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Theater Resources Unlimited Announces the Launch of TRU Diversity With Free Reading of GREENWOOD By Coolidge Harris II

The reading of Greenwood will take place on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 7pm ET at The Actors' Temple.

Theater Resources Unlimited Announces the Launch of TRU Diversity With Free Reading of GREENWOOD By Coolidge Harris II

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), announces the launch of TRU Diversity: Amplifying BIPOC Voices, an initiative to highlight the works and explore the concerns of BIPOC theater artists, producers and administrators. The debut of the TRU Diversity program will feature a free reading of Greenwood, a relevant new play by TRU member Coolidge Harris II, set during the Tulsa Race Massacre. The reading of Greenwood will take place on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 7pm ET at The Actors' Temple, 339 W. 47th Street, New York NY. Tickets can be reserved at https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2185260®id=&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Ftruonline.org%2Fevents%2Fgreenwood%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.

Through an ongoing program dedicated to highlighting BIPOC voices, including developmental readings of new works and a quarterly series of Town Hall conversations engaging an inclusive representation of the theater community, TRU affirms its commitment to fostering change in a slow-to-change industry. The inaugural presentation of the TRU Diversity program initiative officially marks TRU's return to in-person programming after two and a half years of all-virtual events due to shutdown.

Following the two tumultuous years of the pandemic and subsequent activism, we are currently witnessing a surge of progress in BIPOC representation within the theater industry. Seven new plays that opened on Broadway in 2022 were by African American Playwrights. Off-Broadway and LORT regional theaters are offering their most diverse seasons ever. The Dramatists Guild forged a groundbreaking inclusion rider. Things are going in the right direction! But is it enough? "As our community of theatermakers continues to make strides to represent the most inclusive range of works on stage, it is vital to cultivate and maintain an inclusive space to develop and spotlight this abundant pipeline of creativity," explains TRU board member Janel C. Scarborough, who founded TRU Diversity with fellow board members Cheryl L. Davis and Scott C. Sickles.

"The letters in BIPOC stand for an extremely broad range of the human experience," said Sickles. "TRU Diversity hopes to provide a platform to theater practitioners of color to share their work, voice their concerns, and celebrate their triumphs, using this historically inclusive season as a springboard."

Greenwood by Coolidge Harris II is produced by Janel C. Scarborough and directed by Lawrence Floyd. Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the play begins on the fateful day of May 30, 1921, in the hours leading up to the Black Wall Street massacre. Greenwood will have its live premiere in New York before it plays at the 2022 National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina.

Cast:

Althea Alexis (Shawnese) is a graduate of Howard University, with credits including (stage) Flambeaux: A Caribbean Musical (Sybil), a role she won an AUDELCO Award for Best Actress in a Musical; Munched (8 very different characters); A Season in the Congo (Pauline Lamumba); No Child... (Ms. Sun). She has also worked on the big and small screens, including voice overs and national commercials.

Carle Atwater (Shriner) is a proud graduate of Howard University. He has been acting since 1975. He has performed Off-Broadway in Hot Sake with a Pinch of Salt and The Time of Your Life. In the last 12 months, he has performed in Driving Miss Daisy, Ain't Misbehavin', and The Wiz, and will be featured in a production of Jukebox Giants at the Strand Theatre in Marietta, Ga. in August 2022. He is a classically trained singer, sang backup for Aretha Franklin, and has sung the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions. He was awarded the Outstanding Performance in a Musical Award for Williams and Walker.

Stanley Wayne Mathis (Sir) starred in Coolidge Harris II's play Golden Wings in last year's TRU Voices Play Series. Broadway Credits include: Oh Kay!, Jelly's Last Jam, The Lion King, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Kiss Me Kate, Wonderful Town, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and The Book Of Mormon. He has performed on stages nationally and internationally in Regionals, The Bermuda Theater Festival, to The Royal Court Theater in London. Television audiences may remember his appearances on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Gossip Girl, NY 22, NBC's RISE. Film: Magic Sticks, Dark Streets, Brother To Brother, and Steve Mc Queen's SHAME. (Equity/SAG-AFTRA)

Dexter McKinney (Young Boy) made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning Skeleton Crew (u/s Dez/Reggie) directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Other highlights include TV: When They See Us, Mrs. America, and Doctor Death. His next appearance will be in City on a Hill. Theatre: Actors Theatre of Louisville, National Black Theatre (Harlem), and Syracuse Stage. Dexter was called by the New York Times "the cast's most charismatic actor" in the Off-Broadway hit 3Fifths.

