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Arena Stage To Present Premiere of Beaty's Resurrection

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Arena Stage presents the world premiere of Daniel Beaty's Resurrection, a drama with a unique blend of music, poetry and dance. A co-production with Connecticut's Hartford Stage, Resurrection explores the interwoven lives of six African-American men struggling to make a living and to make their lives worth living. Beaty dazzled Arena audiences last summer with sold-out performances of his award-winning solo show Emergency (formerly Emergence-SEE!). He now returns to Arena with his first ensemble production-a talented cast of six actors led by director Oz Scott (director of Broadway's original for colored girls... and the Goodman Theatre's recent premiere The Ballad of Emmett Till). The production harmonizes with an innovative score by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), a Haitian-American composer who blends classical violin with piano and bass. To keep the interplay between text and score dynamic, Roumain's original score will be musically styled live each performance by his collaborator Elan Vytal a.k.a. DJ Scientific. Resurrection runs August 29-October 5, 2008 at Arena Stage in Crystal City. The press opening performance is Thursday, September 4 at 8:00pm.

"Daniel Beaty's work asks us to reconsider race in America through his 21st century lens-a view that is refreshingly free of clichéd notions of African-American men," Artistic Director Molly Smith comments. "As we watch an engaging African-American politician cross racial lines and ask his country to examine questions of faith, race and leadership, Resurrection is spot-on America's pulse."

Arena's production of Resurrection was chosen as one of 18 recipients of the 2008 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards. The award funds an extension of the rehearsal period in order to achieve an even stronger first production and to increase the chances of continued life for the work.

"The story of black men in America is one that is historically and presently too often one of challenge and difficulty from the experience of slavery to the current statistics about black men," states Beaty. "The Urban League's 2007 report, Portraits of a Black Male, states that one in three black boys born in 2010 will spend time in prison. Resurrection is my effort to look at this crisis with thoughtfulness, heart and humor."

"Doing this play with Daniel Beaty is very important," said Scott. "When I directed for colored girls... that production was about African-American women who needed to have the power that they did not recognize they had. With these black men in Resurrection, it is about them recognizing their power. We as a people have to understand that we have the power within us. If you fall, you have the power to get yourself up. We have to start using our own strength, and that self-empowerment is what Resurrection is all about."

In Resurrection, Beaty brings us six provocative characters: Eric, a budding child scientist; Eric's father, Mr. Rogers, a health food entrepreneur; 'Twon, a recent high school graduate; Dre, a former convict; The Bishop, the leaderp of a mega-church; and The Bishop's son Isaac, a corporate executive. The stories of these African-American men merge together one evening in an unforgettable look at identity, relationships, and, above all, our human connections.

Resurrection was first publicly read in Washington, D.C. at "Busboys & Poets" last summer when Beaty was performing Emergence-SEE!. The artist-friendly restaurant with its own performance room had asked Daniel to perform excerpts of his work, and he decided (with the help of Arena Stage) to cast an informal reading of this new work with local actors. It was the first time Beaty heard the piece read aloud. Arena Stage invited him back to develop the production as part of the 2007 Downstairs New Play Reading Series. Beaty also received development workshops from Hartford Stage and True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA, among others.

Beaty continues, "The intent of this work is to remind us all that no matter the difficulties we may be facing, there is always hope and the possibility to overcome. Moreover, this overcoming, this resurrection, is crucial to our children."

About the playwright:

Daniel Beaty returns to Arena Stage after performing in last season's Emergence-SEE! (now known as Emergency) (Obie Award-Excellence in Off-Broadway Theater for Writing & Performing; AUDELCO Award-Solo Performance; and Helen Hayes Award Nominee-Outstanding Non-Resident Production and Outstanding Lead Actor). Other D.C. appearances include a White House performance and a tribute to Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis at the Kennedy Center. As a playwright, screenwriter and composer, Mr. Beaty's work has appeared at the Public Theater, BAM, New York Theater Workshop, La MaMa, Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, True Colors Theater Company, Crossroads Theater Company, American Conservatory Theater, Yale University, The NAACP National Convention and The SCLC National Convention. He was also seen on the third and fourth seasons of HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry; as a guest artist on NBC's Showtime at the Apollo with Ruben Studdard; and on BET's 106 & Park. As an actor, singer and poet, Mr. Beaty has worked throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa performing on TV, acting in theatrical productions, singing leading roles in operas and giving solo concerts of his own work. He is the 2004 Grand Slam Champion at the Nuyorican Poet's Café and The Fox Networks National Redemption Slam Champion. Winner of the 2007-08 AETNA American Voices Playwright-in-Residence position at Hartford Stage, he holds a B.A. with Honors in English & Music from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Acting from The American Conservatory Theatre.

