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STUDY GUIDE

The

HERZOG FESTIVAL

AFTER the REVOLUTION By Amy Herzog MAR 18–MAY 17, 2015

4000 MILES By Amy Herzog APR 1–MAY 24, 2015


BEFORE THE SHOW Introduction to the World of the Play As Director Lila Neugebauer has observed, the platform of a festival is rarely enjoyed by contemporary playwrights, but Amy Herzog’s work, with its “probing insight, rigorous intelligence, and terrific humor” readily invites this level of exploration and celebration. Despite being by the same playwright and about the same family, After the Revolution and 4000 Miles are two very different plays. They embrace different theatrical styles, offer distinct stories, and even demonstrate different sensibilities. While After the Revolution paints a more sweeping canvas of high-stakes drama of family betrayal, 4000 Miles delves narrowly to explore more intimate, seemingly inconsequential passing encounters. But Neugebauer is quick to point out similarities as well. Across both plays, Amy has written her characters with astonishing compassion: “Amy has a profound grasp of the complexities and contradictions that define our nature. Her plays feature fundamentally well-meaning people who are capable of cruelty. These characters enable and elicit each others’ strength and fragility through gestures of extraordinary empathy, and they undermine and dismantle one another in moments of careless harshness,” she describes. “In a culture in which we’re in dire need of empathy, of an intelligent kind, these investigations into the human capacity seem undeniably worthwhile.” Both plays also pose universal questions of identity and legacy. As Neugebauer frames them: “To what extent are we fundamentally, irrevocably defined by our family and our family’s history? To what extent is that a choice? And what might be the cost of attempting to separate? What constitutes progress for an individual, a family, or a culture?” “For me,” the director shares, “the plays together invite an investigation into how we actually change—both the quaking terror and electrifying thrill of change—whether it’s at age 21 or 91.” Considering each play individually, and the two together, Neugebauer reflects that,“they capture moments in which the rug is violently pulled out from under you, and how, in surviving that trauma, you might forge a space for something new.”

THEATER ETIQUETTE

We appreciate our yo unger audiences for the energy and honesty they bring to the theater. Most Center Stage actors will agree that student matinee audiences are their favorite. Please remember that it is important to give as much support as you can to the performers on stage and do your best not to draw attention to yourself during the performance. The following guidelines are intended to help create a positive experience for everyone at the student matinees.

Before you go inside the theater: • Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic • • •

devices (iPods, Blackberries, etc.) Leave all food, drinks, and games (of both the card and board variety) outside or dispose of them before entering the theater. Spit out any gum. Visit the restroom before the performance begins.

During the performance: • Try to remain still in your seats during • • •

the show. If you have to leave, exit during intermission. Do not speak during the performance. It can be very distracting to the actors on stage. Do not kick or put your feet up on the back of the chairs in front of you. Please DO laugh or respond appropriately during the performance.

Lastly, theater is communal, which means you are just as much an integral part of the show as the actors on stage. So show respect to your fellow audience members, the staff, the performers, and yourself!

Editor- Kristina Szilagyi Graphic Designer- Katherine Marmion

CONTRIBUTORS: Gavin Witt

Catherine Rodriguez

Maggie Beetz

Joshua Thomas

Bill Geenen

Andrew Stromyer

THANKS TO: Rosiland Cauthen

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BEFORE THE SHOW WHAT IS THE AMY HERZOG FESTIVAL?

CAST/CREDITS AFTER THE REVOLUTION Arye Gross*

Ben Joseph

Ashton Heyl*

Emma Joseph

Lois Markle*

Vera Joseph

Kelly McCrann*

Jess Joseph

Alejandro Rodriguez*

Miguel Roja

Susan Rome*

Mel

Peter Van Wagner*

Morty

Some theaters, operas, or other performing arts groups schedule their pieces to be performed in rep to provide more variety for the audiences. In Center Stage’s case, the plays are being performed together deliberately, encouraging the audience to think more deeply about the worlds of the plays.

