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The New Group and Broadstream Premiere Digital Series I NEED SPACE

The work is written, created, and directed by Donja R. Love.

The New Group and Broadstream Premiere Digital Series I NEED SPACE

The World Premiere of i need space, a new digital series written, directed and created by Donja R. Love (Sugar In Our Wounds, one in two) and presented by The New Group Off Stage in association with John Ridley's N? Studios and Frank Marshall will begin streaming March 8, 2022, exclusively on the new streaming platform, Broadstream.

Isolated in his childhood bedroom and connecting only through video messages, Marcus begins to lose touch with the people that are most important like his fiancé and best friend. Will online hookups or couple's therapy or even auditions offer any kind of way forward? Or can he even remember who he is anymore? Told through a series of video messages,?i need space,?offers a frank and voyeuristic look into one man's struggle with love, loss, and loneliness.

i need space, was written and directed by Donja R. Love and stars Ja'mel Ashely, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Cedric Leiba, Jr., Christopher Livingston, and Justin Weaks. Alscott Worrell is the Director of Photography and Editor, Stephanie Echevarria is Production Designer, Qween Jean is Costume Designer, C.J. Robinson is Illustrator, Sean Walsh is Animator, and Dave Anzuelo is the Intimacy Director. Casting is by X Casting and Victor Vazquez, CSA. Monet is the Line Producer. Tatiana Montes is 1st Assistant Director.

Broadstream is a new free-for-the-user, arts and arts adjacent streaming platform featuring professional content created by and starring diverse voices. The new streaming platform launched this winter with over 75 original content pieces, and spans genres including theater, comedy, music, spoken word, politics, fandom and more. Broadstream proudly empowers and features artists who have too often been historically marginalized, dedicating their platform to amplifying their voices and highlighting art that meets the moment in pursuit of artistic justice. The platform is free to the user with no financial barrier to entry.

The New Group?(Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. The company seeks a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly "now," a true forum for the present culture.

In addition to live MAIN STAGE productions, the New Group/New Works play and musical development program champions original works by emerging and established authors; and the organization provides a range of theater education programs from teen acting ensembles to college access programs, and a college-level acting studio in collaboration with Long Island University - Brooklyn.

The New Group Off Stage features theatrical expressions in different media. This new venture develops and presents original projects at the intersection of art and social engagement, and explores the possibilities of cross-pollination among forms.? For more information, visit their website here.

DONJA R. LOVE (Writer, Director) (he/him) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive, and thriving. A Philly native, his work examines the forced absurdity of life for those who also identify as Black, Queer, and HIV-positive. He's the recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the Terrance McNally Award, the Antonyo's inaugural?Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. Other honors include The Lark's Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, The Playwrights Realm's Writing Fellowship, and the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion.

He's the co-founder of?The Each-Other Project, a digital media platform that celebrates and fosters community through art and activism for Black queer and trans communities,?through which he's produced numerous short films and digital series. He's also the creator of?Write It Out!?- a playwright's program and prize for people living with HIV. Plays include?soft?(MCC),?one in two?(The New Group),?Fireflies?(Atlantic Theater Company),?Sugar in Our Wounds?(Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and?What Will Happen to ALL THAT Beauty??He sits on the board at The Lark and is an Artistic Councilmember at People's Theatre Project. He's a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School. IG/Twitter: @donjarlove.

JA'MEL ASHELY (Cast) is an actor, entrepreneur, and public speaker. His life has taken him down an unconventional path of eclectic experiences, fostering a deep understanding of humanity. He has appeared in the films?The Love You Want Exists,?The Briefcase,?The Love Pandemic, and?All is Forgiven, and onstage in?Much Ado about Nothing?at the Bartell Theatre. From his HOME TOWN of Detroit, Ja'Mel started Intellectual Ratchet (IR), which focuses on empowering and healing others through brave spaces, and engages with diverse communities to transform their experiences into tangible resources. In 2017, the Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN) awarded him the 'Spotlight Award' for his community contributions and developments. In 2018, the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce named him the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

In 2019, he was named POZ Magazines POZ 100 advocates in the HIV field. In 2020 THRIVE SS rewarded him for his innovative approach in restoring Project Innovate. In 2021 he received recognition from the Men's Engagement Network for International Transgender Day of Visibility. His 'personal mission statement': to be an example of discipline, freedom, growth, and healing. Be your complete self, and live life fully.?Stay tuned for the official launch of ArtistiCreativity Dreams Come True Fund to inspire creatives to change the world!?His 2021 motto is "Stay the course!"

DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI (Cast). Dubbed the Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Black Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author, Educator, a Helen Hayes Award winning Playwright (Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem), a 2021 Helen Merrill Award Winner, Advocate, Dramaturg, a 2x Helen Hayes Award Nominated choreographer (2016, 2018) and co-editor/co-Director of the Black Trans Prayer Book. She is the curator and associate producer of Long Wharf Theater's?Black Trans Women At The Center: An Evening of Short Plays. Her radio play,?Quest of The Reed Marsh Daughter,?can be heard on the Girl Tales Podcast. She wrote episode 1 of?Untitled Mockumentary Project?and acted on the series as well, and wrote episode 9 (Refuge)?of Round House Theater's web series?Homebound.?She also narrated The Netflix Docu-series?Visions of Us.

CEDRIC LEIBA, JR. (Cast) is an award-winning actor, singer, dancer, writer and producer. He has toured nationally with Rent and Miss Saigon as well as performed at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in a production of Carmen la Cubana. He portrayed the lead role of Manny in the 2020 Tribeca Nominated Best Narrative Short, Gets Good Light and his other TV/FILM credits include HBO's High Maintenance, Fashion One Television's The Switch and movies Millie and the Lord and Elliot Loves. In 2020, Cedric released original music under his singer/songwriter name Ceddy and founded DominiRican Productions with his fiancé Pierre Jean Gonzalez. Named "Champions of Pride 2021" by The Advocate and MAKING GOOD Morning America's Pride "Inspiration List of 2021," DominiRican Productions recently won Best Experimental Film at the Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival for their film "Release."

Cedric performed regionally and Off-Broadway in such houses as The Public and The Old Globe, and has been favorably reviewed by The New York Times in Goodspeed's La Cage Aux Folles, New Haarlem Arts' Sweet Charity and The Lucille Lortel's Yellow Brick Road. A proud Afro-Boricua, Gay artist, Cedric is an ensemble member of Pregones/PRTT as well as Bombazo Dance Company where he showcases his Afro-Latinx roots as well as represent the LGBTQ+ community through his art. A 2021 Featured Poet in the Latino Book Review, Cedric received a BM from Stetson University and a MFA from The Boston Conservatory.? Cedric was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and currently resides in New York City.

CHRISTOPHER LIVINGSTON (Cast) is thrilled to be reuniting with Donja R. Love after playing Malcolm in his webseries?Modern Day Black Gay?in 2014. He was recently seen in?The Great Society?on Broadway and playing Wayne Williams in the Netflix series?Mindhunter. His New York credits include?Something Clean?at Roundabout Underground,?On the Grounds?of Belonging,?Party People, and?The Urban Retreat?at The Public Theater. He was also seen in?Wilder Gone?in Clubbed Thumb's Summer Works,?Julius Caesar?at the Delacorte,?Peerless?at Cherry Lane and?The Architecture of Becoming?with Women's Project.? Select regional theaters include The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf, A.C.T., Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Upcoming:?WeCrashed?on Apple TV+.? Christopher received his BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

JUSTIN WEAKS (Cast) makes his New Group debut with?I Need Space.?He was most recently seen in Studio Theatre's streamed production of FLOW and Arena Stage's The Freewheelin' Insurgents (short film) earlier this year. Recent credits include:?FLOW?and?Pipeline (Studio Theatre), Fences (Ford's Theatre), Long Way Down (The Kennedy Center).?Mr. Weaks is a company member of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C, where he has appeared in?Gloria, BLKS and Describe the Night. Other regional credits include work with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Theater J, Round House Theatre, Barter Theater, Shakespeare & Company, and Mosaic Theater Company.? He is currently working with 1st Stage in Virginia as a member of a playwright's cohort, commissioning a solo piece aimed to debut in 2022 and can next be seen in the World Premiere of Paola Lázaro's (AMC's The Walking Dead)?There's Always the Hudson?at Woolly Mammoth in the spring. A two-time Helen Hayes Award winner, Mr. Weaks is an alumnus of Greensboro College in North Carolina (BA).

Photo Credits: Courtesy of The New Group website

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