We are a NYC-based radical performance community, defending land & life from reckless development and the imperatives of global capital.
We are a post religious church, a radical performance community. We hold “services” wherever we can, in concert halls, theaters, churches, community centers, forests, fields, parking lots, mall atriums, and perhaps most importantly, inside stores, as close to the cash register as we can get, within spitting distance of the point of purchase.
We identify particularly egregious corporate practices: Starbuck’s blocking Ethiopian coffee farmers from adding value to their coffees by trademarking their ancient coffee names, Victoria’s Secret clear cutting virgin forest to send out a million catalogs a day for a 2% return, Disney and its sweatshop labour, the rock star Bono and his project RED, Wal-Mart and its union busting. We study their ad campaigns, their marketing strategies, and we invent and shape a counter story, a fresh narrative. Then we go into the retail environment armed with this new message, The Anti-Ad. The Truth. We sing, we dance, we preach, sometimes we perform small “interventions”, invisible plays, acts of ritual resistance.
Liberation is a radiant process, it spreads. We think freedom from consumerism is virulent, contagious. Tell your neighbor you stopped shopping and it gives her permission to do the same. One day we can all live in richly varied and hilarious neighborhoods, with people who seem to have invented themselves, and so are endlessly fascinating, something beyond entertainment. Yes there IS a Life After Shopping!
Naturally people wonder how this all works. Do we live in the bushes? Do we forage for food? Spin our own wool? Have we stopped our shopping? Where did I get my underwear?
We are organized like a not for profit theater company and we support this work by teaching, lecturing, and performing, with generous donations and grants and most of all through volunteerism and skill sharing. We try to spread whatever resources we have as far out in our community as we can. Among us there are scientists, filmmakers, teachers, musicians, dog walkers, hairdressers, executives, painters and bakers. We are all ages and many races and we are definitely not Puritans, so sometimes we do shop, but carefully and locally if at all possible. This is not a Utopian vision, or maybe it is and our Utopia just looks less like the biosphere and more like a healthy neighborhood.
We are raising money to keep the show on the road and we need your support. We have received a generous matching grant, and for the next 8 weeks every dollar you give is worth two dollars to the church. Its really a miracle.