BILLY ELLIOT's Giuseppe Bausilio and More Set for American Theatre of Actors Benefit for St. Joseph's Indian School, 5/11
American Theatre of Actors will hold a musical theater benefit on May 11th for St. Joseph's Indian School (www.stjo.org) in Chamberlain, South Dakota, which serves the impoverished Lakota children of the Pine Ridge and other reservations. Jane Culley, producer of the event and Vice President of American Theatre of Actors, has been a long-time supporter of the school. A remarkable roster of performers from Broadway, Cabaret and the dance world will donate their time and talents to this cause. In addition, stars of the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham dance companies will perform, and ATA actors will present a short play about the plight of the Lakota accompanied by native drummers.
"I received a letter from St. Joseph's recently about the Lakota youth at risk," says Jane Culley, and the extremely high suicide rate of these children (10 times the national average for youth aged 13 to 24). I was compelled to do something more to help, hence this benefit."
The list of guest performers includes:
MAC Award winners, Julie Reyburn and Mark Janas (piano); Jason Morris, Teresa Fischer, Andy Lebon, harpist Phoebe Rothfeld and guitarist Ken Coughlin.
Broadway's "Billy" of Billy Elliot, Giuseppe Bausilio and Julie Reyburn will sing the mother-son duet from Billy Elliot. Bausilio will also perform as a dancer with the American Swiss Ballet. Additional dancers from the American Swiss Ballet are Dorothy Sapyta and Jim Heeney.
Martin Lofsnes, former male lead with Martha Graham Company and now on the Alvin Ailey faculty, will perform with his new company, 360º. Maher Benham, formerly of Martha Graham Company and now on the Graham and Ailey faculties, performs with her company, Coyote Dancers. Andrea Pastorella of Mary Anthony Company performs with cellist Cornelia Logan.
Paula Jeanine Bennett, vocalist, percussionist, and composer, of the Juilliard School and Alvin Ailey will be singing with members of her chorus from her original folk opera, A Village of One. She has graced the stages of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Her extensive international performance work includes Pope Benedict XVI's Summit for Peace in Italy and premiering her original folk opera, A Village of One, in Indonesia.
Actors Shayna Lawson-Leverton, Alan Tavarez, Teresa Fischer,Jessica Jennings, Katherine Wessling, Samantha Cole and Lesley Rotonto from the American Theatre of Actors will perform They Who Feel the Past, a short play by James Jennings. They'll be accompanied by Jon Warren who has drummed with the Lakota elders on reservations.
St. Joseph's Indian School has served Lakota (Sioux) children and families since 1927. Their mission - to educate Native American youth mind, body, heart and spirit - drives them to house and educate 200 children each year in a place where child poverty and abuse are serious issues. Preserving and sharing the Lakota (Sioux) culture is a core part of the mission at St. Joseph's Indian School. In addition to Native American Studies classes for students and the annual powwow, the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center is located on campus for sudents and visitors alike to broaden their knowledge and pride in the Lakota culture.
The benefit is May 11 at 7:00 p.m., at the American Theatre of Actors, 314 West 54th Street, NYC. Tickets are available through www.SmartTix.com for $25 or at the door for $40. For additional information, call: (917) 913-1903
For additional information about St. Joseph's visit: http://www.stjo.org/site/PageServer?pagename=stjo_homepage
Windcatcher and Eagle feather artwork used by permission of the artist and designer Denise A. Wells of the Yankton Sioux tribe