Category Archives: Events

Roscoe Orman, Anthony Chisholm, Amari Cheatom, Stephen McKinley Henderson and More Set for Live Recording of Jitney at The Greene Space

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Roscoe Orman at the National Black Theatre Festival Gala at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC on July 29, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Roscoe Orman at the National Black Theatre Festival Gala at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC on July 29, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Power Play castmember Roscoe Orman, Anthony Chisholm, Amari Cheatom, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Barry Shabaka Henley, Harvy Blanks, Ray Anthony Thomas, J. Bernard Calloway and Joaquina Kalukango are featured in a reading of August Wilson’s Jitney, part of the August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series, at The Greene Space in New York tonight. Ruben Santiago- Hudson directs. The event is sold out but you can live stream the webcast here.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Artistic Director of the August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series by www.thegreenespace.org.  Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Artistic Director of the August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series by http://www.thegreenespace.org. Photo by Lia Chang


Through the support of Signature Sponsor Lincoln Motor Company and other funders, the plays are being presented in the order they originally premiered at The Greene Space, an intimate performance space and broadcast studio in Downtown Manhattan, in front of live studio audiences. The Green Space is located at 44 Charlton Street (corner of Varick Street) in New York.

The August Wilson American Century Cycle recording series has assembled an artistic team composed almost entirely of “Wilson Warriors,” directors and actors who have worked on an August Wilson production previously — including some who worked with Wilson personally — to participate in this unprecedented project. The recordings will preserve the musicality and style of African American cultural expression that Wilson so eloquently captured.

Stephen McKinley Henderson. Photo by Lia Chang

Stephen McKinley Henderson. Photo by Lia Chang


About the plays
Wilson’s 10-play cycle chronicles the African American experience in the 20th century with each play set in a different decade. The cycle begins in the early 1900s, when wounds from slavery and the Civil War were still fresh, and closes in the 1990s, when even a large and increasingly influential black middle class would not escape persistent racial tensions. Two of the plays, Fences and The Piano Lesson, were recognized with Pulitzer Prizes.

Jitney
Sept. 16 at 7 PM
Jitney is set in a worn-down gypsy cab station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in early autumn 1977. It tells the story of men hustling to make a living as jitneys, unofficial and unlicensed taxi cabs.”

CAST LIST:

YOUNGBLOOD…………Amari Cheatom

TURNBO……………….Stephen McKinley Henderson

FIELDING……………..Anthony Chisholm

DOUB………………….Barry Shabaka Henley

SHEALY……………….Harvy Blanks

PHILMORE…………….Ray Anthony Thomas

BECKER……………….Roscoe Orman

BOOSTER…………….J. Bernard Calloway

RENA…………………Joaquina Kalukango

New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC, WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio, as well as http://www.wnyc.org, http://www.wqxr.org, http://www.thegreenespace.org and http://www.njpublicradio.org. As America’s most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WQXR is New York City’s sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC and WQXR produce content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. New Jersey Public Radio extends WNYC reach and service more deeply into New Jersey. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit http://www.nypublicradio.org.

Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Leslie Uggams, Anthony Chisholm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse L. Martin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kenny Leon and More Set for August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series at The Greene Space in NY, Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams

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Lorey Hayes’ Power Play: A Very Special MIST VIP Invited Dress Rehearsal & Festival Launch on July 26, 2013

A Very Special MIST VIP Invited Dress Rehearsal & Festival Launch1.psd

Hal Williams, S. Epatha Merkerson, Ben Guillory, Oz Scott, Jonathan McCrory and Starletta DuPois among 2013 National Black Theatre Festival® Honorees

2013NBTFPromotionalFLYER
“An International Celebration and Reunion of Spirit”, is the theme for the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival which is held in Winston-Salem, NC from Monday, July 29 – Saturday, August 3, 2013. Actors Tonya Pinkins and Dorien Wilson are this year’s celebrity co-chairs. To purchase tickets or for information on group discounts please visit the website or contact the Festival Office at 336-723-2266 or nbtf@bellsouth.net.

The Festival kicks off on Monday, July 29, 2013 with the star-studded opening night gala, a black-tie/international formal affair that includes a sit-down dinner and awards ceremony at the M. C. Benton Convention Center, followed by a performance of THE EVE OF JACKIE: A Tribute to Jackie Wilson, starring Chester Gregory, the Festival’s showcase production, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Stevens Center. Save your theatre ticket stubs and join the fun at the after-theatre celebrity reception at the Marriott. Gala tickets are $255 per person or $2,550 for a table seating 10. To purchase tickets or for information on group discounts please visit the website or contact the Festival Office at 336-723-2266 or nbtf@bellsouth.net.

