Phylicia Rashad to Direct Our Lady of 121st Street Off-Broadway

Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad is set to direct the Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ 2002 play Our Lady of 121st Street at Signature Theatre. Rashad replaces the previously announced Anne Kauffman, who has departed the production due to scheduling conflicts.

Our Lady of 121st Street will begin performances May 1 ahead of a May 20 opening night.

In Our Lady of 121st Street, a group of former students return to their Harlem neighborhood to pay respects to the late Sister Rose. But at the Funeral Home, there’s a problem—her dead body has been stolen.

The play follows the acclaimed, three times-extended Signature production of Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.

The limited engagement is scheduled through June 10 in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center. The cast and remainder of the creative team will be announced soon.

Tickets to Our Lady of 121st Street will go on sale March 29.

Forever is a mighty long time…

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We’re back!  And we hope you’re as excited as we are.  Yes, we realize we’ve been away for what seems like forever, but we swear it’s for a good reason!  Despite our absence, thank you for remaining loyal and checking in with our team.  Nothing makes us happier than knowing we are part of an amazing, loyal and engaging community.

 

Our absence has not been in vain; we’ve been traveling, networking and making art magic with creatives all over the world. Theatres, movie sets, board meetings. New York, Paris, New Orleans–we’ve been busy little chicks.

2468C9291-ABBE-5B42-9191127EB0A6FC25Speaking of travel and (international) relationships, we’ve just returned from London, England, and had more than a fabulous time. From seeing the marvelous play Fabric written by the delightful Abi Zakarian (and we’re not just saying that because she’s our friend), to spending a majority of the trip at Women and War presented by the So and So Arts Club, Black Chick Media was all about empowerment, education and advocating for the arts.

Fabric, directed by Tom O’Brien and starring Nancy Sullivan, is a one woman play about Leah, “…who lost her friends, family, career, and dignity. Forced to move for a third time following a harrowing court case, she relives painful events in her past as she sorts through all the stuff that has accumulated in her spare room: clothes she doesn’t wear, books she doesn’t read, things she doesn’t need anymore. Leah desperately tries to unpick just where it all went wrong and who or what is really to blame.

FABRIC deals with the aftermath of a rape that isn’t believed and confronts the traditional roles still expected of women; questioning how much has changed since the sexual revolution of the 1960s.”

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L-R: Actress Nancy Sullivan, Writer Abi Zakarian, Director Tom O’Brien

It’s fierce, raw, powerful…a tour de force and just what is needed. Is it a feminist manifesto? Sure (is that even a bad thing?). But only in so much as it’s a story that highlights the patriarchal laws that oppress, regulate and condemn women’s bodies and rights… the standards set up by some omnipresent societal leaders who say how we should behave, who we should love, how we should look.

We’ve all been Leah at one time or another.  If it’s the cute plucky Leah who falls in love with a stranger in a bespoked suit, or if it’s the Leah depressed and trapped inside herself after a traumatic experience. This is a story that resonates and is more than familiar even if you’ve never personally experienced what Leah has; we all know someone. We’ve seen the news, read the papers, heard the conversations.  It’s a story that’s all too familiar and painful.  What we love most about Fabric is that the entire story is told from Leah’s perspective.  All characters, all action, all fear anger happiness and rage–seldom do we hear from women by women about women.  We love that the play is unpretentious; it meets you where you are, accepts who you are, and trusts you enough to take you on the journey.  If you learn nothing, if you leave this play unchanged, you should consider questioning your morals and basically your entire existence.

Thank you Abi for writing such a brilliant character and story that transcends all cultures, space and time. Leah is all women everywhere, and we can’t wait to see this piece stateside!

If you happen to be one of the lucky people heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival I highly recommend you see this unforgettable show (and also Mary Seacole but more about that tomorrow!).

We can’t wait to make magic with this fabulous creative.

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Keya Crenshaw & Abi Zakarian

Love

BCM

 

Press Release: State of the Arts Productions Presents: Caroline, or Change

January 20, 2015

For Immediate Release

State of the Arts Productions Presents: Caroline, or Change

Columbus-Based Production Company Tackles Civil Rights-Era Story

 

State of the Arts Productions presents the groundbreaking musical Caroline, or Change. A provocative story of political change, social change and pocket change. Set in one of the most dramatic times in America’s history the TONY-nominated Caroline, Or Change tackles tough social issues that still resonate today.

COLUMBUS, OH — State of the Arts Productions (SoArtsPro) kicks off the 2015 creative season with the musical Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and Jeanine Tesori (Shrek the Musical).  Performance dates will run from February 27 – March 1.
Taking on the complexities of race; embraces the climate of the time; and telling a story of redemption, the musical is set in Louisiana during the fall of 1963 when the nation, already dealing with the civil rights movement, was rocked by the death of a president. Amid such turbulent times, Caroline provides stability for both her own restless daughter and the Jewish family that employees her.

“This story is timeless and relevant, with regards to the present climate in the United States,” said Gwen Edwards, SoArtsPro Executive Director.  “Caroline is a character who, in her own way, was able to conquer giant social issues of her day.  To many, she is relatable.  To most, she is a heroine.”

Caroline, or Change has collected nearly every award attainable for a theatrical production: the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress (along with six nominations including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, and Best Director), Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead and Featured Actress, and Outstanding Choreography. The show captured two Obie Awards for Outstanding Performance and Special Citations for Kushner and Tesori, and in 2007 it won the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Caroline, or Change is directed by Jack Peterson with musical direction by Kimberly English Cole and features the debut of Talmarita Kenner as Caroline. Caroline, or Change is a dynamic work which has the power to change the way audiences think about musical theatre.

For more information about show dates, tickets and location, please visit: www.soartspro.com, or call: (614) 266-4562.
PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Dates: February 27 – March 1, 2015
Time: Friday & Saturday 8:00pm  Sunday 2:00 pm

Location: Columbus Performing Arts Center’s Shedd Theatre, 549 Franklin Ave. Columbus, OH 43215

TICKETS

Tickets are available now for $18.

Purchase three ways:
Online:  www.soartspro.com
By phone: 614-266-4562
Mail-in order form: Available online  www.soartspro.com

About SoArtsPro

State of The Arts Productions (SoArtsPro), started as a dream in the mind of the Artistic Director Quentin Edwards. With the help of a select board of directors including current Broadway performers and community members SoArtsPro will bring a different breed of theater to the Columbus area.  Our seasons will be diverse and different; including the classics and contemporary Broadway musical fare.  SoArtsPro believes that theatre can and should be for everyone.