Round House Theatre to Stage FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN, 10/10-11/2

Round House Theatre continues its 2014/15 season with the area premiere of Fetch Clay, Make Man by Will Power. Directed by Derrick Sanders ("The Raisin Cycle" at CenterStage), Fetch Clay, Make Man is based on the true story of the improbable friendship that formed between Muhammad Ali and Stepin Fetchit. A co-production with Marin Theatre Company, Fetch Clay, Make Man runs at Round House Theatre from October 10 thru November 2, 2014. Opening night is Monday, October 13, 2014.

One snuck in the back door, so the other could walk in the front. Days before one of the biggest fights in boxing history, heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali forms an unlikely friendship with disgraced Hollywood actor Stepin Fetchit. Fetch Clay, Make Man explores the improbable bond that forms between these drastically different cultural icons -- one an audacious youth who boldly embraced controversy, the other a resentful relic vilified for playing degrading stereotypes -- as they fight to shape their legacies during the Civil Rights Movement.

Roscoe Orman, best known as Gordon on Sesame Street, as Stepin Fetchit and Eddie Ray Jackson as Muhammad Ali make their Round House debuts in this exploration of the true meaning of strength, resilience, and pride. The remainder of the cast includes Jefferson A. Russell (seen last season in RHT's acclaimed production of Two Trains Running) as Brother Rashid, Robert Sicular (RHT debut) as Fox, and Katherine Renee Turner (RHT debut) as Sonji Clay.

The San Francisco Examinergave this production four stars calling it "riveting" and "engrossing," adding that Fetch Clay, Make Man "packs a considerable punch." Marin Independent Journal gave it four stars as well, raving that it's "fascinating and brought to life so entertainingly." Pacific Sun called Fetch Clay, Make Man a "knockout" and raved that this production is "of such high artistic quality in every dimension [that it] reminds me of the best New York off-Broadway stages."

Tickets range in price from $10 to $45 and may be purchased by calling 240.644.1100, by ordering online at www.RoundHouseTheatre.org, or in person at the box office. Flexible subscription packages of three or more plays are also still available. Round House Theatre is located at 4545 East-West Highway, one block from Wisconsin Avenue and the Bethesda station on Metro's Red Line.

"Play It Forward" -- free tickets for all High School students in Montgomery County Public Schools: Round House wants to make attending our shows an integral part of a Montgomery County education. To that end, we started a unique program last season: Play It Forward. In Play It Forward, all High School students in a Montgomery County Public School can reserve a free ticket to the performance of their choice during the 2014/2015 Round House Theatre season, including Fetch Clay, Make Man. For details and information, visit www.roundhousetheatre.org/buy-tickets/play-it-forward/ or call 240.644.1100.

Pay-What-You-Can performances: Saturday, October 11 at 3pm and Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30pm. PWYC tickets go on sale in person at the box office one hour prior to curtain. Cash and exact change only. Limit of 2 tickets per order. PWYC tickets are subject to availability.

Age 30 and Under, Senior Citizens, Military, and Veterans: $20 for side seats and $35 for center seats. Proof of age required. Call or visit the box office for tickets.

$10 Tuesday: October 21 and 28 at 7:30pm. Side section seats on those dates are available at the discounted price of $10.

Groups of 10 or more: Call 240.644.1100 for discount information.

AUDIENCE EVENTS

Director Discussion (with Derrick Sanders): Friday, October 10 at 7:15pm

Post-Show Talkbacks: Following all Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday matinee performances

Audio-described performance: Saturday, October 18 at 3pm

Sign-interpreted performance: Saturday, October 25 at 3pm. Reservations for sign interpreting services must be made by October 11.

ARTIST BIOS

Will Power (Playwright) makes his RHT debut with Fetch Clay, Make Man. He is an award-winning playwright and performer. Fetch recently enjoyed a successful run Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. His other plays include Steel Hammer with SITI Company at the Humana Festival of New American Plays (Actors Theatre of Louisville), The Seven (Lucille Lortel Award Best Musical) at New York Theatre Workshop and La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, Five Fingers of Funk! at Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Honey Bo and the Goldmine at La Jolla Playhouse and two acclaimed solo shows, The Gathering and Flow, which have toured to over 70 cities nationwide, Europe and Australia. Power's numerous awards include a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Trailblazer Award from the National Black Theater Network. Power's numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central) and Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason (PBS). He spent his early years as a key member in two critically acclaimed avant-garde music groups, Midnight Voices and the Omar Sosa Sextet. With these groups, Power recorded and toured extensively. He has taught theater around the world and held a number of artist fellowships and guest teaching positions at institutions such as the City College of New York, Princeton University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Power is currently on the faculty at the Meadows School of the Arts - Southern Methodist University in University Park, Texas, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theatre Center.

Derrick Sanders (Director) recently directed August Wilson's Fences at Marin Theatre Company, The Mountaintop at Virginia Stage Company, the world premiere of Mr. Chickee's Funny Money at Chicago Children's Theatre, Clybourne Park at University of Illinois at Chicago School of Theatre and Music, and Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Beneatha's Place for "The Raisin Cycle" at CenterStage in Baltimore. His other credits include King Hedley II at the Off-Broadway Signature Theatre; Seven Guitars and King Hedley II for "August Wilson's 20th Century" at the Kennedy Center; Joe Turner's Come and Gone at CenterStage; Fences and Radio Golf at Virginia Stage; Jitney at True Colors Theatre in Atlanta; the world premieres of Bud, Not Buddy and Jackie and Me at Chicago Children's Theatre; and the world premiere of Five Fingers of Funk! at Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Sanders was assistant director of August Wilson's world premiere productions of Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway and at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, as well as the Huntington Theatre in Boston and Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for Radio Golf. As the founding artistic director of Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago, he directed numerous productions including Joe Turner's Come and Gone, which won Black Theatre Alliance Awards for best production and direction, and Seven Guitars, which won Joseph Jefferson Awards for best production and direction. A member of UIC's Theatre Faculty, he organizes Chicago's August Wilson Monologue Competition. He was named Chicago Tribune's Chicagoan of the Year in 2005. In March, Sanders made his filmmaking debut at the Queens World Film Festival in New York City with the premiere of his short Perfect Day, which recently screened at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. He received his BFA from Howard University and MFA from University of Pittsburgh.



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