Photo Flash: Griffin Matthews' WITNESS UGANDA Gets Reading at The Wallis
Witness Uganda - a documentary musical that follows co-creator Griffin Matthews' transformative story establishing UgandaProject, an organization that sponsors the education of ten Ugandan orphans - was the focus of a closed new work reading presented by The ASCAP Foundation at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills on Monday, September 11. The show, also from co-creator Matt Gould, explores the complexity of race, sexuality and aid work. BroadwayWorld has photos from the reading below!
"The Wallis and ASCAP have given us the unique opportunity to dig into our script to get the storytelling right," said Gould and Matthews. "These two organizations provide a home for new writers in L.A. Hopefully this is the start of a long, long relationship!"
"The ASCAP Foundation recognized Matt and Griffin's incredible talents many years ago and made it a priority to nurture their careers," said Julie Lapore, Associate Director, The ASCAP Foundation. "Having their work presented at The Wallis is both an honor and a wonderful opportunity for them. This partnership with The Wallis aligns perfectly with our mission of supporting up-and-coming writers."
"The Wallis is committed to developing relationships with L.A.-based artists and growing our creative family," said Paul Crewes, the institution's Artistic Director. "I first learned about this compelling project when Matt served as the Musical Director for Merrily We Roll Along last year at The Wallis. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to host Matt and Griffin and further contribute to the advancement of their new musical work, with the support of The ASCAP Foundation."
The cast for the Witness Uganda reading featured: Moya Angela, Eric B. Anthony, Jordan Barrow, India Carney, Jay Donnell, Rachael Ferrera, Mark J.P. Hood, Emma Hunton, Amber Iman, Antonio Leroy King, Griffin Matthews and Krystle Rose Simmons.
The creative team for the reading included: Jeremy Wisoff (musical director/pianist); Joel Alpers (drummer); Cate Cundiff (stage manager); and Jake Gerloff (assistant stage manager).
Gould and Matthews have both spent time living and working in Africa, Gould as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Islamic Republic of Mauritania from 2001-2003 and Matthews who visited Uganda on an aid trip in 2005. Matthews subsequently founded the organization UgandaProject aimed at assisting Uganda orphans going to school. Gould and Matthews have spent the last ten years visiting Uganda and supporting ten students. Using recorded interviews they gathered from the staff and students participating in their organization, they createdWitness Uganda, a full documentary musical based on the co-creators true story. Music from the show has been performed around the world and has been used to help to raise over $250,000 for students in Uganda.
Photo Credit: DVR Productions
The company of WITNESS UGANDA
Mark J.P. Hood and Jay Donnell
Antonio Leroy Kind
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