The Gala dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. The star-studded celebrity procession begins at 6:30 p.m.

2013 NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL® HONOREES
Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award
Hal Williams

Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award
Ben Guillory

Emerging Producer Award
Jonathan McCrory

August Wilson Playwright Award
Richard Wesley

Lloyd Richards Director Award
Oz Scott

Living Legend Award
Starletta DuPois
Barbara Molette
Carlton Molette
Chapman Roberts

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Paul Tazewell

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Kathy A. Perkins

Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
Patrice Andrew Davidson

Theatre Longevity Award
Black Theatre Troupe
Phoenix, AZ

Special Recognition Award
S. Epatha Merkerson

Marvtastic Philantrophy Award
Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Theatre Arts & Humanitarian Award
The Late Rex Aaron Bowman

9:00pm – THE EVE OF JACKIE: A Tribute to Jackie Wilson
Chess, Not Checkers, Inc., New York, NY
Broadway actor and NAACP Theatre Award winner Chester Gregory again embodies the dynamic Jackie Wilson in an exciting new production. In The Eve of Jackie, the troubled star “tells all” during his final live
performance, just one night before his legendary collapse onstage. Written and performed by Chester Gregory.
(University of North Carolina School of the Arts Stevens Center)

10:30pm – CELEBRITY RECEPTION
Mix and mingle with the honorees, celebrity guests, and other theatre patrons.
(Marriott Hotel)

More on The Festival:
· Theatrical Productions – Approximately 120 performances are held during the six-day event. A dynamic collection of new works and Black classics are performed by professional Black theatre companies from around the world. Collegiate theatre is also represented through the Festival’s Fringe component. The shows are presented at multiple venues throughout the City of Arts and Innovation, Winston-Salem., North Carolina.

General admission tickets generally range from $8-$45. Tickets may be purchased online, by mail, and at the NBTF office. They may also be purchased during the week of the Festival at the Benton Convention Center and at production venues. Call (336) 723-2266 for group rate requests.

· Readers’ Theatre of New Works – A showcase of original works written and read by renowned and aspiring playwrights for an audience of theatre professionals and the general public. There is no admission fee for this Festival component.
· Youth/Celebrity Project – Children interact with celebrities and theatre professionals, attend age appropriate productions, and have the opportunity to perform. A subset of the Project is the Storytelling Festival conducted by members of the North Carolina Storytellers Association.
· TeenTastic (Collaborative Youth Initiative) – Focuses on providing teens ages 15-19 with Marvtastic experiences developed to capture the talent and creativity of this generation and motivate them to excel in their areas of interest.
· Youth Talent Show – performed by and for children of all ages. NBTF is currently accepting audition tapes.
· International Colloquium – This is a collaborative effort between NBTF, Winston-Salem State University and the Black Theatre Network. Theatre in Black Life / Black Life in Theatre: Form, Space, Audience, Function is the theme for 2013.Each year a panel selects the theme and keynote speaker. The opening session for this four-day forum, facilitated by international theatre professionals and academicians, is Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
· Midnight Poetry Jam – some of the hottest professional and amateur poets of today showcase their talent.
· Workshops and seminars facilitated by celebrities, academicians, and theatre professionals. Check information desks for workshop schedules.
· National Black Film Fest – This is a showcase of work from independent filmmakers.
· International Vendors Market – This is the place to be when the shows are over. Join vendors representing all corners of the globe juxtaposed with sponsor booths. Live entertainment adds to personal shopping pleasure. The Vendors Market will be open July 31-August 3 at the Benton Convention Center. To contact vendor coordinator Rhonda Caldwell call (704) 332-5819.
· The Collegiate One-Act Play Reading Marathon, coordinated by North Carolina Central University’s Department of Theatre and hosted by The National Black Theatre Festival®, aims to acknowledge and foster student playwrights through the recognition and exposure of their dramatic works.
· Larry Leon Hamlin Solo Performance Series – This specialized series, named after the festival’s founder, Larry Leon Hamlin, are historical biographies of known and unknown African Americans. Some of the historical characters that have been featured in this series are Rosa Parks, Paul Robeson, Zora Neal Hurston, Josephine Baker, Emmett Till, Jim Beckwourth, and Lena Baker. It was Mr. Hamlin’s vision that plays continue to live beyond the Festival. These solo performances are specifically designed and directed toward higher learning institutions with the immediate intention of hiring these shows for schools, special events, fraternity and sorority organizations, and cultural celebrations throughout the year and especially during Black History Month.

If you are interested in being one of the 1,500 volunteers, download a volunteer application from www.NBTF.org or call (336) 723-2266.