Mark Zeisler*

Leo Joseph

Come back to see the other play in the Festival! Check our website for other performance dates: centerstage.org

Amy Herzog’s two semi-autobiographical plays After the Revolution and 4000 Miles center on different branches of the same family, inspired by her own relatives, with Vera Joseph appearing in both. The two plays will be performed in repertory. Typically, Center Stage produces one play at a time, but when plays are performed in repertory, multiple plays are produced at the same time with alternating performances.

4000 MILES Lauren LaRocca*

Bec

Lois Markle*

Vera Joseph

Jennifer Tsay

Amanda

Josh Tobin*

Leo Joseph-Connell

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association THE ARTISTIC TEAM

MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT

Amy Herzog hardly meant to write a family saga, let alone a pair of dramas that might play as bookends. After the Revolution and 4000 Miles were conceived and written independently, though both draw to a greater or lesser extent on events, attitudes, and characters that Herzog based on her own family. Vera, the character they share in common, closely mirrors Herzog’s own grandmother, Leepee. Leepee’s husband, Julius Joseph, was indeed called to testify in 1953; his history parallels that of the fictional Grandpa Joe, whose choices loom over both stories. Amy has recounted these links in innumerable interviews about each of these plays, for their many individual productions around the country. This time Center Stage asked the playwright to look back and reflect on the plays and their pairing, rather than on their common source material.

Amy Herzog

Playwright

Lila Neugebauer

Director

Daniel Zimmerman

Set Designer

Ásta Hostetter

Costume Designer

Eric Southern

Lighting Designer

Brandon Wolcott Original Music and Sound Design Catherine María Rodríguez

Production Dramaturgs

and Gavin Witt Stephanie Klapper

Casting Director

Brandon Rashad Butts

Assistant Director

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BEFORE THE SHOW

SETTING:

AFTER THE REVOLUTION TIME: May–June, 1999

PLACE:

Vera Joseph’s apartment and various other locations around Greenwich Village, NY.

From Mugshot to Movement:

A Brief Chronology of the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case

1981: Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner shot to death. Award-winning local reporter, activist, former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal arrested at the scene.

4000 MILES TIME:

Late summer, early fall. Late 2000s

PLACE:

Vera Joseph’s apartment in Greenwich Village, NY. A neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village is a landmark of American bohemian culture. During the 19 th Century, small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived there. By the turn of the 20 th Century, the Village was ethnically diverse and known for its tolerance of radicalism and nonconformity. In the 1950s, it became the center of the Beat movement and in the 1960s a center for Hippie counterculture. Due in part to the progressive attitudes of many residents, the Village has been a focal point of new movements and ideas. Attracted to the neighborhood’s liberal leanings, gay people began gathering in the area, and riots at the Stonewall bar helped spark the beginning of the LGBT rights movement in 1969. Greenwich Village has remained a progressive center, a rallying place for anti-war protestors in the 1970s and a center of mobilization efforts for the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, even as gentrification has driven up the cost of living and ushered in a whole new demographic.

1982: Abu-Jamal convicted of killing officer

Faulkner and sentenced to death, beginning decades of appeals, hearings, and legal tussles.

1995: Following a post-conviction hearing to

consider evidence of racial bias and lack of due process during the initial trial, Abu-Jamal loses bid for a new trial. His book, Live From Death Row, helps attract supporters around the world. Pennsylvania governor signs Abu-Jamal’s death warrant.

April 1999: Global movement begins planning for worldwide Mumia Day in the fall: a day of action in 100 cities.

April 22, 1999: Abu-Jamal’s legal team, led by Leonard Weinglass, file for writ of certiorari.

May 12, 1999: Weinglass and team announce that they have filed for certiorari.

May 19, 1999: Mumia’s brother gives a sworn declaration stating he and a friend, not Mumia, were hired to kill Faulkner.

June 9, 1999: Mumia delivers taped

commencement speech for Evergreen College.

