BULRUSHER OPENS 8/23-24 at Skylight Theatre

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BULRUSHER OPENS 8/23-24 at Skylight Theatre

Skylight Theatre Company and Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble present the Los Angeles Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher, written by Eisa Davis and directed by Nataki Garrett. The show opens on 8pm on August 23rd and 3pm August 24th. RECEPTION TO FOLLOW BOTH PERFORMANCES. Runs 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3pm Sundays through September 28, 2014 at the Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont, LA, 90027

Two like-minded theatre companies join together to present the Los Angeles premiere of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Bulrusher by Eisa Davis. Sprinkled with the poetic language of Boontling, the play is set in a rural town along the Navarro River.

A multiracial orphan girl, growing up in a predominantly white California town in the 1950's, discovers a new sense of self when a black girl from Alabama suddenly appears in her world. Lyrically brimming with passion and humor, the play is about how we move forward in our lives by learning from our past.

"Bulrusher makes me nostalgic for my Northern California roots as I recall playing on giant oaks, riding bareback and visiting the mighty Pacific ocean during a few summers in Booneville. It is every bit mysterious and bewitching as Eisa reveals in this timeless tale. An inspiring story that uses the events of the early civil rights movement and the golden landscape of the sleepy town of Booneville as the backdrop for a simply told deeply felt coming of age story." Nataki Garrett, Director

Eisa Davis (Playwright) is an award winning playwright and actor/singer/songwriter. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Bulrusher, an Obie Award winner for Sustained Excellence in Performance, and a Herb Alpert Award winner. Eisa wrote and starred in Angela's Mixtape, named Best of 2009 by The New Yorker. Other plays include Ramp (Ruby Prize winner), The History of Light (Barrymore nomination), Paper Armor, Umkovu, Six Minutes, Warriors Don't Cry (Cornerstone), and the collaborations Active Ingredients and Hip Hop Anansi. Her episode in the live marketplace event Trade Practices will play on Governor's Island in New York this September. Current projects include the musicals Flowers Are Sleeping and Devil In A Blue Dress, as well as a screenplay about her aunt, Angela Davis. Eisa is an alumna of New Dramatists, and supported by such companies as Sundance, New York Stage and Film, The Public Theater, Soho Rep, and Doris Duke Foundations. Her film and television credits include Passing Strange, Free Angela, Welcome to the Rileys (opposite James Gandolfini), The Architect (opposite Viola Davis), The Wire, The Good Wife, The Blacklist, Damages, Smash, Soul Food, Law and Orders, and Hart of Dixie.

BULRUSHER opens at 8pm on August 23rd and 3pm August 24th (reception to follow both performances) and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm through September 28, 2014. The Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $30. Reservations: 213-761-7061 or online at http://skylighttix.com

Nataki Garrett (Director) is a multi-award winner whose memorable staging of Neighbors by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins at the Matrix Theater garnered Ovation nominations for Best Production, Best Ensemble, Best Costumes, Best Featured Actress and Winner of the Garland Award for Best Ensemble. Residencies include the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. At the Center for New Performance (Calarts), Nataki directed Carl Hancock Rux's Smoke Lilies and Jade (World Premiere) and Oliver Mayer's The Joy of the Desolate. As Co-Artistic Director of Blank the Dog Productions, a Los Angeles/New York based Theater Company, her most recent project includes Carolyn Bryant previously performed at REDCAT. Additional world premieres: Black Women State of the Union: An Evening of Plays by Black Women, nominated for the NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director, at Company of Angels in Los Angeles, 365 Plays/Days by Suzan-Lori Parks premiered at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles, Couples Counseling by Carey Lovelace, which opened at the REDCAT. For LATW: Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon; 16 Wounded by Eliam Kraiem; and The Living Room by Graham Greene.

"Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble shares with Skylight Theatre Company a similar commitment to telling compelling, complex and evocative stories. Our inaugural collaboration of Eisa Davis's Bulrusher begins an artistic exchange of themes, writers and material important to both companies." - Gregg Daniel and Gary Grossman, Artistic Directors for Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble and Skylight Theatre Company.

Skylight Theatre Company (Executive Producers) discovers, develops and produces new, exhilarating theater while nurturing and educating the artists who create it. A vibrant and expanding family of artists giving voice to original perspectives of today's world, LA Weekly in 2013 named Skylight's productions of YEARS TO THE DAY, OPEN HOUSE and SEXSTING to their list of the Top Ten Plays of the Year. In 2011, their first year as a company dedicated to developing new plays, their production of HERMETICALY SEALED made the LA Times annual list of Top Ten Plays, and MAD WOMEN moved from Los Angeles to New York! Since then plays developed by Skylight have played Chicago, New York, and Paris and other local venues: www.skylighttheatrecompany.com. Twitter: @SkylightThtr, Facebook: Skylight Theatre Company, Instagram: SkylightTheatre

Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (Executive Producers) presents the finest in classical, contemporary and emerging American Theatre through the lens of the artist of color. Their aim is to explore the truth and reality that lies beneath the lower depth of our existence by offering audiences thought-provoking, challenging, and humorous looks at the human spirit. Past productions include Three Sisters After Chekhov by Mustafa Matura and Elmina's Kitchen by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Through IN DEPTH/Play Reading Series and BREAKING GROUND/New Play Workshop programs, LDTE has explored such playwrights as Kermit Frazier, Wendy Graf, Young Jean Lee, Thomas Bradshaw, Biyi Bandele, and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. In 2010 and 2012 they garnered two NAACP Theatre Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Set Design. http://www.lowerdepththeatreensemble.org Twitter: @LDTE, Facebook: lowerdepth, Instagram: LDTE

Joshua Wolf Coleman (Logger) has worked regionally at the Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. He is a company member of Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and The Road Theatre. FlLM and TV credits include a principle role in the Touchstone Pictures film "Hidalgo" and recent appearances in series such as Castle, Chasing Life, and Hart of Dixie.

