Looking forward to reprising my role as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play, at the Schomburg tonight with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Lorey Hayes and Jeff Wallner, directed by Darlene Gidney of Be Rich Entertainment.
The Free Stage Reading is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 7pm, at New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York (Lenox Avenue at 135th Street) prepping audiences for the April 2013 Production, with Executive Producer, Mr. Voza Rivers’ New Heritage Theater, Ms. Debra Ann Byrd’s Take Wing and Soar and producing partner The City College of New York. Call 212 926 2550 to R.S.V.P.
Senator Franklin Wright is living the American Dream. Propelled to political stardom by a campaign manager who is Asian American and female, he stands on the threshold of making history: becoming California’s first African-American Governor. Or does he?
It is a question Franklin must answer when, as campaign front runner, he finds himself thrust in the midst of a scandal that threatens to ruin the election, his career, his marriage and forces him to make a life and death decision.
The chilling fact is: the scandal is based on a secret his wife has harbored for 17 years.
POWER PLAY is about the women behind this powerful man who find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of personal and political intrigue that threatens to destroy them all.
The play examines friendship, love integrity, public scrutiny and the question we still face today; What are we voting for? A candidate’s private life or the record of his or her accomplishments and the depths of his or her commitment?
With Presidential elections looming, the producers felt it was a great time to take a fresh look at POWER PLAY, a play about a candidate’s dilemma and unselfish decision that helps us examine the criteria by which we choose and elect our officials. “How will confession play with swing voters? How important is winning?” Will informed voters allow character assassinations to inform their decisions?
POWER PLAY received critical acclaim in its 1996 National Black Theater Production, directed by the late Dr. Barbara Ann Teer and Adunni, winning the Audelco Award for Best Play and again for its 2005 Billie Holiday Theater Production with an extended run directed by Artistic Director Marjorie Moon, earning Lincoln Center Library’s honor of inclusion in their prestigious Bound Edition of “Highlights from the 2005 New York Theater Season”.
A TRUE REUNION
POWER PLAY was first showcased as a reading by producer Voza Rivers in 1990 featuring: Hattie Winston, Denise Burse, Lia Chang, Dean Irby and Iris Little and subsequently chosen to kick off the 1991 National Black Theater Festival’s inaugural Midnight Reading Series. Lia Chang was part of the 1991 cast. Playwright Hayes goes on to say, “Though POWER PLAY was first showcased in 1990, it is still timely today. Fortunate for the production, but unfortunate for our country that a candidate’s election still hinges on public scrutiny of their private lives.” Scenes from POWER PLAY have been featured regularly in the CBS, Fox, and ABC Diversity Showcases by Ben Guillory and Danny Glover’s Robey Theater.
PAULETTA PEARSON WASHINGTON
After a hiatus from the stage to raise her four children, Pauletta Pearson Washington has re-emerged to continue her acting career, most recently performing in the Off-Broadway production of Nora and Delia Ephron’s, Love, Loss and What I Wore. Over the years, Washington has worked with some of theater’s biggest names such a Jules Styne, Jerry Herman, Phyllis Newman, Betty Comden, Tommy Tune, Carole Hall and Adolf Green. She was part of the original cast of Jerry’s Girls. Other stage credits include roles in the second Broadway Production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Sophisticated Ladies, and The All Nite Strut. She has created roles at several major off-Broadway houses, has appeared in Debbie Allen’s Soul Possessed at the Kennedy Center, co-starred with Bebe Winans in Otis Sallid’s Spirituals, and was featured with Natalie Cole in the recent production of A Christmas Show at Lincoln Center. Washington has also shared the stage with Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, Shelia E, Chaka Khan and the late, great Teen Marie.
Washington’s on-screen credits include: The Wilma Rudolf Story starring Cecily Tyson and Denzel Washington, and Purlie starring Melba Moore, Sherman Hemsley, and Robert Guillaume. She was a series regular on the TV sitcom The Parkers starring Monique and appeared in Beloved starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She was a featured vocalist on the soundtrack of Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington and a featured pianist in the soundtrack of The Antwone Fisher Story.
