Thursday, September 26, 2013

Afghan Women Speak Out through Theatre

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Bond Street Theatre 

Afghan Women Speak Out through Theatre

We have launched an Indiegogo campaign to support Afghan Women's Voting Rights in preparation for the April 5, 2014 elections, and you can make a huge difference!

This is a time of hope and possibility.  A new generation is voting for the first time in Afghanistan, and half of them are women.  Women's right to vote is a hard-earned victory, and yet many women are unaware of their right to vote.  

This is a time for crucial change.  In the past decade, women have made great strides, setting Afghanistan on a promising course. But conservative factions are working hard to reverse these advances and prevent women from enjoying the most basic human rights.  

The time is now to stand with the women of Afghanistan.  We are asking for your support to help our all-women's theatre troupes bring vital information to women who are isolated by tradition, location or incarceration. Your contribution goes directly to the women's groups!  To reach women across the country,  

Women's voice in government and participation in the election is essential to protect and advance their rights! 

"This theatre project has given me new courage to speak out!"
  (Ayesha, member of Nangarhar Women's Theatre troupe in Jalalabad.) 

Bond Street Theatre
 has been working for Afghan women for more than 10 years.  We trained four women's theatre groups to create theatre -- by women, for women -- to spread the word about women's right to vote, why each vote counts, and how to register. They are a first in Afghanistan! 

These women are role models: they encourage women and girls to speak out. Theatre shows like these have a ripple effect through the community and a huge impact. 

In order to reach as many women (and men) as possible, we must raise $10,000.
 Visit our Indiegogo page Afghan Women Speak Out through Theatre to contribute! 

Please spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter or actual face-to-face interaction!

Thank you for your support!   
The Bond Street Team and the Afghan Women's Theatres

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Bond Street Theatre initiates theatre-based projects for education, conflict resolution, and healing in areas of conflict and poverty globally.  Bond Street Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and NGO in association with the UN-DPI.   
Please support our campaign for Afghan women:
Bond Street Theatre
2 Bond Street, New York, New York 10012   --  212-254-4614  --

Monday, September 09, 2013

Intern Spotlight: Aly Trombitas

Here is our final intern spotlight!  Aly shares how BST aligns with her aspirations to make art and help people:

From when you can talk onward, there’s always that one question you’re consistently asked: What do you want to be when you grow up? As a highly optimistic college student with too many interests to count, I’ve always hesitated before responding to that question, because “Make art and help people” isn’t a satisfactory answer for most.

I discovered Bond Street Theatre’s website while doing research for a class, and am pretty sure I applied for an internship within the hour. Here was a group of trained physical theater artists who were using their craft not only to create compelling performance but also to promote human rights internationally—it sounded like a win/win situation to me!  I had been looking to spend my summer somewhere where I could get a sense of many aspects of a small theatre organization, instead of being guided into only one particular skill. Bond Street spends time with each intern to allow you to explore and grow, and that’s exactly what I needed. Not only is the office open and airy (and no shoes allowed—a valuable perk in my opinion) but it carries 37 years of not-for-profit arts and humanitarian knowledge. Even after 2 ½ months of taking everything in I am still in awe of the travels and impact that Bond Street has had in the world (75,000 refugees reached in Kosovo? Wow!)  

My summer at Bond Street has been incredibly fulfilling and inspiring. I’ve gotten to know an amusing company of theatre professionals who are so wonderful at looking beyond themselves to a broader world. I’ve become much more aware of myself as a part of that world—in one day I could be scouring news sites to provide updates and information to the Haiti team, researching grants for women’s public speaking programs in Afghanistan, talking with the Syrian-American Council about working with refugees, and editing the study guide for our new Young Audience Program. I’ve always been a team player, but I’ve never been a part of such a big team before! Many incredible people in many walks of life come together to make Bond Street’s vision a reality, and I’ve really been impressed at the interdisciplinary communication that makes programs as effective as they are.

Bond Street also values their interns as performers as well as administrators—I got to try my hand at solo and partner acrobatics and, of course, stilt walking. Stilts were certainly scary at first! But I was very proud of myself when I was able to let go of Katherine and Anna’s hands and walk around on my own. I can’t imagine how incredibly empowering that feeling must be to people around the world living in oppressive conditions, tall and strong and balanced on stilts—to me it epitomizes what Bond Street is trying to do.

This has been a wonderful place to spend my time. There’s been a lot of learning, big laughs, and some high quality iced coffee. Being here has further prompted my determination to make an impact in the world and I feel more confident than ever that “make art and help people” is a worthy pursuit.