Resurrection Cast:

Jeffery V. Thompson (60/The Bishop) last performed at Arena Stage during the six seasons he was a member of the Resident Company. During that time he appeared in more than 20 productions. Some  of  his favorites  include  Holiday Heart,  A Perfect  Ganesh  and  It's  a Wonderful Life. On Broadway, he starred in It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Eubie!, Amen Corner and Uptown...It's Hot! Mr. Thompson has appeared at numerous regional theaters across the country during his career. Some of his production highlights include The Tempest (Caliban), King Lear (The Fool), Peter Pan (Captain Hook), Henry IV (Falstaff), Avenue X (Roscoe) and his one-man show Lift Ev'ry Voice. He has had guest starring roles on "Law & Order," "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order: SVU," "Rescue Me," "The Chris Rock Show," "Ed," "Shadow Conspiracy," "Hi-Life," "Hope & Faith," "Duane Hopwood" and "Conviction."

Michael Genet (50/Mr. Rogers), a native of D.C., made his Arena Stage debut in Garland Wright's production of Happy End. Most recently Mr. Genet was seen on Broadway as Marius in the Elton John/Anne Rice musical Lestat and as Pvt. Wilkie in the Off-Broadway revival of A Soldier's Play. Other Broadway credits include A Few Good Men and Hamlet, and his regional credits include the portrayal of Creon in the Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Oedipus Plays. His many film and TV credits include One Fine Day, Booty Call, 25th Hour, She Hate Me (co-written with Spike Lee), "Law & Order" and "As The World Turns." Recently, Mr. Genet won the 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture for the FOCUS Features Film Talk To Me.

Alvin Keith (40/Isaac)'s Broadway credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and regional credits include Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Seattle Rep); Spunk (2 River Theatre); Angels in America, Parts 1 & 2  (Actors Theatre of Phoenix); The Piano Lesson (Virginia Stage); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Guthrie Theatre); Blue/Orange (Actors Theatre of Phoenix); Blues For an Alabama Sky (Cleveland Playhouse); Cyrano (Fulton Opera); As You Like It, Night Fall with Edgar Allan Poe, 'tis Pity She's a Whore (Alabama Shakespeare Fest.) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). His film and TV credits include If You Could Say It in Words, Kinsey and "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."

Che Ayende (30/Dre) recently finished the production Oroonoko at the Duke Theatre. Some of his other credits include Hambone (Studio Theatre), The Day the Bronx Died (Long Wharf Theatre), The Cure at Troy and King Lear (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Cook (Hartford Stage), Spinning into Butter (Hartford Theatre Works), Romeo & Juliet (A.R.T.) and A Raisin In The Sun (Dallas Theatre Center). Some of his film and TV credits include the TNT film A Word of Honor (starring Don Johnson), As an Act of Protest, Edge City, Deadline (starring Oliver Platt), "Law & Order" and "As The World Turns."

Turron Kofi Alleyne (20/'Twon)'s film credits include Invincible (as Ronnie Sampson) with Mark Wahlberg, as well as the film Blackout (as Khalil) with Jeffrey Wright and Melvin Van Peebles. Theatrically, he has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York (lead role of W.W. in Fly directed by Richardo Khan) and at Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London, England (Antonio in Twelfth Night directed by Mike Alfreds). TV credits include "Law & Order."

Thuliso Dingwall (10/Eric)'s television and film credits include HBO's The Wire (Kenard), the soon to be released feature Toe to Toe (Miles), Expendable (Dileo), Sympathetic Details (Raymond's Son), Burn After Reading, NT2 (Disney), Boy of Pigs, The Kingdom and Something The Lord Made. His work also includes educational films for healthy eating, Reading Roots, children's librarian and teacher training, as well as print advertisements, TV commercials, radio commercials and voice-over work for the NY State Teacher's Union and Dannon Yogurt.

Resurrection Creative Team:

Oz Scott (Director) began his professional career at Arena Stage, where he was stage manager of The Living Stage. His directing career began on Broadway with for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. He recently directed The Ballad of Emmett Till (premiere) for the Goodman Theatre. He has participated in The Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference for many, many years, and traveled to Russia with The Old Settler for the O'Neill. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Mr. Scott's directorial work for television included such popular prime-time shows as "The Cosby Show," "Northern Exposure," "Chicago Hope," "Picket Fences," "LA Law", "Hill Street Blues," "Fame," "227," "Archie Bunker's Place" and "The Jeffersons." Mr. Scott has received an NAACP Image Award, the Drama Desk Award, a Village Voice Obie Award, Genesis Award and the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award.

