Kentucky Cantata, an intensely memorable play written by Paul David Young, is the story of an idealistic 18-year-old girl who leaves her rural Kentucky home to pursue an acting career in New York City, where she is raped almost immediately after landing at LaGuardia. The subject is horrific, but Mr. Young handles the matter with dignity and grace—adding a twist that catches each of us in our prejudices against immigrants. The playwright was formerly a partner in an international law firm with a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Always writing and creating, he left the legal profession to become a bona fide playwright. His plays have been performed throughout the United States and abroad, and his accolades and awards are numerous.
At the February 3 performance, a “talkback” immediately followed, featuring Legal Momentum’s President and CEO, Carol Robles-Román, and Gail Cooper, Vice President for Programs at Re:Gender. Using Kentucky Cantata as the springboard, Gail spoke of the research Re:Gender does to support civil rights work; Carol discussed Legal Momentum’s new initiative to combat sexual violence: training coalitions of professionals and lay advocates to help victims of rape navigate the criminal justice system.
Photo: Sasha Karasev