Brooklyn Neighborhood Acts Out On Development Plan

Watching 'Brooklyn at Eye Level'

Friday, December 05, 2008

At the Public Theater, the hip hop artist Danny Hoch recently put gentrification on stage in his show called "Taking Over." A similar project has been in development by the theater company The Civilians.

Their project is called "Brooklyn at Eye Level." It brings performers together with community residents to discuss development projects in Brooklyn, centering on the Atlantic Yards project.

The actors spent the past 2 months interviewing people around Brooklyn, and compiled the best interviews into an hour long show.

One actor portrays Brooklyn Borough Hall president, Marty Markowitz.

ACTOR 1: And I say to those people, who are so viciously anti, I say to them, when this stadium is built, and it will be built, I want them to come up to me and say, "ya know Marty, its not so bad."

REPORTER: The show's Artistic Director, Steven Cossin, says that although the projects been underway for two months, the show itself was put together in about a week. He says the group relies on audience feedback to refine the work.

COSSIN: Before we even digest the material too much, we put it up on its feet, present it to a public, then after every performance we'll do a talk-back for hour, however long it goes, and that'll really inform whatever future path we take.

REPORTER: The Civilians are planning to expand the Atlantic Yards project over the next year into a full length play. "Brooklyn at Eye Level" runs at the Brooklyn Lyceum through the weekend.


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