Daniel Beaty's THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST Opens Tonight at the Taper

Daniel Beaty's THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST Opens Tonight at the Taper

Obie Award-winning writer and performer Daniel Beaty's "The Tallest Tree in the Forest" opens at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum tonight, April 19, 2014, at 8 p.m. This play with music chronicles Paul Robeson's remarkable life as an artist and political activist in an unforgettable theatrical biography, which runs through May 25. (Previews began April 13.)

Moisés Kaufman ("Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo," "33 Variations," "I Am My Own Wife") directs the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse world premiere production of "The Tallest Tree in the Forest," in which Beaty embodies not only Robeson but also dozens of the international personalities who crossed Robeson's path. Beaty fills the theatre with the words, songs and dreams of a man who achieved so much as an All-American linebacker, valedictorian, Columbia Law School graduate and finally an internationally renowned star of stage and screen, and then he risked it all as a civil rights activist.

Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and motivational speaker. His critically acclaimed plays "Through the Night," "Emergency" and "Mr. Joy" have been performed at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the White House, and garnered numerous awards including an Obie Award for writing and performance and two NAACP Theatre Awards. He is a highly requested keynote speaker and thought leader, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a diversity trainer and a youth development specialist. In 2013, Beaty launched a nationwide initiative (funded by W.K. Kellogg and Ford Foundation, among others) using the tools of storytelling to help individuals and communities heal trauma. He holds a B.A. with Honors in English and Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. His poem "Knock Knock" has been transformed into a children's book of the same title, published by Little Brown Books. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book "Transforming Pain to Power" in March 2014.

Tickets for "The Tallest Tree in the Forest" are available by calling (213) 628-2772, visiting www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $20 - $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Photo by Craig Schwartz

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