The Wikileaks scandal has rocked headlines for the better part of two years, with revelations regarding the leaks of classified military documents, diplomatic cables and more. Inspired by real life events and using as much information from news outlets as possible, American born playwright/director Jason Lasky brings us Sons of Liberty, a 5th Wall Production.
The faces of Liberty (left to right) Ivan Batishchev, Phil Adebimpe, Alexander M. Lydon, Vivienne Yu He, Jason Lasky, Vegard Kristensen, Christy Shapiro, Philip Knight
Melding facts with fiction, Lasky imagines what Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo and other key players were thinking as they played their part in the biggest classified information leak in U.S. military history.
From the second Jason heard about the Wikileaks scandal, he knew it would make great fodder for a play. “I always felt like it was a big fucking deal, all this classified information being released. You have things like the Pentagon Papers, Deep Throat and the Watergate scandal, major, major releases of information. So I read more and I thought, who’s this kid, Bradley Manning?” His play seeks to answer that question.
Ruminations on Freedom (left to right) Phil Adebimpe, Christy Shapiro, Vegard Kristensen, Alexander M. Lydon
Six out of nine characters in the play are real people, a tool that proved useful for his actors, who were able to study videos and voice patterns in an effort to successfully become the characters. The performance is marketed as a staged reading, with a Q&A after, but Jason says, “It’s so much more. The actors have gone above and beyond and the audience will get a chance to comment on the performance. They get to mold a work that is in it’s infancy and help me decide where it goes next.” When I ask him to elaborate, he simply smiles and says, “come on June 3rd and you’ll be surprised.”
Sons of Liberty cast members (left to right) Christy Shapiro, Phil Adebimpe, hilip Knight, Alexander M. Lydon, Vivienne Yu He, Vegard Kristensen, Ivan Batishchev
“I’m curious what the audience thinks and I hope they’re curious about what we’re presenting to them, if they love it or hate it, it’s about freedom of speech,” Lasky asserts.
One prestigious University is already a fan of his play. After the admissions office at NYU read the script, they liked it enough to invite Jason to study playwriting at The Tisch School of Arts, where he will pursue an MFA this fall.
For 100rmb (120rmb at the door), audience members get a pre-show drink, admission to the after party and a ticket to see an original play, which attempts to capture the complexity of the Wikileaks story. Check it out.
One day only: June 3, 2012 - 18:00
Metro: Hanzong Road
668 Huai An Lu, near Suzhou Nan Lu
Cover: RMB 100 (pre-sale) / RMB 120 (door) (incl. pre-show drink and admission to after party)
Please specify name and number of tickets for reservation. Ticket pick-up on evening of show, cash only please.
WORDS: Kate Robards / Jason Lasky