THE BODY & SOLD PROJECT 2015-2016
Over 100,000 young Americans run away from home every year. Within 48 hours of being on the street these teens will be approached by a man posing as a friend, offering food, shelter, and love. Most of the time, he will turn out to be a pimp and will sell the young person for commercial sex. The BODY & SOLD Project is a theater and community initiative to raise awareness about the epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation of our young people and develop strategies to combat it.
In 2015, Deborah Lake Fortson and Amy Merrill created a groundbreaking activist network of theaters and communities in the greater Boston area. The goal: to shine a spotlight on the trafficking of American young people for commercial sexual exploitation taking place right in our own backyard. This year, theaters in the Boston area have staged readings of BODY & SOLD each month in a different community. Discussion with community leaders following each performance.
It is our goal to link the excitement an audience finds in theater with a course toward action that works for change in society. We have seen the success of The Yellow Dress and BODY & SOLD in raising awareness. With the involvement of teens and local service organizations in the BODY & SOLD project, we have a vehicle to raise awareness and move towards grass roots action on behalf of young people at risk.
BODY & SOLD PERFORMANCES 2015:
September 14: Lee MIkeska Gardner, director of The Nora Theatre at Central Square Theater opened the campaign with a reading of BODY & SOLD directed by Naomi Ibasitas. The after-show panel was comprised of Audrey Morrissey, Associate Director of My Life My Choice, Steven Procopio from Roxbury Youthworks, Sergeant Detective Louis Cherubino, Detective Kevin Donofio, and Social Worker Cathy Pemberton of the Cambridge Police Department.
October 25: Marc Miller with Fort Point Theatre Channel partnered with Tempest Productions to produce a reading of BODY & SOLD at The Club by George Foreman III. Discussion was led Amy Merrill with panelists Lieutenant Donna Gavin of the Boston Police Department, Mia Alvarado, director of Roxbury Youthworks, and life coaches Nikia Boden and Bailey Burrell.
November 16: Charlotte Meehan and Adara Myers of Sleeping Weazel, joined with TEMPEST's Deborah Lake Fortson and Amy Merrill, and with Jennifer Johnston, director of Charlestown Working Theater, to produce a reading of BODY & SOLD at CWT. The reading was directed by Robbie McCauley, with a cast drawn from Wheaton College, Emerson College and freelance actors.
BODY & SOLD PERFORMANCES 2016:
February 7: Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company produced a reading of BODY & SOLD at the Democracy Center in Harvard Square. The panel included Sergeant Detective Louis Cherubino, Detective Kevin Donofrio and Cathy Pemberton,all from the Cambridge Police Department, Special Investigations Unit.
March 18, 2016 & March 25: Judy Braha of the Boston University School of Theatre presented a reading of BODY & SOLD at the Boston Playwrights' Theater.
Actors in BODY & SOLD at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St, Boston JUNE 9, 4:30 JUNE 11 7:30