Jefe's House
Jeffrey Stanley is a playwright, screenwriter, director, and occasional journalist. His plays include the semiautobiographical wartime drama Tesla's Letters, the southern fried dark comedy Medicine, Man his autobiographical comedy show The Golden Horseshoe: A Lecture on Tragedy and others. He is immediate past president of the board of directors of the New York Neo-Futurists experimental theatre ensemble, and his award-winning short film Lady in a Box, a satire inspired by the Terri Schiavo euthanasia case and starring Sarita Choudhury, has been licensed numerous times for international broadcast and distribution. Stanley has been a guest at Yaddo, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, and a guest lecturer at the Imaginary Academy film and theatre workshop in Croatia sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He frequently teaches at his alma mater the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and at New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies. He has appeared as a featured writer in The New York Times, Time Out New York and Hemispheres, and he was a senior advisor to Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies’ book on apocalypse movements The End That Does. Stanley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Tisch where he studied under playwright David Ives, and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television with a minor in cultural anthropology. www.brain-on-fire.com.

Author Archive

International Theatre Initiative

by on May.25, 2017, under Theatre

So thrilled to be an invited member of the International Theatre Initiative, a UNESCO-sponsored world theatre education initiative. ITI was created by the first UNESCO Director General, Sir Julian Huxley and the playwright JB Priestley in 1948, just after the Second World War, and at the beginning of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain divided the East and the West.

The aim of the founders of ITI was to build an organization that was aligned with UNESCO’s goals on culture, education and the arts, and which would focus its endeavors on improving the status of all members of the performing arts professions.

They envisaged an organization that created platforms for international exchange and for engagement in the education of the performing arts, for beginners and professionals alike, as well as using the performing arts for mutual understanding and peace.

ITI has now developed into the world’s largest organization for the performing arts, with more than 90 Centres spread across every continent.

 

 

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Never Forget

by on Jan.20, 2017, under On the Road, Politics, Shaheb Cafe

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A Shaheb’s Guide to India

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I realize there are numerous examples of horrific cruelty in our history — the Middle Passage and Concentration Camps always come to mind first and foremost — but here’s one more. We might want to call such crimes unspeakable but they need to be spoken.

Look up Reginald Edward Harry Dyer for the full scoop. The thousands of citizens, including entire families, who gathered were attempting a Gandhian peaceful protest and also during a religious festival when the city of Amritsar was packed. This is just down the hill from the Sikhs’ Golden Temple.

20161223_09294920161223_092937The protest was on rented private property in a back alley courtyard. Dyer had stupidly issued a Jim Crow-like order barring Indians from congregating in groups of 6 or more (in their own country) and decided to make an example of this particular group that included children.  British sources gave a figure of 379 killed with 1,100 wounded. The Indian National Congress counted more than 1000 dead and 1500 injured. 

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“People were fired at from here.”

Churchill later called it a “monstrous” and UnBritish act. Dyer was also all about half-naked public floggings of private citizens and his soldiers fond of stopping pedestrians and making them slither down the street like worms at gunpoint. The British parliament viewed Dyer as a hero. By the way, it’s reenacted in the movie Gandhi as one of the watershed moments leading up to the widespread popularity of the independence movement.

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Martyrs Well.

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“To escape the deadly firing, many people fell into this well. About 120 dead bodies were recovered from it.”

 

 

 

 

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Happy MLK Day

by on Jan.16, 2017, under Politics, The Truth Is In Here

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MLK

 

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks the question, “Is it popular?” But, conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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These Guys

by on Jan.10, 2017, under On the Road, Shaheb Cafe

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A Shaheb’s Guide to India

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The Sharma Handicrafts Guys.

Great story here about how I finally scored a hookah with my name on it after multiple letdowns in Kolkata, Varanasi and Lucknow. The short version – these guys in Delhi at Sharma Handicrafts were the bomb and we made a good deal on my last day thanks largely to shrewdness and translation help from my cousin.

I’ll have to post a photo of this 42″ stunning work of art, black with polished brass inlays in the Moradabad (ancient Muslim city) style. The owner stuck by his product, bargained fairly and gave me his card and said if there were any problems to come back and see him.

As soon as I left with hookah in hand and turned to take a pic of the shop he came out and posed without waiting to be asked. Then his two assistants trailed out one by one and struck poses on either side of him (they must have been a rock band in a previous career given how they naturally fell in line as though posing for an album cover).

I promised them I’d give the shop a plug online so here it is. If you’re ever in Delhi and looking for a brass shop, head to Sharma Handicrafts, Janpath Market, Stall 6. Tell them the saheb who bought the big black hookah sent you.

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Mr. Sharma’s business card.

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Mirror, Mirror Reflection

by on Oct.16, 2016, under Pophood

I bet that somewhere in the back of your mind you recall a certain mirror made in 1937…

mirror1  mirror2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now behold mine and my young son’s most ambitious crafting project to date, our own magic mirror.  Took us about a month to complete after spending two weeks learning the basics of the Arduino customizable circuit board.

 

Ingredients: homemade wooden case, old laptop, old flatscreen monitor, Arduino with proximity sensor and potentiometer (you know, a knob), two-way security mirror, lots of paint and plastic gems. More at creator Al Linke’s site  http://www.diymagicmirror.com.

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An Icon Comes Home

by on Sep.25, 2016, under NYC, On the Road, The Truth Is In Here

How a Bogle, St. Mary and their Mysterious Human Operative Saved the Day

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Yesterday morning I hop off the train from Philly at NY Penn and head toward the A train to zoom down to NYU to teach when I realize my wallet is gone. Had I been pickpocketed or had it fallen out in my train seat? Argh! I make a mad dash back but then realize in the packed rush hour station that I have absolutely no clue which of the 21 tracks we’ve just come up from onto the main floor. Who pays attention to what track number they came in on? Besides, all of the escalators leading down to the platforms are still set to “up” so I have no immediate way down to any newly arrived train.

I run and find a uniformed employee hanging around a back corridor who tells me I have to check with customer service, on the far end of the building, naturally, and that they can tell me exactly which track my train had come in on. By that time my train and my wallet would be long gone anyway but I have no choice.

So I sprint through a million wrong turns and find the customer service office. They’re helpful but can only tell me they’re “pretty sure” my train would have arrived on track 1. I run down to track 1 and a train (my train?) is still sitting there but — Murphy’s Law — it’s locked. Coincidentally a motorman comes along at that time and unlocks the train. I hop on, explain my situation and he tells me to have a blast and look all I want because the train isn’t leaving anytime soon. I walk through the entire train to be safe, looking in the seats, under the seats, in the aisles, nothing. I have to face the fact that my wallet is gone. (continue reading…)

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Strange But True: I am now a certified open water scuba diver

by on Aug.25, 2016, under On the Road

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My first dive: coral reef about 10 meters down. Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, La Altagracia province, Dominican Republic, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Photo via Claudia at Visual Reef.

My second dive, the final training dive after the written PADI international certification courses and two sessions of pool training offered by the Scuba Quatic watersports shop, occurred 12 meters down and was near the wreck of the Astron but it was just the trainer and myself with no photographer (sadly no pix). I am now continuing to dive with PADI-certified groups in the States. I’m not gonna lie to you, I am psyched to have discovered this exciting new hobby.

 

 

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