Roscoe Orman’s more than three decades of association with PBS-TV’S universally acclaimed children’s program “Sesame Street” (as the beloved Gordon Robinson) has allowed him to promote his mission to people around the world as an actor, entertainer, writer, lecturer and children’s advocate. As a multi-dimensional artist who came of age during the politically and culturally transforming 1960’s, it is paramount that his work promote the social and educational enrichment of his audience, both child and adult. Recent roles have included Troy Maxon in Fences at Madison Repertory Theater and Hoke Colburn in the Delaware Theatre Company production of Driving Miss Daisy. He is a five time nominee and recipient of an Audelco Theatre Award for his performance in Do Lord Remember Me at Manhatttan’s Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse.
Mr. Orman made his feature film debut in the title role of Universal Pictures’ Willie Dynamite. His other films include Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Follow that Bird, FX, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, 30 Days and Drive By. Some of his other television credits include: “Law and Order,” “Law and Order SVU,” “The Wire,” “Sex and the City,” “Kojak,” “A Man Called Hawk,” “All My Children” and “Sanford and Son.” His memoir, “Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor” was published in 2006 and his children’s book “Ricky and Moho” (which he also illustrated) was published in 2007. In 2008 he was named “Chief Storyteller” and national spokesperson for Audible Kids, the nation’s leading provider of digitally downloaded children’s literature. As a founding member of Harlem’s New Lafayette Theatre, he appeared prominently in most of the company productions.
Orman and playwright Lorey Hayes, had the great pleasure of acting together in the late A. Marcus Hemphill’s play John Henry, directed by Morgan Freeman.
LOREY HAYES, PLAYWRIGHT is a Broadway, Television/Film Actress turned writer (an original cast member of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide). Hayes is a 2011 Princess Grace Playwright Finalist for Haiti’s Children of God, her play with music that enjoyed a critically acclaimed 2011 run in New York as a co- production between Mr. Voza River’s New Heritage Theatre Group (Broadway’s Sarafina and Asinamali) and Mr. Rudy Shaw’s Caribbean Arts Repertory. Ms. Hayes is also the proud recipient of a 2011 Harlem Arts Alliance Community Arts Fund Award to create a new historic play. The play created under this grant is Hell in a Hand Basket, the Unofficial Story of Condolezza Rice, recently read at Harlem’s Dwyer Cultural Center sponsored by Frank Silvera’s Writer’s Workshop. The Dragonfly Tale, co-written with Robert Crear was the winner of the 2007 Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writer’s Project and a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill 2006 Playwright’s Conference from more than 800 entries. Several plays have enjoyed acclaimed productions. As an actress, Hayes (an original cast member of For Colored Girls) starred on Broadway with Melba Moore in the late A. Marcus Hemphill’s Inacent Black as well as in the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of Home. She starred in London, England at the Royal Shakespeare festival as Eunice Evans in Miss Ever’s Boys. A regular face on TV commercials, Hayes is featured in the film Dream Girls and has guest starred in numerous television shows; including “Judging Amy,” “Family Law,” “Sister, Sister” and “All My Children.”
LIA CHANG made her stage debut as Liat in the national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald, and last appeared onstage in Derek Walcott’s Marie Laveau at the Castillo Theatre (New Federal Theatre). She was featured as Sally and Joy in the Signature Theater Company’s revival of Sam Shepard’s 1965 Obie award winning play, Chicago, directed by Joseph Chaikin at the Public Theater. Off Broadway credits include: Jeff Weiss’ Obie Award winning Hot Keys (Naked Angels), Diana Son’s Raunchy Asian Women (Ohio Theatre), Lonnie Carter’s Gulliver opposite André De Shields ( La MaMa E.T.C.), The Confirmation (The Vineyard), Behind Closed Doors (MCC), Power Play (Billie Holiday Theatre), Marina Shron’s King of Rats at Soho Rep (New Georges), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Underground Soap, and Famine Plays (Cucaracha Theatre). Chang recently portrayed Sam Shikaze and Chuck Chan in readings of R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever, with an all-female cast for Mu Performing Arts. Chang’s feature film credits include: Wolf, New Jack City, Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, and Taxman. Ms. Chang has had recurring roles as Nurse Lia on the daytime soap operas “One Life to Live” and “As the World Turns,” and guest starred on “New York Undercover”.
