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May 20

Hornets’ Nest

The Hornets’ Nest series of script-in-hand readings with professional actors and directors returns with three plays investigating the most challenging and controversial ethical dilemmas of our time.Following each reading, audience members will have the opportunity to engage in open discussion with key figures from the Rochester community. Since its inception in 2007, the Hornets’ Nest series of readings has become nationally recognized and lauded as one of the most innovative theatrical initiatives in the country.

Monday, May 20 at 7pm

The Kavanaugh Files

Created by Joe Salvatore and Keith R. Huff

In collaboration with Heleya de Barros, Daryl Embry, Analisa Gutierrez, Suzy Jane Hunt, Scott Michael Morales, and Robert Thaxton-Stevenson


In September 2018, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations that she had been sexually assaulted by then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were both teenagers. The allegations prompted a second set of hearings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh both offered sworn testimony and faced questioning by members of the committee and a designated proxy, Rachel Mitchell. Following these hearings, the committee voted 11-10 to send the nomination to the Senate floor. On October 6, 2018, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The Kavanaugh Files is a verbatim performance of key moments from the hearings. Actors perform the original words, gestures, and disfluencies of the real-life people, and in most cases, the genders have been inverted–women perform the roles that men had in the real hearings, and men perform the women. How is our perception of a person’s behavior influenced by their gender, and how does that impact the ways in which we respond to national events?

NYU Steinhardt’s Verbatim Performance Lab investigates and performs words and gestures collected from found media artifacts and interview-based data. Through these investigations, the Lab disrupts assumptions, biases, and intolerances across a spectrum of political, cultural, and social experiences.

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