September 19-25, 1999:

International Mumia Awareness Week . centerstage.org


BEFORE THE SHOW THE FICTIONAL JOSEPHS

Arthur Herzog

Vera Joseph

X

Mel Jane Joseph

Lily Joseph-Connell

Ben Joseph

Peter Connell

Connections marked with an X denote marriages that ended in divorce

AFTER THE REVOLUTION 4000 MILES Adopted

X

Jake Joseph

The 91 year-old communist Vera Joseph is the only crossover character in the two plays. Her Greenwich Village apartment serves as a backdrop for 4000 Miles and selections of After the Revolution. Though her memory isn’t as strong as it was, she is as resolute as ever in her ideals. Based on playwright Amy Herzog’s own grandmother Leepee, Vera is a lifelong

Tessie Joseph

Maxine

Leo Joseph

Beth

Katie Joseph

Sammy Joseph

The family in After the Revolution and 4000 Miles, the Josephs, are based in part on Amy Herzog’s own family. Vera is modeled after her grandmother, Leepee Joseph; her grandfather, like Joe Joseph, was blacklisted; Ben and Mel are based on her politically active uncle and his wife; and young Leo was inspired by a similarly off-the-grid cousin.

activist. Her values chafe against the attitudes and realities of the younger Josephs, both in the specifics of their beliefs and the way those beliefs manifest in their lives.

WHY VERA?

X

Emma Joseph

Jess Joseph

Leo Joseph-Connell

Key

Joe Joseph

In a profile of the playwright for Time Out: New York, Diane Snyder wrote that “Political differences in Herzog’s onstage and offstage worlds aren’t between Republicans and Democrats; they’re within concentric circles of serious leftists, and they’re not always minuscule. ‘There’s a huge rift in my family between the socialists and the Communists,’ [Herzog] says matter-of-factly.” In After the Revolution, which was written first and is set 10 years before 4000 Miles, Vera vehemently defends her late husband’s actions during the Cold War. New law school graduate Emma is thrown into a moral maelstrom by the revelations about

her grandfather: for her, the ends do not justify the means. Emma feels even more distrustful of her family upon discovering that her revelations are not novel for everyone in the family. With no one is that tension more apparent than with Vera, who supported Joe Joseph after he testified before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and who supports his legacy still. While Emma continues the family tradition of activist work—albeit through different methods—her cousin Leo upholds his beliefs in a quieter way and struggles with a personal tragedy in 4000 Miles. He arrives unexpectedly at Vera’s apartment, assuming it’s fine if he “crashes” with her for a few days. They negotiate the day-to-day of being new roommates while learning to appreciate the divergent perspectives of distant generations.

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THE FICTIONAL JOE JOSEPH FUND AND THE FACTUAL MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

In After the Revolution, Emma Joseph has focused her seemingly endless well of energy and conviction on working to overturn the death penalty for long-imprisoned Mumia Abu-Jamal. The nonprofit organization she has started is inspired by the many groups working towards this shared goal. Mr. Abu-Jamal worked as a radio news reporter in Philadelphia, bringing attention to prevalent police brutality, and was known for giving a “voice to the voiceless.” He served as the president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. In 1981, police officer Daniel Faulkner conducted a traffic stop of William Cook, Mr. Abu-Jamal’s brother, while Mr. Abu-Jamal was across the street. The officer was shot and died at the scene. Mr. Abu-Jamal was shot in the stomach by Officer Faulkner’s gun, and when responding officers came to the scene, he was also beaten up before being charged with the murder of a police officer. The ensuing trial is considered by many to be a gross miscarriage of justice. In a racially diverse city, the jury consisted of ten white jurors and two black jurors. There is considerable documentation that the prosecution withheld or tampered with evidence. A US Department of Justice investigation into the Philadelphia Police Department conducted at that time found that corruption was rampant and that the treatment of people of color “shocks the conscience.” Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to the death penalty. Many believe capital punishment to be wrong, but even for those who support capital punishment, the racial imbalance of those who are sentenced to death is staggering. Furthermore, there is significant risk that the death penalty will be administered to an innocent person. For example, since 1973, 144 people on death row have been exonerated, or found to be innocent. In 2011, the Philadelphia District Attorney declared that the death penalty would no longer be pursued for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Instead, he will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

DEATH: THE POOR’S ‘PREROGATIVE’? BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

