Open Play

May 18th, 2022

OPEN PLAY is a series that gives any and every artist of any discipline a chance to share 5 minutes of work - song, monologue, scene, whatever! The space is yours.

This month’s OPEN PLAY will be hosted by writer Robbie Pollock and founder and Executive Director of Drama Club, Josie Whittlesey.


For those who are interested in sharing, the event will last until 9:30pm which means that we will have time for roughly 12 offerings. Every offering will need to be no more than 5-minutes and everyone should be prepared to stay until 9:30pm. If you are interested in sharing work, you will be invited to write in your name at the top of the event, and we will honor the names by spinning the Wheel of Names (Nuyorican style adapted for the virtual world!). If you need others to read your work with you, you can invite them into the Zoom room with the link we will be sharing with you, or you can look for other actors in the community that evening. OPEN PLAY is designed for those who know Rattlestick and for those who do not (yet) to find collaborators and community and is open for the public to listen.

All of the excerpts will need to be live. We will not be able to support any recorded offerings.

We look forward to a fun-filled surprising evening!

Robbie Pollock

Robert Pollock is PEN America’s Prison Writing Program Manager. For over a decade, he has worked with the justice system and its intersection with the arts. He is an ongoing participant in Rehabilitation Through the Arts, Musicambia, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, and Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Advisory Committee. He has collaborated with the Fortune Society, Osborne Association, and several NYC grassroots organizations. He has participated in workshops and panels at Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Yale, and other universities to advocate for the power of the arts in prison education and restorative justice practices. As a visual artist, he illustrated the picture book for children of incarcerated parents, Sing Sing Midnight, which is used in therapeutic settings around the country. As a singer-songwriter, his compositions have been heard at the Obama White House, the RFK Human Rights Foundation, Create Justice forums, the Vera Institute of Justice Gala, the New York Ethical Society, and Carnegie Hall. Robert is a Fall 2019 New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow.

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Josie Whittlesey

Josie is the Founder and Executive Director of Drama Club, a nonprofit whose mission is to consistently care for youth-especially those who are incarcerated and court involved-by creating space for them to thrive, using improv as their guide. Drama Club is committed to providing New York City’s most vulnerable and overlooked youth the opportunity to play, be seen and heard, and cultivate life skills via improvisational theatre. Josie has taught acting, scene study, public speaking, and text analysis at Fordham University, New York University, Montclair State University, Nassau Community College, Purchase College, SUNY, Larry Singer Studios, Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Woodbourne Correctional Facility, GEMS, and Ravenswood Community Center (NYCHA).  She holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting program.

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