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Den of in-equity: Play tackles love and class warfare on the trading floor

From two different worlds: Undocumented immigrant Juan and investment banker Julie steal a moment together in the play “Ms. Julie: Asian Equities.”
for Brooklyn Paper
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She’s trading up!

A Brooklyn theater company has updated a 19th century story of class warfare for the modern era, replacing the aristocrats and servants of August Strindberg’s play “Miss Julie” with Wall Street investment bankers and undocumented immigrants. The director of “Ms. Julie: Asian Equities,” playing through June 3 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, says that the play’s themes remain relevant 129 years later.

“ ‘Miss Julie’ has had productions just about every year since 1888, the year it was written. That speaks about the strong appeal of the original play and it’s themes of status, privilege, and a continuously evolving social order,” said Rebecca Martinez.

The updated story presented by the Brave New World Repertory Theatre follows Directory of Equity Sales Julie Harper, as she skips her investment bank’s holiday party to spend time with Juan, a member of the company’s maintenance staff, and complications ensue.

“After some innocent flirting turns to something more serious, both Julie and Juan find themselves faced with a crisis of choice and consequence,” explained Martinez.

The show will take place in a space designed to look just like the Wall Street trading floor, at the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bedford-Stuyvesant,

“We will be performing in one of the classrooms, complete with a live stock ticker to give the students real-time updates in their finance classes,” said Martinez.

Locating the immersive environment was a matter of “dumb luck,” explains the theater group’s founder.

“I googled ‘Trading Floor Brooklyn’ and the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bedford-Stuyvesant popped up,” said Claire Beckman. “Thanks to Principal Danielle Darbee, and her vision to bring finance education to this underserved community high school. I think she recognized [us] as a natural partner, because our missions are aligned and complement each other.”

The Brave New World company is dedicated to providing accessible arts to masses, so almost all of its production are free or low-cost.

“Ms. Julie, Asian Equities” at the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance [125 Stuyvesant Ave. between Lafayette and Greene avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (917) 660–4660, www.bravenewworldrep.org]. May 18–21, 25–27, and June 1–3 at 7:30 pm. Free.

Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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