Saturday, May 19, 2018

Antonucci: How to Stage A Successful Teacher Strike in 4 Easy Steps

Everyone is excited about the teacher revolts around the nation and here in NYC there is talk in MORE and other places about how to connect those red state actions to the UFT. I'm open to exploring ideas related to conditions in NYC schools and whether there can be a movement coming out of the rank and file. One thing we notice is that there is really a tale of two school systems. Around the internet we read so many comments about awful conditions. And then we hear another side coming from people who are in "safe" schools -- places with good, caring principals.

Despite his view from the anti-union right, Mike Antonucci's analysis is always worth checking out, despite appearing on the - ugh - 74. Some people ask me why I read Mike and my response is that his stuff is less ideologically driven than the left wing press on education issues, especially in covering teacher movements.

How to Stage A Successful Teacher Strike in 4 Easy Steps


Friday, May 18, 2018

NYT - Why the Teacher Walkout Movement Won’t Reach Every State - Dana Goldstein

Not a lot of analysis here -- but some interesting points about the states revolting and why others may not - the way schools are funded.Goldstein does contrast the Jersey City one day strike. Are there ideas out there about possible job actions here in NYC? Flu season can be pretty rough -- maybe a blue flu in a school with an abusive principal?
In North Carolina, as in the other five walkout states, union membership is optional for teachers.....
What state could be the next to have a teacher walkout? There have been scattered rumblings of protest in Nevada and Louisiana. And there are at least five additional states that meet the major conditions for a statewide action: centralized governance and funding, and below-average teacher pay and per-student spending. The states are Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas and New Mexico.

-----walkout states: Its state government plays an unusually strong role in funding education and setting its priorities, often superseding the influence of school districts.

This strong-state model can include a larger-than-typical role for state governments in funding schools, a state-mandated salary schedule for teachers or efforts to equalize funding between poor and rich school districts.

Because of such policies, the states are, in a way, ripe for large-scale labor actions, despite having weak public sector unions. Unlike some Northeast states where teachers in one town can earn $20,000 more than those in a nearby city, low-income and middle-class districts in the states that have had walkouts have similar teacher salary and school funding challenges, building solidarity — and political leverage — across hundreds of miles.

---  Most states have schools that are funded more or less equally from state and local coffers, with voters making many financial decisions close to home.
---- Dana Goldstein, NYT,Why the Teacher Walkout Movement Won’t Reach Every State 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/teacher-walkout-north-carolina.html

Image
Teachers marched in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, as North Carolina became the sixth state where educators have left their classrooms to protest low pay and school funding.CreditCaitlin Penna/EPA, via Shutterstock


School Scope: Teacher Unions and Right to Work

Published May 18, The WAVE, www.rockawave.com


School Scope:  Teacher Unions and Right to Work
By Norm Scott

Last week I wrote about the red-state teacher revolts that seem to be sweeping the nation in states that cut taxes and education drastically. Many of the strikes have been illegal wildcat actions – not necessarily sanctioned by the unions, which in those states are under state control by the two big national unions, the NEA and the AFT (the local UFT has its foot in both, but plays the major role in the AFT, where the UFT tail wags the bigger dog through sheer numbers alone. Other than a brief 4 year period since 1974, former UFT presidents have moved up to AFT president.)

All these states are right to work (RTW) states where teachers are not required to pay union dues even when the unions negotiate their contracts and offer other services. Thus, union membership is low and the unions are relatively weak compared to non RTW states like New York, where the unions have such control over the members, they can put a damper on the type of actions taking place in the red states, where teacher militancy has often been led by teachers in the classroom who have acted independently of the union leaders. It is my contention this can never happen here in NYC due to the extensive control the Unity Caucus party that has run the UFT since its inception almost 60 years ago. I can remember only one time where a revolt from the classrooms forced the UFT to take strike action. That was in 1975 in the massive budget crisis. As UFT leader Al Shanker did not really believe in the strike, the outcome was not very good and 15,000 people were laid off and we were fined 2 for 1 through Taylor Law penalties and the UFT itself lost dues check off privileges for a period of time, which means the city doesn’t take dues out of the paycheck. That is a severe penalty and that threat alone often keeps unions in line.