Marcus Naylor (Red-Manning) is an alumnus of The Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre, Karamu House, Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, and Member of The New York Artists Collective. His acting work includes Off-Broadway, Penumbra Theatre, Crossroads Theatre The Meeting, New Federal Theatre Cool Blues, Fences as Troy Maxson, Redhouse Arts Center 2022. Regional Theatre include Denver Center, Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Shakespeare on The Sound and Carnegie Hall with The Black Stars of The Great White Way. TV and Film: For Life, Madam Secretary, Bull, Boardwalk Empire, Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Only in America, The Meeting, The Color of Love, Slings and Arrows (Black Starz,) Malcolm X, A Jazz Fantasy Miles, and Bird and Trane. Marcus is a five-time AUDELCO Award nominee and an Ira Aldridge Award winner.

Susan Spain (Lucile) is an award-winning actor, director, and writer who has appeared Off-Broadway and regionally, and has narrated over 100 audiobooks, receiving an Earphones Award for her work. Susan has taught/coached students of all ages in acting and singing as well as the business of acting. She can currently be seen as Rose Franklin in FOX's Our Kind of People streaming on Hulu and Disney+ and tours in the world-renowned Motown tribute group, Shadows of the 60s. Susan is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Gil Tucker (Tucker) is an AUDELCO Award-winning actor who went to Performing Arts High School in New York City (FAME). He was one of only three students who received a Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Acting, his senior year. As a comedian he has performed in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Madison Square Garden, The Apollo, and more. He was also on Def-Jam, Showtime, and BET. As an actor he was in two Best Revival AUDELCO Award-winning plays: Reunionin Bartersville, produced by The Black Spectrum Theatre, which was invited to the 2019 NBTF and A Soldier's Play produced by The Negro Ensemble Company, for which he won the Best Featured Actor AUDELCO Award in 2018 for his portrayal of Sgt. Waters. He has numerous TV and film credits.

Creative Team:

Lawrence Floyd (Director) is Co-Founder of Genesis East and West, Inc. with Dr. Myrah Brown Green, a 501(c)3 that specializes in Theatre/Film and Television Development with locations in New York and Las Vegas. His team swept the 2015 AUDELCO Awards in Black Theatre Excellence with Flambeaux!. Other Shows he's directed (partial list) are These Four Walls, The Strong Man, Indelible, MISUNDERSTOOD, TROIKA BERMUDA, and ResurGENTs. He was also on the Producing team of Black Man Rising by James Chapmyn. He has studied Playwriting with the late Leslie Lee and PJ Gibson, as well as Laurence Holder and Cassandra Medley and has studied Film/TV Directing at Sundance Collab. Proud Member of Equity, SAG-AFTRA, WGA and lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. www.genesiseastandwest.org

Coolidge Harris II (Playwright) - Most recent full-length plays are Greenwood, Golden Wings, and Footsteps in the Dark. Greenwood won the 2021 BIPOC Playwrights Festival sponsored by the African American Playwrights Group in conjunction with Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts in Charlotte, NC and received a full production in the fall of 2021. In addition, Greenwood was a finalist in the 2021 American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) NewPlayFest, a semifinalist in the 2021 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and an honorable mention in the 2020 Panndora's Box Playwrights Competition. His newest play, Golden Wings was awarded a virtual presentation from Theater Resources Unlimited in the 2021 TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series. He has also written the one-act plays A Trial for Butchy and The Unicorn, The Hare & The Snake.

Janel C. Scarborough (Lead Producer) is a multi-disciplinary entertainment producer, artistic consultant, script developer and dramaturg. A few of her distinctive projects include: executive producing the award winning film In Time which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by HBO Network; internationally producing and starring in the thought-provoking stage play Single Black Female; masterminding the anniversary special of the iconic hit show "CLUB MTV"; as well as receiving an AUDELCO Award nomination for performing in Love and Marriage and New York City. This past fall Broadway reopening, she was invested in the history making Thoughts of a Colored Man; in the spring she contributed to capitalizing the Tony nominated revival of for colored girls... Janel currently serves on the board of directors of Theater Resources Unlimited and is a founding member of the TRU Diversity program initiative.

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