Category Archive: News & Media

The Duke Energy breakfast protest

The Asheville Fringe

Jack and I had such a wonderful time in Asheville.  We would like to thank Jim Julien who coordinated the festival, Giles who opened the Bebe Theatre to all of the performers, his dog Wuzzie for being a sweet poofer, and the Hill House B&B owners who showed such grand hospitality.  I’d also like to send a shout to our new dancer friends (Alexis Miller of Asheville and the Lonely Goat Dance Company dancers from Brooklyn.

After the festival, Jim told us that we won an award for “pushing the boundaries with the human body”  sweeet…..

Yet another Duke Energy protest

Recently we participated in another round of street theatre, organizing protestors who had come out to argue against allowing Duke Energy to raise electric bill rates by nearly 20%. Once again we got a good amount of publicity, and Jack was even pictured on the front page of the Charlotte Observer’s print edition on October 12, 2011. Both Jack and Annie testified before the Utility Commission as nearly 50 people explained from their perspectives why Duke Energy should or should not win its appeal for higher rates. The irony is that Duke Energy claims it wants people to use less energy, but it then wants to charge more per unit in order to keep revenue up?? It also adamantly refuses to invest in 21st century technology for harnessing power. Viscera Dance Theatre already protested the proposed merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy (a merger that would make Duke the largest energy company in the USA, if not the world), and we absolutely oppose their methods for generating electricity. Our environment is our home, and without it we have nothing. Here is a link to more complete coverage: http://clclt.com/theclog/archives/2011/10/12/duke-energy-rate-hike-protestors-rail-against-their-master.

Saving the world from Duke Energy

Some people wanted to know what we were up to: “We saving the world from Duke Energy… what does it look like we’re doing??”

Today we protested against the merger of Duke Energy and Progress energy. We submitted a press release several day ago, which was published on Creative Loafing’s Blog yesterday (Note: The CLOG has mistakenly credited the photo – it should be credited to Tim O’Brien). The reaction was entertaining: As we walked from where we had parked we began seeing police officers and security officers a full three blocks away from where we were going to protest (they were pointing and talking into their shoulder phones like we were a mob of rioting hoodlums who had to be escorted and monitored at all times). There had to have been twenty officers along the route, and there were nearly a dozen at the venue for the shareholder meeting itself, with seven or eight officers in front of the building itself and another three or four across the street. It was a complete overreaction. One officer came over to examine our gas can, asking, “Is there anything in this?” “No,” Jack replied, “would you like to pick it up and see for yourself?” The officer actually did pick the container up, and he almost looked disappointed that we weren’t there to fire bomb the place. At that point Jack said, “You know, it’s just us – most of you guys could go do something else.” A few minutes later most of the officers were gone. It was funny to see how many people showed up to keep the peace while two performers sat on the sidewalk and snorted through prosthetic pig noses while a recording of a slaughtered hog was looped on repeat.

At any rate, they may have been piqued by a certain section of the press release: “Viscera Dance Theatre’s repeating skit will feature Jack Kirven and Annie Vereen as conjoined, pig-faced twins devouring resources from a trough of dirty money, coal, and plant materials. The performance shines a light on the greedy and abusive practices that a merged corporation would perpetrate against the people, resources, and climate throughout the nation.” Oops… sorry to get all visceral on you, Duke. Oh… no, wait… we did that on purpose. LOL In addition to the exposure in Creative Loafing and the Charlotte Observer, we also spoke briefly to the Charlotte NPR station WFAE.

This performance will be listed under our repertoire as “The Trough of Greed” once we get more pictures back to post along with the description. Click here to see a picture of us outside the meeting.

Protesting Duke Energy

Last Thursday (May 5, 2011), during Duke Energy’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Viscera Dance Theatre had the great opportunity to work with progressive activists from all stripes protesting Duke’s continued and damaging environmental, legislative, economic and social corporate policies.

Jack Kirven played the role of a legislator keeping people like tax payers and rate payers in line and “whipping” them into shape. Annie Vereen played the role of the rate payer, and constructed all the props and signs. These props included papier mâché models of a nuclear silo and a coal burning plant, both of which came to life by spewing dry ice out of their innards, imitating the pollution that spills out of these types of facilities.

Click here to see a great snapshot from The Charlotte Observer.

The protest was also featured on News 14 and WSOC.

Additionally, the report from WCNC is embedded below.