With the Supreme Court about to render a decision in the Janus case, which if it goes against unions, as expected, the entire nation will be right to work and the UFT could lose thousands of members who won’t pay dues, thus leading to massive cuts in the union bureaucracy and some level of control over its members. Politicians recognize this danger to their partnership with the unions and, led by Gov. Cuomo have moved to offer some protections to the unions by passing a law that doesn’t require them to provide lawyers to teachers in trouble. Keep ‘em in the union with threats will not be enough of an incentive for some, especially younger low-salaried members who pay the same dues as senior members making much more money, many of whom are not staying in the system.

If it comes about, will a weakened UFT lead to more militancy from below and lead to wildcat actions like a blue flu? I’m betting NO, unless conditions here mirror red states. And that will take a long time in coming.

Norm wildcats every day at ednotesonline.com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

End Danielson - NYC Rank and File Stand Up - PS 8X Solidarity - 50 UFT Members Rally in Front of School

Only the left can organize? MORE evidence to the contrary  -- .... an esteemed colleague in ICEUFT. 
Now it is time for all of us to come forward to join the effort to repeal the evaluation law and tell the world we have had ENOUGH! .... ICEUFT blog
The always awesome Roseann McCosh sent James and I a wonderful little note earlier today about an action 50 teachers at her school, PS 8x, took this morning. This school is not a hot bed of left-wing activists. In fact, quite the opposite. Roseanne did sign up 30 members of her staff to join MORE in the 2016 election. So PS 8 on the whole supported MORE in spite of its left wing politics.

If I had to name one of the leading organizers in the UFT, Roseanne, a former Unity Caucus CL who saw the crap early on, would be at the top of my list.

When we hear of red state teacher revolts we often find that the militancy rises out of the ranks, not from an organized push from left wing activists or union officials. In fact, many in the red states are not left but center, and even right.

Some at PS 8 refereed to MORE as "those hippy dippies." But if they feel even a leftist group is fighting for them and against the Unity machine, politics doesn't matter. I wish more MOREs felt the same about people on the center-right instead of viewing them as deplorable(s).

Here in NYC, while there are many issues of concern, there are certain push button issues, like Danielson. There has been a lot of talk in MORE over the past 6 weeks about taking the kind of action PS 8x took. The red state revolts and the action at PS 8x are examples that my esteemed colleague in ICEUFT is on to something. (Also see: Why We Choose to Leave MORE - John Giambalvo and Mike Schirtzer).



Hello Norm and James,

I've attached 2 pictures. This morning approximately 50 UFT members stood in front of our school building for 10 minutes as an exercise in solidarity. We decided at our last union meeting to start with a gathering in front just to show unity as union members. We didn't want to scare anyone away by getting too militant too quickly. A couple of signs were made by one teacher and when everyone saw them they quickly got on board with “End Danielson” and teachers have had “Enough.”



Once we realized everyone liked the ideas behind the signs we got everyone to chant, "End Danielson Now" "Teachers have had enough" "Paras have had enough" "What have we had? ENOUGH!" etc…

My CL made a point that even though I wasn’t rated under Danielson I was leading the chant. I then called out the names of the other staff members who, like me, are not rated under Danielson but still chanted. Danielson Teachers applauded these staff members and thanked them for showing solidarity. We ended by entering the building together in a moment of silence to mourn our profession. Mourning our profession is why we wore black.We are going to try to do this again next week.

I thought one of you would post about it on your blog. The teacher elected to be CL next year is holding the END Danielson sign. (I’m holding the ENOUGH sign).

Hope all is well with you both.

Roseanne

Videos, April 25: Aixa, Lisa, Norm, Leonie, Simon, Parent and Student

I did a quick mix of two sections of the PEP with people we know plus a parent and student fighting to save their school, which the PEP voted to close a few hours later.

https://vimeo.com/270083192




https://vimeo.com/268563399

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Clear Evidence of Racism in NYPD Based on Marijuana Arrests - NYTimes

Government surveys have shown that black and white people use marijuana at roughly the same rate... 87 percent of those arrested in recent years have been black or Hispanic, a proportion that has remained roughly the same for decades,

among neighborhoods where people called about marijuana at the same rate, the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black residents...

officers in the precinct covering Canarsie arrested people on marijuana possession charges at a rate more than four times as high as in the precinct that includes Greenpoint, despite residents calling 311, the city’s help line, and 911 to complain about marijuana at the same rate, police data show. The Canarsie precinct is 85 percent black. The Greenpoint precinct is 4 percent black....

