Jaradoa Theater's SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL Celebrates Opening Night At The Vineyard 6/21
Jaradoa Theater is currently presenting SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL, a new musical, through June 28 at the Dimson Theatre at The Vineyard , 108 East 15th Street (between Union Square East & Irving Place). Opening Night is this Sunday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Written by Anika Larsen, SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL is co-conceived and directed by April Nickell.
Immediate following Sunday's opening night performance, the SHAFRIKA company will conduct a post-show talkback with the audience, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the journey of bringing this ambitious new musical to the stage.
SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL tells Anika Larsen's own story of growing up in Cambridge, MA with nine Brothers and Sisters who are Black, White, Asian, Latino, and Native American. The 17-member cast portrays the many people in her world who help to shape Anika's identity while being raised in such a unique rainbow family. Along the way, she's forced to grapple with the truth in this unique and quirky exploration of race, identity and family. Book and lyrics for SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL are by Anika Larsen, with original music composed by Tim Acito, Joshua Henry and Janice Lowe. The show is backed by a five-piece band.
The choreographer for SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL is Luis Salgado and the musical director is Karl Mansfield.
Anika Larsen heads the cast of SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL. Also featured in the company are Chloe Campbell, Anthony Comis, Stephen Gelpi, Chris Harbur, John Harrison, Ricardo Hinoa, Amanda Hunt, Mario Martinez, Stephanie Martinez, Zonya Love, Liz Piccoli, Elizabeth Racanelli, Eileen Rivera, Lawrence Stallings, Shelley Thomas, and Gregory Treco.
Anika Larsen has appeared on Broadway in "Xanadu," "Rent" and "All Shook Up." Her Off-Broadway credits include "Zanna, Don't!;" "Miracle Brothers;" "How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes;" and "Serenade." This July, Anika will be joining the Broadway cast of "Avenue Q" playing Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut.
Director April Nickell has directed in New York City for the Neva Theater Company and Haven Productions, as well as Jaradoa Theater's "The Small of Her Back" and "Serenade" by Rachel Sheinkin and Nils Olaf Dolven. Choreographer Luis Salgado is in the cast of Broadway's "In the Heights," where he also serves as assistant to the choreographer. Luis also appeared in "The Mambo Kings" and "Fame," and he choreographed "Serenade" (HOLA Award).
Scenic design for SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL is by Josh Zangen, with lighting by Herrick Goldman, costumes by Andrea Varga, and sound by Mike Farfalla.
Jaradoa ("Just A Roomful of Artists Doing Outreach And") Theater is proudly kicking off its third season with SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL. The company is a member-based group of theater artists - actors, directors, writers, and designers - who have come together to promote mercy, beauty, and truth through performance and service. They are committed to creating theater while serving the community at large through theater outreach and partnerships with relief organizations. Jaradoa Radio Theater is just one of the company's current public services, with monthly performances of a radio play at centers for low-income and homeless elderly. In addition, Jaradoa has run Play On!, their acting and playwriting program, in public schools, community centers, a shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers, and at an alternative to incarceration program for 12-18 year olds. Their theater and literacy program works with students struggling with literacy, using theater and acting techniques to help them read to comprehend.
The playing schedule for SHAFRIKA, THE WHITE GIRL is June 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, & 27 at 8 p.m., June 21 at 7 p.m., June 20 & 27 at 2 p.m., and June 28 at 3 p.m. Tickets: www.SmartTix.com (212) 868-4444. For more information, visit www.JaradoaTheater.org.
Photo by Corey Hayes