We Won't Sleep is more than a musical—it’s a mission. A story about equal representation for all Americans. The cast is comprised of performers who are Black, Brown, Asian, White, Indigenous, gay, straight, and trans. We are committed to anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and anti-sexists practices, and to gathering BIPOC designers, staff, and producers so the show will benefit from diverse viewpoints and experiences. We are leading the way for a more inclusive Broadway, onstage and off.
We Won't Sleep (formerly called Jeannette) was one of three musicals selected (from 400+ applications) for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference in June 2019. In February 2020, We Won't Sleep was featured at Broadway Across America’s annual conference. Of the 11 new musicals at the conference, We Won't Sleep was the only original musical (not based on a book or movie) and the only show written by a BIPOC composer and lyricist.
In the summer and fall of 2020, Ari and Lauren did a 20-minute virtual performance at online fundraisers for progressive candidates and non-profit organizations, including Senator Mark Kelly, Representative Cori Bush, Level Forward, and Supermajority.
We Won't Sleep is thrilled to partner with City Year Philadelphia to launch The We Won't Sleep Experience, a week-long interactive curriculum that brings the story of Jeannette Rankin to students in grades 5-8. The program launched in March 2021 at Lewis C. Cassidy Academics Plus School in Philadelphia, PA.
The curriculum combines a virtual performance featuring selections from We Won't Sleep alongside multimedia and video focusing on Congresswoman Rankin, and covers topics including women's suffrage, the 19th Amendment, voting rights, gerrymandering, and Jim Crow laws. The program was created by Ari Afsar, producer Jen Bender, and educator Coreena Coleman.
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