Black and Hispanic people are the main targets of arrests even in mostly white neighborhoods. In the precinct covering the southern part of the Upper West Side, for example, white residents outnumber their black and Hispanic neighbors by six to one, yet seven out of every 10 people charged with marijuana possession in the last three years are black or Hispanic, state data show. In the precinct covering Park Slope, Brooklyn, where a fifth of the residents are black or Hispanic, three-quarters of those arrested on marijuana charges are black or Hispanic.

 Whenever I get into a discussion on race, the marijuana arrest racial disparities are the strongest argument I've been able to use to prove deep racism exists. This NYT front pager from Monday, May 14 blows the lid off all the arguments used to defend NYPD policy. And it blows the lid off the bullshit de Blasio liberal cover - to such an extent he came out calling for reforms - as if he didn't know. He is the worst kind of phony liberal.

Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/nyregion/marijuana-arrests-nyc-race.html
2 days ago - There are many ways to get arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern .... the headline: Wide Racial Gap For Pot Arrests In New York City.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Why We Choose to Leave MORE - John Giambalvo and Mike Schirtzer

Why We Choose to Leave MORE
By John Giambalvo and Mike Schirtzer

We became involved with teacher unionism after a few years of working in the schools as a result of our classroom and school-level experiences where we saw public school teachers and students being cheated out of the resources needed to provide them with an adequate education. Sparked by the general lack of response from our union, the United Federation of Teachers, our involvement led us to join the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), an organization that we believed would respond to concerns of UFT members by allowing them, as well as members of their school community, a space to voice concerns about our schools within the political structures of our union and the Department of Education of the City of New York.

We joined MORE during a time when few voices within the UFT represented the needs and interests of our colleagues.

We joined under the premise that our union had the potential to be the most powerful vehicle of change for teachers, students and families in New York City and beyond.

We joined MORE to create a more assertive union, where member voice was the greatest priority and, when heard, would lead it to action for the entire education community.

We joined MORE to strengthen the UFT for the betterment of the teachers, students and families we serve. We were aware that the UFT apparatus, under the almost 60 year stewardship of the Unity Caucus, had developed more than a bit of sclerosis, had not been adequately serving the needs of its members, and that that power structure needed to be challenged from the ranks. We believed MORE offered the potential to engage in that challenge.

We joined MORE and were faced with working with people with many different political backgrounds and ideologies, including some differing from our views. We made concerted efforts to function collectively with other members of MORE to improve conditions in our schools. We learned the basics of their ideologies and did our best to find middle ground. We genuinely believed we were learning to struggle together in order to improve conditions, especially for those who were affected by hurtful policies on a daily basis.

We joined MORE to prioritize making connections with teachers throughout all five boroughs; to construct and devote our work towards an agenda that would have wide appeal to a majority of members of our union who have been shut out of influence. In order to be successful MORE would have to, not only offer a way forward by leading in a new direction, but do so by being responsive and interacting with UFT members in our own schools and beyond to transform a union that operated in an absolute top-down manner.

We have been disappointed.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen that MORE has been increasingly dominated by one group with a definite pre-formed unyielding ideology. We’ve come to understand over time that these voices do not represent the needs of most of our members, or even our students or parents. MORE has devolved into an organization that uses anti-democratic and secretive methods to push the agenda of this faction and marginalize, isolate and push vocal opponents out of the caucus.

There were many opportunities for the members of MORE to analyze the results of our work in order to determine the course of the group’s direction, but it has chosen not to do so. There were meetings with varying topics, causes endorsed, social media/blog data, and the results of the 2016 UFT election which provided data on voter turnout by division and district which clearly showed a much higher turnout in the Queens high schools (36.4% compared to 12.8% in the Bronx and 14.5 in Manhattan, boroughs where key leaders of the current leadership in MORE are based.)

Queens high school voter turnout was clearly the crucial difference in winning the high school seats but admitting that would be counter to the narrative being pushed.

This turnout was mainly due to the organizing efforts of two key MORE members. (Ed Note: Details and analysis of 2016 high school elections at http://iceuftblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/district-by-district-breakdown-shows_3.html?m=1).

This should have been an important lesson for MORE about the kind of activism by some more members that reaches out and resonates with rank and file teachers. Yet, these people are the very people who are being pushed out of MORE. One of these people is the chapter leader of the largest high school in Queens with 300 UFT members and an elected UFT Executive Board member.

