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Duke Performances: Waking the American Dream Is a Wakeup Call from African-American Actress Sarah Jones

February 25, 2005 - Durham, NC:


Chameleon-like OBIE Award-winning actress/performance artist, provocative playwright, fearless Hip-Hop poet, and unapologetically liberal political activist Sarah Jones will perform her third one-woman show, Waking the American Dream, Monday night in the Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, NC. According to various news media reports, a great deal of this show, which is a briskly paced set of interconnected character sketches of immigrants personally affected by the 9-11 terrorist attack, has been incorporated into Jones’ recent Off-Broadway hit Bridge and Tunnel, which will open on Broadway this fall.

According to Jones’ web site, “Sarah Jones … attended Bryn Mawr College where she was the recipient of the Mellon Minority Fellowship, then returned to her native New York and began writing and performing. Called ‘a master of the genre’ by The New York Times, Jones and her solo shows Surface Transit, Women Can't Wait, and Bridge and Tunnel, which was produced by Meryl Streep, have garnered numerous honors including a Helen Hayes Award, HBO's Comedy Arts Festival’s Best One Person Show Award, and two Drama Desk nominations. Jones's plays have enjoyed sold-out runs at The Kennedy Center, Berkeley Repertory Theater and the American Place Theatre, among others, and have been presented for such audiences as the United Nations, the Supreme Court of Nepal, and members of the U.S. Congress. She has received grants and commissions from Lincoln Center, The Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and many others. Jones recently made history by suing the FCC for its ban of her celebrated poem/song ‘Your Revolution’, and eventually forced reversal of the censorship. She is currently at work with her partner Steve Colman on preparation to move Bridge and Tunnel to Broadway this [fall].”

In promoting Sarah Jones’ Sept. 12, 2002 appearance of Barnard College in New York City, the Barnard Center for Research on Women publicist wrote, “Jones, who was MS. Magazine's October 2000 ‘cover girl,’ will perform excerpts from Waking the American Dream, a moving collage of the hopes and struggles of ten diverse immigrants to the United States. Waking the American Dream portrays the victories and losses of those who arrive in America to pursue a dream so powerful it has shaped a national consciousness. As Jones brings to life characters personally affected by the 9/11 attacks, she reminds us how tenuous and elusive that dream can be, with a moving portrait of diversity in America on the first anniversary of the attacks. After her performance, Jones will discuss her work … in a forum on how dramatic arts heighten social consciousness and activism.”

Jones also will be available for a post-performance question-and-answer session at Duke.

Duke Performances presents Waking the American Dream Monday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. in the Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. $10 (free to Duke students and employees with ID). 919/660-3356. Note: There will be a Q&A session following the performance. Duke Performances: http://www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs/. Sarah Jones: http://www.sarahjonesonline.com/ [inactive 8/07].