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Center Stage's Digital Theater Project MY AMERICA Hits IFC Center Today

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Center Stage's Digital Theater Project MY AMERICA Hits IFC Center Today

Center Stage previously announced that its acclaimed digital theater project My America has become a feature length film, which had its premiere on July 4, 2014, exclusively through streaming service Fandor. A special screening is set for tonight, July 9, at the IFC center in New York City.

Conceived and commissioned in 2012 under the leadership of Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, My America is a digital collection of 50 monologues by some of the nation's most innovative playwrights, including Marcus Gardley, Anna Deavere Smith, and Christopher Durang. The monologues confront complex topics in the American consciousness from race and religion to the nuances of The American Dream, and are performed by noteworthy actors such as Jefferson Mays (Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), and Tracie Thoms (Rent).

Award-winning director Hal Hartley, the filmmaker behind the My America shorts, has woven 21 of the original monologues together in a seamless blend of humor and poignant introspection on American culture. Hartley's previous work has won numerous awards at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, and he has collaborated regularly with Fandor CEO Ted Hope (Producer: American Splendor, In the Bedroom) since 1989.

Fandor is a community of film lovers and makers that offers a broad collection of independent and international cinema specially curated to make discovering new and classic favorites easy and accessible.

Kwei-Armah was thrilled to learn that the site will host the film's premiere: "With My America, I wanted our theater to examine what the next great stages for theatrical artists might be and how we can share those stories in a way that makes the art more accessible. I think the collaboration with the Fandor platform will continue to support that mission."

Continued Hartley: "I'm excited to be distributing My America on Fandor as it offers such an uncomplicated and direct outlet for the film to connect with audiences."

My America was the inaugural project of Center Stage's initiative CS Digital, a program dedicated to exploring the intersection of art and technology in the 21st century and providing access to top theater professionals through digital engagement. The monologues were commissioned in celebration of Center Stage's 50th Anniversary and remain available to audiences around the world at www.youtube.com/user/centerstagemyamerica.

Hartley and Hope will also host a screening and Q&A session for the film at the IFC Center tonight, July 9 at 7 pm. General admission tickets can be purchased online at the address below. Adult tickets are $14.
http://bit.ly/1wxZx7E. The IFC Center is located at 323 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10014. Call (212) 924-7771 for more information.

Center Stage: Under the leadership of playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director) and national arts leader Stephen Richard (Managing Director), Center Stage is an artistically driven institution committed to engaging, entertaining, and enriching audiences of today and tomorrow through joyous and bold performance. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "a model of what regional theater can and should be," Center Stage has, for more than 50 years, dedicated itself to exploring new works and bringing classics to life. This rich history is marked by critically acclaimed new works that have shaped the American theater; from the Tony Award-winning The Triumph of Love to World Premieres such as Miss Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh and On the Verge by Eric Overmyer. In 2013, Center Stage's unprecedented presentation of the Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park in repertory with the World Premiere of Kwei-Armah's Beneatha's Place sparked dialogue, drew international media attention, and became the subject of a nationally broadcast PBS documentary, "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage." With its signature focus on civic and community engagement, Center Stage, The State Theater of Maryland, enters its second 50 years with a commitment to exploring how art and entertainment communicate in the 21st century and to igniting conversation in Baltimore and beyond.

Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges, and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Fandor: Fandor is where the film community comes together, where filmmakers and enthusiasts are advancing film culture, and where audiences are connecting with films across genres and decades. Fandor offers a broad library of independent and international cinema specially curated to make discovering new and classic favorites easy and accessible. Fandor's member-based service allows audiences to watch unlimited movies wherever they are: on TVs, computers and mobile devices. Fandor showcases and supports the world's best filmmakers and returns half its revenue to them. For more information, visit www.Fandor.com.

THE MONOLOGUES INCLUDED IN THE MY AMERICA FEATURE VERSION
(in order of presentation)

ANTHEM
By GWYDION SUILEBHAN
Performed by CODY NICKELL

FROM A DISTANCE
By THE 5TH L
Performed by THE 5TH L

CURRENT EVENTS
By NEIL LABUTE
Performed by GIA CROVATIN

SPACE MOUNTAIN
By DAN DIETZ
Performed by FRED WELLER

MISS AMERICA
By ALENA SMITH
Performed by CHRISTY MCINTOSH

HIT AND RUN
By KIRSTEN GREENIDGE
Performed by KELLY MCCREARY

ME AMERICA
By GREG ALLEN
Performed by GREG ALLEN

THE PREACHER'S BENEDICTION (formally, "I Am A Man")
By MARCUS GARDLEY
Performed by MARC DAMON JOHNSON

PHIL
By DANNY HOCH
Performed by ANGELO LOZADA

CAKE
By BEKAH BRUNSETTER
Performed by JENNIFER MUDGE

CHRISTMAS
By DJMENDEL
Performed by DJMENDEL

NATE'S AMERICA
By KIA CORTHRON
Performed by BRIAN TYREE HENRY

FLATLAND
By LAUREN YEE
Performed by JOHNNY WU

REMOTE CONTROL KID
By POLLY PEN
Performed by JEB BROWN

JOAN & BOOTSIE
By JAMES MAGRUDER
Performed by KRISTINE NIELSEN

TWO DAYS BEFORE MY TAXES ARE DUE
By JEREMY KAREKEN
Performed by THOMAS JAY RYAN

JOHN
By KENNETH LIN
Performed by ANDREW WEEMS

THE AMAZING AMERICA AUCTION
By LYNN ROSEN
Performed by JOHN ELLISON CONLEE

FIRE IN DREAMLAND
By RINNE GROFF
Performed by JEFFERSON MAYS

ROOSEVELT ISLAND
By RAJIV JOSEPH
Performed by ALVIN EPSTEIN

STILL
By NAOMI IIZUKA
Performed by KATHLEEN CHALFANT

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