Blast from the Past: A benefit against Hate Crimes from the Improv Community


I JUST found this posting on a site called Zoom. I did not even see the write up that they posted until just now.  Almost twelve years later, and I still can’t figure out why I and others let this drop by the wayside. Maybe now, more then ever, with all the rampant hatred going on, it’s time to revive the idea. “Grass Roots” performers all over, not just the celebs.

BTW..the article got it a bit wrong. There were 54 troupes in 24 States who joined in on the benefit. Not a big deal, but…think of it then. This was all started through the alt.com newsgroups, and then we all moved to a chat room I hosted on AOL way back when. I was ranting about the shooting of a Jewish Day Care Center in CA and the face of evil (only way I saw it) on the news of the captured gunman. For those who don’t remember, or weren’t born yet: he did not kill anyone, he only thought so. He was SMIRKING to the cameras, and he thought he killed 2-5 year olds and the staff.  If that’s not evil…

So…read away. Contact me if you want to revive this idea. It’s easy for us to mouth off on FB or whatever. What are you willing to do to fight it? Albert Einstein said it best:

The world is a dangerous place to live – not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. – Albert Einstein

Here’s the article. I guess it’s better late then never: Thank you!

Don’t Hate Us Because We’re Funny
yesand.com, 17 Feb 1999 [cached] 

Stuart Nager, director of The Brothers Grinn, organized this event only in mid-August of this year. 

Others wishing to get involved, particularly in those cities not yet represented should contact Stuart Nager via email.
Turn Off the Violence – Funding the campaign
http://www.turnofftheviolence.org, 21 June 2001 [cached] 

In fact, it was the smirk on his face that outraged a New York man, Stuart Nager, into action.
Stuart Nager, director and founder of The Brothers Grinn, a New York State based improv company, took action the best way he knew how… by contacting his colleagues across the country and asking them to participate in a benefit for violence prevention.He named the event “Don’t Hate Us Because We’re Funny: The Improv Theater Community’s Benefit Against Violence & Hate Crimes.” Seventy troupes across the country did benefit performances in mid-November and sent their proceeds to violence prevention projects.
The five troupes shown below selected Turn Off the Violence as the organization to which their funds would go.We have used their contributions to purchase Adobe Acrobat software that will enable us to make our Educators Guide and other materials available on this website. This is another example of how all of us can use our time and talents to help “turn off the violence.”Thank you to Stuart Nager and the following improv troupes!
The Brody Theater in Portland, Oregon
The Chainsaw Boys in Brooklyn, New York
The Sunday Night Improv in New York City, New York
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