World Premiere of Angela Polite's Masterpiece about Black Mothers MARY SPEAKS

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In an astounding amalgamation of narrative, spoken word, music, song, dance, faith, humanity and artistry, author/performer, Angela Polite's passion play, MARY SPEAKS, will have its World Premiere THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 at the Theatre for the New City's Community Space Theater (155 First Avenue - between 9 and 10 Avenues) where it will play through SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26.

Written, composed and performed by Angela Polite and directed by Christopher Burris, MARY SPEAKS bears witness to the ultimate act of irreversible pain - a mother's witness to her son's death.

Musical Direction is by Jeff Bolding. The Lighting design is by Steven Thompson.

Barbara Matovu serves as Assistant Director. Ryan Christian has been hired on as Production Assistant.


Inspired by an assignment by Ms. Polite's Pastor, the Reverend Henry A. Belin III, at the 1st AME Bethel Church in Harlem, New York, MARY SPEAKS' journey to off-off-Broadway has included a Showcase Performance as Part of the New Works Series at Emerging Artist Theater (October 25, 2015); a requested Performance at St. Johns University as Part of their Academic Lecture Series "Facing Our Truth" (February 16, 2016); a Special Guest Appearance at The Field's 30th Anniversary Celebration at Dixon Place (April 10, 2016); and on May 13, 2016 the show's song, Let Them Live, was performed at The Harlem Goju Association's Annual Scholarship Banquet where the honoree was Khadiatou Diallo, Amadou Diallo's Mother.


In MARY SPEAKS, the life of biblical figure Mary, the mother of Jesus, is used to explore parallels in the history of black mothers and their sons from slavery to present day.

Writer and performer, Angela Polite finds in Mother Mary a prototype for the struggle of black mothers to raise and keep their sons alive in a society where his very existence is seen as a threat.

Through monologues, song, spoken word and dance, we follow mother and son from the auction block, Jim Crow South, through the Great Migration, segregation to present day.

Through this journey, Mary lives with the weight of being the mother of a black man-child and the gut-wrenching realization that she could lose him.

Something Big
Nothing I Wouldn't Do
Pray with your Feet
Let them Live

About Angela Polite

Angela Polite is an actress/singer, playwright and Arts Educator. Off-Broadway credits: Theater for the New City (Flambeaux), Classical Theatre of Harlem (Trojan Women, Emancipation), Fire This Time Festival (Exodus, Outcry), Juneteenth Theater Festival (Darasa: a musical) and Abingdon Theater Company (Foggy Bottom). Regional credits: New York Stage and Film (Exodus), Berkshire Theater Festival (Can You Hear Me Baby?) dir. Jayne Atkinson Gill, The Kennedy Center, (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof w/ Mary Stuart Masterston and Dana Ivey) dir. Mark Lamos, Fords Theatre (A Christmas Carol ) dir. Matt August and Signature Theatre (The Gospel According to Fishman) dir. Eric Schaeffer. TV: Blue Bloods, The Wire. Film: Acceptance. Proud member of Actors Equity. @angelapolite1 @maryspeakstheplay

About Christopher Burris

Christopher Burris is an artist and educator. He's an adjunct professor at Pace University, associate producer for The New Black Fest, a trainer with Ovation Communications, and a member of Home in the Time of Brooklyn (651 Arts). He directed THE BROTHERS SIZE at Luna Stage, which received five 2016 Broadway World Award nominations including Best Play and Best Director. Other directing credits include the world premiere of GEESE (Samuel D. Hunter) at The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, and WHEN WE WAKE UP DEAD (Dennis A. Allen) at Brooklyn College. Christopher directed POTATO SALAD (Keith Josef Adkins) for the inaugural year of the Obie-winning 48 Hours in Harlem, as well as the first four years of Obie-winning Fire This Time Festival, culminating in their premiere full length production, LORDS RESISTANCE (Camille Darby). As an actor, he has been seen on television (The Guiding Light, Damage Control, As the World Turns), stage (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), commercials (Dr. Scholl's, ESPN360, NY Post), and a host of voice-overs (including Grand Theft Auto V, McDonald's, AT&T). AEA/SDC (Associate) Member. Social Media: @misterburris

Box Office Information
Tickets can be purchased on Smarttix or Theater for the New City 212-254-1109.

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