Negro Ensemble Company to Launch New Reading Series, 3/17
On Monday, March 17, 2014 The Legendary Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. will unveil the 2014 new works Monday series, NEC'S MONDAY NIGHT READING SERIES AT THE PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER. NEC will hold readings beginning Monday, March 17, 2014. All readings will start at 7:00 pm on The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036. A VIP Reception will immediately follow each reading. The series will feature 4 exceptional plays written by celebrated playwrights. None have been produced for New York audiences. Tickets are on sale now; $20.00 for each Monday night, $30.00 per night with reception. The series may be purchased at a discounted rate through Ticket Central. For ticket information and series package rates, visit www.ticketcentral.com or call 212-279-4200 (Daily 12noon-8pm).
]The plays are Fathers and Sons by Michael Bradford March 17, Legends, by NEC alumnus Leslie Lee March 24, Carver (a musical), by legendary playwright and actor Micki Grant March 31, and Last of the Line, by Samm-Art Williams, also an NEC alum, April 14. This is a significant project for The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. And it is somewhat of a mini reunion, according to Charles Weldon, Artistic Director. "It has been a while since we have been able to showcase this many NEC alums. I personally want to thank our alums, Harvy Blanks, Kimberlyn Crawford, Crystal Dickinson, Brandon Dirden, Arthur French, Elain Graham, William Jay, Heather Massie, Barbara Montgomery, Glynn Turman, and Allie Woods, Jr., who have come back to help us do work we think is important and powerful. We are also grateful for assistance from our friends; Michael Bradford, Micki Grant, and Jim Houghton and the Signature staff for playing a major role in this project." Weldon will also participate in the reading.
The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. (NEC) (Charles Weldon, Artistic Director; Karen Brown, Executive Director) provides African-American, African and Caribbean professional artists with an opportunity to learn, to work, to grow and to be nurtured in the performing arts. They present theatre performances by and about black people to a culturally diverse audience that is often underserved. In 1965, Playwright Douglas Turner Ward, producer/actor Robert Hooks, and theater manager Gerald Krone made a dream a reality with The Negro Ensemble Company. The catalyst for this was A Raisin in the Sun. Hooks and Ward were castmates in the road company; and they dreamed of starting a theater company run by and for black people. Eventually with money from the Ford Foundation and a home at the St. Marks Playhouse, The Negro Ensemble Company formed officially in 1967.