Hammer Theatre and One Year Lease Theater Company Mark Anniversary of U.S. Moonwalk With PIECES OF THE MOON

By: Jul. 15, 2020
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Hammer Theatre and One Year Lease Theater Company Mark Anniversary of U.S. Moonwalk With PIECES OF THE MOON

Audiences can mark the 51st anniversary of the U.S. landing on the moon July 20 when Hammer Theatre Center and One Year Lease Theater Company (OYL) partner for a special presentation of Pieces of the Moon, a timely and compelling new play by Nick Flint adapted for radio, making its World Premiere via live stream. Originally commissioned and developed by OYL, this theatrical jazz riff explores the rise of the Black Arts Movement alongside the Apollo 11 mission which landed the first person on the moon, told from the perspective of "godfather of rap" Gil Scott-Heron. Directed by OYL Co-Artistic Director Ianthe Demos, the world premiere of this radio play adaptation of Pieces of the Moon will be live streamed 7pm PDT, Monday, July 20. Rebroadcasts will be offered 7pm PDT, Thursday, July 23 and 3pm PDT, Sunday, July 26. Streaming is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, the public may visit www.hammertheatre.com.

Premiering on the 51st anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon landing, Pieces of the Moon is told through the perspective of legendary poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron. Originally set to make its world premiere in August 2020 at Stages in Houston, Texas, OYL and Stages worked to adapt Pieces of the Moon into a radio play when live theatre was indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. Not intended to replace an ultimate staged version of the work, this radio style presentation will adapt admirably to this expression as it is threaded with Scott-Heron's music and poetry, as well as original transcripts from NASA's 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Scott-Heron is widely considered the "godfather of rap" and "the Black Bob Dylan," although he preferred to call himself a "bluesologist." Over the course of his life, he published two novels, a collection of poetry, thirteen studio albums, and nine live albums, in addition to the posthumous publishing of a memoir and an additional album. Broadcasting to regional theaters across the U.S. that are seeking relevant, remote theatrical content that speaks to contemporary issues, the radio play version of Pieces of the Moon will be accompanied by an educational packet designed to start conversations around its competing themes of racism, socio-economic priorities, the Black Arts Movement, and scientific achievement. The hope is that the play will encourage personal explorations and discussions on its relationship to the current social events occurring across America in 2020. These educational materials are available for download at www.hammertheatre.com.

Directed by Ianthe Demos, the design team for the radio play version of Pieces of the Moon includes Brendan Aanes (Sound Design), Granville Mullings (Music Direction), and Tom Beuchel (Studio Engineer and Audio Editor). The cast features Adesola Osakalumi (Fela! National Tour/Broadway) as Gil Scott-Heron, Danny Bernardy (Balls with OYL), Eric Berryman (The B Side with The Wooster Group), Anna Campbell (Veronica Mars, Mad Men), Eon Grey (Locked up Abroad - Jamaica, National Geographic Channel), Noelle Hogan (Fun Home National Tour), Leon Ingulsrud (Siti Company), Nathaniel Kent (Eat the Devil with OYL), Christina Bennett Lind (The Heart of Robin Hood at A.R.T), Violeta Picayo (Sense & Sensibility with Bedlam), Cristina Pitter (Behind the Sheet at Ensemble Studio Theatre), Richard Saudek (Beep Boop at HERE), and Shona Tucker (To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway).