Judi Jackson, Sarah K. Chalmers & More to Lead Kitchen Theatre's SLASHES OF LIGHT, 6/11-29

Judi Jackson, Sarah K. Chalmers & More to Lead Kitchen Theatre's SLASHES OF LIGHT, 6/11-29

The Kitchen Theatre Company and Civic Ensemble are excited to announce the casting of the world premiere of SLASHES OF LIGHT by Judy Tate. SLASHES OF LIGHT tells the story of an African American girl's coming-of-age in Chicago's South Side during the turbulent 1960s. This production connects Civic Ensemble's focus on community-based work by women and people of color with the Kitchen's two decades of producing bold, intimate work that starts "important conversations." Previews are June 11, 12 and 13, opening night is June 14, and the play closes on June 29.

Playwright Judy Tate is also a director, actress, and educator. A 20-year member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, Tate is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of The American Slavery Project, a theatrical response to revisionism in our nation's discourse around slavery, the Civil War and Jim Crow. She has won four Emmys and a Writers' Guild of America award. SLASHES OF LIGHT was developed at Ensemble Studio Theatre's Going to the River, CAP21, The Black and Latino Playwrights festival, and a reading by Civic Ensemble last year.

Godfrey Simmons, artistic director of Civic Ensemble, says of Tate, "I've been working with Judy as a theatre artist for nearly 20 years - personally, this is a dream come true to be part of a major production of Slashes of Light. Her plays are almost Shavian in their intellect while teeming with passionate characters and bold imagery." Kitchen Theatre artistic director Rachel Lampert adds, "the Kitchen Theatre is pleased to be supporting this exciting play and first-time collaboration. And the cast and creative team are terrific!"

The production is directed by Melissa Maxwell, a NYC-based director specializing in new play development. Often collaborating with Judy Tate, Melissa has been with SLASHES since its inception.

Leading the cast as the effervescent Sunny is Judi Jackson, a rising senior at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She will be sharing the stage with Ithaca-based talent: Sarah K. Chalmers* (a founding member of the Kitchen Theatre and Civic Ensemble, seen on many of Ithaca's stages, including the Kitchen, Hangar, and Cornell University) as Mrs. Hedges and Jelani Pitcher (a junior Acting major at Ithaca College) as Kaleb. Joining them are Kitchen Theatre first-timers: Robert McKay* (a NYC-based film and stage actor) as The Conductor and Ryan Hope Travis (recently performed the world premiere of A Shout in Salty Water, an individual artist commission by the New York State Council on the Arts) as Steven.

Lighting Design is by Tyler M. Perry (KTC: Heroes, Venus in Fur, Lungs, and more), Scenic Design by Ravi (Riw) Rakkulchon (junior Ithaca College Production Arts student), Costume Design by Lisa Boquist (KTC: Heroes, Black Pearl Sings!, Cock, and more), Sound Design by Scott O'Brien (Lincoln Center, Abingdon Theatre, American Stage Company, Chautauqua, and more), and the Production Stage Manager is Jen Schilansky*.

(*member, AEA)

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