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Santoya Fields to Lead RACHEL at New Brooklyn Theatre; Cast Announced!


New Brooklyn Theatre has announced casting today for its production of RACHEL by Angelina Weld Grimké, directed by Courtney Harge.

This powerful play, presented in repertory with Lynn Nottage's LAS MENINAS, takes us inside the home of a family attempting to cope with the aftermath of the lynching of a father and son. In a year when the streets ring with chants of "Black Lives Matter," RACHEL asks us to feel the quiet pain of a young black woman who doubts whether she can bear to bring more lives into a violent world.

RACHEL will play at the Irondale Center from August 3 to 29, 2015. *Subsidized studio space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tickets to all performances are FREE to the public and available by visiting

Santoya Fields (Rachel Loving) worked in television production for several years before transitioning to the other side of the camera and has acted in numerous television commercials. Stage credits include: Venus/Adonis Festival and Baby Hold on to Me: The Gerald Levert Musical. Films include The Confession (2011); the award-winning Love Always, Eartha (2015), a short film about Eartha Kitt; and the upcoming web series Facing 30. Santoya studied at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Brooklyn Music School with opera singer Lina Tetriani, Susan Batson Studio, and Marishka Phillips Theatrical Preparatory.

Bonita Jackson (Mrs. Loving) has heard the call of storytelling and the stage since childhood. She answered the call by obtaining a BFA in Acting with Distinction. NYC and regional stage credits include: Steal Away, Neat, The Wiz, Saint Lucy's Eyes, and Black Footnotes.

Damone Williams (Tom Loving) will make his NYC theatrical debut in Rachel. Theatre includes: Battledrum (West Coast Premiere, Sierra Madre Playhouse), Hunger in Paradise (DC Black Theatre Festival), 11 x 8 1/2 Inches (African-American Collective Theater), for colored queer boys (DC Queer Theatre Festival), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lysander), Chuckleball (Sports Comedy Revue), Strings Attached (World Premiere). Film/TV: Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay, Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic Feature, 2012 Sundance Film Festival), Gideon's Cross (Writer/Director, Official Selection: '14 Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, '14 Outfest LGBT Film Festival), Put It in a Book, Case 219 , Big Time Rush (Nickelodeon).

Temesgen Tocruray (John Strong) received his training from Texas Southern University. New York theatre: Three Sisters, Tulsa 1921 (Applied Theater Collective), Rum for Sale (Signature Theater/Columbia Stages), Dijla Wal Furat (Poetic Theater Productions), A Street Scene (Brave New World Rep), Power of the Trinity (Summerstage), I Scream Out Loud (Downtown Urban Theater Festival). Film: Riot, Limiters of Happiness, The After, Brooklyn Haiku.

Lauren Lattimore (Mrs. Lane) is excited about being a part of this historical piece of African-American literature. NYC theatre credits include: Strange Fruit: Reading Series (Jack Theater), Gwen Craig in Execution of Justice (New School for Drama), Mrs. Dickson in Intimate Apparel (New School for Drama), and Angel in Angels in America (Eastern Michigan University). MFA in Acting at the New School for Drama. She is a proud native of Detroit.

Angelina Weld Grimké (Playwright) was born in 1880 to a family of suffragettes and abolitionists. She was a poet, teacher, and playwright who published her first poem at the age of thirteen. Her play Rachel was the first play by an African-American woman to be publicly staged when it premiered in 1916. Her work, much of it still unpublished, explores themes of unfulfilled love and racial injustice. Historians tell us that Grimké lived the last three decades of her life in isolation and celibacy at a time when being a lesbian of color restricted her options and safety in the world.

Courtney Harge (Director) is a producer, director, and professional arts administrator originally from Saginaw, Michigan. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Colloquy Collective, a theatre company based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She has directed with SoYouSay, the Red Harlem Readers, JACK, and New Brooklyn Theatre. She has worked as an administrator and producer for Extant Arts, the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center, Theater for the New City, the Public Theater, Gibney Dance, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and, currently, Fractured Atlas, with a focus on institutional fundraising, crowdfunding, and fiscal sponsorship. She holds a Masters of Professional Studies, with Distinction, in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and a Bachelors of Fine Arts with Honors from the University of Michigan in Theatre Performance. Her credo (#HustlingKeepsYouSexy) is not merely a hashtag; it's a way of life.

Wi-Moto Nyoka (Assistant Director) is a performer and playwright. Awards and honors include: artist in residence for Tanzhaus NRW Interdisciplinary Works; Puffin Foundation grant; the Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival 2014 selected librettist for her project Hero How To; and Indie Boots Theater Festival Finalist & Audience Award Honorable Mention, 2015. She will be attending Brooklyn College's MFA program for Performance & Interactive Media Arts this fall. This is her maiden voyage as an assistant director, and she would like to thank Courtney Harge and New Brooklyn Theatre for such an amazing opportunity.

New Brooklyn Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company founded in 2012. Its mission is to democratize the American theatre, and to produce challenging work of the highest caliber at no expense to our audiences, both at home and in the world.

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