BLACKEN THE BUBBLE Makes World Premiere at HSA Theater Tonight, 10/13

By: Oct. 13, 2012

Producing theater companies Liberation Theatre Company, Woodie King Jr.'s National Black Touring Circuit, and SOUL PROductions have teamed up to present Eric Lockley's hilarious affirmative action comedy, Blacken The Bubble at The HSA Theater (645 Saint Nicholas Avenue). Blacken The Bubble will officially open tonight, October 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

Blacken The Bubble is written by The Movement Theatre Company founding member Eric Lockley (Last Laugh, Hope Speaks, Asking For More) and is directed by The Movement Theatre Company founding member Jonathan McCrory (Hope Speaks, Enter Your Sleep, Last Laugh).

Blacken the Bubble is a fast-paced affirmative action comedy examining a "post racial" America. Firm Glass, is in danger of losing government contracts due to the lack of diversity in their predominantly white workplace. To combat this they hire an African- American, Trevor Washington. But when Mr. Washington fails to fill in his race on his paperwork, the office goes into a frenzy to convince Trevor to blacken the "correct" bubble. As schemes get crazier and the stakes get higher, political correctness flies out the window and everyone -black, white, women, men, straight or gay- discovers that "inclusion" might be a lot more than they bargained for.

Through a satirical lens, Blacken the Bubble examines and questions the current notion of a "Post-Racial America", a phrase coined after the election of President Obama. The play does this by challenging the audience to take part in a complex conversation surrounding issues of race, class, sexuality, gender, and identity in the workplace.

The creative team for Blacken The Bubble includes Harlan Penn (Scenic Design), Jerry Johnson (Costume Design), Marika Kent (Lighting Design), and Samuel Nacach (Sound Design). Blacken The Bubble is produced by Liberation Theatre Company, Woodie King Jr.'s National Black Touring Circuit, SOUL PROductions, Ezra Ezzard, Eric Lockley, Jonathan McCrory, and Bernard J. Tarver.

For more information visit Follow Blacken The Bubble on Twitter [@blackenbubble] and "like" the show on Facebook.

Through a partnership with Arts In Flux Harlem, join Blacken the Bubble for Community Talk Backs tonight, October 13, 20 & 27, 2012 at their pop-up gallery "COLOR [between the lines]" - 1961 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (7th Ave) @ 118th St, NY,NY 10026.

ERIC LOCKLEY is a performer, playwright and producer. He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama and a double major in Africana Studies. As a playwright Lockley has a knack for tragic-comedy. He has written and performed two solo shows: Last Laugh (NYU-ETW, LaMaMa Etc., PS122), which explores what happens when two black performers begin to confuse performance and reality, and Asking For More (Harlem Stage, Theater for the New City), a show that looks at eating habits and health issues in urban communities. Harlem Stage recently awarded Eric a Fund for New Work grant to continue to develop Asking for More for students. Lockley's one-act play Blacken the Bubble (Dixon Place, New York Theatre Workshop) is a comedy that examines the issue of Affirmative Action in the workplace, and will have a production in October 2012. As a 2010 Resident Artist at Mabou Mines Eric began developing the full-length drama, Without Trace. In January 2013, Lockley will premiere a new short play as a part of the 4th annual The Fire This Time Festival.

