Royal Family Productions Presents FEMALE FORWARD FESTIVAL
Royal Family Productions (Chris Henry, Artistic Director), a Times Square-based non-profit theatre company known for its innovative productions and development of new original work, is proud to kick off their season with Royal Family's Resident Choreographer/Creative Associate Lorna Ventura curating the FEMALE FORWARD FESTIVAL. This festival features Blackbirding by Queen Esther (The Moxie Show), Journeys by Rosa Arredondo (TV: "Roswell, New Mexico." Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire), and This Open Earth by Iman Schuk. Tickets are $30; $100; $250 and can be purchased by clicking royalfamilyproductions.org
Vocalist, solo performer, playwright, musician,and producer Queen Esther continues to perform internationally with her mentor Riosewllharmelodic guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer as she forges her own sonic path with her Black Americana and jazz projects. Described by Vanity Fair as "...a brutal, original, explosive singer," recent highlights include a TED Talk about the erasure of African-Americans in country and bluegrass, headlining at Dizzy's in Lincoln Center with her project Queen Esther sings Billie Holiday: The Lost Classics and a Black Americana performance at the 2018 Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Ill. After the transatlantic African slave trade was banned in 1807, blackbirding - capturing free African-Americans and fugitive slaves above the Mason-Dixon Line and selling them into slavery - was all the rage. Blackbirding uses sound, vision, and storytelling to recontextualize the concept, bringing it into the present.Blackbirding features Queen Esther, Rosa Curry (Broadway: Dream Girls, The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and Jeff McLaughlin as the Guitarist/Music Director.
Written and Performed by Queen Esther
Feb 7th-Feb 10th
FRI, FEB 7 @ 1:00 pm; SAT, FEB 8 @ 6:30 pm and MON, FEB 10 @ 7:30 pm
Rosa Arredondo is thrilled to return to Royal Family Productions with her solo show, JOURNEYS, after appearing in their production of WOMEN ON FIRE: Stories from the Frontlines. You can catch Rosa Arredondo, as Sheriff Valenti, on the hit TV series "Roswell". Her film credits include the Academy Award-Winning film Still Alice, Baby Girl by award-winning director Macdara Vallely, and Slamdance audience award-winner Silver Tongues. Rosa's theatre credits include Emily Mann's Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, the Cherry Lane's production of The Surgeon and Her Daughters, the Sonnet Theater Rep's The Maids, George Wolfe's Harlem Song, and the Lincoln Center production of The House of Bernarda Alba. Everyone who has come to this country from another, regardless of age, gender, or background has a story. Journeys is a series of monologues based on those stories. Why they came, their first impressions, most memorable experience, and who was left behind. In all, the piece deals with the loneliness, struggles, joys,and dreams of anyone who has ever left home, to start a new life. It serves as a gentle reminder of our ancestors' ... Journeys. Journeys features Rosa Arredondo and Manny Cruz as the musician/Music Director.
Written and Performed by Rosa Arredondo
Feb 7th-Feb 10th;
FRI, FEB 7 @ 7:00 pm; SAT, FEB 8 @ 2:00 pm and MON, FEB 10 @ 4:00 pm
Iman Schuk is an actress, model and emerging playwright. A student of the human experience, Iman uses her writing to highlight the compelling richness and complexity of everyday people living their everyday lives. She shares this work in honor of her father Sam Smith, who told her to have the courage to follow her own pen wherever it should take her. This Open Earth is a 75-minute play that encourages us to discover the rich texture of the relationships around us. It expresses the subtle but binding experiences and relationships that create the "community" we ultimately depend on. In this play, we consider the idea that maybe the most compelling, interesting, necessary and impactful stories don't belong to the celebrities or social icons or big personalities, but instead to the real-life people we see moving through their real-life struggles in the apartment right next door. This Open Earth features Alexandra Foucard (Broadway: Les Mis, Guys and Dolls), Chuk Obasi (NY: The Actual Dance), and Tonye Patano (HBO's" Weeds").
This Open Earth
Written by Iman Schuk
Feb 9th-Feb 10th
SUN, FEB 9 @ 6:30 pm and MON, FEB 10 @ 6:00 pm
The Female Forward Festival features direction and choreography by Lorna Ventura, scenic and lighting design by Ted Sullivan, dramaturgy by Miles Orduna (for Blackbirding and This Open Earth),, associate direction by Yael Reich, and production stage management by Kyle Conn.