Signature Theater Announces NEC IN CONVERSATION 2/25

Signature Theatre Company (James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director) is pleased to announce that artists from Signature's 2008-2009 Season celebrating the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) will participate in a special program, In Conversation: Signature Theatre Company, at Macy's Herald Square and Brooklyn stores.

Macy's is hosting a month-long series of activities and special events for Black History Month, showcasing black culture through theatrical, art, song, prose and cuisine presentations. The events are free and open to the public.

Macy's Brooklyn (422 Fulton Street, Main Floor), will host a panel on Thursday, February 12 at 12:30 PM which will include NEC co-founder and Day of Absence author/director Douglas Turner Ward, The First Breeze of Summer playwright Leslie Lee, Zooman and the Sign director Stephen McKinley Henderson, The First Breeze of Summer actress Marva Hicks and Zooman and the Sign actor Amari Cheatom.

Macy's Herald Square (151 West 34th Street, 3rd Floor) will host a panel on Wednesday, February 25 at 6:00 PM, which will include Leslie Lee, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Zooman and the Sign playwright Charles Fuller, in addition to actors to be announced from Signature's 2008-2009 Season.

In addition, Macy's is displaying photos and costumes from Signature's 2008-09 productions in a store window.

Signature Theatre is proud to be presenting the works of the historic NEC. The company has an extensive theatre training program and in its 40 year history has produced more than two hundred new plays. The NEC's distinguished alumni include writers such as Steve Carter, Lonne Elder, Charles Fuller, Leslie Lee and Samm-Art Williams, and actors Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Esther Rolle and Denzel Washington.

Signature's production of Charles Fuller's Zooman and the Sign, directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson, is currently in rehearsal. The production begins performances on March 3 and opens March 24 at The Peter Norton Space, 555 West 42nd Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 244-PLAY (7529) or visiting

Signature's 2008-2009 season is an examination of a body of work from the historic Negro Ensemble Company's collective of writers, whose contributions have helped shape America's theatrical heritage. Ruben Santiago-Hudson serves as Associate Artist for the season, which has also included Leslie Lee's The First Breeze of Summer, Samm-Art Williams' Home and a staged reading of Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence.

Through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which seeks to make great theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience, all regularly-priced single tickets ($65) are underwritten and are available for $20 every performance for the entire season, during a show's initial run. The Signature Ticket Initiative continues through Signature's 20th Anniversary Season (2010-2011).

The Signature Ticket Initiative is made possible by the lead sponsorship of Time Warner Inc. Generous support for The Signature Ticket Initiative is provided by Margot Adams, in memory of Mason Adams.

Support for the Negro Ensemble Company Season is provided by American Express.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).



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