Cast And Creative Team Announced For LITTLE ROCK At The Sheen Center
Rebel Theatrical Management, LLC (Harvey Butler, producer), in association with The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, have announced, today, the cast and the creative team for the New York premiere of the new play Little Rock, written and directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj. Performances are set to begin Wednesday, May 30, 2018 for a limited run through September 8, 2018 at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street). Opening Night is set for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 7:00PM.
The nine member cast will feature Rebekah Brockman (The Bridge of Spies), Justin Cunningham (The Winter's Tale) Brandon Gill (Too Heavy For Your Pocket), Charlie Hudson III (A Raisin in the Sun), Crystal Lucas-Perry (Ain't No Mo'), Quentin Mare ("The Good Fight"), Ashley Robinson (A Clockwork Orange), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), and making her New York stage debut Shanice Williams (NBC's "The Wiz Live").
History called it heroism. They called it high school. Little Rock tells the riveting true story of The Little Rock Nine, the first black students to attend their city's formerly segregated Little Rock Central High School three years after the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ruled separating students based on race was unconstitutional. What began as their quest for a better education soon became a national crisis, igniting the passions of a divided country and sparking a historic fight for justice in the Jim Crow south. On the cusp of the Civil Rights movement, a changing world watched as these nine children from Arkansas battled for their rights, armed with only a notebook and pencil. At once harrowing and hopeful, Little Rock brings urgently to life The Nine's untold personal stories of challenge and resilience, conjuring memories of America not so long ago. From writer and director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, this deeply moving play honors the bravery of these young heroes and asks audiences: Would you have had the courage? "The task that remains is to embrace our interdependence - to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences." -Dr. Melba Patillo Beals. "If we have honestly acknowledged our painful but shared past, then we can have reconciliation."-Elizabeth Eckford
Little Rock received a developmental production as part of the 2011 New Works Festival at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California. It went on to receive a production in 2014 at Passage Theatre in Trenton, NJ where it won the 2015 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble.
"We find ourselves, 60 years after 'The Crisis' in Little Rock, still struggling as a nation with segregated schools, inadequate academic resources, systemic gaps in achievement and unsafe schools" shared Harvey Butler, producer. "The Little Rock Nine as teenagers were a catalyst that helped accelerate potential resolution of these issues in 1957-58. We hope this play will honor their contribution to American history and encourage a movement that recommits the nation to the pursuit of academic excellence for all -- with deliberate policies and strategies that guarantee the right to a quality public education in an environment free of emotional, psychological and physical threat to our future leaders."
The creative team for Little Rock includes Darryl G. Ivey (music director), Rasean Davonte Johnson (scenic design), Leslie Bernstein (costume Design), Anshuman Bhatia (lighting design), Lindsay Jones (sound design), Wendall K. Harrington (projection design), Robert Westley (fight direction), and Nikkole Salter (dramaturg). The Production Stage Manager is Giles T. Horne.
Little Rock will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays - Thursdays at 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 3:00PM & 8:00PM, and Sundays at 3:00PM & 7:30PM. Please note: There are special added performances on Monday, June 4, and Monday, July 2 at 7:30PM. There will be no performances on Saturday, June 2 (afternoon), Thursday, June 7, and Wednesday, July 4.
Tickets for Little Rock, NOW ON SALE are priced from $39 - $99, with Premium Seats priced at $119 - $125, and Student Tickets at $25, plus $2 facility fee & $6 convenience fee per ticket. Tickets may be purchased online at www.littlerockplay.com or at The Sheen Center Box Office (18 Bleecker Street, Monday - Friday 11:00AM - 5:00PM, and one hour prior to every performance), or by calling the Box Office at (212) 925-2812. All Group sales orders must be submitted directly through The Sheen Center Box Office. No paper orders will be accepted for Little Rock; only orders placed via email through email@example.com will be considered. For additional information, please visit the website at www.littlerockplay.com.
Rebekah Brockman (Little Rockian Nine). NY Theater: A Taste of Honey (Pearl); The Burial at Thebes (Irish Rep). Regional: Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing (Signature Theatre); The Liar (Westport Country Playhouse); Arcadia (Yale Repertory Theater); Our Town (Actors Theater of Louisville); Arcadia, Dead Metaphor (world premiere), A Christmas Carol, Elektra (with Olympia Dukakis), Happy To Stand (The American Conservatory Theater); Romeo and Juliet, Blithe Spirit (California Shakespeare Theater); The Children (The Gift Theatre); Winter's Tale, Comedy of Errors (Kingsmen Shakespeare Company) Film: Bridge Of Spies with Tom Hanks, directed by Steven Spielberg and The Chaperone. Television: "Divorce" "The Knick," "The Mysteries of Laura," "The Slap," "Jessica Jones," Additional Credits: Rince na Tiarna School of Irish Dance, MFA American Conservatory Theater (Sadler Award), BATCC Nominee for Best Supporting Actress. www.rebekahbrockman.com
Justin Cunningham (Little Rockian Five) returns to Off-Broadway in his Sheen Center premiere after playing Leontes in The Public Theatre's Mobile Unit production of A Winter's Tale and Philostrate in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Delacorte. Other credits include an appearance on HBO's "Succession" and Bear in the musical debut of East'O West 'O at Ars Nova. Cunningham is an Arkansas native and a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Brandon Gill (Little Rockian Four) a native New Yorker and graduate of Juilliard and LaGuardia HS, was most recently seen in Bella at Playwrights Horizons (Lucille Lortel Award nomination) and Roundabout Underground's Too Heavy For Your Pocket. He previously appeared in Broadway's Holler If Ya Hear Me, Alex Timber's The Last Goodbye (Old Globe), and Neighbors (Public Theater). Film/TV includes Big Mommas House 3, "Blue Bloods," Beauty and the Beast, "Detroit 187" and a recurring role on "Golden Boy."
Charlie Hudson III (Little Rockian Six) was last seen in A Raisin in the Sun at Two Rivers Theater. Previous work includes Detroit '67, Playmakers Rep; The Mountaintop, Northern Stage; Seven Guitars, Two Rivers Theater; Father Comes Home from the Wars, A.R.T.; A Raisin in the Sun, Ethel Barrymore (Broadway); Raisin Cycle (Clybourne Park & Beneatha's Place), Baltimore Centerstage; Hurt Village, Signature Theatre Company; The Piano Lesson, Yale Rep; Master Harold and the Boys, Portland Stage Company; Fly, Crossroads Theater and Vineyard Playhouse; All the King's Men, Cyrano de Bergerac, Trinity Rep; "The Night Of" (HBO), "Shades of Blue "(NBC), "Forever" (ABC), "The Rosa Parks Story" (CBS). Film credits include: Roxanne, Roxanne; Twelve; Complete Unknown; Newlyweeds; Lillian. Charlie is the 2003 KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Best Actor Award winner (Region IV) and a MFA graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium. Charlie thanks God for this opportunity and his loving family for their support.
Crystal Lucas-Perry (Little Rockian One). Off Broadway: Ain't No Mo' (The Public Theater), Bull in A China Shop (Lincoln Center Theater), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre), Bastard Jones (The Cell), The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane Theatre), Estuary (The Public Theater / Joe's Pub), Storm, Still (Brooklyn Yard Theatre Company), Devil Music (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Sheila's Day (Lincoln Center). Other Theatre: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), A Sign of the Times (Godspeed Musicals), Far from Heaven, A Streetcar Named Desire, Finding Robert Hutchens, and When You're Here (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Mother Courage and Our Lady of 121st Street (The University Theater). Training: NYU Tisch, Graduate Acting Program (M.F.A.). www.crystallucasperry.com
Quentin Mare (Little Rockian Eight). Broadway: Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll, Coram Boy, Julius Caesar, King Lear (LCT), A Little Night Music (NYCO). Off Broadway: The Castle (PTP/Atlantic), Sleeping Rough (P73), Happy Now? (Primary Stages), Burn This (Signature), The Persians (NAT), Birdseed Bundles (DTW). Select Regional: Lost Lake (BTG/Outstanding Lead Actor Nomination Berkshire Theatre Critics Awards), Oblivion (City Theatre), The Motherfucker with the Hat (Studio Theatre, DC), A Map of Heaven (Denver Center), Happy Now? (Yale Rep), Complete Female Stage Beauty (Old Globe), New Patagonia (Seattle Rep), Hedda Gabler (Long Wharf). Film and TV: Eggs & Soldiers (Best Actor Nomination, BlowUp Fest Chicago), Brief Reunion, Confession, Body of Lies, Personal Velocity, Lisa Picard is Famous, "The Good Fight," "GYPSY," "Elementary," "Law & Order," "Conviction," "Johnny Zero," "Guiding Light."
