Ebony Repertory Theatre to Present Pulitzer Prize Finalist Zora Howard's STEW Beginning in March

STEW tells a captivating, funny, and intimate story about the relationship between mothers, daughters and the realities that bind them together.

By: Feb. 12, 2024
Ebony Repertory Theatre to Present Pulitzer Prize Finalist Zora Howard's STEW Beginning in March
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.




Existing user? Just click login.

Ebony Repertory Theatre will present 2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist Zora Howard's STEW as its first production of 2024. Jade King Carroll (McCarter Theatre's Intimate Apparel and The Piano Lesson, Portland Stage's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) directs this equally funny and heartbreaking play. This limited engagement begins March 7, 2024 and runs through March 24, with the press opening on Saturday, March 9. STEW will play at Ebony Repertory Theatre's home, the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

STEW tells a captivating, funny, and intimate story about the relationship between mothers, daughters and the realities that bind them together.

"Ebony Repertory Theatre (ERT) is deeply honored to close our 15th year with Zora Howard's STEW. In addition, we are beyond fortunate to have the magnificent director, Jade King Carroll making her Los Angeles debut with this production. Jade's work is stellar, and we are thrilled for this collaboration," said Ebony Repertory Theatre Producing Artistic Director Wren T. Brown. "When I sat in my seat at the Opening Night of STEW at the venerable Pasadena Playhouse about seven months ago, I was hopeful for a moving and enjoyable evening in the theater. Not only was the play fantastic in its total presentation, but it reassured me that, in fact, there were wonderful new plays written by extremely gifted new writers. I believe Zora Howard to be such a writer. As the play, with three generations of Black women, unfolded, it took me directly to the memory and profound impact that my great-grandmother, grandmother and my mother had on me. I cherished the ride that this evening of theater took me on. As I left the theater uplifted that night, I immediately knew that I wanted our audience at ERT to experience what had so inspired me. Well, I couldn't be more excited that we are weeks away from opening our own production of STEW."

STEW features iesha m. daniels (Rogue Machine Theatre's can i touch it?, Arena Stage's Waiting Room) as Lil Mama, Greta Oglesby (Guthrie Theatre's Into The Woods, Penumbra Theatre's The Piano Lesson) as Mama, Roslyn Ruff (Broadway's Skin of our Teeth and Fences) as Lillian, and Nedra Snipes (North Coast Repertory Theatre's Intimate Apparel, Geffen Playhouse's The First Deep Breath) as Nelly.

In addition to Carroll, the creative team for STEW includes scenic designer Mike Billings, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designers Tom and Donna Ruzika, sound designer Lindsay Jones, prop designer Aaron Lyons, casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA and Richard Ferris, CSA, and production stage manager Pat Loeb.

STEW was conceived by Zora Howard and marked her debut as a playwright. The production premiered off-Broadway at Walkerspace in January 2020. Howard was a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for STEW.

STEW runs from March 7 to March 24, 2024, with the opening on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m. Performances are held at The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 West Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. The schedule is Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Note: There are two preview performances on Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $35.00 - $55.00 and are available online at www.ebonyrep.org or by phone at 323-964-9766. Groups of 10 or more are available via email at groups@ebonyrep.org or 323-964-9766.

CAST BIOGRAPHIES

iesha m. daniels (Lil Mama) is a recent graduate from Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, receiving her BFA in Acting. She is a proud first generation Liberian-American. Since moving to LA, she has signed with Innovative Artists, acted in multiple short films and global campaigns, and even starred in a short film in partnership with the 2023 Academy Museum Promise Workshops. Recent credits include: Francisca Da Silveira's can i touch it? (Rogue Machine Theatre), devised-works Inside Voices and Waiting Room (Arena Stage) and Katori Hall's Children of Killers (Howard University). As an actress, director, and social impact producer, iesha aims to educate and dismantle colorism in the arts and media. She is also a proud graduate of the 2021 Academy Gold Rising Program.

Greta Oglesby (Mama) is an esteemed veteran of the American theater community. Her performances have been variously described as "ravishing," "indelible," "powerful," "magnificent," "heartbreaking," and "brilliant." Her theater credits include: Ten Thousand Things: Thunder Knocking on the Door, Once on This Island, King Lear, The Furies. Penumbra Theater: The Wiz, The Piano Lesson, Amen Corner, A Love Song for Miss Lydia. Guthrie Theater: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Crucible, Caroline or Change, Burial at Thebes. Children's Theater: Beggar's Strike, Five Fingers of Funk, and Last Stop on Market Street. She published a book in 2012 entitled "Mama 'N 'Nem, Handprints On My Life." In 2016 she wrote the play "Handprints" as a companion to the book, which was just produced as a film by Ten Thousand Things Theater Company and Free Style films.

