unFRAMED Plays All For One Theater Festival 11/17, 11/20
Double Play Connections and Doing Life Productions, Jane Dubin, Executive Producer, in association with The All For One Theater Festival present Iyaba Ibo Mandingo's unFRAMED: A Man in Progress, directed by Brent Buell, on Thursday, November 17 at 9:00 pm and Sunday, November 20 at 1:00pm at THEATRE 80 (80 St. Marks Place, btw. 1st & 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003). Tickets are $20 and are available at www.afofest.org.
Winner of the 2011 Award for Excellence in Theatre from the DC Black Theatre Festival, "In unFRAMED writer and performer Iyaba Ibo Mandingo tells the story of his journey from Antigua to America. It wasn't without tribulations; navigating treacherous times without a father, Mandingo turned to art. unFRAMED puts the art front and center: Mandingo uses painting, poetry, prose and song to tell a story that echoes the lives of many." - Times Herald Record.
At the age of eleven, Iyaba is plucked from the tropical comfort of his childhood and taken to a new life in a strange country. unFRAMED is his poetic tale of life as an immigrant - from boyhood in Antigua to manhood in America. Using canvas, paint, poetry, prose and song, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo tells a story of his transformation - from "Mommy Me No Wanna Go Merrica" - a prophetic piece that hints at the many trials he will face in a new land - to his powerful political poetry which leads to his arrest and attempted deportation in post 9/11 America, Iyaba shares his rage, his determination, and his hope while he paints his self-portrait and successfully struggles to redefine his humanity, rediscover his smile, and truly accept himself for the first time. Audiences are invited into the studio of the artist where painting and poetry create unframed art.
"Iyaba IS a true work of art -- a powerful poet, painter and performer (among many other things); that raw/rare breed whose naked truth shatters long-held myths about life in America. Real deal." -- Forrest McClendon, 2011 Tony Award Nominee, The Scottsboro Boys
"One of the most powerful, sometimes funny, often angry but ultimately life-affirming shows I've ever seen! GO EXPERIENCE IT!!!" - Frank Lowell, WTBQ
"The play's ability to transcend race and class and give refreshing life to universal themes has made unFRAMED resonate so well across demographic boundaries." -- Peter Spengeman Chronogram
"Everyone needs to know what a fantastic - simply great show this is. Humor, depth, artistry - it has it all and it is truly an engaging and wonderful evening of theater ... Heart, heart, heart. GO to this show - it's one of the best evenings of theater you will experience and I can not recommend it highly enough!" -- M. Peters, Esq, Audience Member
unFRAMED plays the following schedule:
Thursday, November 17 at 9:00pm
Sunday, November 20 at 1:00pm
Running Time: 85 minutes, no intermission
IYABA IBO MANDINGO (Playwright, Performer) - painter, poet, writer, and playwright - is a native of Antigua, West Indies, who came to the United States in 1980 as a young boy. His earliest exposures to the arts were through his mother, a professional singer, and his grandparents, a tailor and a seamstress who first introduced him to colors and patterns, paving a path to his many ways of expression: drawing, painting, sculpting, writing and performing. Iyaba studied fine arts at Southern Connecticut State University and today teaches in and around the tri-state area as a Master Teaching Artist.
Iyaba is a two-time Connecticut Grand Slam champion and in January 2011 won Yale University's Martin Luther King Birthday Invitational Slam, his third such win. He appears regularly as a performance poet in venues across the United States and abroad, including Nuyorican Poetry Café, Brooklyn Moon, and Next Door Café among others in the NY area and was the keynote performer at the 2011 Westchester, NY Poetry Festival.
Iyaba was awarded a national Percent for the Arts Program artist grant, as well as grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and multiple commendations from the Nassau County African American Museum. His artwork has been included in over a dozen group and individual shows in the tri-state area and is currently on display at John Jay College. He was recently seen at 59E59 as Henry in Deb Margolin's The Expenses of Rain (Laura Barnett, director). He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, 41 Times, Amerikkan Exile and his latest, 40 days & 40 nites of write. His new novel, Sins of My Fathers, will be released in early 2012. He is a New York Theatre Workshop Summer, 2011 Artist in Residence.
unFRAMED is winner of the 2011 Excellence in Theater Award from the DC Black Theater Festival and has been presented all over the east coast, including at the Railroad Playhouse in Newburgh, the Puffin Cultural Forum, as a Spotlight show at the DC Black Theatre Festival; at colleges and universities (York College, NY; Nichols College, MA; University of Baltimore, MD; Rider College, NJ); galleries (Casa Frela, Harlem; Gallery 1212, CT), the Hudson Valley Writers' Center and as a feature of the 2011 Art of Justice Series at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater.
BRENT BUELL (Director) has taken the directorial helm on works including From Sing Sing to Broadway, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in NYC; his comedy The Gem Exchange; Rosemary Hester's You Can't Leave That There; Wood Bars, which he wrote with Miguel Valentin for the opening of John Buffalo Mailer and Tom Kail's Back House Productions; and his Las Vegas spectacular, Undone Divas. He wrote and directed The Terrors of Teri, a film for Ohio University's University College; directed the dance film Figures in Flight 5; and Goddess Films tapped him to direct its new comedy Moses (Official Selection of the 2011 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival) starring Rosie DeSanctis. Buell has taught at CUNY and for The Working Theater. For ten years, he volunteered with the non-profit organization Rehabilitation Through the Arts, directing theater in New York's maximum-security prisons. There his productions of plays ranging from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men to three original works by prisoners, have earned praise from critics, including from The New York Times. His Breakin' the Mummy's Code premiered at Sing Sing and was the subject of a feature article in Esquire by bestselling author, John Richardson. His experiences provided the basis for his chapter "Drama in the Big House" in the book Performing New Lives: Prison Theater by Jonathan Shailor.
An accomplished actor, Buell has appeared in classic roles from Shakespeare and Ibsen to Moliere and Strindberg, and on the big screen in both the hit comedy Grand Opening and the soon to be released controversial thriller Al Qarem. He has written two novels, Rapturous (Early 2012) and Daniel and My Revelation (Fall 2012). Mr. Buell received his M.A. from Ohio University where he studied with novelist Herbert Gold. He is a member of Theater Resource Unlimited's Career Producer Group.
Jane Dubin (Creative Consultant and Executive Producer) is a TONY Award winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O'Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and recent Director of Theater Resources Unlimited's Producer Development Program. Productions: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London), The 39 Steps (OB, Tour), The Norman Conquests (7 TONY nominations, winner - TONY, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (The New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America by Nabel and Christianson (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, by Dominique Cieri, and the one-woman show, MentalPause by Margaret Liston.
Ms. Dubin is on the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a member of the Broadway League and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is consulting producer to the Moving Mantras Performance Group, a company integrating the movement of yoga and modern dance and co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers' Center New Play Reading Series. She holds an MBA in Finance from NYU.