“That’s what ‘capital punishment’ really means—those that ain’t got the capital, get the punishment” is the old saying. Once again we see the inherent truths that lie in the proverbs of the poor. That old saying echoed when it was announced that the District Attorney of Delaware County, Patrick Meehan, would “not” seek the death penalty in the case of John E. DuPont, the wealthy corporate heir charged with the shooting death of Olympic champion David Schultz. The Delaware Co. D.A.’s office said no aggravated circumstance justifying the death sentence existed! Could it be that DuPont’s personal wealth, estimated at over $400 million, was a factor? In one fell swoop, the state insured that while millionaires may be murderers, they are not eligible for that preserve of the poor, America’s death row. As the case of O.J. Simpson showed us, the state is very selective in who it chooses to include in its macabre club of death. O.J., a “bona fide” celebrity, corporate pitchman, sports legend, and millionaire, was deemed, even though a suspect in a double-murder, not “fit” for a death sentence. So, whether or not one is of the opinion that Mr. Simpson was either innocent or guilty, the point remains that before the trial actually began, the D.A. of Los Angeles decided—no death penalty for O.J.! Millionaires need not apply. As it was for Mr. Simpson, so it was for Mr. DuPont. Simpson’s wealth, compared to DuPont’s, makes him look like a pauper. As for DuPont, consider, if you will, the incredible spectacle of the D.A., with all the identical facts, announcing he (or she) would “not” be seeking the death penalty, if DuPont was “the victim.” I’m sure we can all agree that would be impossible. Any poor man who slays a wealthy man will have the weight of the system fall on him like a ton of bricks; for a wealthy man, however, who finds himself charged with killing a poor man, the system becomes user-friendly. Why should this be so? It’s because the system serves the interests of the wealthy—it is “their” system! In essence, when a poor person comes before the court he or she faces two things: the ‘offense;’ and being poor. I am not suggesting that Mr. DuPont, or anyone else, for that matter, should be sentenced to death. I am just noting how and why the death sentence is reserved for some, and off limits to others. The death sentence remains a ‘prerogative’ of the poor. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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HISTORY AT A GLANCE

COMMUNISM IN THE UNITED STATES

COMMUNISM INTERNATIONALLY

Greenwich Village – in recent history, a bohemian capitol

Karl Marx – a German economist and philosopher

whose analyses have shaped current understanding of labor, the economy, and the government.

The Communist Manifesto – Written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the document explores the political ramifications of class struggles and the goals of communism.

Communist Party of the Soviet Union – The

party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, and came to power in 1917 following the October Revolution (also known as Red October, October Uprising, or Bolshevik Revolution). The USSR was the first Communist state and crumbled with the fall of Soviet communism in 1991. Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks when the Communist party first ascended to power, and upon his death, Joseph Stalin became the leader of the party and of the government. Countries currently ruled by a Communist government are the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

for artists, the birthplace of numerous social and political movements, including Beat literature and LGBT rights, and the home to the country’s first racially integrated nightclub called Café Society; the tolerant atmosphere of the neighborhood meant that a number of residents were Communist sympathizers or members of the Communist Party.

The Red Scare – the fear of communism that was perpetuated throughout the United States by anti-leftist advocates in two waves: 1920-21 and 1947-57.

Venona – codename for a secret project that intercepted

Soviet communication and eventually led to the identification of Americans spying for the Soviets, most famously Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – The couple was convicted of

conspiracy to commit espionage, and they were executed in 1953. They were accused of sharing secrets about the atomic bomb with the Soviet Union and were the only US civilians executed for espionage during the Cold War. Evidence made public since then suggests that Ethel Rosenberg was not involved.

The Cold War – lasted from after World War II until the

dissolution of the Soviet Union (approximately 1947-91); the relationship between the United States (with NATO allies) and the Soviet Union (with Warsaw Pact allies) was fraught with the threat of another world war as the two sides with starkly different economic and political systems vied for greater international power.

House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

– A committee of the US House of Representatives initially created to identify citizens with Nazi ties, it is best known for its investigations seeking out citizens with Communist ties. Its work is compared to Joseph McCarthy’s work in the US Senate.

