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for The Brooklyn Paper
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What happens when art becomes political? Art.

A Williamsburg theater is giving the power to curate its 2013 season to the people, and the primary season has just begun.

The Brick Theater is asking its fans to campaign to become president of the playhouse by submitting videos of their works online and putting them up for vote.

“We want to see what happens when the arts try to follow the format of politics,” said Jeff Lewonczyk, a playwright and a producer of the play “Democracy” — and the concept. “Of course, there’s always the possibility a show might end up in the festival that we wouldn’t have normally selected.”

Candidates can submit their theatrical platforms until March 27 in preparation for an April 3 online primary.

The top 12 vote-getters will move on to the general election on July 1, when theatergoers will go on stage to vote for their favorite play. The winner will become President of the Brick Theater for a two-week term next January, and assume all the powers and responsibility the lofty title bears — including executive oversight of programming while in office.

The plans give new meaning to the phrase “audience participat­ion,” and even Lewonczyk won’t play pundit and predict the results. “Whatever happens is going to be a complete surprise,” he said.

“Democracy” at The Brick Theater [575 Metropolitan Ave, (718) 907-6189], April 3–July 1. For info, visit bricktheater.com/

Updated 8:01 am, March 22, 2012
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