The Next Debate: Power vs. Compassion

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(DGIwire) – Power vs. Compassion: If given the chance, which one would most voters choose as more important?

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, an answer will come from a New York City audience at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. The venue will host a reading of The Cost, a stage play written by Aquaila Shene Barnes and directed by Barbara Montgomery.

In The Cost, there is a political race between rising political star Thomas Foster, Jr. and two-term incumbent James Baker. Through the lens of the Foster campaign, the audience sees how this tough-fought election is influenced by political and personal pressures.

With a vision to expand the experience for theater-goers attending the performance, the playwright will ask audience members to cast their own vote before taking their seats inside the theater—not for Foster or Baker, but in a mock election between two platform ideas: Power vs. Compassion.

“Politics often appears to be played as a rough and dirty sport,” says Barnes. “Looking at the more positive aspects of our political process, I wondered which of these two ideas, Power or Compassion, could have a positive influence on the election between the candidates in this play and in ‘real life.’ Which could make a real impact in improving our global society and the ways we coexist with each other.”

According to Barnes, Power believes in creating a society of shared leadership where each individual knows their power and embraces their responsibility to actively make positive change. Power is committed to making people aware of their individual power, so they realize their voice and ability to make a difference; changing systems that often make people feel powerless (e.g., education, healthcare, criminal justice); and creating a society of shared power and leadership so that everyone feels valued and is seen as valuable.

In contrast, Compassion believes in creating a society with more empathy and kindness to those with whom people share their planet. Compassion is committed to teaching people to be more open-hearted, kind and understanding of others who have different life experiences from themselves; creating dialogue around all issues by bringing diverse ideas to the table in a manner that is honest and open, yet respectful and safe; and expanding compassion for our environment and the planet so that everyone and everything feels safe and healthy.

“This ‘audience experience mock election’ will gauge how a group of people view these two very important concepts, both with the power to influence the course of events on the current political stage and in our daily personal lives,” Barnes adds.

For more information about the performance of The Cost on October 22 in New York City, please contact the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center located at 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10009 or call: 212.220.1460