THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN Comes to Maplewood's Burgdorff Center For The Performing Arts
New theater company comes to Maplewood, NJ from the prolific vision of Gregory Omar Osborne. The launch of Progressive Theater is made possible through the support of South Orange/Maplewood Coalition on Race & Maplewood Township bringing you THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN in lieu of Black History Month, February 16th & 17th. Progressive Theater aims to tell culturally enriched stories that empower people of color, and captivate all audiences with the focus being on the change we want to see in the theater community.
BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN, tells the story of Viveca Stanton, a little black girl striving to fulfill her dreams of becoming a performer. More importantly to be a successful one; and eventually, she strives to just be. What's a black girl from sunny Southern California to do? White people are blowing up black girls in Birmingham churches. Black people are shouting "Black is beautiful" while straightening their hair and coveting light skin. Viveca Stanton's answer: Slap on a bubbly smile and be as white as you can be! In a humorous and pointed coming-of-age story spanning the sixties through the nineties, Viveca blithely sails through the confusing worlds of racism, sexism and Broadway showbiz until she's forced to face the devastating effect that self-denial has had on her life.
Gregory Omar Osborne (Producer/Choreographer) is excited to be launching Progressive Theater A NJ Nonprofit Corporation with THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN. He recently produced FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE and A PARK AVENUE CHRISTMAS at the Burgdorff Center For The Performing Arts. Osborne started his studies at Montclair State University. Since then he's worked with choreographers most notably; Doug Elkins', the late Donald McKayle, & David Gordon. Gregory is a member of Actors Equity and Midtown Direct Rep in Maplewood. His choreographic credits include: Once Upon A Mattress, Carrie, Memphis, Children's Letters to God & Two Gentlemen of Verona. Gregory is slated to choreograph the upcoming TYA national tour Magic Treehouse: Showtime With Shakespeare a new hip hop musical.
When choosing a director to spearhead the project Osborne felt it important to bring in a woman of color to tell this unique story from an authentic perspective.
Jasmin Richardson (Director) takes the reigns in bringing this exuberant story to life. Richardson who is known for her refined performances as an actress was last seen on Broadway in GETTIN THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. As well as playing the methodical Nikki Marron on the First National tour of THE BODYGUARD. She is excited to be making her directorial debut with a piece as current and poignant as Bubbly Black Girl. Richardson states "Bubbly Black Girl is just an honest and pure story about a girl shedding the ideals and pressures that society as imposed on her. Viveca is ultimately is trying to figure out who she is. And we can all relate to that sense of self discovery." Also Progressive theater is telling this story with a mostly all black creative team, The Bubbly Black girl is sure to have a unique point of view. In working with Progressive "I'm most excited about putting out content that people from all walks of life can relate too. While still being authentically black and telling important stories, written and performed by people of color."
Kirsten Childs is the award-winning writer of the musicals The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Miracle Brothers, Fly (with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman), Funked Up Fairy Tales, and Bella: An American Tall Tale (directed by Robert O'Hara). Bella: An American Tall Tale received its world premiere in the 2016-2017 season at Dallas Theater Center, with a co-production at Playwrights Horizons, NYC. Bubbly Black Girl was recently produced at Theatre Royal Stratford East in the United Kingdom and at City Centers Encores! Off-Broadway. For her work Kirsten has received Obie, Kleban, Larson, Richard Rodgers, Audelco, and Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla awards, as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations. She's currently working on a commissioned project for The New Group with writer/director Gordon Greenberg. Kirsten has written for Disney Theatricals, the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, the New Electric Company, City Center Encores!, Works and Process @ Guggenheim Museum, and Premieres/Inner Voices under the producership of Paulette Haupt, artistic director of the O'Neill National Music Theater Conference. She's an adjunct professor in NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, and a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.
Victor Burks (Music Director) Victor Burks is a musician, vocalist, composer and educator. Born in Toledo, Ohio , he currently resides in Orange NJ. Over 25 years of credits include work with various plays, TV shows, and various recording artists as composer/arranger/producer/musical director. Including Chuck D, Fine Arts Militia, The Espys, Jamie Foxx, and Savion Glover. High on his list of personal accomplishments is his work in early childhood development with the Arts Education Department @ the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey.