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STORIES FROM OUR STAGE to be Presented by Urban Stages This Month

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Productions include DOGS OF RWANDA, A DEAL, LANGSTON IN HARLEM, HONKY, MABEL MADNESS, BARS & MEASURES, and CHARMED LIFE.

STORIES FROM OUR STAGE to be Presented by Urban Stages This Month

Urban Stages Artistic Producing Director, Frances Hill, has announced Stories from Our Stage, a virtual event celebrating the many different stories and voices that their award-winning Off-Broadway stage amplify. From June 24 to June 28, 2021, this special presentation at urbanstages.org will feature excerpts from select plays and musicals that premiered at Urban Stages, found critical acclaim and, most importantly, centered diverse artists to tell stories not often told.

Additionally, the creators behind these hit works will sit down for conversations about their creative process.

"We're happy to revisit some of our most groundbreaking plays and the artists that made them a success. As we move forward, we will keep true to our commitment to champion art that widens our stage with the experiences of different cultures and identities." - Frances Hill.

Stories from Our Stage will be a virtual fundraising event. As Urban Stages looks to welcome theatergoers back to its Manhattan location later this year, it is hosting a series of fundraising events to assist in opening its doors. Therefore, while this is a free virtual event, donations are strongly encouraged.

Access for FREE will be available from June 25 thru June 28. Those who purchase Opening Night tickets ($150+) will receive early access starting June 24 at 7:30pm and exclusive access to a talkback with Michael Riedel , famed American theatre critic, broadcaster, columnist and author. Opening Night tickets are completely tax-deductible and available at urbanstages.org

Stories from Our Stage will feature scenes performed by original cast members of the following plays that premiered at Urban Stages:

DOGS OF RWANDA

By Sean Christopher Lewis . Directed by Frances Hill & Peter Napolitano .
Featuring Dan Hodge . Music composed and performed by Abou Lion Diarra

2019 NY Premiere. Set against powerful original percussion, Dogs of Rwanda asks if redemption and forgiveness are always possible when a church missionary finds himself back in the woods where he tried to save a boy during the Rwandan genocide.

"Dogs of Rwanda isn't easy to watch, but it's impossible to turn away from the truth of what happened and the riveting production at Urban Stages," Deb Miller, DC Metro.

A DEAL

By Zhu Yi . Directed by John Giampietro . Excerpt features Alan Ariano & Pun Bandhu

2017 World Premiere. A Deal is a dark comedy about a Chinese family's home buying journey in NYC, and reveals ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of global cash flow.

"A play that was crying to be written, its subject matter now front and center. It touches many of the great issues of today: Chinese values versus American; the family versus the individual; what constitutes truth and in whose eyes; the immigrant's dilemma-to remain voluntarily ghettoized or to assimilate," Beatrice Williams-Rude, Theaterpizzazz.

LANGSTON IN HARLEM

Book by Langston Hughes , Walter Marks , and Kent Gash . Lyrics by Langston Hughes ; music by Walter Marks ; directed by Kent Gash . Excerpt features Josh Tower & C. Kelly Wright with musical director John DiPinto .

2010 World Premiere. Langston in Harlem follows the famed poet's emergence during the Harlem Renaissance against a backdrop of jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues.

"Urban Stages has itself a fresh, original winner...and a crackerjack 12-person cast delivers the show with rich humanity and flair," Erik Haagensen, Backstage.com.

HONKY

By Greg Kalleres . Directed by Luke Harlan . Excerpt features Dave Droxler & Arie Bianca Thompson .

2013 World Premiere. Honky is a darkly comedic look at five people, white and black, as they navigate the muddy waters of race, advertising and basketball shoes.

MABEL MADNESS

Written by and starring Tony Award Winner Trezana Beverley . Directed by Frances Hill & Peter Napolitano.

2016 World Premiere. Mabel Madness is the dramatic life story of Mabel Mercer, the rarely heralded black British singer that influenced the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday.

"When Ms. Beverley sings, she makes the case beautifully for Mercer's greatness of style. The show's numbers include a delightful "Just One of Those Things" (in which she alternates between singing as Sinatra and as Mercer)." Anita Gates, The New York Times

BARS & MEASURES

By Idris Goodwin, Directed by Kristan Seemel . Excerpt features Roderick Lawrence .

2019 NY premiere. Inspired by a true story, Bars & Measures is a tale of two brothers trying to reconcile their differences through the language they know best, music, as one brother awaits trial in jail for his possible involvement in a terror cell.

"Idris Goodwin's play "Bars and Measures," making its New York premiere in Kristan Seemel's smart, supple production," Laura Collins-Hughes , The New York Times"

CHARMED LIFE: From Soul Singing to Opera Star.

Written by and starring Lori Brown Mirabal . Directed by Vincent Scott.

Set to re-open this summer after closing during previews of its world premiere due to the pandemic. Charmed Life is a feat of comedy, storytelling and opera with an award-winning soprano, Lori Brown Mirabal.

Frances Hill (artistic director), Antoinette Mullins (development & literary director), Olga Devyatisilnaya (company manager/financial administrator) , Ilanna Saltzman (outreach director), Kim T. Sharp (technical director), Bara Swain (creative consultant), Vincent Scott (director & school consultant), Disnie Sebastien (social media).

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers Unions: Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, SAG-AFTRA through the Theatre Authority, Inc, for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.


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