top bar
speak truth to power
defenders image arts and human rights telling stories backstage pbs broadcast credits
defenders image
side bar

Inspired by a book of interviews by Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, with photographs by Eddie Adams, The Kennedy Center Presents: Speak Truth to Power celebrates the work and struggle of human rights activists around the world in a program airing
Sunday, October 8, 2000 at 8 p.m. on PBS stations nationwide.

The special features the world premiere stage presentation of Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, by Ariel Dorfman. A stage reading of the play by nine of today’s leading actors—Alec Baldwin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Giancarlo Esposito, Hector Elizondo, Kevin Kline, John Malkovich, Rita Moreno, Sigourney Weaver and Alfre Woodard—was taped before a live audience at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on September 19.

Intercut with the stage presentation—and performances by musical guests Jackson Browne and Hugh Masekela—are interviews and documentary stories illuminating the work of several of the activists profiled in Speak Truth to Power.

"The Kennedy Center Presents: Speak Truth to Power" is made possible by PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association; America Online, Inc.; and the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by Dan and Ewa Abraham; Agvar Chemicals, Inc.; Coudert Brothers; Gail and Al Engelberg; Tom and Suzanne Gibson; Loren W. Hershey; Jane and Mark Hirsh; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation; Samson Medical Technologies, L.L.C.; ScreamingMedia, Inc.; the Beatrice Snyder Foundation; and United Airlines.

The program is produced by WETA Washington, D.C.; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Speak Truth To Power, Inc., in association with Offline Entertainment Group.

"We are proud to be associated with this project," said producer Alex Gibney of Offline Entertainment Group, whose partner Marc Levin ("Slam" and "Thug Life") directed the program by shooting documentary footage in India, Guatemala and Washington and combining it with the musical and stage performances. "Not only do these human rights defenders fearlessly ‘speak truth to power,’ they put their lives on the line with extraordinary grace to defend the powerless."

"The Kennedy Center Presents: Speak Truth to Power" is one of the ongoing "The Kennedy Center Presents" series presented by WETA for the 2000-2001 broadcast season. Previous programs include "The Americanos Concert," which aired in September 1999; the HDTV broadcast of "A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of the Blues," which aired in January 1999; and the December 1998 special, "The Washington Opera Production of ‘Pagliacci’," starring Plácido Domingo.

Arts & Human Rights I Telling Stories to Effect Change
Backstage I PBS Broadcast I Credits I Home