Patrick Cragin (Boy) performed in the National Tour of Grease! (Kenickie) and was seen regionally in That Face (Henry), Harispray (Link), Giant (Mike), Tamar of the River (Ensemble), My Other Voice (Fletcher), and West Side Story (Action) Film/TV credits include Law and Order: SVU (Co-star).

Warren Davis (Schoolch) has appeared at The Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, and National Jewish Theatre among others. Warren's LA credits include The Diary of Anne Frank (NoHo Arts Center), Dean Donofrio's Everything is Different But Nothing Has Changed (Theater Asylum), The Crucible (Lillian Theatre), The Car Plays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Chinese Massacre (Circle X), and The Book of Liz (Blank Theatre). TV credits include Criminal Minds, House, ER, LAX, and Strong Medicine. He can be seen in the feature film "Yesterday Was A Lie and the web series "You Don't Know Dick."

Heidi James (Madame) originated the role of Ruby Star in the world premiere of Bright Light City at The Los Angeles Theater Company. World Tour: Tom Waits For No Man-Australia, London, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and New York. Off-Broadway, she's a member of 29th Street Rep known for the New York premiere of Tracy Letts' Killer Joe, and has performed in Fool For Love, Bold Girl & In The Belly Of The Beast. Additional credits include The Ninth Circle, Urban Stages, and Pilgrims by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), backed by Mike Nichols, directed by Shira Piven. LA theater: Celebrity (The Actors Gang), The Cats Meow (The Matrix), Down The Shore (The Evidence Room), and Sweet Thursday at Pacific Resident Theater. TV/FILM/Internet include Falling Down, Femmes Fatales, Law & Order, Conviction, and The Sopranos.

Bianca Lemaire (Bulrusher) has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the World Festival of Theatre in Denmark. Roles include Carmelita in the New York premiere of All About Love, Maggie in Anatomy of Gazellas, and Jenny in A Threepenny Opera. FILM credits include Kiara in "Filth to Ashes," Demarie in the SF Black Film Festival nominated "We Four Queens," and Israel in "Embers." She trained with the RSC in London.

Chauntae Pink (Vera) recently guest starred on CBS' Two Broke Girls and costarred on TNT's Franklin and Bash. Trained at UCLA for performance in theatre.

Hana Sooyeon Kim (Set and Projection Designer) recently designed the set and projection for The Brothers Size directed by Shirley Jo Finney (The Fountain Theatre), projection for Every Five Minutes directed by Loretta Greco (The Magic Theatre), scenery and projection for The Ugly One directed by Gates McFadden (EST/LA), production design for Em-ee-leh at Baryshnikov Arts Center NY, scenery and projection for Venus directed by Lydia Fort (CCNY), and scenery and projection for Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld directed by Peter Kazaras (OPERA UCLA). She is a recipient of the 2012 Princess Grace Award in Theater Design.

Derrick McDaniel (Lighting Designer) has numerous design credits that include Mercy Seat at the {Inside the Ford} Theater, for which he won the 2012 LA Weekly award for lighting. Blood Brothers at the Whitefire Theater, Among The Thugs at the Odyssey Theater, Cooperstown at the Road Theater. Derrick has been nominated for several other awards which include a nomination for the Ovation Award for lighting for The Shelter at the Odyssey Theater and for Lady at the Road Theater. Derrick was nominated for a 2008 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award for On An Average Day at the Elephant Lab - and a few others. He has worked with Inkwell Productions for the past few years on projects such as The Ohio 4th at the Hudson Theater, Fairy Tale at the Matrix, and recently, Heap of Livin at the Odyssey Theater.

David B. Marling (Sound Designer) is a multi-award winning sound designer (Ovation, NAACP, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards) whose selected credits includes Sound Design for The Ballad of Emmett Till (The Fountain Theatre) and creating audio environments such as the entire Australia Outback complete with flying insects, a busy city street, sounds of a rain forest, a large cave, and the inside of a massive prison.

Naila Aladdin Sanders (Costume Designer) is well known for her design work on The Brother's Size, In the Red & Brown Water, The Ballad of Emmett Till, Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Maria Callas & the Masterclass (The Fountain Theatre), Neighbors (Matrix), The Color Purple, The Women of Brewster Place, and Bash'd; the Gay Opera (Celebration Theatre), and many more. Last year Naila worked with the Latino Theatre Company The Road Weeps & the Well Runs Dry. Ana Lucasta, Bronzeville, The River Niger, Transitions, A House With No Walls, Permanent Collection, as well as all three parts of The Haitian Trilogy were designed by Naila for The Robey Theatre Company.

Christopher Hoffman (Production Stage Manager) has been building sets and running light boards ever since high school. During college he worked at LATC and for the Los Angeles Opera as well as on the running crew for countless shows at The Shrine Auditorium. In New York, Chris got to work in a ton of great theaters as well as building half a dozen or so shows from the ground up on Theater Row. During his years working for The Skylight Theatre Company, he has worked on the world premieres of La Ronde de Lunch, Influence, The Jesus Hickey, Birthday Present 2050, A Death in Columbia, Hermetically Sealed, Beautified, Tomorrow, the Rogue Machine's Dirty Filthy Love Story, The Wrong Man, and most recently Pray To Ball.

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