The NBTF official hotels are:

Marriott Twin City Quarter Embassy Suites
425 N. Cherry Street 460 N. Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336/725-3500 – 877/ 888-9762 336/724-3400 – 800/362-2779
www.marriott.com http://www.embassysuites.com

Visit www.NBTF.org for other festival hotels.

The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC), Winston-Salem, NC. The Festival was founded in 1989 by the Late Larry Leon Hamlin and is produced by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company.

Articles on the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival:
Celebrity Actress, Pauletta Pearson Washington returns home to North Carolina starring at 2013 National Black Theatre festival with Roscoe Orman (Sesame Street, Willie Dynamite) and all star cast in Lorey Hayes’ award-winning “Power Play”, a play about Politics, Passion and The Power of God
Video: Power Play’s Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang on The Carmen Mathis Show
Photos: Charles Smith’s Knock Me A Kiss Starring André De Shields Featured in Encore Performances at The National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, July 30-August 1, 2013
Lorey Hayes’ Power Play Set for National Black Theatre Festival 7/30-8/1

Power Play Stars Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman Featured in SonEdna Mid- Morning Matinee Reading Series on July 31, 2013

Roscoe Orman

Roscoe Orman

The SonEdna Mid- Morning Matinee Reading Series kicks off with Family Story Hour at the Forsyth County Public Library Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, featuring the stellar celebrity duo, “Sesame Street” icon Roscoe Orman and Pauletta Pearson-Washington, Orman’s co-star in the NBTF drama Power Play by Lorey Hayes. Orman, best known for playing Gordon on “Sesame Street” and spokesperson for AudibleKids.com, will delight young audiences, reading aloud from his premiere children’s book, Ricky and Mobo, a modern fable about a boy and his horse. Pearson-Washington will follow with an interactive reading of Ellington is Not A Street by literary icon Ntozake Shange, author of the Broadway classic for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. A delightful double bill for young and old, one and all! The Forsyth County Public Library Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center is located at 1110 East Seventh St.,Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Click here for a map and directions.
11:00AM – 12:30PM
Pauletta Washington

Pauletta Pearson Washington


Each SonEdna Mid- Morning Matinee reading will be followed by an intimate Q&A and a book signing. All of the events will be presented at Forsyth County Public Library sites in Winston-Salem and all are free to NBTF patrons and the public.

SonEdna was founded by Myrna Colley-Lee in 2006 to bring together writers from around the country, allowing them to interact with each other, the public, and students in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. SonEdna believes that people empowered through the literary arts discern, decide, and design with greater authority, clarity, understanding, and compassion.

In 2011, SonEdna made its National Black Theatre Festival debut with the dramatic reading of Ifa Bayeza’s Charleston Olio, which was adapted from her novel, “Some Sing, Some Cry” and featured Phylicia Rashad and National Black Theatre Festival former Co-Chair Hattie Winston.

Other SonEdna programs include salons, student writing workshops, school presentations, peer critical review for emerging writers, retreats and residencies for established writers, literary showcases.

For more information please contact SonEdna Director Benjamen Douglas at 662.625.6178.

National Black Theatre Festival
NBTF is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin in 1979. The Festival, also founded by Hamlin, has been held biennially since 1989. The event attracts thousands of national and international patrons, theatre professionals and scholars to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was named one of the Top 100 events in North America by the American Business Association. This is the only national black theater festival in the country offering six consecutive days of professional theater, film, poetry, workshops, seminars and shopping.

For additional information and a schedule of events, call the festival office at (336) 723-2266, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit www.nbtf.org online.

Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang Attend 25th Annual STAR Program – JSU Metro New York Alumni‏ to Celebrate Margarette Purvis and Will Brown

Power Play cast members Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street”), Lia Chang (Big Trouble in Little China, New Jack City), and playwright Lorey Hayes (For Colored Girls…), joined celebrities, special guests and performing artists who gathered to celebrate and pay tribute to Margarette Purvis and Will Brown, at the 25th annual STAR (Special Thanks And Recognition) program, held in the historic Audubon Ballroom in New York on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Sponsored by the Metro New York Chapter of the Jackson State University Alumni Association, the event annually recognizes the achievements of native Mississippians who reside in the metropolitan New York area.

