FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS “DIMENSIONS,”
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY FREEDOM RUSSINO
NEW YORK, August 7 -- "Dimensions" is a unique production written and directed by Freedom Russino that utilizes theater, dance and spoken word to tell a story of the difficulties of young minority students in forming their sexual identity for the first time while studying in a Los Angeles art school. It exposes the web of secrets and lies that connect with the contemporary struggles of American minorities. Themes of identity, race and sexuality are explored in a volatile world of Greek life.
The play focuses on the lives of young African-American students in fraternities and sororities at an unnamed Los Angeles art school. Many of these students are dealing with closely-held secrets as they attempt to finish out the semester with their friends. A young woman struggles to come to terms with her sexuality while trying to stay true to those around her. A trans man, living in a fraternity with his brothers, must face up to the moment when he finally admits his secret. This young African-American cast and creative team endeavor to highlight the issues affecting black students today. The show features a number of fashion, music and spoken word interludes, which showcase modern elements of African-American culture. In particular, the soundtrack for this show is a mix of recorded African-American pop music and original music by Karachi and by Jhenet Tati featuring Goodz Da animal.
Playwright and director Freedom Russino, originally from Philadelphia, currently resides in New York City. He was privately instructed in vocal and drama and studied in creative and performing arts schools which fueled his love of the spoken word. Seeking to ensure that all artists are given a fair chance, Russino founded the non-profit organization, "New Spirit Productions," which gives performance opportunities and production resources to minority artists. The organization also offers affordable vocal and drama classes to the community of all ages. Russino believes that the arts can bring light to many social issues and injustices thus giving a voice to the voiceless. Russino is currently working to develop "Dimensions" into a television series while continuing to work on other theater projects.
The cast features Chamise Reneé as Bailey, Bobby Tolliver and Nick Santiago as Aaron, Toliglhia "Tiggy" Archer as Nia, Young Tef and Lydia Daya Ware as Spice, Tyler Ellison as Walt, Chardé Betton as Allison, Yisa Duro as Shawn, Jennifer M. Lawson and Kashmere as Tina, Tymeka Holmes as Gabby, Jason Vee as Ty, Preston Thomas Martin as Ethan, Tiffany "Kash" Young as Rida, Sabastian Caine Roy as Mr. Johnson, Sylvia "SP" Pullum as Frankie, Jasmine Kelley and Tah Thompson as Tee, Nic Ludd as Sky, Karter Gray as Michael and Ms. Reign as Que. Poetry is provided by poets DaRuddest Jones, Meek Jaffe, Ms. Reign, Gillian Alex and Pit Johnson. Vocals are provided by Karachi. Choreography is provided by Madam Ambition, Chamise Reneé and Zahvier Pompey. Costumes are created and developed by IntimateGrind Apparel. Sponsor designers are Gold and Wealth, Stud Fit Nation, Frantzy Face Clothing and IntimateGrind Apparel. Seamstress is Toliglhia “Tiggy” Archer.
The eighth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 27 to September 17. An ultimate new work festival, it is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances. Audiences savor the excitement, awe, passion, challenge and intrigue of new plays from around the country and around the world.
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
A unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered that draw upon a variety of performance specialties including singing, clowning, poetry, street music, magic and movement. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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