Pinkins and Thoms To Star In 'And Her Hair Went With Her'

Tony Award-winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam, Caroline or Change) and Tracie Thoms (Broadway's Drowning Crow, TV's Cold Case) star in And Her Hair Went With Her, a tour de-force for two actors by Zina Camblin.  Diane Rodriguez directs the six-week run, part of a National New Play Network World Premiere, May 9 through June 15 at The Fountain Theatre.  Low-priced previews begin April 25. 

Camblin's And Her Hair Went With Her is at once an hilarious celebration and a serious exploration of African American sisterhood and identity.  At the heart of the piece is the friendship between middle-aged Jasmine and single mom Angie, two women who run a beauty salon.  The fun comes in as Pinkins and Thoms don various roles (and wigs) to also portray all of the salon's customers, exploring the diversity of black women and comically exposing stereotypes along the way.  Get ready for a wild range of women, personalities, hairstyles and trends. 

"I could sit in Zina Camblin's hair salon all day and listen to Jasmine and Angie argue about weaves and highlights, Angela Davis, old school thinkin' and Miss Nina Simone," says Rodriguez.  "For me, it's a play about unwrapping a gift and finding yourself inside."

Fountain Theatre artistic director Stephen Sachs first saw a reading of the play last year.  "It was a packed house, and the place just went nuts," he recalls.  "It was uproariously funny, touching and moving.  I was completely caught up in the fun of it and thought it would be a wonderful thing to share with the Fountain's audience."

And Her Hair Went With Her is supported in part by the National New Play Network's flagship program, the "Continued Life of New Plays Fund," a cooperative venture designed to insure that new plays see future productions beyond the initial world premiere. Partnerships of three theaters receive funds in support of multiple productions of the same new play. 

Playwright Zina Camblin recently completed a year-long residency at The Juilliard School, under Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang, as a part of the Juilliard Playwriting Fellowship.  While at Juilliard, she has received the Lecomte du Nouy Prize for playwriting.  Past productions and workshops of her other work include: Memoirs to Live (Brooklyn Arts Exchange), Bedroom Stories (Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, San Francisco), Life's a Drag (UC San Diego), and Bunni and Clyde (Know Theater). As a consultant for NYU's Creative Arts Team, she helped to create several interactive theater scripts for young audiences.  As an assistant writer, she contributed to The Jonestown Project, a commission by Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  Zina is a native of Cincinnati and received her MFA in Acting from U.C. San Diego where she was also a recipient of a San Diego Playbill Award.  As an African American playwright she is committed to creating unique and strong voices for women of color.

Tonya Pinkins received a Tony Award for her performance as "Sweet Anita" in Jelly's Last Jam and was twice nominated for her roles in Caroline, or Change and Play On.  Her additional Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Wild Party and House of Flowers.  She has had a prolific television career, playing attorney "Livia Frye" on All My Children in addition to guest appearances on such shows as Law & Order, The Cosby Show, Cold Case, Criminal Minds and The Guardian.  Tonya's films include Above the Rim, Romance and Cigarettes and Enchanted.  Pinkins is an activist for and co-creator of "Operation Z," an organization that stands for zero tolerance of violence against women and children.  She is also an educator and has been a guest lecturer at several universities.  She periodically teaches a course she designed for actors known as "The Actorpreneur Attitude". In 2006, Pinkin's self help book "Get Over Yourself!: How To Drop The Drama And Claim the Life You Deserve" was released by Hyperion Publishers.

Tracie Thoms is best known for her role as "Kat Miller" on TV's Cold Case.  Thoms made her Broadway debut in Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow.  She has also appeared in Off-Broadway and regional productions including Up Against the Wind (New York Theater Workshop), The Oedipus Plays (The Shakespeare Theater), A Raisin in the Sun (Baltimore CenterStage), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Missouri Rep), The Exonerated (Off Broadway's The Culture Project) and The Antigone Project (The Women's Project).  Her films include The Devil Wears Prada; the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rent (Critic's Choice Award nomination); and Death Proof with Quentin Tarantino, among others.

Diane Rodriguez is an Obie-winning actor, writer and director. She is currently Associate Producer/Director of New Play Production at CTG where she commissioned and developed new works by Nilo Cruz, Jose Cruz Gonzalez, Octavio Solis, Oliver Mayer, Ricardo Bracho, Alina Troyano, Marga Gomez, Rogelio Martinez, Michael John Garces, Evelina Fernandez and Cherrie Moraga, among others, and is also co-director of the Mark Taper Forum's Latino Theatre Initiative.  Diane recently directed Nilo Cruz's Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams at Victory Gardens in Chicago and Dan Guerrero's Gaytino at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.  She was nominated for Best Director in Arizona for her productions of John Leguizamo's Spic O Rama and for Bordertown by Culture Clash.  She most recently directed Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage at City Theatre in Pittsburgh and John Belluso's Pyretown for Playwrights Arena in Los Angeles.  She has directed productions and workshops for South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, San Jose Repertory, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Hartford Stage, the Guadalupe Cultural Center, Cornerstone Theatre, Mixed Blood, among others.  Diane attained widespread recognition as a founding member of Latins Anonymous and has been recognized by the United States Congress, State of California, and City of Los Angeles for her contributions to theater and the Latino Community.

Housed in a charming two-story complex in Hollywood, California, The Fountain Theatre is one of the most successful intimate theaters in Los Angeles, providing a nurturing, creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance artists.  Fountain Theatre productions have won more than 160 awards for all areas of production, performance, and design, and The Fountain Theatre is the only intimate theater to win the Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play four times.  Fountain projects have been seen in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Florida, New Jersey, Minneapolis and Edinburgh. Recent highlights include the U.S. Premiere of Athol Fugard's Victory, the Fountain's Off-Broadway production of Fugard's Exits and Entrances in New York, worldwide readings/productions/tours of What I Heard About Iraq, the Ovation Award-winning Joe Turner's Come and Gone, the three-city tour of Sonidos Gitanos, and the making of Sweet Nothing in my Ear into a television movie, set to air on Sunday, April 20 on CBS-TV's "Hallmark Hall of Fame."

Set and Costume Design for And Her Hair Went With Her are by Sandra Burns; Lighting Design is by Tony Mulanix; Sound Design by Adam Phalen; Assistant Director is Ben Bradley; Production Stage Manager is Elna Kordijan; and Stephen Sachs produces.  Alternates for Tonya Perkins and Tracie Thoms are Pam Trotter and Zina Camblin.

And Her Hair Went With Her opens for press on May 9, with performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through June 15.  Nine previews are scheduled on Wednesday, May 7 at 8 pm; Thursdays, May 1 and 8 at 8 pm; Fridays, April 25 & May 2 at 8 pm; Saturdays, April 26 & May 3 at 8 pm; and Sundays, April 27 & May 4 at 2 pm.  Tickets are $25.00 except opening night (May 9), which is $30.00 and previews which are $15.00.  Students are $18.00 (with ID), and senior tickets are available for $23.00 on Thursdays and Sundays.  The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles.  Secure, on-site parking is available for $5.00.  The Fountain Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.  For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.

 


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