On Saturday, October 6, 2012, The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is presenting a staged reading of Christine Toy Johnson’s Internal Bleeding, directed by Denise Burse at 11:30AM, at the Woodruff Arts Center 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th Street in Atlanta.
Daryl “Chill” Mitchell (“Brothers,” “Ed” and “The John Larroquette Show”) leads the Internal Bleeding cast, which also features Leslie Bellair, Donna Biscoe, Eugene H. Russell IV, Naima Russell and Tony Vaughn.
Loosely based on a true story, Internal Bleeding tells the story of an Olympic bound gymnast who becomes estranged from his family after an accident leaves him paralyzed. A discussion with Ms. Johnson and Mr. Mitchell on how the play was re-imagined for an actor with a disability will follow the reading.
Tickets are $15 and are available online at http://www.woodruffcentertickets.org or at the Box Office, located at 1280 Peachtree Street in Atlanta (404-733-5000).
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Daryl Mitchell Foundation, which promotes accessibility and seeks to enhance the life of spinal cord injury survivor.
Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning playwright, actor and filmmaker.
An anthology of her written work was inducted into the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. She is currently writing book and lyrics to her first musical, BARCELONA, with composer/lyricist Jason Ma.
As a performer, she has been breaking the color barrier in non-traditionally cast roles for over 25 years, and has been featured extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide.
Ms. Johnson was the Executive Producer and Co-Director with her husband, filmmaker Bruce Johnson, of TRANSCENDING – THE WAT MISAKA STORY, the award-winning documentary feature film about Japanese American basketball star Wat Misaka, the first person of color to be drafted into what is now the NBA by the 1947 New York Knicks.
An avid advocate of inclusion, Ms. Johnson has been a member of the elected leadership of Actors’ Equity Association since 1992, serving as co-chair of the union’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and also on the executive board of the Tony-honored Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and is a founding steering committee member of AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition). She was honored by the JACL in 2010 for “exemplary leadership and dedication” and will be receiving The Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts from the Asian American Arts Alliance in October. Christine is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Certificate of Screenwriting Program at NYU. For more information, please visit www.christinetoyjohnson.com.
Denise Burse, an award-winning actor and director, is a native Atlantan and a graduate of Spelman College who resides in New York City. Ms. Burse recently directed the workshop performance of Fabulous Faith, The Marva Hicks Story, set to Gospel music and produced by Arena Stage. Other directing credits include projects for the 52nd Street Project, Harlem Tabernacle Players, Harwell Summer Playhouse, and the Margret Fain Junior Players.
Ms. Burse recently appeared in New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater workshop production of Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand, directed by Marion McClinton, and is best known for her role as Claretha Jenkins on the award-winning TBS series Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne.” Her favorite film roles include her co-starring turns as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother opposite Howard Rollins in The Boy King (WSB); as Buster Marshall, Thurgood Marshall’s wife in Simple Justice (PBS American Experience); as Sister Marcie in Preaching to the Choir, directed by Charles Randolph Wright, as Sergeant Martin in A Time to Triumph (CBS) starring Patty Duke; and as Eleanor Clark in Resting Place (CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame), starring John Lithgow and Morgan Freeman. Other film and TV credits include Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love and Misunderstanding starring Jane Fonda, BET/STARZ movie Funny Valentines, with Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine, Angel, Basquiat, The Juror, “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Third Watch,” “100 Centre Street,” “The Sopranos,” “The Cosby Show,” “New York Undercover,” and “One Life to Live.” Ms. Burse appeared on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Her Off-Broadway credits include Eisa Davis’ Angela’s Mixtape (Ohio Theatre), Don Juan of Seville (Classical Stage Company), Ground People (American Place Theatre), Harriet’s Return (Cherry Lane Theatre), Hannah Davis (Negro Ensemble Company) and Bill Harris’ Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil (New Federal Theatre). Her regional credits include Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West with Ruby Dee at The Kennedy Center; Miss Evers’ Boys (Illusion Theater); African Company Presents Richard III (Cleveland Playhouse); Fences (CENTERSTAGE); The Piano Lesson (Seattle Repertory Theatre, director Lloyd Richards) and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (True Colors Theatre Company/Alliance Theatre). Helmer Kenny Leon directed her in the pre-Broadway role of ‘Mame’ in the last installment of August Wilson’s ten play cycle Radio Golf (CENTERSTAGE, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre); Charles Randolph Wright’s Blue (Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva); The Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars (Alliance Theatre). Ms. Burse garnered a Theatre World Award for her Off-Broadway debut in Ground People and an AUDELCO Award for Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil. Ms. Burse honed her craft performing at the Just Us Theatre, The Alliance Theatre and The Atlanta Children’s Theater.
Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Christine Toy Johnson to Receive 2012 Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service at Asian American Arts Alliance Gala on October 9, 2012
Denise Burse, Harriett D. Foy, Lynda Gravatt, Nikiya Mathis, Dennis Parlato, Saycon Sengbloh and Tracie Thoms in Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand in 2012 Powerhouse Theater Season, July 20-22, 2012
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