#hEALMETOO FESTIVAL HOME > pussy grabber plays

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#HealMeToo Festival Presents: The Pussy Grabber Plays & Emma Sulkowicz & Activist Training

SPECIAL EVENT ON:

tuesday 4/2 at 7pm

$10 ADVANCE TIX!

$15 AT THE DOOR

#HealMeToo Festival Managing Producer Charlotte Arnoux will direct a reading of four of The Pussy Grabber Plays, inspired by interviews with the women who came forward at great personal cost to tell their stories of Trump’s sexual assaults:

  • Five Beauty Queens Walk into a Bar: Based on the bravery of Tasha Dixon, written by Julia Brownell (NBC’s This Is Us)

  • Troublemaker: Based on the bravery of Jill Harth, written by Sharyn Rothstein (By The Water)

  • Rachels: Based on the bravery of Rachel Crooks, written by Halley Feiffer (I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard)

  • Credible Women: A play about the women who haven’t come forward, written by Sam Chanse (Trigger, Fruiting Bodies)

Performers appearing in our readings of The Pussy Grabber Plays include: Diane Chen, Marlowe Holden, Zoe Abuyuan, Sharlee Taylor, Lacy Marie Meyer*, Jackie Maruschak, Kea Trevett, Mike Turner, and stage directions read by Haley Baird Riemer. (*Member of Actors Equity)

Immediately following this performance, the Festival will proudly present the first-ever #HealMeToo Award to Emma Sulkowicz, famed for their Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) at Columbia University, which spurred global headlines and rallied students nationwide to demand better sexual violence policies.

We’ll conclude with powerful activist training by the ace organizer at Flake-Elevator-shero Ana Maria Archila’s org: Jennifer Flynn Walker. Working with Ana Maria, Jennifer personally trained and led regular folks from across the nation into the Senate Building throughout the Kavanaugh hearings, to lobby and protest their Senators face-to-face by telling their powerful stories.

Content warning: Some descriptions of sexual violence.

Jennifer Flynn Walker’s training will teach us ways we can each craft our own stories into effective organizing tools, whether we want to show up at a School Board, a Town Hall meeting, a speech by a 2020 candidate, or the halls of Congress—so we can all use our stories to push those in power to adopt better policies.

It’s what Jennifer has been doing since the 90s herself as an ACT UP activist, and now has taught thousands to do since February of 2017, when she and fellow activists at Housing Works banded together to form Birddog Nation, a training and mobilization national network that empowered people to show up in DC again and again to protest, meet with their representatives, or be arrested in acts of Civil Disobedience to push back on Trump and the GOP’s hateful agenda—helping to stop the repeal of Obamacare, then defend Dreamers, stand up for survivors, help power the 2018 Blue Wave, and now to push for fairer drug pricing and get 2020 candidates on the record in support of Medicare for All and a Green New Deal.

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Emma Sulkowicz is a performance artist best known for her work Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), 2014-15, where she carried a dorm room mattress on Columbia University’s campus to protest the university’s mishandling of her sexual assault complaint against a fellow student. Mattress Performance sparked a national debate about sexual assault on campus while drawing both praise and critique from the art world and beyond. Sulkowicz lives and works in New York City.

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The Pussy Grabber Plays is a theatrical production comprised of a series of short plays inspired by seven women who came forward at great personal cost. Following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump bragged about women letting him “grab them by the pussy,” more than twenty brave women came forward with their own stories of Trump’s sexual misconduct, molestation and abuse. These women were reduced to statistics and sidelined by Trump’s election, but their voices echo now with each powerful man brought down by the #metoo movement. As theater makers and storytellers, the creators of The Pussy Grabber Plays are committed to amplifying their voices, revealing the difficult choices they’ve made, and celebrating their courage. Each play focuses on different aspects of the women’s stories and their experiences – from telling their families what happened to them, to deciding to come forward, to their questioning and confrontation of victimhood, sexism and power.

The Pussy Grabber Plays (Copyright 2019) was originally produced at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York, January 14, 2019 Kate Pines & Sharyn Rothstein, Co-Creators Hope Chavez & Shira Milikowsky, Founding Producers.

Each play comprising The Pussy Grabber Plays is fully owned by its author. Bios for the producers and playwrights of The Pussy Grabber Plays may be found here.

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Jennifer Flynn Walker directs CPD's Mobilization and Advocacy program, working closely with the Fightback and Field Initiatives Programs. Jennifer is responsible for federal healthcare, tax policy and advocacy.  At the same time she is developing new ways to mobilize our affiliates in federal campaigns, while experimenting with innovative methods for building new and broader constituencies who can join our campaigns, including building CPD's Opioid Network.

Jennifer joined CPD after serving for 10 years as a co-founder and Executive Director of CPD affiliate, VOCAL-NY.  She was the director of Health GAP, a global AIDS advocacy organization, expanding the organization to 3 countries on 2 continents. Jennifer was the first US based and focused human rights activist selected for Columbia University's Human Rights Advocates Training Fellowship, a recipient of the Union Square Award, Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Award and New York City Council Hero Award and received a NYC Council proclamation in 2016 for her leadership on LGBT issues. She was named one of the most promising AIDS activists in 2001 by Poz Magazine and most was highlighted as one of the leading 25 LGBT AIDS Activists in 25 years by HIV Plus Magazine in 2009.

Jennifer serves on the board of directors for Met Council on Housing (MCREF), Health GAP and the North Star Fund and a is a mom to Flynn, Rock and their dog Doyle. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Political Science from Marist College and a M.S. from the New School for Social Research.