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Photos: First Look- BLUEPRINTS TO FREEDOM: AN ODE TO BAYARD RUSTIN at La Jolla Playhouse/KC Rep


La Jolla Playhouse and Kansas City Repertory Theatre is presenting the world-premiere production of Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin, by Michael Benjamin Washington, directed by Lucie Tiberghien (Blood and Gifts). Tiberghien replaced Phylicia Rashad, who had to depart the project due to scheduling conflicts. Check out photos from the production below!

A co-production with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Blueprints to Freedom runs September 8 - October 4 in the Playhouse's Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre and October 16 - November 15 at Copaken Stage in Kansas City. Tickets are available at or 858-550-1010 and Kansas City Repertory Theatre or 816-235-2700.

The cast of Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustinfeatures Ro Boddie (Helen Hayes Award winner for Forum Theatre's Angels in America) as "Martin Luther King, Jr.,"Mandi Masden (Theatre for a New Audience's A Midsummer Night's Dream) as "Miriam Caldwell," Jonathan Peck(Classical Theatre of Harlem's Three Sisters) as "A. Philip Randolph," Mat Hostetler (War Horse national tour) as "Davis Platt, Jr." and Michael Benjamin Washington (Playhouse's The Wiz, Memphis - also on Broadway) as "Bayard Rustin."

The creative team includes Neil Patel (Playhouse's American Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream), scenic design;Beth Goldenberg, costume design; Lap Chi Chu (Playhouse's The Orphan of Zhao, Ruined), lighting design; Joe Huppert, sound design; John Narun, projection design; Gabriel Greene, dramaturg and Peter Van Dyke, stage manager.

"Since its electric first reading on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we've been deeply committed toMichael Benjamin Washington's provocative new piece. With victories and setbacks to the cause of equality in the news every day, the ideas and themes of Blueprints to Freedom call out urgently to us. We're proud to welcome this dynamic and talented cast and creative team to illuminate Bayard Rustin's quest for identity and redemption," said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Eric Rosen stated, "Our 2015-16 season is about the exploration of how someone creates and follows his or her own voice, in spite of, or because of, numerous obstacles. Blueprints is an exploration into how Mr. Rustin was able to create this absolutely crucial and historic event in spite of what many would define as impossible odds. How does this happen that someone is driven to follow a calling at such great cost?"

In the sweltering political and racial heat of 1963, Bayard Rustin - the brilliant proponent of non-violent civil disobedience - is assigned to orchestrate an unprecedented march for jobs and freedom. Exiled from the Civil Rights movement by both internal and external forces, Rustin grapples with his last chance for professional restoration and spiritual redemption.

Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin was given its first reading at the Playhouse on August 28, 2013 - the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It was further developed as part of the Playhouse's acclaimed DNA New Work Series, a two-week run of workshops and readings that offers playwrights and directors the opportunity to develop a script by providing rehearsal time, space and resources, culminating in a workshop presentation or public reading. Several main stage productions were developed during the DNA New Work Series, including The Who & The What and Chasing the Song.

Michael Benjamin Washington has appeared as the Tinman in the Playhouse's production of The Wiz, directed byDes McAnuff; Memphis, directed by Christopher Ashley; Most Wanted (workshop), directed by Michael Greif; and Letters to Barack (reading), directed by Christopher Ashley. His Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! (original company), La Cage Aux Folles (2005 Tony-winning revival). Off-Broadway credits include Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night. Film and television appearances: Love and Other Drugs, directed by Ed Zwick; Gnome, directed by Jenny Bicks; 30 Rock (Donald Jordan); Glee (Tracy Pendegrass); 100 Questions (Andrew); Law & Order. A member of Broadway Inspirational Voices, Washington received his B.F.A. from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He serves on the writing adjudication panel for the National Young Arts Foundation.

Lucie Tiberghien directed La Jolla Playhouse's acclaimed production of Blood and Gifts, as well as the DNA New Work Series readings of Tranquil and Being Henrietta. Other credits include the world premieres of Charles Randolph-Wright's Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage); Stephen Belber's Don't Go Gentle (MCC), Geometry of Fire (Rattlestick) and A Small Melodramatic Story (LAByrinth); Craig Wright's Blind (Rattlestick); Katori Hall's Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane); Lee Blessing's Great Falls (Humana Festival) and Flag Day (CATF). Other credits: Lee Blessing's The Winning Streak (George Street Playhouse) and Craig Wright's The Pavilion (Rattlestick and CATF). She has also developed new plays at Sundance, O'Neill, Ojai, Orchard Project, New Dramatists, Playwrights Center, TerraNOVA and PlayPenn.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse's Page To Stage Program. Visit

Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation's creative crossroads. KC Rep's mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region's creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC Rep produces main stage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. KC Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

Photo credit: James Carmody

Photos: First Look- BLUEPRINTS TO FREEDOM: AN ODE TO BAYARD RUSTIN at La Jolla Playhouse/KC Rep
Playwright Michael Benjamin Washington as Bayard Rustin

Photos: First Look- BLUEPRINTS TO FREEDOM: AN ODE TO BAYARD RUSTIN at La Jolla Playhouse/KC Rep
Playwright Michael Benjamin Washington as “Bayard Rustin� and Mandi Masden as Miriam Caldwell

Photos: First Look- BLUEPRINTS TO FREEDOM: AN ODE TO BAYARD RUSTIN at La Jolla Playhouse/KC Rep
Playwright Michael Benjamin Washington as Bayard Rustin

Photos: First Look- BLUEPRINTS TO FREEDOM: AN ODE TO BAYARD RUSTIN at La Jolla Playhouse/KC Rep
Playwright Michael Benjamin Washington as Bayard Rustin and Ro Boddie as Martin Luther King. Jr.

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