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) (Composer) is an innovative Haitian-American composer, performer, violinist and band leader. From Australia's Sydney Opera House to Boston's ICA Museum, Mr. Roumain continues his worldwide tour premiering works from his debut international solo album etudes4violin&electronix (Thirsty Ear Recordings). As a composer, his dramatic pieces range from orchestral scores and energetic chamber works to rock songs and electronica. As part of his three-year residency at BAM's Next Wave Festival, his second commission, Darwin's Meditation for the People of Lincoln, will premiere Fall 2008. Other projects include: the premieres of WE MARCH; THE TUSCALOOSA MEDITATIONS and the upcoming Double Quartet: The Kompa Variations; a score for Carl Hancock Rux's contemporary opera Makandal; and ongoing collaborations with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto and DJ Spooky. www.dbrmusic.com

Elan Vytal a.k.a. DJ Scientific (Music Stylist), a producer, laptopist and DJ, combines hip-hop beats and scratched rhythms with classical and world music sounds. Collaborations with Daniel Bernard Roumain include a laptop concerto commissioned by American Composers Orchestra; Sonata for Violin and Turntables, an hour-long touring program; and DBR & THE MISSION, a nationally touring, nine-piece ensemble. Recent solo credits include Brooklyn Museum First Saturdays, Studio Museum of Harlem Pro Dreams sound installation, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (opening for Doug E. Fresh), New York Philharmonic's Kidszone Live (educational outreach featuring an electronic music workshop), and the Hewlett Packard Las Vegas production of Bach Meets Hip-Hop. He is also the Creative Music Director for international shoe brand Sketchers. In 2007, Elan Vytal self-released his debut solo album, My Reason.

G. W. Mercier (Set Designer) has designed sets and costumes for Theopolous North at Arena Stage. On Broadway, he designed Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass by Julie Taymor and Eliott Goldenthal (Tony Nomination-Scenery; two Drama Desk Nominations-Scenery and Costumes). Off-Broadway world premiere shows include Dead Man's Cell Phone; The Miracle Brothers; Five Course Love; People Are Wrong; Wilder; Eli's Comin'; Dream True (Drama Desk Nomination); True History & Real Adventures; You Don't Miss The Water; The Waiting Room; Bed & Sofa (Drama Desk Nomination); Por Knockers; The Party; Lady Bracknell's Confinement; Hannah, 1939; Urban Zulu Mambo; Catch Me If I Fall; Groundhog; The Red Sneaks; The New Americans; Winter Man; The Loman Family Picnic; The Tempest; Taming of the Shrew; Macbeth; Lemon Sky; Evening Sky; and Judgement. Mr. Mercier is currently designing eight shows for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theaters.

Karen Perry (Costume Designer) is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Costume Design for American & Black American Theatre, Film, & Television. Highlights from her career include Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, John Sayles' The Brother from Another Planet, Jason Alexander's Just Looking and the celebrated Broadway musical Bring in Da' Noise, Bring in Da' Funk, as well as Saturday Night Live, UPN's sitcom ABBY and the acclaimed CBS original movie One Day in Montgomery: The Rosa Parks Story (Costume Designers Guild Award Nomination). In addition, Ms. Perry has worked as the personal wardrobe stylist to several premier artists including Gregory Hines, with whom she has collaborated on commercials, marketing campaigns and theatrical project such as The Tic Code, CBS' The Gregory Hines Show and Showtime's original film, Bojangles.

Victor En Yu Tan (Lighting Designer) recently designed The Ballad of Emmett Till (premiere) directed by Oz Scott (Goodman Theatre); Stickfly (McCarter Theatre); the summer season for Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Joy Luck Club, Tea and Cambodia Agonistes (Pan Asian Rep). He designed the premieres of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls... and Spell #7, David Henry Hwang's FOB and Dance & the Railroad and George Wolfe's The Colored Museum (NYSF). He designed the regional premieres of Taste Test  (Virginia Stage), Under Midwestern Stars and Young Lady from Rwanda (KC Rep), Someone's Somebody, Topdog/Underdog, A Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon and Ikebana (Pasadena Playhouse), among other productions. He is the head of Lighting Design for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Tim Thompson (Sound Designer) works once again with Daniel Beaty, having sound designed Arena's production of Emergence-SEE! Mr. Thompson has been with Arena Stage since 1992, heading the Sound Department for 15 years and designing sound for nearly 75 main stage productions. Prior to his Arena career, Mr. Thompson's eclectic mix of jobs ranged from the Smithsonian Institution to Heathkit Electronics. He is a member of United Scenic Artists (USA 829).