Joseph McCarthy – US Senator from Wisconsin who served

from 1947-57 and is best known for accusing numerous State Department employees for being involved in the Communist Party and for related espionage; the accusations were unsubstantiated but still caused deep professional and personal repercussions for those who were “named.”

Julius (Joe) Joseph – playwright Amy Herzog’s step-grandfather who was accused of espionage and affiliation with the Communist party; he worked for the Office of Strategic Services (precursor to the CIA). The references to him and his experiences in After the Revolution are grounded in truth.

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POLITICAL TERMS Anarchism – Anarchism refers to the political theory that endorses stateless societies because of the belief that governments are unnecessary and, at times, even harmful.

Capitalism – In capitalist societies,

the means of production, such as machinery and factories, are typically privately owned and trade is operated for profit, which can lead to competitive markets and wealth accumulation as well as vast wealth disparities and market and power monopolies.

Communism – Communism refers

to the theory for organizing society around the shared ownership of the means of production and the goods produced. Communism opposes all private ownership and aims to dissolve all social classes.

Fascism – Fascism refers to a

government organized around a central authoritarian or dictatorial regime, which in practice translates to a tyrannical government. It is extremely nationalistic, with severe consequences for dissent or disobedience, and is actively anti-communist.

Marxism – Inspired by the work

AFTER THE REVOLUTION GLOSSARY Busing – Also known as desegregation busing, this is the practice of

transporting students to a different zone in an attempt to break down the racial segregation in schools that the US Supreme Court ruled was unconstitutional.

Propaganda – Propaganda is biased information used to publicize a

specific political cause in order to persuade others to endorse that point of view or motivate them to act on behalf of the cause.

The Blacklist – This list consisted of individuals who worked in the

movie industry but were prevented from gaining employment after they refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). They were identified, or “named,” by other film professionals including Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney. HUAC was trying to identify individuals who were involved in the Communist movement and force them to cooperate with investigations into the Communist Party.

Stalin apologists – These are members of the American Left

who ignored or denied the rise of totalitarianism under Stalin and vehemently defended the Soviet Union.

Proletariat – In Marxism, the proletariat refers to the workers. “Named names” – During the Cold War, if someone was “named,” it meant that someone else had identified them as having been involved with the Communist Party in some way.

Ideological communist – In this context, it means someone who

agreed with the ideas of communism but was never associated with the Communist Party.

of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Marxism is a theory of socialism that emphasizes societal conflict as a means to revolution ultimately resulting in a classless society.

“Took the Fifth” – When testifying under oath, the Fifth Amendment

Socialism – Socialism refers to any of

Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – The OSS was an organization

the numerous theories for political or economic practices that promote the shared public ownership of the means of production, such as machinery or factories, but does allow for some private ownership.

to the US Constitution provides protection to an individual from delivering a testimony that might be incriminating. When alleged Communists were testifying and “took the Fifth,” Congress likened it to admitting guilt. that was created during World War II to align all espionage efforts in the various branches of the Armed Forces. Its successor is the CIA.

Testimony – Emma refers to the transcript of Joe Joseph’s testimony

before Congress. It is a complete record of everything that was spoken —including the questions he was asked and the answers that he gave —when he was questioned under oath about his activities with the Communist Party.

Perjure – To perjure oneself is to lie intentionally under oath.

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PLACES OF THE PLAY

Red line indicates possible route Leo and Micah may have planned for their bike tour. 1. St. Paul, Minnesota – Leo’s hometown

9. Greenwich Village – Vera’s neighborhood in Manhattan

2. Evergreen State College – Leo has attended this public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington

10. San Francisco, California – Amanda’s hometown

3. Seattle, Washington – Leo and Micah’s bike tour started here 4. Wyoming – where Leo and Micah crossed the Continental Divide 5. Yellowstone National Park – in Wyoming, home to Old Faithful Geyser 6. Rocky Mountains – span several states, including Colorado 7. Gypsum, Kansas – Leo and Micah’s “small town America of choice”