The other was a former chapter leader of a closed school who led a valiant battle to keep his school open but who was forced to become an ATR. One of the most respected voices in the UFT for almost 30 years who developed hundreds of contacts in schools all around the city, and served for a decade on the UFT Executive Board. He too is being forced out of MORE.

Along with one of us, two of the four MORE Executive Board elected high school representatives are being pushed out of MORE. What does this mean for MORE as an organization when it feels activists with this history and stature and the overwhelming support of their colleagues don’t belong?

Instead of revisiting different petitions we advocated for or addressing the way we have utilized our positions on the UFT Executive Board to create voice for colleagues, the small group taking control of MORE chose to purposely ignore these results, criticized us, and attempted to micro-manage us over issues like class size and the defense of ATRS and rank and file UFT members over abusive principals because this work did not fit their preordained agendas.

Attempts to build a large, robust organization, including the creation of newsletters produced for wide distribution, planning meetings with topics related to school-based issues, like the nuts and bolts of enforcing the contract or running for chapter leader, and attempts to compete in union elections (both at the chapter level and for citywide officers), have been met with obstruction, in-fighting, frustrating layers of bureaucracy and the gradual disappearance of democratic decision making.

All this is a direct result of the group’s lack of democracy and failure to connect with members in our schools.

Predictably, instead of growing into a member driven movement, MORE has seen its numbers dwindle to levels rivaling our earliest beginnings in 2012. Instead of examining and discussing the reasons for the shrinking of MORE, such as the inability to develop a newsletter and distribution network or even a regular handout at the UFT Delegate Assembly, the constant excuse has been that all the problems in MORE have been due to some rude emails by a few people.

In fact, dozens of people have abandoned MORE over the years due to the rigid ideological framework imposed in MORE. Their “solution” to the crisis in MORE has been to actively move to push out even more members who do not go along with their line, many of them older and experienced in union politics, obviously a threat to their ability to win over new and inexperienced teachers who enter MORE to their ideological line. Rather than engage in discussion, including historical reference and analysis, they want to promote their own political positions, positions that are rarely open to debate.

It is especially difficult for us to remain with a group that no longer honors the principles of democracy. There was a glaring lack of due process involved in our recent suspension from the MORE listserves and the caucus’ steering committee, which just happened to remove our ability to vote on crucial decisions concerning the direction they wanted to steer MORE in. There is no provision in the by-laws from suspension from steering.

This decision began as a disagreement over political process and the tone of some emails. The suspensions were decided without either of us being present. Just four people out of nine on the committee created, ex-post facto, new rules. Since MORE is on record as opposing suspensions and calling for restorative justice for students, calls for the use of restorative justice practices in lieu of suspension in our case were voted down.

As union members, social justice activists, and New York City public school teachers, we cannot compromise the principle of due process. We must expect from ourselves the rights we demand for our co-workers and our students.

The loss of trust in the people who made these decisions will be difficult to repair. The realization that a caucus dedicated to the principles of social and restorative justice but can no longer muster enough respect for basic due process portends a future for the group that is far too troubling for us to be part of.

It is simply not acceptable to be involved with an organization that does not hold itself to the very values of democracy upon which it is premised and for which we have both worked.

There are many good people in and around MORE and we are proud of our past work with them. But too many priorities have changed over time, both for the group and for ourselves. We seek out the serious work of helping to build a more robust union, one that can affect policy as it improves the conditions under which we teach and our students learn. We have concluded MORE as a caucus is not capable or willing to build this movement. In order to work with rank and file UFT members and other stakeholders, we feel it’s better we separate ourselves now. We are leaving the organization and disassociate our names from it.

We still intend to spend time learning from our from past successes and failures in future endeavors we pursue.

There is a Janus decision on the horizon, a well financed effort by corporations and interest groups to undermine unions, and a relentless effort to privatize our schools by forcing out veteran UFT members and closing schools in our poorest neighborhoods, which harms our children of color and immigrant children. It is imperative that our union fights harder than ever against these forces.

We are dedicated to defending members unfairly under attack, ensuring our children are provided a great public education in well resourced schools, fighting for racial integration of schools, defending immigrant, African-American, Latino, Muslim, and LGBTQ union members and students. We will continue our work in our chapters, Delegate Assemblies and Executive Board meetings to educate and activate union members, defend public education, demand due process for our students and colleagues, and advance the cause of labor unions for all workers.

