*BROADWAY BLACK EXCLUSIVE*
“Get Up, Stand Up. Stand up for your right.”
Bob Marley was on to something when he released “Get Up, Stand Up” in the early 1970s. A phrase that can still be used today, even 40 years later. Black Americans have been fighting the fight for equality for centuries and it’s time for us all to step up and do our part to continue that fight. We all want to live in a society where seven-year-old black girls aren’t killed in their sleep- #AiyanaStanleyJones, where a 17-year-old can walk home with skittles- #TrayvonMartin, where a 12-year-old child can play in the park- #TamirRice — a place where Black Lives Matter.
An overwhelming number of friends and colleagues in the Broadway community have expressed a deep desire to participate in an open dialogue about the social and racial justice issues that are troubling our nation. The event will bring Broadway performers together with policy reformers, educators, clergymen, public officials, and community leaders to discuss a plan of action. The evening will spark conversation and encourage people to discover their roles as active participants in a movement towards positive change.
A group of Broadway community artists, now called the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective, immediately responded to the call to action they felt and were able to create Broadway For Black Lives Matter, a special event to present a night of unity and solidarity through artistic expression and conversation. This community event, free and open to the public, will occur on Monday, August 1st, 2016 at Columbia University’s Lerner Hall Roone Arledge Auditorium 2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Doors open at 8:00pm with the arts & activism showcase beginning at 8:30pm.
Guest appearances include six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, four-time Grammy Award winner India.Arie, Tony Award winners Billy Porter (Shuffle Along, Kinky Boots), Jeanine Tesori (Artistic Director Of NYCC) & Tony Kushner (Angels of America). Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Passing Strange), Professor Kendall Thomas (Columbia Law School), Joshua Henry (Shuffle Along), Camille A. Brown (A Streetcar Named Desire), Professor Frank Roberts (NYU), Daniel Beaty, Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton), The Broadway Inspirational Voices, & New York City Center’s cast of THE RUNAWAYS. The evening with consist of performances, Q&As, and discussions of tangible ways in which we can be ACTIVE in our pursuits for change.
Tickets can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by registering at: BroadwayBlack.com/BWAY4BLM.
Pre-registration does not guarantee you a seat or access to this event. Also, this event will be live-streamed, and there will be photographers and videographers present. By entering the venue, you consent to appear in photos and on video for later use at the discretion of the event organizers and sponsors
We, Broadway Black, a digital platform dedicated to highlighting the achievements of black theatre artists, will livestream the event. Watch here: broadwayblack.com/bway4blm and follow @BroadwayBlack #BWAY4BLM to join in the conversation community and become Agents of Change across the country.
Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective consists of a group of arts activists involved in the Broadway community. These members include Amber Iman (Shuffle Along, Soul Doctor), Aisha Jackson (Beautiful, Waitress), Mykal Kilgore (Hair, Motown), Britton Smith (After Midnight, Shuffle Along), Douglas Lyons (Book of Mormon, Beautiful), Andrew Shade (Broadway Black Founder), Jacquelyn Bell (Bell Arts Entertainment), and organizations, Broadway Black & The Oneness Project.
All #BWAY4BLM Artwork Created by Terrance Campbell of Tre’club Designs Please feel free to contact Tre’club Designs if you’re looking for an innovative graphic design professional prepared to add experience, and fresh creativity to your projects.
Nicolette Robinson, Leslie Odom Jr., & Cynthia Erivo Sign On to Produce Witness Uganda
It’s official! Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton), along with his wife Nicolette Robinson (Waitress) have joined on as producers for the biographical contemporary musical Witness Uganda. Abigail Spencer of Hulu’s Timeless has also joined this list of new producers
Formerly Insivible Thread, Witness Uganda has currently extended its West Coast premiere until March 3rd at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Creators Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould take on the roles of director and musical director respectively. The show has added new material and musical numbers since it’s Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theater.
Based on a true story, Witness Uganda follows Griffin, a New York City-based American volunteer, as he arrives in Uganda to help build a village school and escape his church’s condemnation of his sexuality. When he falls into a complicated relationship with a group of destitute, orphaned teenagers, he finds himself driven by a mission that will change his and their lives forever. From the rolling hills of the Ugandan countryside to a stifling apartment in New York City, from a joyous celebration of African youth to a terrifying abduction 8,000 miles away, Witness Uganda explores the question, “is changing the world even possible?”
The musical stars twelve-time Grammy nominee, Ledisi as Rain Lady/Church Lady, Hamilton alum & Off Book Podcast co-host Amber Iman as Joy, and original cast member of Invisible Thread Jamar Williams now takes on the role of Griffin.
The cast also features Emma Hunton (Ryan), Kameron Richardson (Jacob), Naärai (Grace), Sha’leah Nikole (Eden), Dexter Darden (Ibrahim), Jordan Barrow (Ronny), Jai’len Josey (Vocalist/Understudy for Rain Lady/Church Lady) and Antwone Barnes, Kennan D Washington and Thurzday holding down the ensemble.
The creative team is rounded out with choreography by Abdur-Rahim Jackson, music supervision by Remy Kurs, sets by Connor MacPhee, lighting by David Hernandez, costumes by Carlton Jones, and sound design by Martin Carrillo.
For more info visit Witness Uganda
Iconic Entertainer Gregory Hines Honored With a Black Heritage Series Stamp
The U.S. Postal Service honored iconic entertainer Gregory Hines with a Black Heritage Series stamp in a ceremony on January 28th. As the 42nd entry in the series, the stamp featuring a 1988 photo of a smiling Hines is now available at Post Offices and usps.com.
At the ceremony Tony Award winner Savion Glover talked about the role Hines played in elevating tap into an art form and the value of his work. Joining him in the celebration were Maurice Hines, actor, dancer, choreographer, and Hines’ brother; Daria Hines, actress, costume designer, and Hines’ daughter; dancers Chloe and Maud Arnold; Tony Waag, the American Tap Dance Foundation’s artistic director, and tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith.
“I don’t exist without this man,” said Glover, “These young people that you see, they aren’t born without this. We are not here today without this.”
The Chief Postal Inspector, Gary Barksdale, who led the ceremony, said “Gregory Hines was an extraordinary artist in every sense of the word. This Forever stamp pays tribute to his life and career as an actor, singer and most importantly, as a performer whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form.”
Gregory Hines’ Broadway credits include Eubie!, Sophisticated Ladies, & Comin’ Uptown, all of which garnered him Tony Award nominations. He became a Tony Award winner for his starring role in “Jelly’s Last Jam” in 1992. In 2003 he passed away at 57 years old from cancer.
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