As a Founding Member and current Producing Artistic Leader of The Movement Theatre Company [TMTC], Eric has established and overseen a number of fundraising initiatives, and works within the Leadership Team to direct and develop the company's artistic endeavors and community programs. TMTC's programs including Harlem Nights, Go Green and The Ladder Series, provide opportunities for emerging artists of various disciplines to showcase and develop new work, and provide audiences with unique experiences that range from competitive Monologue Slams to site-specific theater in a park. A recent event, "Honoring Excellence in Black Theatre", focused on living legend Woodie King Jr., and emphasized TMTC's investment in celebrating groundbreakers while connecting generations. Within TMTC, Eric operated as Lead Producer on Bintou, a world premiere production of internationally renowned Francophone playwright Koffi Kwahule that was presented at Harlem School of the Arts in 2009. Bintou received acclaim from The New York Times and showcased The Movement Theatre Company's emergence as one of the premiere organizations for artists of color in NYC. Additionally, Eric is a producer within the producing collective Harlem 9. Harlem 9 showcased 6 new short plays and over 30 artists in 2011 during their inaugural "48 Hours in Harlem" festival highlighting black theatre, past, present and future. For his work in the theater Lockley has received the high honor of being a 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame Fellowship Grant recipient. As an artist and producer Eric continues to push boundaries and inspire audiences while emphasizing the varied stories that exist within communities of color.

JONATHAN MCCRORY is a director, actor, producer and founding member of The Movement Theatre Company [TMTC]. From its founding McCrory has been on the Producing Artistic Leadership Team of TMTC.. Hailing originally from Washington D.C. he attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts for high-school then Tisch School of the Arts at New York University [NYU] for his undergraduate degree. There he acquired a BFA majoring in Drama and a minor in Africana studies. As a performer his credits include: NYC: Cold, Keener, Unspoken Narratives in Civil Rights, Inside the Belly of Beast, A Movie Star has to Star in Black and White, & Polaroid Stories. Regional: Roots of Rap, & Spunk. As a director he has worked on The Dragon Box [TMTC 2010 Go Green Festival], Hope Speaks [ La MaMa, Baltimore Museum of Art, DC Black Theatre Festival, & Harlem School of the Arts], Last Laugh [La MaMa E.T.C & PS122 as part of the soloNOVA Festival], Asking for More [Harlem Stage, Theatre for the New City as part of the GLOBESITY Festival], and he has assistant directed on Banana Beer Bath by Lynn Nottage with Talvin Wilks as part of River Crosses Rivers Festival 2009 [Ensemble Studio Theatre].

Harlan Penn received his undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts(emphasis area: stage design) from Florida A & M University. He later received his MFA in Scenic Design form North Carolina School of the Arts His design credits include Jitney, The Wiz, Flyin' West, King Hedley II, Radio Golf, A Soldier's Play, The Mighty Gents, Chained Dog, Jar the Floor, Dreamgirls, Polk County, Extremities, Buried Child, Gangsters Over Harlem, Brilliant Traces, Seven Guitars, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Guest of Central Park West to name a few. Harlan also teaches stage design and visual arts at Manhattan theatre Lab High School in Midtown Manhattan.

Jerry L . Johnson received his MFA in Production Design from the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University. He served as Assistant Professor of theatre at Florida A & M University for five years. His work has been seen at The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, PaperMill Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The MacHaydan Theatre and ETA Hoffman Theatre in Bamburg Germany. Jerry has worked on the following Broadway shows; Disney's The Lion King, Jersey Boys, and Disney's . Also while living in NYC, he was worked for the following fashion houses; Marc Jacobs, Alice and Olivia, and Overton Monroe.

Marika Kent is a New York City based lighting designer of live performance. She has designed in venues including Joe's Pub, HERE Arts Center, The Brooklyn Lyceum, The Chocolate Factory, Abrons Arts Center Playhouse, The Paradise Factory, New York Theater Workshop's 4th Street Theater and The Club at La MaMa. She is a company member of Organs of State.

Samuel Nacach is a current graduate student of the Tonmeister Music Technology and Recording Arts Program at the Steinhardt School at New York University. As an audio engineer, he uses and explores various engineering tools including surround sound techniques to invite the audience into the play. As a designer he uses his extensive knowledge of music to incorporate familiar and unfamiliar music into the plays evolving worlds. Similarly his design is decorated with subtle yet powerful effects to shape the mood and world of each scene. Samuel has worked in various undergraduate plays at UCSD, where he did his undergrad in Music Technology, with titles such as Hot L Baltimore, Wintertime and The Thugs.

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