Stage Manager is Kurt Hall; Assistant Stage Manager is Angelita Thomas; Assistant Light Designer is Jason Arnold; Script Handlers are Reginald Douglas and Gregory Ford; Assistant Director Observership is Matthew Spikes; Stage Management Intern is Alexandria Wood; and Board Intern is Susan Clampitt.

Resurrection is sponsored by Susan and Steven Bralove, Linda and John M. Derrick, Jr., Wendy L. Farrow, Mark and Merrill Shugoll, and Dick and Katie Snowdon.

Resurrection is a recipient of the 2008 Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

The Arena Stage 2008/09 Season is sponsored by The Family of H. Max and Josephine F. Ammerman, Andrew R. Ammerman, and Hubert (Hank) and Charlotte Schlosberg.

Resurrection Special Events, Ticket Information, and Performance Calendar:

The Salon - Monday, September 8, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at Arena Stage in Crystal City
In the spirit of artistic and literary salons of the past, The Salon features artistic leaders from Arena Stage in a series of lively, in-depth conversations with the playwrights, actors, directors, designers, dramaturgs and audiences which make Arena Stage so unique. The Salon is free to Arena Stage subscribers and donors ($75+), and only $3 for the general public. Reservations must be made through the Arena Stage Sales Office at (202) 488-3300.

Southwest Night - Friday, September 5, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
An invitation is extended to our Southwest D.C. neighbors to buy $20 tickets, plus applicable fees, for one designated Friday evening performance of each production. Proof of Southwest D.C. residency or employment for each audience member of each party must be presented at the time of purchase. Tickets are limited to four per person and are based on availability. To purchase tickets, call (202) 488-3300 or stop by the Arena Stage Sales Office.

Out at Arena - Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 7:30p.m.
For gay and lesbian audiences on selected Wednesday evenings, a post-show discussion with cast members and a reception following the performance is offered. Reception is FREE for subscribers of the Out at Arena series.

TICKETS: Tickets for Resurrection range from $47-66, with discounts available for students and groups. A limited number of $10 tickets for patrons 30 and under go on sale beginning on Monday for the following week of performances (Tuesday through Sunday) until all available $10 tickets sell out. Patrons may purchase $10 tickets by phone, online or in person. (All patrons must be 30 or younger.) Patrons will be required to present valid ID for age verification. HOTTIX, a limited number of half-price, day-of-performance tickets, are available from 90-30 minutes before curtain prior to every performance for all patrons. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.arenastage.org, at the Arena Stage Sales Office at 1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA 22202 or by phone at (202) 488-3300.

Sales Office/Subscriptions                 (202) 488-3300
TTY for deaf patrons                            (202) 484-0247
Group Sales Hotline                             (202) 488-4380
Info for patrons with disabilities       (202) 488-3300

Tues., Wed. & Sun. at 7:30p.m. (no evening show 9/23 & 6:00 p.m. curtain 9/28)
Thurs., Fri. & Sat. at 8:00 p.m.
Sat. & Sun. matinees at 2:00 p.m. (no matinee 8/30, 9/28, & 10/5)
Weekday matinees at 12:00 p.m. on 9/23, 9/24, & 10/1

Post-show conversations: 9/18 at 8:00 p.m.; 9/23, 9/24 &10/1 at 12:00 p.m.; 9/30 at 7:30 p.m.
Sign interpreted performances: 9/21 at 7:30 p.m. & 10/2 at 8:00 p.m.
Audio described performances: 9/13 at 2:00 p.m. & 10/1 at 7:30 p.m.
Out at Arena post-show discussion (for GLBT patrons): 10/1 at 7:30 p.m.
Open Captioned performance: 9/24 at 7:30 p.m.
***

ABOUT ARENA RESTAGED
With construction well underway on the 47-year-old Southwest, D.C. theater campus, Arena Stage has launched ARENA RESTAGED, a massive, two-year festival celebrating the rich mosaic of our nation's voices. ARENA RESTAGED, which will lay the foundation for a new home for theater artists and audiences, will take place throughout the time it takes to finish the expansion of the new theater complex, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. At the Center, the two existing performance spaces-the Fichandler Stage and the Kreeger Theater-will be fully renovated and a new, 200-seat space dedicated to premiering American theater, The Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, will be added. Arena Stage at the Mead Center is scheduled to open for the 2010/2011 season.

To allow for a timely and cost-effective renovation, Arena currently operates out of Arena Stage in Crystal City (1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA) and at the historic Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, Washington, D.C.). As information changes and/or becomes available throughout the transition, Arena plans to keep its website at www.arenastage.org as up to date as possible with Frequently Asked Questions, directions and other relevant information. Information on Arena Stage's 2008/09 season is also available online.

For more information and publicity photos, please contact press@arenastage.org.

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