Ashley Robinson (Little Rockian Seven). Theater: Floyd Collins (Floyd-West End, London), A Clockwork Orange (Minister/ Old Woman/ Mum-New World Stages), Casa Valentina (Gloria-Original London Cast), Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory (Capote - New York Premiere/ 2015 Outer Critics Award Nom), Steve Martin's Bright Star (World Premiere - Old Globe), Merrily We Roll Along (Tyler - Menier Chocolate Factory and West End), Originated the role of Jett Rink in the World Premiere of Giant (Helen Hayes Award nomination, Best Actor), as well as Tybalt in The Last Goodbye (the Jeff Buckley/ Romeo and Juliet musical) at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other theatre includes Shakespeare's R&J (Juliet/ Benvolio), Take Me Along (Richard - Irish Repertory Theatre, NYC), Meet Me In St. Louis (Lon - Irish Rep, NYC), Wicked, A Child's Christmas In Wales (Dylan Thomas - Irish Rep, NYC), Hair (Claude - Prince Music Theatre), Floyd Collins(Floyd - Gerald Freedman, dir.), Stud's Terkel's The Good War (World Premiere), Twelfth Night (Feste), Waiting For Godot (Lucky), The Cripple of Inishmaan(Billy). Workshops: High (opposite Kathleen Turner), Total Eclipse (Rimbaud, with Austin Pendleton), Equus (Allan, with Austin Pendleton), Columbinus (Eric Harris, Arena Stage), The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (Roundabout, dir. Joe Mantello), Concerts: How To Succeed Bud Frump (Royal Festival Hall), Adam Guettel/ Maria Friedman (West End), Sweeney Todd (Eno and NY Philharmonic Lincoln Center). Film/TV: Merrily We Roll Along, Hate (with Marcia Gay Harden),Fallen Souls, The Accident. Training: University of North Carolina School of the Arts-- BFA, Acting.
Stephanie Umoh (Little Rockian Three), Broadway: Ragtime, Falsettos, Junk. Other New York theater includes Hallelujah, Baby!, Falling for Eve, Jerry's Girls,The Show Goes On, Bonnie n' Clyde. Tour: Fiasco Theater's production of Into the Woods (Witch). Regional: Sister Act (Marriott Theatre); Les Misérables (Casa Manana Theatre); Luck Be A Lady (Asolo Rep.); The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep.); Jesus Christ Superstar (Pittsburgh CLO); Aida (Drury Lane Theatre); Johnny Baseball (A.R.T); A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); and more. Film: Big Words. TV: "NYC 22." Education: BFA, The Boston Conservatory.
Shanice Williams (Little Rockian Two) is making her Off-Broadway debut in Little Rock! Television: (Dorothy) NBC's "The Wiz Live", "Sunny Day" (Nickelodeon) "Manic" (HBO). "I am honored to be telling the story of the Little Rock Nine and am so grateful to the creative team of Little Rock for bringing me back to the stage. Jeremiah 29:11. On top of being an actress and singer, Shanice is a songwriter. Her Gospel EP is set to drop this summer! @Luvbeingshanice
Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (Playwright/Director) is an Indo-Afro-Caribbean American artist, educator and activist. As a playwright, Maharaj has authored several plays, including Little Rock (2015 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, TCG/NEA New Generations Grant); Daisy, inspired by the life and legacy of Daisy Lee Bates; and Hansberry/Baldwin (Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O'Neil Playwright Festival). Other commissioned work includes: Diss Diss and Dis Dat, a new hip hop musical inspired by the music of the Funkie Natives; Grey and Twenty-Five; Black Footnotes (Sloan Grant/Ensemble Studio Theater) andChildren of the Dream. Co-written and co-conceived work: Sweet Lorraine; The Ballad of Trayvon Martin; Mother Emanuel, An American Musical Play (winner of the 2016 NY Fringe Overall Excellence Award for Musical); History of the Word; Exposures. Selected NYC Directing/Choreography credits: The Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Lark Play Development Center, New Federal Theatre, Rebel Theater, Making Books Sing. Selected Regional Directing/Choreography: Yale University/Yale Dramatic Association, Passage Theatre (Little Rock), TheatreWorks (Little Rock), Signature Stage, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Black Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Prince Musical Theatre, Theatre of the Stars, The Goodman Theatre and Portland Stage Company. Maharaj has held artistic residencies with New Freedom Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Kennedy Center, Crossroads Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, as well as Amas Musical Theatre and Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC. He is the former Artistic Director of New Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. Recipient of the Woodie King Jr. Award for Outstanding Direction, four Vivian Robinson AUDELCO awards for his direction and choreography, and the S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the year. Maharaj is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and TCG Young Leaders of Color in the American Theater. www.RajendraMaharaj.com.