By: Apr. 20, 2016
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Northern Manhattan's UP Theater Company celebrates its sixth season with, An American Drum Circle written by Washington Heights playwright, Vanessa Shealy. Vanessa's previous plays include Tea in the Afternoon (Theatre Row), One, Two, Whatever you do... (FringeNYC) and Inside Information (co-written by Rick Younger) which was just accepted to the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival. Melissa Attebery, who has directed for Primary Stages, The Abingdon, and Queens Theatre in the Park, directs. Vanessa and Melissa have collaborated on various projects since they met at the Actors Studio Playwright and Director Workshop over ten years ago.

UP Theater Company (James Bosley, Artistic Director) was founded in 2010 by Inwood theater artists who endeavored to bring professional productions to their neighborhood of Northern Manhattan. Eschewing crowd-pleasing chestnuts, UP produces provocative new work by contemporary playwrights. After six years and seven full productions, including Ashé, Broad Channel, and last year's smash Epic Poetry, UP has established a reputation for being gritty, rambunctious, and irreverent. www.uptheater.org

An American Drum Circle is a turn-of-the-millennium comic-drama in which an innocent American girl hopes to escape the failures of her pious father by taking refuge in an intense relationship with a young Nigerian émigré. But he has family skeletons of his own. Together, their family roots entangle them in a web of fraud and falsehood.

The cast features Kathleen Grace Fiori (Holidaze/Cirque Dreams National Tour), Dennis Fox (The Who's Tommy/La Jolla Playhouse), Nneoma Nkuku (Boardwalk Empire/HBO), Serge Thony (Hip Hop Artist D'Chrome Foster), and Rick Younger (NBC's Today Show reoccurring segment "Guys Tell All" with Kathie Lee and Hoda).

The creative team includes set design by Duane Pagano, costume design by Kimberley Windbiel, lighting design by Bob Franklin, sound design by David Margolin Lawson, stage management by Elizabeth Ramsey, graphic design by Dean Heagle, and produced by Rik Walter.

Tickets are $18 (adults), $12 (students/seniors) and can be purchased at: www.anamericandrumcircle.bpt.me - Performances take place at The Tabernacle Theater, 551 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10033. Subway: A train to 181st Street.