Project1VOICE Honors The Lifetime Achievements Of Vinnette Carroll, Hope Clarke, Harold Wheeler And Hattie Winston-Wheeler
Project1VOICE One Play One Day 2018 is set with national staged readings of Pearl Cleage's Flyin' West on Sunday, June 17, and Monday, June 18. Theater companies, museums, colleges and universities around the country unite for this eighth annual theater celebration that revives and re-introduces forgotten classic plays in the American theater. Check your local listings for exact dates and times in your area.
The New York City flagship staged reading of Flyin' West will be presented on Monday June 18th in the Harlem Hospital Auditorium (506 Lennox Ave at 136th Street) at 6:30PM. Flyin' West-NYC will be directed by Mary Hodges. The cast to date includes: Joniece Abbott-Pratt (Eclipsed), Jerome Preston Bates (Jitney), Vernida Evans (Airline Highway) Nafeesa Monroe, La Rivers (Dirty Laundry), and Howard Overshown (Saint Joan) with music by Jasper McGruder. The playwright and original Flyin' West cast members Peter Jay Fernandez and Elizabeth Van Dyke will serve as artistic consultants.
Flyin' West is a powerful look at the African American woman pioneer. The play explores the universal themes of determination, feminism, pride and freedom. Set in 1898, the lives of a small group of African American women change as they leave the oppressive South for the West where they settle together in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas. Their hope and determination to survive in a harsh and unforgiving region are tested as they build new lives for themselves and their families. Among the cities joining the One Play One Day stage reading events is Nicodemus, Kansas. Nicodemus was established in 1877 by emancipated slaves.
Proceeds from this benefit stage reading of Flyin' West will support Project1VOICE, its programming and the town of Nicodemus, Kansas. Join us for this pay what you can theatrical event.
Flyin' West is made possible by special permission granted by Dramatists Play Service.
Flyin' West was chosen as our staged reading selection almost two years before the revelations that catapulted the "Me Too" and "Times Up" movements into the national and international spotlight. Project1VOICE was specifically looking for narratives that expand our voice as an activist and community builder in the American theater and would further the conversation about the systemic and pervasive behavior that does not allow women, particularly African American women, to achieve equality in the workplace and in society. Flyin' West met our qualifications. It's an important narrative to revisit as the nation steadfastly ushers in a new era of accountability that demands a reckoning," says Erich McMillan-McCall founder/CEO of Project1VOICE.
Additionally, on Monday June 18, is Project1VOICE-NYC's third annual Project1VOICE HONORS presentation. The 2018 award recipients are: playwright, actress and the first African American female to direct on Broadway Vinnette Carroll, actress, choreographer and director Hope Clarke, orchestrator, composer, conductor, arranger, record producer and music director Harold Wheeler and television, film and Broadway actress Hattie Winston-Wheeler. The honorees will be saluted by friends, family and colleagues through performances and tributes. Project1VOICE Honors was created in 2016 to celebrate and honor artists whose talents continue to shape and enrich American culture. Previous Project1VOICE Honors recipients include actress, dancer and theater director Wilhelmina "Billie" Allen-Henderson, Broadway's publicist Irene Gandy, lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes, production designer Wynn Thomas and playwright/Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) co-founder Douglas Turner Ward.
Pearl Cleage is an author and playwright whose work both fiction and non-fiction have been widely recognized. Her novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection. She is known for her feminist views particularly regarding her identity as an African American woman. Ms. Cleage is the Playwright-in-Residence at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Among her critically acclaimed plays are: Flyin' West, Blues for an Alabama Sky, We Speak Your Names: A Celebration and What I Learned in Paris. For more information about Pearl Cleage visit: www.pearlcleage.net.
Project1VOICE is a 501(c)(3) performing arts service organization whose mission is to provide significant support, access and adequate representation of the Black experience in the American theater-an integral part of the English-speaking theater-through its robust programming and innovative partnerships. One Play One Day is Project1VOICE's signature event. Now in its eighth consecutive year, One Play One Day celebrates forgotten and under-appreciated narratives in the American theater with same-day staged readings of these plays in cities all over the world on the third Sunday and Monday in June--Juneteenth. Previous staged readings for One Play One Day include: Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, The Amen Corner by James Baldwin, The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe, A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller and Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith.
Most recently, Project1VOICE collaborated with the New School in New York City to present Words of Change--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the New School, a staged reading of a recently recovered speech given by Dr. King at the New School in 1964 which details the reasons for civil rights activism during the summer of 1963. The event, which featured an intersectionally-diverse cast, was part of Project1VOICE's SIX:01---an international commemoration of the half-century anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. Words of Change is archived on the New Schools YouTube channel: YouTube.com/TheNewSchool. For more information visit: www.project1voice.org.