Honoree Margarette Purvis, President/CEO of Food Bank for New York City was presented with her award by her mother, Mearl Purvis, an award winning anchor and reporter for FOX13 News in Memphis, TN. Photo by Lia Chang

Honoree Margarette Purvis, President/CEO of Food Bank for New York City was presented with her award by her mother, Mearl Purvis, an award winning anchor and reporter for FOX13 News in Memphis, TN. Photo by Lia Chang

Margarette Purvis, a native of Jackson, MS, is President/CEO of Food Bank for New York City. She was introduced by her mother, Mearl Purvis, a JSU graduate and an award winning anchor and reporter for FOX13 News in Memphis, TN. Will Brown, a licensed New York State Real Estate and Insurance Broker, is a native of Mendenhall, MS. He was presented by the Rev. Michel J. Faulkner, President of the Institute for Leadership and Fitzgerald Miller, President of One Hundred Black Men, Inc.
Rev. Michel J. Faulkner, President of the Institute for Leadership, honoree Will Brown and Fitzgerald Miller, President of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. Photo by Lia Chang

Rev. Michel J. Faulkner, President of the Institute for Leadership, honoree Will Brown and Fitzgerald Miller, President of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. Photo by Lia Chang


Excerpts were performed from the musical, Soul on Fire, featuring Tyrone Stanley and company; Roderick A. Warner performed a scene from the musical Flambeaux. Other performances included vocalist/pianist Gary Mitchell, Jr., saxophonist Willie Gee and special appearances by five African American legends: Wendi Joy Franklin as Lena Horne, Jannie Jones as Ethel Waters, Michael Green as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sharon Hope as Shirley Chisholm and former Miss Mississippi, Toni Seawright, as Barbara Jordan. Actors Marjorie Johnson and Jay R. Unger served as co-hosts.

Among the celebrity guests attending this Silver Anniversary celebration were Barbara Montgomery, star of the NBC television series “Amen,” Micki Grant, actress/composer/lyricist and author of the Broadway musical, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, actor/model Renauld White and Woodie King, Jr., founder and artistic director of the New Federal Theatre in New York.

$2,500 was donated to the Sarah Norville Endowed Scholarship Fund. Established in 1999, the Fund awards scholarships and book awards to deserving students from the New York area who attend Jackson State University.

Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang in Florence, SC to Attend 25th Annual James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala

Power Players Lorey Hayes (Bambi) and Lia Chang (Carole Barbara) are in Florence,S.C., to attend the 25th annual James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala tonight at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center.

Comedian James Stephens III, Power Play actress and playwright Lorey Hayes and Dr. Marnell Alexis Stephens, president, MacCormac College at the James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala vip reception at the Hilton Garden Inn in Florence, SC on May 3, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Comedian James Stephens III, Power Play actress and playwright Lorey Hayes and Dr. Marnell Alexis Stephens, president, MacCormac College at the James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala vip reception at the Hilton Garden Inn in Florence, SC on May 3, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang


James Stephens III grew up in Dillon but left the area to attend college, and make a name for himself in the entertainment field. Stephens, a well-known comedian and impersonator who works in Las Vegas, other entertainment venues, and on cruise ships around the country, and Hayes, an actress and playwright, have been friends for more than 25 years.
Comedian James Stephens III. Photo by Lia Chang

Comedian James Stephens III. Photo by Lia Chang


Twenty-five years ago, Stephens decided he wanted to give back and help kids from his hometown region, and beyond, and began hosting his annual scholarship gala. I’ll be on the red carpet tonight to interview the dozens of deserving kids who will be receiving scholarships and laptops this year. Since 1990, more than 90 kids in North and South Carolina have received scholarships.

Steadman Graham, the Chicago-based entrepreneur, educator and life partner of Oprah Winfrey, is the recipient of this year’s lifetime achievement award.

Tommy Ford will host the 2013 gala, which will feature performances by an array of musical and comedic talent, including R& B star Robert “Peabo” Bryson, the Greenville, S.C. native best known for his Grammy-winning duets for the animated Disney features “Beauty and the Beast” (with Celine Dion) and “Aladdin” (with Regina Belle), will headline the show.

Other celebrities who will be on hand include Lucille O’Neal (Shaquille O’Neal’s mom), comedian Billy Dee Washington, the Miami Dolphins’ Arturo Freeman, comedian Colin Quinn, comedian Damon Kinney and actor Sam Schreiber (Sam Schreiber).

Comedian James Stephens III, Lia Chang and actor Sam Schreiber at the James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala vip reception at the Hilton Garden Inn in Florence, SC on May 3, 2013. Photo by Lorey Hayes

Comedian James Stephens III, Lia Chang and actor Sam Schreiber at the James Stephens III Scholarship Foundation Gala vip reception at the Hilton Garden Inn in Florence, SC on May 3, 2013. Photo by Lorey Hayes

Tickets for the gala begin at $50 and can be purchased through the foundation’s website.

Scholarships through the James Stephens III Foundation are available to high school students in the Pee Dee who wish to continue their education and are in good standing at their school. For more details and an application, check out the foundation website at www.thejamesstephensfoundation.org.