FWD to Present Staged Reading of THE BLACK AND WHITE BALL

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FWD presents a public staged reading of The Black & White Ball by award-winning writers Stephen Cole & Todd Ellison on January 20th, 2015: Place: City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St. Tickets are $15.00 and are on sale now through Jan 20th at the City Winery box office at (312) 733-9463 and http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/tickets/fwd-theatre-project-the-black-white-ball-1-20.html

Amber Mak, FWD Theatre Project's executive founder, will direct a cast of the city's leading talents. George Andrew Wolff stars as Truman Capote who, in 1966, announces the "party of the century" at New York's legendary Plaza Hotel; a Black & White Ball for 500 of his closest friends where the glitterati can shine and the press will swoon.

Emma, a poor black girl from Brooklyn, mistakes Capote's announcement for a high-profile benefit to unite the races in deeply segregated America; she vows to score an invitation, sparking an unlikely relationship with the famed bon vivant that spans age, class, color, and culture. 15-year-old

from Chicago High School for the Arts dazzled a packed house at FWD's official launch concert in September and will reprise her role in January.

Times Square Chronicles offered this rave at the preview: "George Andrew Wolff was a delightful Capote and this first set was owned by vocal dynamite-in-action Ariana Burks as Emma. She may be young in age and small in stature, but Burks has a powerhouse voice that ignites from that little body (with) the vocal promise of a Kristin Chenoweth blended with Patti LaBelle. This little girl has quite a future a head of her, as hopefully, does this show."

Jerome Riley plays Mikey, Emma's young love interest who guides his muse toward her rendezvous with destiny. Truman is captivated by Emma, resolving to make her the belle of his ball and mold his latest protégé, an effort that leads to more than either participant bargains for.

Heather Townsend, Kathryn Jaeck, McKinley Carter, and Dina DiCostanzo play The Swans, four elegant women of the day who helped form Capote's impressive entourage and represent society's white elite. Rounding out the powerhouse cast of 11 are Evan Tyrone Martin, Daniel Phillips, Jos N. Banks, and Quentin King as Emma's step-brothers, challenging their sister on her headstrong determination to rise above her station.

Musical Director: Chuck Larkin

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