciate the light things that make life worth living? I want to cultivate an audience that is willing to go there in order if only to recognize and appreciate what is beautiful and sublime even among the darkness of a situation like that.
O&AN: How does putting on a production of this intensity most challenge you as director?
RB: The main thing that stands out to me is the fact that it is very real. In the past I have moved in a more fantastical route with my direction and writing. When I happened upon this script it appealed to me mainly because it didn't shy away from the harsh reality of the world, but rather embraced it in all it's ugliness.
Death and the Maiden runs Feb. 7 - 16 at the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $12 for seniors or students with ID and can be purchased through the Belcourt box office by calling 615-846-3150 or online at www.belcourt.org. For more information about Death and the Maiden or about People’s Branch, check out www.peoplesbranch.org or www.myspace.com/peoplesbranchtheatre.
This show is rated "R" for content and is not intended for children under the age of 17; it contains adult situations and language. There will also be gunshots.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.