Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat Debuts a Reading of THE FAMILY RESEMBLANCE in NYC

Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat, the innovative theatrical program dedicated to creating new work that promotes and celebrates diversity, brings "The Family Resemblance" to New York City with a reading on Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Chelsea Studios.

"The Family Resemblance" is a new musical play with book, music and lyrics by Masi Asare. Set in central Pennsylvania around the holidays, it is a semi-autobiographical story of three generations in one cross-cultural family - a white mother, black father, two mixed race daughters, and the spirit of an African American grandmother. "When everyone in your family looks very different, how can you be sure of who you really are?" asks Asare, whose eclectic score infuses American folk, popular song, West African highlife and Akan classical music.

New York City-based Asare is composer of the secret agent musical "Sympathy Jones," which premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and has over 20 international productions to date. In 2015, she was honored with the inaugural Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for a woman composer/lyricist of musical theatre, given by the Ziegfeld Club with mentorship from two Tony Award winning theatre women-composer Jeanine Tesori and producer Daryl Roth. She is an alum of the BMI, ASCAP, and New Dramatists Musical Theatre Workshops, and a past Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellow.

cast includes James Alexander ("Little Shop of Horrors"), Donna Bullock ("Ragtime", "City of Angels"), Zonya Love Johnson ("The Color Purple"), Laiona Michelle ("The Book of Mormon", "Amazing Grace"),Thalia Thiesfield ("Ring Twice For Amanda"), Shelley Thomas ("Brooklyn", "Rent", "Zanna Don't") and Ian Way ("Hank Williams: Lost Highway"). Direction is by BCTR's Artistic Director Devanand Janki and Musical Direction is by Mark Fifer.

"The Family Resemblance" was developed at the 2016 Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat held at 100 year-old Bingham Camp set in the woods of Salem, CT. BCTR is a rural retreat where theater artists create work that gives voice to under-represented communities onstage.

BCTR is led by Artistic Director Devanand Janki whose career spans all facets of the performing arts - theatre, opera, ballet and corporate entertainment. Janki began as a performer, appearing in numerous productions including Broadway's "Miss Saigon," "Cats," and "The King & I." For the past 15 years, he has been a freelance director, working regionally and in New York on over 50 shows including "Junie B. Jones," "Man of La Mancha," "Rent," "The Full Monty" and Off-Broadway's "Zanna Don't" for which he won the Lucille Lortel Award.

"The Family Resemblance" has been commissioned by Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, UK.

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