Roslyn Ruff (Lillian). Broadway credits include Skin of our Teeth (Joe A. Callaway Award), All The Way, Romeo & Juliet, Fences. Off-Broadway: The Piano Lesson (Lucille Lortel Award; Audelco Award; Drama League nomination), Seven Guitars (Obie Award), X or Betty Shabazz v. The Nation and Things of Dry Hours (Drama League nominations), Fairview, Death of the Last Blackman in the Whole Entire World, Macbeth, Familiar, Scenes from a Marriage, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and The Cherry Orchard. Regional: McCarter Theatre Center, People's Light and Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Two River Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Geva Theatre Scene, Geffen Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film: Marriage Story, The Help, Salt, Rachel Getting Married. TV: Evil, Blue Bloods, The Godfather of Harlem, Lincoln Rhyme, Pose, Divorce.

NEDRA SNIPES (Nelly) is thrilled to make her Ebony Repertory Theatre debut this Spring! Nedra is an actor, vocalist, producer, and director from North Carolina. Credits include: Intimate Apparel (North Coast Repertory Theatre), Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (Syracuse Stage - multi. performances), Nothing, Nothing (HERO Theatre); The First Deep Breath (Geffen Playhouse); Clyde's (Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group); Perseverance (Portland Stage); The Caterers, Should We Dance Instead? (Thrown Stone Theatre Comp.); The Three Musketeers, Antigone(The Classical Theatre of Harlem); Aida (Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing(The Atlanta Shakespeare Company); In the Blood, The Cherry Orchard, Antony and Cleopatra, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, and Cardboard Piano (The Juilliard School). She is a proud alumnus of Howard University (B.F.A.) and The Juilliard School (M.F.A.). Nedra is represented by Innovative Artists Agency and Seven Summits Management. nedrasnipes.com

CREATIVE BIOGRAPHIES

Zora Howard (Playwright) is an award-winning writer and performer. Plays include HANG TIME (2022 Creative Capital Finalist; The Flea); STEW (2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist; P73 Productions); THE MASTER'S TOOLS (Under the Radar Festival; Williamstown Theatre Festival); BUST (2022 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; 2022 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Finalist); THE MOTIONS; and GOOD FAITH. Her work has been developed at SPACE at Ryder Farm, Page 73, The Lark, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Cape Cod Theatre Project, among others. In 2020, her feature film Premature (2020 Film Independent John Cassavetes Award nominee), which she co-wrote with filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green, opened in theaters following its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Zora was the inaugural Judith Champion Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, a former Van Lier New Voices Fellow at the Lark Theatre, a 2022 Lilly Award and Helen Merrill Award recipient and is currently under commission from Seattle Rep, Wychwood Media and River Road Entertainment.

Jade King Carroll (Director) has directed Seven Deadly Sins - Wrath (Miami New Drama - Drama League Award); Proof of Love (Audible at Minetta Lane/New York Theatre Workshop); New Age (Milwaukee Rep); Red Velvet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Detroit '67 (McCarter Theatre co-production with Hartford Stage); Intimate Apparel, The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Having Our Say (Hartford Stage co-production with Long Wharf Theatre); Autumn's Harvest (Lincoln Center Institute); Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (Syracuse Stage); Trouble in Mind (Two River Theater & Playmaker's Rep); Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Whipping Man, Native Gardens, Skeleton Crew, Bad Dates, Perseverance, How I Learned What I Learned (Portland Stage); The Revolutionists, Sunset Baby (City Theatre); A Raisin In The Sun (Perseverance); Pride & Prejudice, The Tempest (Chautauqua Theater Company); Seven Guitars, The Persians (People's Light and Theatre); Still Life(Ancram Opera House); King Hedley II (Portland Playhouse); Fat Ham (Playmakers Rep); A Raisin the Sun, Cardboard Piano (Juilliard) Laughing Wild, Redeemed, Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theatre Festival); New Golden Age (Primary Stages-Susan Smith Blackburn nominated); Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (Atlantic Theater - NYT Family Pick). Audio Plays: Marvel's Wastelanders: Doom (Marvel, Ambies Nomination for Best Production); Proof of Love (Audible); Redeemed (Broadway Podcast Network/Dorset Theatre Festival); The Bleeding Class (Geva Theater); Isolated Incidents (Broadway Podcast Network). Associate Director for Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire with Blair Underwood and The Gin Game with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. Paul Green Award from the Estate of August Wilson. She is also the Producing Artistic Director for Chautauqua Theater Company.

Tickets are available at www.ebonyrep.org, or phone 323-964-9766.




Videos