WOODIE KING JR.'S NEW FEDERAL THEATRE SETS
ANNUAL NTOZAKE SHANGE READINGS SERIES FOR JUNE, 2019
WHERE AND WHEN:
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM: June 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2019
Presented by Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre in association with Castillo Theatre
at Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street
General admission is free but donations of $10 will be gratefully accepted.
Info: Castillo Box office 212-941-1234 and New Federal Theatre 212-355-1176
NEW YORK, May 30 -- Woodie King's New Federal Theatre has set four plays for the June, 2019 edition of its Annual Ntozake Shange Readings Series. The series will run four Tuesdays--June 4, 11, 18 and 25--with all readings at Castillo Theatre, 543 W 42nd Street.
The series is named for the late playwright Ntozake Shange, who died last October. Her relationship with Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre (NFT) goes back to the 1976-76 season, when NFT presented the first production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough." NFT subsequently moved the play in a co-production with Joseph Papp to the Public Theater for eight weeks, then to Broadway's Booth Theatre (in a co-production). Woodie King then produced "Colored Girls..." in London, directed by Avery Brooks and in Australia, directed by Oz Scott.
The Ntozake Shange Readings Series is used to develop African-American writers and to select plays that New Federal Theatre may present as full productions. The June, 2019 series offers new works by Jeanette Hill, Bill Harris, Kermit Frazier and Countee Cullen. Admission is free and donations of $10 will be gratefully accepted. Box office is www.castillo.org. The box office number is 212-941-1234. For complete info, visit: www.newfederaltheatre.org.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
June 4 at 7:00 PM
"Clean Sheets" by Jeanette Hill, directed by Bianca Leverne Jones
With: Myra Carter, Yvette Garnier, Petronia Paley, Elizabeth Van Dyke
Success doesn't rid Victoria Reeves of her inner demons. Coming home to support her favorite relative, Augt Rose, at the death of her husband, Henry, brings it all back. Secrets unfold and startling revelations ar ediscovered as she discovers what happens when blessings and curses collide. See a video interview with the playwright at: https://youtu.be/Zaa-sOuFfgc.
June 11 at 7:00 PM
"VAMP!" by Bill Harris, directed by A. Dean Irby
With: Stephanie Berry, Denise Burse Fernandez, Marjorie Johnson, Joyce Sylvester, Messeret Stroman Wheeler
Four mature women, don' dare call 'em "seniors," all former high school classmates, are reunited to support wone of their own. Fueled by memories, unspoken resentments nd unrelated issues, they're forced to confront long-buried truths about their lives and relationships. A comedy-drama that allows us to consider and laugh at the trials of facing ongoing "coming of age."
June 18 at 7:00 PM
"Sacred Places" by Kermit Frazier, directed by Anderson Johnson
With: Tyler Fauntleroy, Rosslyn Coleman Williams
A political love story set in the late 1960s and early 1980s. Two bright, independent, African American college students sweetly meet, only to see their attraction and connection, intimacy and love, tested by tumultuous times. A dialectic, an atgument and a debate about race, class and social change that at bottom is a love story.
June 25 at 7:00 PM
"The Medea of Euripides, A New Version" by Countee Cullen, directed by Petronia Paley
With: Debra Ann Byrd, Nora Cole, Eric Coleman, Mary Hodges, Beethovan Oden, Ivy Omere, Roger Parish, John Rankin, Zoleka Vundla
Cullen's "Medea" deals with the netrayal of trust, the necessity of choosing between vile enslavement and dreadful freedom, and the ferocious character of an individual incapable of self-debasement. The subversive quality of the Euipidean model is immediately evident in the fact that the first person who speaks as the play begins is a female slave.
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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
These readings are not open for review but news and feature coverage are invited.