Ebony Repertory Theatre's PAUL ROBESON with Keith David Resumes Performances Tomorrow
Ebony Repertory Theatre announced today that performances for Phillip Hayes Dean's (Drama Desk-winner for The Sty of the Blind Pig) powerful and moving play PAUL ROBESON will resume performances on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Two-time Emmy Award-winner Keith David (Fox's new series Enlisted), who stars in this one-man play, returns to the stage after recovering from a knee injury. PAUL ROBESON, directed by Mr. Dean, also includes accompaniment by pianist/musical director Byron J. Smith (working with numerous artists including Wynton Marsalis, Barbra Streisand, BeBe Winans). The production will continue to play through Sunday, March 30, which was part of the previously announced schedule. Three additional performances are set for Friday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. to make up for the canceled opening weekend performances (Friday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m.). PAUL ROBESON plays at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (4718 West Washington Boulevard) in Los Angeles. Members of the press are invited to review the production beginning on Saturday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m.
"Everyone at Ebony Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that Mr. David is firmly on his road to recovery," said Ebony Repertory Theatre Founder/Producer Wren T. Brown. "We are thankful to our loyal patrons for their outpouring of concern and support after we made the announcement about the cancellation of the PAUL ROBESON opening weekend performances due to Mr. David's injury. In keeping with his tradition of being the consummate professional, Mr. David has arranged his schedule to give our theatre and patrons three make-up performances. We are grateful to Mr. David and our patrons for their thoughtful consideration at this time."
A powerful chronicle of the life of Paul Robeson, Phillip Hayes Dean's play takes us from his childhood in New Jersey to his adult life around the world. An All-American athlete and a lawyer with Columbia Law School credentials, Robeson faces the racism prevalent in society in the early part of the twentieth century. He strives to rise above, and it is his triumph in that struggle that turns Robeson into a modern day hero.
Realizing the racist system would not allow him to practice as a lawyer, Robeson turns to singing, something he had learned well in the church choir. His singing leads to acting and his acting, with all the accolades due a master, leads him around the world. But every place he visits he sees the strains of racism in its many forms. The more he sees, the more he speaks out, using his influence and stature to try and enlighten those around him. After some time in Europe, he returns to the United States to perform and speak out about the injustices in the country he loves. Confronting racism again, he sticks to his values, adhering to no party line, but is accused of being a Communist, an agitator and much more. He is blacklisted and his passport is revoked, but he goes on speaking out whenever he can.
For eight years Robeson fights to clear his name. Finally, the social climate begins to change and toward the end of his life, Robeson's passport is reinstated along with some of the glory and respect he earned along the way. There is still far to go, but Paul Robeson remains a beacon to those struggling to make this world a better place.
In addition to director Phillip Hayes Dean, the creative team for PAUL ROBESON includes scenic design by Edward E. Haynes, Jr., costume design by Wendell C. Carmichael, lighting design by Dan Weingarten, sound design by Bob Blackburn and choreography by Keith Young. The production stage manager is David Blackwell.
Phillip Hayes Dean's PAUL ROBESON originally opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1978, later transferring to the Booth Theatre, starring James Earl Jones and directed by Lloyd Richards with original staging by Charles Nelson Reilly. The one-man play had two revivals on Broadway - 1988 at the John Golden Theatre and in 1995 at the Longacre Theatre. Both productions starred Avery Brooks and were directed by Harold Scott.
Ebony Repertory Theatre, now in its sixth year, is the resident company and operator of the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, which is located at 4718 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016. PAUL ROBESON runs March 21 - 30, 2014 with three make-up performances on Friday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets range from $30.00 - $60.00. Single tickets are available online at ebonyrep.org or by phone at 323-964-9766. Groups of 10 or more are available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-964-9766.