Black girl magic was in full effect on Monday night at the Actors Equity building as an impressive panel gathered to discuss the position of black women in the production and performance of popular theater.
“At The Table: A Panel of Black Women Creating Change in Theatre” was hosted by Actors Equity Association in collaboration with BOLD, a thriving interest group committed “to building up black women in the performing arts for the restoration of culture.”
The panel included famed producer Alia Jones-Harvey (Eclipsed, Trip to Bountiful), playwright Katori Hall (Mountaintop, Hurt Village), actor Jocelyn Bioh (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, playwright: Nollywood Dreams), Hi-Arts artistic director Kamilah A. Forbes and choreographer Camille A. Brown. (A Streetcar Named Desire, Fortress of Solitude).
Among the issues discussed was the opportunity for presence in an industry where African-Americans are severely underrepresented in both the audience and the art. While Jones-Harvey has mastered innovative consumer outreach with partner Stephen Byrd, Hall, who now demands producer privileges in her contract, noted that she is often the only person of color in the creative room.
“Establish your rules and your voice from the start! We have to write ourselves into existence. We are becoming the norm.”
According to choreographer Brown, she is working for the dances/dancers that were appropriated.
“Katherine Dunham received no credit for her choreography in Cabin in the Sky. I’m speaking for myself but also those voices that have been silenced.”
When asked when she feels most brilliant, Brown responded, “for me, brilliance is in our resistance, power, and perseverance. I hear the stories of black folk- so rich and full. In spite of it all, we still rise and walk our paths. That’s brilliant!”
Billy Porter Will Star In His New Play Remember To Live At Primary Stages
The Off-Broadway theatre company, Primary Stages, announced their 35th Anniversary season. Launching the lineup includes a new play by Tony Award-winning & Golden Globe-nominated actor Billy Porter entitled Remember To Live. That’s correct; The Pose(FX) star is a playwright. Beginning performances October 29th, Porter will also be starring in the piece.
Back in 2014 Porter’s While I Yet Live debuted at Primary Stages under the direction of Sheryl Kaller, who will also direct this future production set to premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Remember to Live is told from the perspective of an African-American gay filmmaker. The play centers on the stories of five gay men who all lived through the AIDS crisis and are now grappling with sex, intimacy, redemption, and love all with the indifference the current political climate.
Performances run October 29 through December 22. Additional casting to be announced at a later date.
Noah J. Ricketts Takes Over The Role of Kristoff in Frozen On Broadway
The Disney movie turned Broadway musical Frozen welcomes ensemble cast member Noah J. Ricketts into the role of Kristoff. Having understudied the role, he will now take over full-time after Jelani Alladin who originated the role.
He will begin performances Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
Ricketts also currently understudies the role of Pabbie. He joined the cast of Frozen directly from the Broadway and touring productions of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Favorite regional credits include Terk, Tarzan® (WWT); C.C., Dreamgirls (North Shore Music Theatre); Jacob, La Cage (Summer Lyric); Hello, Dolly! (St. Louis MUNY); Macbeth (IAA Shakespeare Festival). A proud graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM)
Check out the video below of Noah singing his heart out with “Corner of the Sky” from the musical Pippin
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