11. Roxbury, Massachusetts – a neighborhood in Boston; in the 1940s and 1950s, it became the center of Boston’s African American community. Many of Ben’s students are bused from Roxbury into the school district where he teaches in Brookline 12. Brookline, Massachusetts – an affluent town just outside of Boston where Ben teaches 13. Tufts University – just outside of Boston where (the older) Leo is a professor

8. George Washington Bridge – spans the Hudson River to connect Manhattan and New Jersey

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Photos by Julie Schmitt

4000 MILES GLOSSARY Panniers (pan-YAYs) – used in a set, these two bags are draped over the front or rear tire of a bicycle and used to store equipment, clothing, and food.

“no such thing as a local banana” – Leo is referencing

the local food movement, in which consumers are encouraged to purchase their produce from local and sustainable farms to avoid the carbon footprint created when out-of-season food is transported long distances from tropical climates, particularly from Central and South America. Bananas only grow in tropical regions, so it’s not possible for a banana to be local in most places in the United States.

Climbing wall – These artificial structures that simulate natural rock formations are popular in urban gyms.

“with the internet, information is free to everyone, it um… de-commodifies knowledge” - Leo asserts that by changing knowledge from a commodity—which is a product that is purchased and therefore is more likely to be consumed by those with the wealth to purchase it—into an entitlement, the increased access to knowledge will lead to greater equality among all social classes.

Peyote – The cactus produces an edible fruit that has

psychoactive qualities when ingested. It has traditionally been used in some Native American religious ceremonies. Recreational use of peyote is illegal.

Rumi – Born in 1207, Persian poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi is one of the most widely-read poets in the United States. Leo quotes one of Coleman Barks’ popular adaptations, which have received criticism for de-Islamicizing Rumi’s poems to make them more palatable for Western readers.

Autumnal equinox – On the equinox, day and night are

the same length. In the Northern Hemisphere, the autumnal equinox is September 22 or 23. It is the first official day of fall and has historically been a pagan holiday.

Tyson – Tyson Foods, Inc., is the world’s largest poultry

processing company; they breed, raise, butcher, and sell chicken. They also sell beef, pork, and prepared foods, and their practices have been criticized as cruel to animals and hazardous to employees and consumers.

“PR lady” – An individual who works in public relations

(PR) is responsible for shaping the image and reputation of a company by controlling the information that is shared with the public through press releases and news stories.

Evergreen – Evergreen State College in Washington state is a liberal arts college that is especially suited for nontraditional learners. Students do not receive grades but rather Narrative Evaluations, design their own majors, and focus on social responsibility. It also has a reputation for being a “stoner school.”

“Cuba’s healthcare is wonderful… and literacy, too” – The Communist Party of Cuba has built a cost-

effective healthcare system that focuses on preventative medicine and primary care and minimizes the number of physicians who specialize, which has led to very positive outcomes. Cuba’s level of literacy—adults 15 and older who can read and write—is 99.8%, which is higher than the United States’ 99%.

Illustration by Amelia Greenhall (ameliagreenhall.com), Elly Blue Publishing

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IN CLASS

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: AFTER THE REVOLUTION

4000 MILES

1. Ben and Emma both allude to a revolution that Vera and Joe had hoped for, and that Ben commends Emma for working toward. Their work suggests that they believe this revolution will lead to a classless state, where justice will be served and every member of society will have access and opportunity. What kind of revolution do you envision or hope for?

1. Leo is struggling to find his way into adulthood. He has taken some time off of college, but he has continued to challenge himself, not least of which with a cross-country bike tour. What is the right way into adulthood—through college, getting a job, embarking on a journey, taking care of an aging loved one? Why? How will you enter adulthood?

2. Morty says, “It can be hard, can’t it? Even for very bright, well-meaning people. In a tough situation, to know what’s right?” Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it was unclear what the right thing to do was? How does one figure out what the right thing to do is? Do we ever really know what’s right? How?

2. Vera shares a number of personal anecdotes in 4000 Miles as she and Leo negotiate being roommates. Do your elders ever over-share? Why do they tell these stories that sometimes feel like #tmi? What do you think Vera is trying to convey to Leo and Bec with the stories that she shares?

