New Federal Theatre Presents Annual Ntozake Shange Readings Series

Woodie King's New Federal Theatre has set four plays for the June, 2019 edition of its Annual Ntozake Shange Readings Series. The series will run four Tuesdays--June 4, 11, 18 and 25--with all readings at Castillo Theatre, 543 W 42nd Street.

The series is named for the late playwright Ntozake Shange, who died last October. Her relationship with Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre (NFT) goes back to the 1976-76 season, when NFT presented the first production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough." NFT subsequently moved the play in a co-production with Joseph Papp to The Public Theater for eight weeks, then to Broadway's Booth Theatre (in a co-production). Woodie King then produced "Colored Girls..." in London, directed by Avery Brooks and in Australia, directed by Oz Scott.

The Ntozake Shange Readings Series is used to develop African-American writers and to select plays that New Federal Theatre may present as full productions. The June, 2019 series offers new works by Jeanette Hill, Bill Harris, Kermit Frazier and Countee Cullen. All readings are at Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street. Admission is free and donations of $10 will be gratefully accepted. Box office is www.castillo.org. The box office number is 212-941-1234. For complete info, visit: www.newfederaltheatre.org.


Clean Sheets

by Jeanette Hill, directed by Bianca Leverne Jones

June 4 at 7:00 PM

With: Myra Carter, Yvette Garnier, Petronia Paley, Elizabeth Van Dyke
Success doesn't rid Victoria Reeves of her inner demons. Coming home to support her favorite relative, Augt Rose, at the death of her husband, Henry, brings it all back. Secrets unfold and startling revelations ar ediscovered as she discovers what happens when blessings and curses collide. See a video interview with the playwright at: https://youtu.be/Zaa-sOuFfgc.

VAMP!

by Bill Harris, directed by A. Dean Irby

June 11 at 7:00 PM

With: Stephanie Berry, Denise Burse Fernandez, Marjorie Johnson, Joyce Sylvester, Messeret Stroman Wheeler

Four mature women, don' dare call 'em "seniors," all former high school classmates, are reunited to support wone of their own. Fueled by memories, unspoken resentments nd unrelated issues, they're forced to confront long-buried truths about their lives and relationships. A comedy-drama that allows us to consider and laugh at the trials of facing ongoing "coming of age."

Sacred Places

by Kermit Frazier, directed by Anderson Johnson

June 18 at 7:00 PM

With: Tyler Fauntleroy, Rosslyn Coleman Williams

A political love story set in the late 1960s and early 1980s. Two bright, independent, African American college students sweetly meet, only to see their attraction and connection, intimacy and love, tested by tumultuous times. A dialectic, an atgument and a debate about race, class and social change that at bottom is a love story.

The Medea of Euripides, A New Version

by Countee Cullen, directed by Petronia Paley

June 25 at 7:00 PM

With: Debra Ann Byrd, Nora Cole, Eric Coleman, Mary Hodges, Beethovan Oden, Ivy Omere, Roger Parish, John Rankin, Zoleka Vundla

Cullen's "Medea" deals with the netrayal of trust, the necessity of choosing between vile enslavement and dreadful freedom, and the ferocious character of an individual incapable of self-debasement. The subversive quality of the Euipidean model is immediately evident in the fact that the first person who speaks as the play begins is a female slave.



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