If you’re fighting off seasonal affective disorder, these next three events aren’t the medicine you’re looking for. But hey, winter can’t be all open-bar office parties and artisan holiday markets.
Civilization and Its Discontents: a Marathon Reading
Saturday, Jan. 3, 2:30-7pm, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village; free (donations welcome)
When we got an e-mail from “Sigmund Freud” with the subject line “Mankind’s Urge to Destroy,” we worried some newfangled hacker group was after us. Luckily, it was just an invite to a dramatic reading of Siggy’s Civilization and Its Discontents. This marathon reading — which’ll come just a couple of days after you’ve recovered from the Poetry Project’s — promises to respond to “the violence that has defined 2014” with the help of readers Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours, etc.), director Larry Fessenden, writer Nick Flynn, war correspondent Elizabeth Rubin, tequila connoisseur Gersh Kuntzman, and hatchet-job master Dale Peck, alongside Iraqi war vets, psychoanalysts and others. But why this book right now? “To read Civilization and its Discontents in 2015,” says New School philosopher Simon Critchley, who will also read, “is to bear witness to the deadly violence whose daily presence is all-too-familiar to us and imagine the conditions that might provide a loving counterweight to that violence.” Let’s hope!
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 8-10pm (doors at 7:30), Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th St., Williamsburg; tickets $25, or $15 with student ID
Part of the ongoing series dubbed War Correspondents at the Brooklyn Brewery, this installment will find Sebastian Junger of Restrepo fame speaking with authors Jen Percy (Demon Camp) and Elliot Ackerman (Green On Blue) as well as photographer Peter Van Agtmael (Disco Night Sept 11). “With the withdrawl of combat troops from Afghanistan,” asks the invite, “how will storytellers reckon with the thirteen-year war and its legacy among Americans and Afghans?” That conversation is sure to be a heavy one, so it’s a good thing a free beer is included in the price of admission.
Jan. 22, 23, 24, and 25 at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., East Village
This production by Girl Be Heard, an East Village-based organization that empowers young women through theatrical performance, dramatizes stories of homelessness and displacement gathered from Center Sandholm, a Red Cross-operated refugee camp in Denmark where as many as 2,000 asylum seekers (these days, mostly Syrians) arrive each month. The production, sponsored by the US Department of State, has previously been staged at the White House, TED Women and the United Nations. No offense to the White House, but we’re more inclined to catch it at the Nuyo.