3. Emma works tirelessly to advocate for Mumia Abu-Jamal, focusing her work on overturning the death sentence. What do you think about the death penalty? Is it ever acceptable? If so, in what cases? Do you change your mind if the guilt is undisputed? Why or why not? 4. Vera says, “[Your father] said it’s healthy for you to be critical of your grandfather… he called that “progress.” That’s what he said. Well. I’ve lived too long to call it progress, Emma.” What do you think? Is it progress to be critical of your elders? Do they have wisdom that is absolute? What are some examples of times when you have disagreed with your elders? Why?

3. Leo shares a favorite poem of his by Persian poet Rumi (see below). What’s your favorite poem? When might be an occasion to quote it in every day life? Why does Leo quote this particular poem to Bec? Reference the text included here to support your assertions. 4. In the play, Leo shares a story about something that has happened recently. Other characters (especially Bec) criticize the way he deals with what’s happened. What do you think? Did Leo do the right thing? Why do you think he made the choices he made? What would you have done?

“There is a field” by Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass The world is too full to talk about. centerstage.org


IN CLASS

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

1. If you were planning a trip focused on the journey rather than the destination, where would you go and how would you get there? Would it be a bike tour or a road trip, or maybe train or plane or boat rides? What route would you take? What stops would you make along the way? Why? Use the blank maps here (fig 1 &2) to indicate your path. 2. “Vera’s footsteps” – Play this warm-up game by choosing one person to be Vera, the grandmother at the front of the room. He or she keeps her back to the rest of the students, who are lined up along the opposite side of the room. They try to advance to Vera’s side of the room to tap her on the shoulder. If Vera turns around and sees anybody moving, that person must go back to the start position. 3. Biking Meetup Improv – Person A starts by “bicycling” (could be kneeling on a backwardsturned chair, using the backrest as handlebars) when another individual, Person B, starts riding their bicycle next to Person A. Person B has some kind of quirk that is not explicitly described, but rather shown to the audience and Person A, who then must adopt this quirk. For example, if Person B enters the scene with a habit of singing everything instead of speaking, by the end of the improvisation scene, both A and B are singing everything. Person A then finds a reason to exit the scene, Person B becomes Person A, and another student enters the scene on a bicycle with a new quirk. 4. Two truths and a lie – Everyone in the circle decides on two truths and a lie to share with the group. Going around the circle, each person shares their three “facts.” Afterwards, the facilitator asks those who think the first fact was the false one to raise their hands, then who thinks the second fact was false to raise their hands, and finally who thinks the third fact was false to raise their hands. When everyone has shared their three “facts,” discuss what you have discovered: what was surprising? What was exciting? Why?

EXPLORE MORE AFTER THE REVOLUTION

Watch: • The Crucible by Arthur Miller

This play is an allegory of the hearings led by Joseph McCarthy

• James Bond

Fictional spy films often depicted with Cold War-themed conflict

• Manufacturing Guilt: A Short Film about Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Case: youtube.com/watch?v=y0GbNwKmHaE

• Not En(titled) by Anna Deavere Smith

(monologue exploring urban violence): vimeo.com/49467514

Listen: • Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 1999 Commencement Speech for

Evergreen State College: youtube.com/watch?v=RK7AoOcI-sM • Serial Podcast that explores the complexity and ambiguities of a murder trial

Read: • The Crucible by Arthur Miller

This play is a allegory of the hearings led by Joseph McCarthy

• Center Stage Program for 4000 Miles and After the Revolution • Blog that covers Bike Culture bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/

4000 MILES Watch: • Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure

A film with bicycle related drama! • The Triplets of Belleville Animated film whose protagonist is training to win the Tour de France

Listen: • Just Food Stories

Podcast about the local food movement • The bike podcast by the Guardian Podcast about bicycling news

Read: • Rumi’s poetry:

rumi.org.uk/poetry/

• Center Stage Program for 4000 Miles and After the Revolution • Blog that covers Bike Culture bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/

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IN CLASS

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Figure 1

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IN CLASS

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Figure 2

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