In Solidarity,

Mike Schirtzer: UFT Executive Board, UFT Delegate, Social Studies Teacher

John Giambalvo: Social Studies teacher, Coordinator of Student Activities

=======
John Giambalvo will is completing 18 years of service teaching social studies. He teaches in a Queens high school.

Mike Schirtzer, is a member of the UFT  Executive Board and a delegate from his school. He has been teaching social studies at Leon Goldstein HS in Brooklyn for 11 years

*=========
District 71 Manhattan High Schools: 683 votes= 14.5% of total HS turnout

District 72 Bronx High Schools: 594 votes=12.6%

District 73 Brooklyn High Schools: 729 votes=15.5%

District 76 Brooklyn-Staten Island High Schools: 984 votes=20.9%

District 77 Queens High Schools: 1712 votes=36.4%

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Schneiderman Resigned While Queens Principal Reassigned After Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Totaling $600,000

Mr. Kwait is “one of those guys who I can’t figure why it took so long to remove from his position,” Mr. Tand said. “They seemed to look the other way until given no choice.” In an email sent to the faculty, he called Ms. Prettitore and four other women the “five star lesbian club,” according to the lawsuit. She said the Department of Education did nothing to act on her complaints. That case was settled in September for $130,000.
Mr. Kwait was transferred “to a central office where he will be closely supervised and will no longer be permitted to manage other employees,”  ....NYT
What are they going to? Put a lock on his zipper?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

How One Person Action Can Make a Major Difference - Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia

One day will we see a similar figure come out of the woodwork in the UFT to topple the Unity machine? How about a walk from UFT borough office to borough office.

Can the actions of one person spark a movement for great change? Ghandi? What about Castro? Mao? Lenin? Well, the story in Armenia is relatively small stuff and Nikol Pashinyan doesn't seem to be driven by ideologies. He went from zero to 80 in about 2 months so the faster the rise the faster the fall after he walked across a section of Armenia.

This is a powerful story, even if it ends up badly - and it well might, given that one person led movement are subject to the person being corrupted - or assassinated - or besmirched. And of course we don't know what we don't know yet. When he was young he stood up, often alone. His hot headedness turned people off. But he kept learning. A story worth watching.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Did Marx Get it Right? The View From China - NY Times

While Mr. Xi has tried to woo foreign investors, he has also tried carve a distinctive ideology — part old-school Communist values, part earthy appeals to ancient Chinese tradition — that inoculates China from the tumult of free markets and liberal democracy. The Chinese Communist Party these days rarely mentions class struggle, and has embraced markets since Deng Xiaoping’s era in the 1980s....Even so, leaders insist that China stays above the ruthless rules of capitalism. Above all, they emphasize that Marxism means keeping their one-party rule. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/05/world/asia/china-karl-marx-xi-jinping.ht
An interesting article on the celebration of the 200th birthday of Karl Marx in China called Marx Got it Right.

Is China capitalist? State capitalist? Socialist? A dictatorship?

I know a hell of a lot of people who think Marx did get it right. Smart people. In fact many of my colleagues in UFT politics over the past 50 years do think Marx got it right. All their different sects, tendencies, parties don't necessarily agree or they differ on the outcomes. See my recent post: On Sectarianism One of the Deadly Sins of the Left one of the trending posts over the past week.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teachers and Parents of Puerto Rico Launch Historic Strike & Boycott Against Standardized Testing

Mercedes Martinez and the FMPR teacher union's resistance to privatization is the subject of this Jesse Hagopian piece. Ed Notes and ICEUFT has supported the FMPR for 10 years since their pullout from the AFT and their subsequent strike though Angel Gonzalez, who was one of the founders of the pre-cursor of GEM along with myself and John Lawhead. (Use the search box on the sidebar to read background pieces going back go 2008.) In recent years, MORE has been a big supporter of the FMPR.

Teachers and Parents of Puerto Rico Launch Historic Strike & Boycott Against Standardized Testing

Spread the word: “We want a just, equitable world for our children.”

