New Federal Theatre's SOWA'S RED GRAVY, Starring Lonette McKee, Begins Tomorrow
Woodie King Jr's New Federal Theatre, in association with Castillo Theatre, will present Sowa's Red Gravy by Diane Richards at Castillo Theatre (543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.). Performances begin Thursday October 18th with Opening Night set for Sunday, October 28th. Performances continue through November 18th only.
In addition to Lonette McKee, Woodie King Jr. directs a cast that features Aaron Fried, Jonathan Peck, Kimberly Q, Toni SeaWright, Gary E. Vincent, Iris Wilson, David D. Wright, and Kene Holliday (Streamers, "Matlock," The Josephine Baker Story, G.I. Joe: (The Movie). Sowa's Red Gravy will have set design by John Scheffler, costume design by Niiamar Felder, lighting design by Antoinette Tynes, and sound design by Bill Toles. Bruce Heath will provide choreography.
Sowa’s Red Gravy is a play filled with humor and insight by a master storyteller of Southern folklore. The six character play with music captures the sound, heart, and fury of African-American culture. The play is similar in style and content to the works of the Harlem Renaissance writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Sowa’s Red Gravy is a play of southern “mulebone” folklore and unforgettable characters like Windy Willow, Sapphire and Luwana. Narrated by Sowa, a 110-year old wise woman, who resides in Harlem in quantum time, Sowa recounts her life before the emancipation and claims to have lived many lives as varied as a White Hollywood film star, an African Warrior and a Louisiana Voodoo Queen. Sowa’s storytelling is so captivating that you are sure to be convinced she is telling the truth and you will delight in the other characters as well.
Playwright Diane Richards is a new voice in the American theatre and an emerging playwright that fills a much needed void in American theatre. Her greatest passion is writing. She is a member of the Harlem Writers Guild, the most prestigious African American writers guild in the world, who’s early founding members include Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Maya Angelou, Rosa Guy, Grace Edwards, Terry McMillan and Ossie Davis. Richards has studied fiction writing with James Baldwin and Elia Kazan’s legendary editor – Sol Stein. Also a songwriter and screenwriter, Richards has had an impressive career in the entertainment industry winning recording artist awards, writing and producing her own material and associate producing NKOTB and Big L’s albums on Sony Records. She remains active in the music and film world through memberships in ASCAP and the Independent Feature Project.
Director Woodie King Jr. is the Founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre has presented over 250 productions in its 41-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in universities across the United States. He originated and subsequently co-produced For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (first produced by NFT and Joseph Papp's Public Theatre), What the Wine Sellers Buy,Reggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award). His directional credits are extensive and include work in film as well as theater. Mr. King was recently inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the American Theater.