THE HARLEM RENS to Play the Actors Temple Theater This Fall
From the people that brought you Layon Gray's acclaimed play, Black Angels Over Tuskegee, now in its 5th year Off-Broadway, comes THE HARLEM RENS, the true story of the greatest Basketball team you've never heard of: Harlem Renaissance Big Five. Performances will begin September 18th at the Actors Temple Theater (339 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues), with Opening Night set for October 2nd. This is limited Off-Broadway engagement continues thought November 23rd.
Layon Gray, the writer and director of the long-running Off-Broadway hit Black Angels Over Tuskegee, continues to expand African-American theatre with his latest work, THE HARLEM RENS. Inspired by the true story of six men who overcame adversity to win more than 2,000 games while barnstorming throughout segregated parts of the country in the 1930's despite never being officially accepted professionally or socially. Harlem Renaissance Big Five was one of the most successful all-Black professional basketball teams in the 1920s and '30s that added grace and style to the game of American basketball. The team was formed five years before the Harlem Globetrotters, and provided African-American men with the opportunity to compete against white athletes equally on the court. The team gained their name from their playing location, the Renaissance Casino ballroom in Harlem, New York, where they dazzled fans with their innovative style of play. They toured the country competing against Black and white teams, and in the process, compiled one of the most impressive winning streaks in Basketball history. In 1963, the entire team was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame.
Written and directed by Layon Gray, THE HARLEM RENS is produced Off -Broadway by The Layon Gray American Theatre Company and Edmund Gaynes,
The playing schedule at the Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues) will be Thursday and Saturday evenings at 8pm with matinees Sundays at 4pm. Tickets from $39.50 are available at Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200. For more information visit www.TheHarlemRens.com.