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Black Women: State of the Union Announces Talkbacks with Playwrights, Cast and Crew

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Black Women: State of the Union (BWSOTU) will be hosting talkbacks following evening performances of Black Women: State of the Union... Taking Flight on Feb. 16th, 22nd and 23rd at Company of Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Noted authors Tanya Alexander-Henderson, Kellie Dantzler, Sigrid Gilmer, Penelope Lowder and Lisa B. Thompson will join the producers and directors for a lively discussion of societal issues faced by Black women in modern-day America.

Black Women: State of the Union... Taking Flight opened last October at the Skylight Theater to widespread critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences. The show's success can be heavily attributed to new plays covering an array of issues important to Black women from pressure to conform with Eurocentric notions of beauty to the every day demands of work and family. It's an edgy, eclectic and mostly humorous collection and the playwrights themselves are no different.

"These women are exceedingly dynamic. They're like onions: so many layers, can even make you cry...only much better smelling", laughs producer Lee Sherman. "You can sit and talk to each one for hours. It's exciting to finally get them in one room".

Dates for specific talkbacks are as follows:
Feb. 16: Talkback with playwright Lisa B. Thompson.
Feb. 22: Talkback with BWSOTU producers, Michelle Flowers, Kila Kitu, Lony'e Perrine, Lee Sherman, Tamika Simpkins and director Ayana Cahrr.
Feb. 23: Talkback with playwrights Tanya Alexander-Henderson, Kellie Dantzler, Sigrid Gilmer, Penelope Lowder and director Nataki Garrett.

Tanya Alexander-Henderson (RITUAL) won a Hollywood Black Film Festival Award for BEST MUSIC VIDEO with the spoken word piece, 1 OUT OF 10, as well as a 2005 NAACP Theatre Award for BEST PRODUCTION for the original stage play HATTIE.

Kellie Dantzler (EVOLUTIONARY) co-created SHELTER: REFUGEES OF THE AMERICAN DREAM (New Perspective Theatre-NYC). Author of numerous works, her play TRANSITIONS: A TRILOGY OF ONE ACT PLAYS received five NAACP Award nominations, winning the award for 2011 BEST PLAYWRIGHT and 2011 BEST ENSEMBLE.

Sigrid Gilmer (SIMULACRA) is a member of Cornerstone Theatre. Selected works include HARRY & THE THIEF, SEED: A WEIRD ACT OF FAITH, PATTY: THE REVIVAL (Book), IT'S ALL BUENO, THE HUB OF THE UNIVERSE, BLACK GIRL RISING, AXIOM and THE GREAT WHITE WAY.

Penelope Lowder (THE FOLLICLE PRISON WAR) is a 2012 Cosby Screenwriting Fellow. Her short script, 4CLOSURE, is being produced by Hilldog Productions and Keep It Short Productions this fall. The Short Playwriting Festival in New York selected Penelope's HONEST SAM as a semi finalist in 2009. Her other works include AND SO WE SUPPED, REACHING AUTONOMY, and PUSHING YELLOW.

Lisa Thompson (I DON'T WANT TO BE) is a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow, her work SINGLE BLACK FEMALE, was nominated for a 2005 LA Weekly Theatre Award for best comedy.

Black Women: State of the Union...Taking Flight will take place February 15-24 (8pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 3pm on Sundays) at Company of Angels at The Alexandria Hotel (501 South Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013). Tickets to the Black Women: State of the Union...Taking Flight are $20 ($15 Senior/Student discount). For group rates, contact leesherman@BWSOTU.org. For theater reservations, go online to www.CompanyofAngels.org.


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