The Battle for Atlanic Yard comes to Penn, bookended with megaproject forums

January 9, 2012

Development can make for sensational drama, which is just what the the docu-musical, In the Footprint: The Battle over Atlantic Yards promises for its 16-show run at Penn’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

In the Footprint follows the polarizing issue of Brooklyn’s huge, controversial Atlantic Yards development as it transpired through political channels, developer maneuvers, the use of eminent domain, and emotional neighborhood opposition. In the Footprint will premiere in Philadelphia with its run at the Annenberg Center’s Harold Prince Theater January 18-29, by The Civilians.

PennDesign will bookend the performances with two community forums called, Megaprojects: Can we balance individual and social good?, featuring Penn faculty members in conversation with developers, real estate experts, politicians, and journalists. The two free discussions are as follows:

January 17, 7pm. PennDesign, Meyerson Hall, Lower Gallery, 210 S. 34th Street. John Landis, chair of Penn’s Department of City and Regional Planning, will moderate this panel discussion on the history and long-controversial politics of major urban projects, featuring Penn’s own Marilyn Jordan Taylor (Dean of PennDesign); Eugenie Birch (Professor, Urban Research & Education); Laura Wolf-Powers (Assistant Professor, City & Regional Planning) ; Susan Wachter (Professor, Real Estate & Finance); and Paulette Adams (People’s Emergency Center CDC); and Jim Burnett (Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution).

January 31, 7pm. Annenberg Center, Room 511. Engage with fellow community members, stakeholders, and developers with Philadelphia ties on issues raised in the play. Participants include former Mayor John Street, developer Bart Blatstein, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Alan Greenberger, and WHYY’s Chris Satullo. The panel will be moderated by journalist Heshimu Jaramoji. Harris Steinberg, Executive Director of PennPraxis, and Harris Sokoloff, Director of Penn Project for Civic Engagement will organize small group discussions.

Tickets start at $20 and are available through the Annenberg Center’s box office or online.

Thanks to the Annenberg Center, Eyes on the Street is giving away two pairs of tickets to see In the Footprint, which will also get you into the panel discussions. Enter to win tickets by emailing eots[at] by 5pm on Friday, January 13 with “Megaproject” in the subject line. One pair is for opening night, January 18 (followed by a post-show talk with Michael Friedman who wrote the music and lyrics) and the other is for Friday, January 20 (followed by a post-show talk with Marion Friedman Young, The Civilians managing director and Elaine Simon of Penn’s Urban Studies program). Winners will be notified by Saturday, January 14. UPDATE: Congrats to winners, Charlie and Judith, and thanks everyone who entered.