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Barry Shabaka Henley to Star in Benefit Reading of Robert Galinsky's THE BENCH, A HOMELESS LOVE STORY


The reading will stream on Saturday, October 10 at 10 PM est.

Barry Shabaka Henley to Star in Benefit Reading of Robert Galinsky's THE BENCH, A HOMELESS LOVE STORY

TV's Barry "Shabaka" Henley ("Bob Hearts Abishola," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Better Call Saul") will star in a benefit reading of Robert Galinsky's hit play The Bench: A Homeless Love Story, directed by Drama Desk winner Jay O. Sanders, streaming on Facebook on Saturday, October 10, 10 PM est. This one-night event was cast completely through the ActorTrade's virtual audition app in conjunction with McCorkle Casting. The event will benefit Trinity Homeless Services.

Presented by Chris Noth, Mr. Henley, and Terry Schnuck. The Bench is mined from the true stories of people in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan, where Galinsky lives and it presents a unique perspective of life on the streets through five homeless characters whose lives become forever entwined. With brutal honesty and humor, the story makes it alarmingly clear that so many of us are just one mistake away from joining this underserved and growing population.

"Simultaneously historical and street-level contemporary, it's a wake-up call on a very visceral level. Robert's POV is from the inside, a place that most of us have never been." Director Jay O. Sanders

To contribute to Trinity Homeless Services simply:

Venmo @BenchDonateActorTrade

Veteran actor Barry "Shabaka" Henley has a rich history of acting in many high-profile films, television shows, and theater productions. Most recently, he appeared in the Oscar-nominated film A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Perhaps the biggest testament to Henley's talent is his professional collaboration with director-producer Michael Mann, who has cast him in multiple projects including his films Ali, Collateral, and Miami Vice, as well as the series "Robbery Homicide Division and Luck," starring Dustin Hoffman. Henley's other film work includes The Terminal, Rush Hour, Patch Adams, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Bulworth, and Carrie. Also, he starred in Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson, which was in Official Competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. On television, he most recently starred in CBS's "Bob Hearts Abishola," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." His other numerous television credits include "NCIS: New Orleans," "Better Call Saul," "Grey's Anatomy," "Black-ish," "Veep," "Shameless," "Barbershop," and "Bosch". Henley got his start on the stage and has toured extensively with the theater production of Jitney and was a featured player in Richard II, Waiting for Godot, and As You Like It. He won an NAACP Award for his work in Rabbit Foot. Henley wrote and starred in Mingus Remixed, which premiered at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco. Also, he has appeared in productions of Satchmo at the Waldorf at the Court Theater in Chicago, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Le Petit Theater in New Orleans.

Robert Galinsky (Playwright/Performer) is an activist and theatre artist currently teaching his theatre workshops 'Unscripted Leadership' to 100's of people experiencing homelessness, through Housing Works LA and A Million Drops Learning Center, and also to incarcerated youth at Riker's Island Jail in New York City and LA County Jail, through Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. His solo theatre show, The Bench, ran Off Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at the East Village Playhouse in NY for 30 weeks before coming to the Hudson Theater in Hollywood for another 12 weeks. Galinsky is a head speaker coach for TEDxTeen and TEDxFultonStreet. As a writer/producer/activist, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and on The VIEW, NPR, and ABC Nightline News. Most recently, at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York, Robert debuted in The Bench, A Homeless Love Story. Selected stage credits include the roles of Joshua & Cathy in Cloud Nine and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet in New Haven Connecticut's "Free Shakespeare on The Green." He teaches writing and performance to incarcerated youths at Rikers Island Jail, works with the homeless through the non-profits City Kids and Hearts of Gold, and is a founding team member of the We Are Family Foundation and Nile Rodger's "Three Dot Dash" international peace initiative.

Director Jay O. Sanders helmed the Off Broadway world premiere of The Bench, A Homeless Love Story at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He was awarded a 2019 Drama Desk Award for 'Outstanding Actor' and recently appeared at New York's Public Theater in a trilogy of new plays called The Gabriels; Election Year in the Life of One Family, written by Richard Nelson, which then toured the world and was filmed by WNET, & livestreamed on BroadwayHD. He appeared in Nelson's four-play series The Apple Family, and in both New York and regional houses was seen in King Lear, Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Jay portrayed George W. Bush in David Hare's Stuff Happens at The Public Theatre & Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion at The Roundabout on Broadway. In 2015, his own play, Unexplored Interior, had its world premiere as the inaugural production of Washington D.C.'s Mosaic Theater. Selected film credits include JFK, The Day After Tomorrow, Glory, Tumbleweeds, Half Nelson, Edge of Darkness, & Revolutionary Road. Recent TV includes True Detective, Blindspot, The Good Wife, American Odyssey, and Person of Interest. Jay frequently works as a narrator for a long list of PBS documentaries, from WGBH's NOVA to WNET's Secrets of the Dead.

The creative team includes producer Terry Schnuck (Tony Award Winner Spring Awakening; produced Fun Home, You Can't Take It With You, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical & more), presenter Chris Noth (Golden Globe Nominee), presenter Barry "Shabaka" Henley (OBIE and Drama Desk Awards - Best Ensemble; won the NAACP Image Award for Rabbit Foot), Audio Designer Deep Singh (A. R. Rahman/Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Bombay Dreams, Twyla Tharp's musical Come Fly Away, Mira Nair's musical Monsoon Wedding, composing music for the prime minister of India Anthem of Us which debuted at Madison Square Garden), and Set Designer/Illustrations/Bench Graphic Novel Artist Daphne Arthur (Recipient of the Anne Critz fellowship, The Ald Held Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome and the MassMoca Artist in Residence; MFA from Yale and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Selected credits: 59 Rivoli gallery in Paris & Florence Biennale VIII in Italy; Solo exhibitions: RARE gallery in NY & University of Massachusetts Boston).

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