Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Ensemble Theatre joins Project 1 Voice for its second National Stage Reading
This year's selection is The 'Amen Corner' by James Baldwin
PROJECT1VOICE is 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, national performing arts service organization, advocating on issues that specifically affect Black theater. They are dedicated to the preservation of Black theater--it's legacy and tradition.
Their endeavors help raise awarness of the importance of Black theatre's across the nation. Patrons who attend these readings are encouraged to make a contribution to the theatre(s) they visit.
On Monday, June 18, 2012, twenty five African-American theatres across the country will engage in a national day of celebration of African-American theatre by producing benefit staged readings of The Amen Corner, the classic drama by James Baldwin, honoring the 25th year anniversary of his passing.
The participating theatres are: African American Repertory Theatre (DeSoto, TX) African Continuum Theatre (Washington, DC) African American Repertory Theatre (DeSoto, TX), Alabama State University, (Montgomery, AL) American Performing Arts Collaborative (New York, NY), American Theater Project (New Orleans, LA),The Billie Holiday Theatre (Brooklyn, NY), Black Spectrum Theatre (New York, NY), Brown Box Theatre (Seattle, WA), Bushfire Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Congo Square Theatre (Chicago, IL), Crossroads Theatre Company (New Brunswick, NY), Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), Ebony Repertory Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), Ensemble Theatre (Houston, TX), Freedom Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Howard University ( Washington, DC), Kuntu Repertory Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA), Lorraine Hansbury Theatre (San Francisco, CA), National Black Theatre (New York, NY), Negro Ensemble Company (New York, NY), New Federal Theatre (New York, NY), New Professional Theatre (New York, NY), Penumbra Theatre Company (Minneapolis/St Paul, MN), Rainey Institute (Cleveland, OH), The Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art (New York, NY), Uprooted (Milwaukee, WI), and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (Sarasota, FL).
“This national day of celebration not only honors the late great playwright, James Baldwin's seminal work. It also seeks to highlight the African-American theatre companies who are struggling for their very existence,” PROJECT1VOICE Founder Erich McMillan-McCall said. “It is imperative that our community sparks renewed interest in the art, the artists and the organizations which nurture them. PROJECT1VOICE is proud to take on the challenge of trumpeting our artistic resources so that they can sustain themselves now and into the future.”
Project1VOICE is a not-for-profit, performing arts service organization, advocating on issues that specifically affect Black theater. We are dedicated to the preservation of Black theater--it's legacy and tradition--now and for future generations. Our mission is to support and cultivate artistic excellence, creativity and innovation among Black theaters, connecting people and communities to the arts with a continuum of experiences that reflect the virtuosity, creative and inclusive spirit of the arts.
Black theatres remain at the forefront of developing and sustaining African-American playwrights, directors, actors and other theater professionals. In 2010, McMillan-McCall became acutely aware that theatres across the country, especially historically African-American theatres, were struggling to stay afloat during the economic downturn. With this in mind, he partnered with other concerned individuals to bring attention and assistance to these mainstays of employment for theatre artists of color, and thus, PROJECT1VOICE was born.
Key members of the PROJECT1VOICE team areproducer/production manager Gwen Gilliam, award-winning playwright and director Charles Randolph-Wright, actor/producer Charles Reese (Teeth and Eyes Productions) and marketing consultant/producer Marcia Pendelton (Walk Tall Girl Productions).
“PROJECT1VOICE is shedding light on a universal problem by targeting a specific one...the plight of African American theaters.” McMillan-McCall said. “We want to have a longoverdue conversation about the loss of our creative voices with some long-term sustainable solutions to preserve their legacies.”
1 VOICE, 1 PLAY, 1 DAY readings of The Amen Corner will not only serve as fundraisers for the participating theaters, they will also act as community engagement events to further develop audiences, recruit volunteers, attract corporate and foundation funding, and seek in-kind goods and services.
Additional details about ticketing, directors, and casts for all readings will be announced at a later date.
For more information about PROJECT1VOICE, and to see interviews with theater luminaries such as prolific producer Woodie King, Jr., Tony-Award winner Adriane Lenox, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, visit www.project1voice.org.