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The Billie Holiday Theatre Presents REPARATIONS As Part of its #StayAtHome Series

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The Billie Holiday Theatre Presents REPARATIONS As Part of its #StayAtHome Series

The Billie Holiday Theatre will present the third reading under its new #StayAtHome Reading Series with a special reading of James's Sheldon's Reparations, the critically acclaimed play which had its world premiere at The Billie last November. Designed as a way to reach audiences both locally and globally while the world continues to navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, #StayAtHome is an innovative online play reading series bringing together writers, directors and actors from across the country from within their own homes via Zoom. The reading of Reparations will premiere on Saturday, April 18th at 8PM EST via in partnership with Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop.

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Michele Shay (August Wilson's Seven Guitars and Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, The Billie's The Old Settler - 2018 AUDELCO-winning Best Revival of the Year), Reparations marks Sheldon's sixth production, which include Shiverman (nominated for Best Play of 2012 by London's Off-West End Awards). For this online reading of the work, a majority of the show's original cast will reunite including Broadway and film stars Lisa Arrindell (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, A Lesson Before Dying, Madea's Family Reunion) in the role of Millie, Kamal Bolden (The Resident, Chicago Fire, Rosewood) in the role of Reg, and Gys de Villiers (Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, Vehicle 19, It Gets Better) in the role of Alistair. Tasha Lawrence (Pipeline, Hangnail) will join the cast in the role of Ginny.

Reparations tells the story of a recently widowed white book editor (Lawrence) who invites a younger black writer (Bolden) to her apartment, only to find that a night of tenderness and passion turns into a tumultuous morning-after when he threatens to reveal a dark secret from her past. As family friends - played by Arrindell and de Villiers - join them for an Upper East Side lunch, we discover whether the young writer will succeed in claiming his "reparations" for a life of racial injustice and personal betrayal.

"Throughout history, the arts have been mankind's answer in times of unthinkable struggle, hardship, and chaos," stated Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director of The Billie Holiday Theatre. "This will be no different, as we present artists and stories online, and I am hopeful that we as a global community will emerge stronger, more resilient, and more united than ever before."

The Billie's new #StayAtHome Reading Series officially launched in late March with Richard Wesley's Autumn, directed by Walter Dallas, who originally helmed the AUDELCO Award-winning Best Play of the Year in addition to five other AUDELCO Awards. This was followed by 50in50: Letters to Our Sons with 11 Black women actors and 50 Black women writers from across the globe. The work connected thousands of viewers online from across the world.

Additionally, The Billie has migrated classes for its Black Arts Institute, a partnership with Stella Adler Studio of Acting and NYU, as well as its Youth Arts Academy (YAA) to remote learning. Students will connect with each other and faculty through the platform Zoom and will maintain their normal class schedule to include Voice and Dialect, Movement Dance and Studio Rehearsal. YAA has moved to distance learning utilizing weekly classes presented asynchronously by the faculty on Vimeo.

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