Reverend Billy and the Church of stop-shopping : live.
Summary: Video documentation of Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping's performance-intervention, presented as a part of the 4th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, celebrated in July of 2003 in New York City, United States under the title 'Spectacles of Religiosities'. Reverend Billy is a character inhabited by the author/actor William 'Bill' Talen. An invention that resists titles like Performance Artist, Man of God, or Anarchist -- Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping have become popular as none of the above or as all three. In one form, this project is an interactive play, an evening-length church service that seems to evolve from comedy to some sort of secular spirituality that downtown New York hipsters embrace. Working in 300-seat theaters with large gospel choirs that sing anti-consumerist lyrics ('Stop Shopping! Stop Shopping! Now we can leave the Shopping Malls!'), the Reverend usually works, like a normal church, with a theme at each service. These range from anti-sweatshop concerns, to the neighborhood defense against the economy of tourism, to animal rights. However, Reverend Billy is best known for his Disney and Starbucks store invasions, which also combine the elements of drama, religion and politics. Post-performance discussion led by Jill Lane.
Credits: Bill Talen, creator, director ; Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, producer ; NYU TV and Media, videographer ; Jill Lane, post-performance discussion moderator.
Credits: Bill Talen, protagonist.