PHYLLIS YVONNE STICKNEY began her stage career in the NYC Theater with performances that included works with and by Ed Bullins, Caribbean American Repertory Theater, and University of the Streets Theatre. Her work with Roger Furman and the New Heritage Repertory Theatre is where the most significant tutelage was received that prepared her for work at Arena Stage, Hartford Stage and ultimately to Lincoln Center where Phyllis Yvonne Stickney launched into Hollywood.
Ms. Stickney appeared on small and large screens in “Women of Brewster Place,” ABC’s afterschool Special “Daddy’s Girl,” PBS’ annual homage of The Colored Museum, the original cast of “A Different World,” “New Attitude” with Sheryl Lee Ralph & Morris Day, “New York Undercover,” “Law & Order BET”, a project with LaRenz Tate is slated for the 2012-2013 season.
As a comedienne Ms. Stickney has a plethora of “1st”. She is the 1st to be successful in NYC Street Performing Comedy, the 1st comedienne to win First Place during the original Apollo Amateur Hour, the 1st Host of Showtime at the Apollo, 1st African American female to perform at Juste Pour Rire Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada. Although we became familiar with other females it is Phyllis who is the 1st comedienne to have an hour special on BET’s Comic View Presents.
Phyllis Yvonne Stickney has traveled to the UK, Jamaica, Bermuda, Israel and other countries being an unofficial Ambassador for Excellence in art, culture and lifestyle.
The mission and motto of her life is that we must cultivate excellence in every aspect of our lives through faith finance & fitness.
VOZA RIVERS/NEW HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) is the oldest Black nonprofit theater company in New York City, originally established in 1964 by the late Roger Furman, a revered playwright, director, actor and lecturer who began his career in the 1940’s with the American Negro Theatre in Harlem. It was created to present entertaining, informative and quality productions and to preserve and institutionalize classic works of Black Theater. In 1983, Voza Rivers, an award winning music and theatre producer took over the company. Today, New Heritage Theatre Group serves the community through presentations of entertaining, informative and quality productions of performing arts events, stage readings, and documentary shorts and films. Through its umbrella organizations Impact Repertory Theatre, Furman Theatre Rep and New Heritage Films we reach out to the New York City and world community, giving training, exposure and experience to new and emerging artists. Our works reflect the historical, social, and political experiences of African and Latino descendants in America and abroad. We seek to bring attention to works by international writers, directors and performing artists who have achieved success in their respective country but lack exposure in the United States.
DEBRA ANN BYRD/TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS, INC. (Producer) founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, is a women-led, New York State, 501c3 Professional Theatre Arts Corporation, dedicated to supporting women, youth and especially classically trained actors of color. In its brief history, TWAS has enjoyed many successes and is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award, presented in recognition of the theatre’s body of work in the community, audience development in Harlem – and in celebration of the International Exchange Program between TWAS and London’s Hackney Empire Theatre. Other honors include five AUDELCO Awards and 24 AUDELCO Award nominations for its mainstage productions of Richard III, The Darker Face of the Earth, Hamlet, Medea, King Lear, Pecong and Anthony and Cleopatra. Lorey Hayes’ Massinissa and the Tragedy of the House of Thunder was Take Wing and Soar’s 31st production and tenth main stage project, produced in conjunction with Mr. Voza Rivers’ New Heritage Theatre Group. For more information about Take Wing and Soar check out www.takewingandsoar.org.
Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman Lead Cast in Revival of Lorey Hayes’ POWER PLAY, Free Staged Reading, 10/18
harlemonestop.com: Lorey Hayes’ POWER PLAY
Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Manu Narayan Dazzles as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross
Photos: Maurice Hines, Jonathan Groff, Mercedes Ellington, Charles Randolph Wright at The Beechman for André De Shields’s I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
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