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Epic Theatre does a dramatic reading of Woonsocket City Council meeting



The Epic Theatre Company did a dramatic reading of the Woonsocket City Council‘s September 16 discussion of newly elected City Councilor Alex Kithes‘ resolution against White Supremacy. During that discussion, the City Council, led by James Cournoyer, amended the resolution into a series of insults against Kithes, and made a mockery of the resolution’s intent.

“When we were asked if this was just to make fun of these people, the answer was yes,” said Epic Artistic Director Kevin Broccoli, the artistic director who co-produced the reading with Epic actor, theater artist and stage manager Lauren Pothier. “But also, one of the things that Lauren and I felt very strongly about was, like, people aren’t paying attention, really. Because even though this is public and they’re all public statements and stuff, this stuff kind of happens in a vacuum, unless you have somebody like Steve there, who says, ‘Everybody, look over here!'”

Edit, 2:50pm:

Shortly after this post was published, Woonsocket City Councilmember John Ward shared the post on Facebook, with the comment:

“At least they were honest enough to admit that they, in collaboration and with the full agreement of Alexander Kithes, only did it to make fun of the Woonsocket City Council. So, how does the rest of the council feel about working with a colleague that goes out of his way to mock and ridicule them. Any thoughts on this Dan Gendron, Jon Brien, Denise Sierra, David Soucy?

Note that in this piece, Broccoli doesn’t say that they “only did it to make fun of the Woonsocket City Council.” Yes, they did it to make fun, but they also wanted to call attention to the Woonsocket City Council’s egregious behavior. One should also note that the City Council amended the Kithes resolution to ridicule Kithes. So, to re-ask Ward’s question with this information in mind, “How does the rest of the council feel about working with colleagues that go out of their way to mock and ridicule one of their own?”

Here’s the cast:

  • Jonathan Pitts-Wiley – Council President Daniel Gendron
  • Kerstyn Desjardin – Council Vice President Jon Brien
  • Lauren Pothier – Councilor Alex Kithes
  • Alexis Ingram – Councilor David Soucy
  • Jomo Peters – Councilor James Cournoyer
  • Justin Pimentel – Councilor John Ward
  • Kevin Broccoli – Narrator

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Here’s the reading:

After the reading there was a talk back, a discussion between the performers and the audience about the piece:

Here’s the introductory comments by Broccoli and the introduction of the cast that preceded the reading.

Jonathan Pitts-Wiley and Jomo Peters
Alex Kithes and Lauren Pothier

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Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.