Today, my third grade son is supposed to take the Common Core high-stakes test, “Smarter Balanced,” at his school here in Seattle. He decided, however, that he would rather do a research project about a leader who has helped to make the world better. So my wife and I are writing the opt out letter and letting our son know that he will be allowed to continue with real learning today about an issue he cares a lot about.
Image result for boycott standardized tests
I am going to suggest to him that for his project he research Mercedes Martinez, the president of the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico (FMPR).

I conducted an extensive interview Mercedes that I will publish soon about her union’s massive struggle to defend the schools from an all-out neoliberal assault. The Financial Oversight and Management Board that was imposed on Puerto Rico by the United States has control of the island’s financial policy and is imposing disaster capitalist policies that are destroying working people’s lives and public schools. The austerity program that they are assaulting Puerto Rico with includes closing nearly 300 schools, laying off some 7,000 teachers, converting 10% of schools into privatized charters, and cutting public sector pensions.

Another part of the disaster capitalist approach to schooling has been to impose the same high-stakes standardized testing regime that we have in the mainland U.S. on the Puerto Rican education system.   High-stakes testing is being used to punish schools, students, and teachers. With teachers living in fear of the consequences low scores, they are forced to teach to the test, not the student, and it is causing a narrowing of the curriculum to what the corporate test makers believe is important to learn (For example, I don’t think the lessons of how to organize your community against corporate education reform will be on the next test). These tests are used as exit exams in high school and are denying thousands of students the chance to graduate. Perhaps worst of all, the testocracy has trained people to believe that wisdom is the ability to eliminate wrong answer choices on a multiple choice exam, rather than to be creative, empathize, or solve real life problems.

But a mighty movement of parents, students, and teachers has risen up to boycott and opt out of these tests as a way to reclaim public education and fight for authentic forms of assessment.

More at:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/05/07/teachers-and-parents-puerto-rico-launch-historic-strike-boycott-against


Monday, May 7, 2018

Norm in The WAVE: School Scope - Teachers REVOLT and MEMO From the RTC

Both articles appeared in May 4, 2018 edition of The WAVE


School Scope:  Teachers REVOLT
By Norm Scott

We returned from a 9-day tour of Greece – mainland only – with so much new knowledge, knowledge I was too bored to absorb in school – to find the same education stories lurking when I left. Opt-out stories related to the awful reading tests were infecting the math tests and we’ll see if more parents opted their kids out as a result of the bad press the reading tests had.

The major stories were the spread of the fascinating red-state teacher revolts from West Virginia to Oklahoma to Kentucky to Arizona and now to the blue/purple state of Colorado. All these states had big tax cuts that turned education into banana republic territory. Teachers are not just talking about poverty level salaries but severely restricted working conditions. After all, poor working conditions for teachers lead to poor learning conditions for children. Given the nature of these states, many teachers live and work in the same community and students are often neighbors. So when on strike, the West Virginia teachers helped feed the kids, which garnered parent and community support, thus dashing the hopes of politicians (mostly Republican slugs) that they could turn the public against the teachers.

This is all tricky ground to navigate. An interesting aspect not being talked about is how these revolts come right out of the classrooms, instead of union leaderships at the state level. These are all right to work states which has weakened union leaders at the state level where the two main national unions, the NEA the AFT, operate. We have seen independent movements grow up in these states that are challenging the NEA and AFT, which In some places are competing with each other for members.

Now, will we see some kind of revolts here in NYC in the UFT where Unity Caucus has a lock? Interesting question which I will explore in future columns.

Norm is revolting every day at ednotesonline.com

Memo From the RTC:  Lovers and Other Strangers Opens This Weekend
By Norm Scott

The first adult play of the season finally takes the stage with the Rockaway Theatre Company production of the Renee Taylor/Joseph Bologna play, “Lovers and Other Strangers.” It was made into a movie in 1970 and garnered three Academy Award nominations, winning one for best original song. While I helped a bit with the crew building the sets, I haven’t been able to get over to rehearsal and know very little about the storylines. I hear there is a great cast and directors Peggy Page Press and Michael Wotypka always deliver a top-level production. There reputations are impeccable (other than that they gave me my only two serious speaking roles in two plays) and expect a wonderful experience. I am going to do the video on opening night – and also scam any snacks if they have a post-opening night celebration at the theater. I’ll tell you more in next week’s column.

Evening shows are at 8PM: May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19. Sunday Matinees at 2PM: May 6, 13, 20.

For Reservations: Call RTC Hotline @ 718-374-6400
Or email rtcworkshops@gmail.com