On Monday, June 17, 2013, PROJECT1VOICE (P1V), in association with Kumble Theatre, is presenting the New York benefit staged reading of Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A SOLDIER’S STORY, at Kumble which is located on the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University (One University Plaza) at 7:30pm. PROJECT1VOICE (P1V) is a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to national programming that strengthens, nurtures and promotes African American theater. The presentation is part of P1V’s third annual 1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY event when Black theater companies across the United States produce simultaneous readings of a classic play from the African American theater canon to raise funds and awareness for Black theater. This year, over 30 theaters (including one in South Africa) will celebrate the brilliance of Fuller’s seminal work on Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm. (For a complete list of participating theaters visit www.project1voice.org).
Clinton Turner Davis (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) helms an extraordinary cast that includes several actors who are on Broadway this theater season. They are: Francois Battiste (MAGIC/BIRD, Detroit ’67), Charles Brice (Othello), J. Bernard Calloway (Memphis, The Good Negro), Bryan Terrell Clarke (Motown: The Musical), Patrick Cummings (Donnybrook!), Peter Jay Fernandez (Richard III: Born With Teeth), Devin E. Haqq (Macbeth), Billy Eugene Jones (Big Knife), Stanley Wayne Mathis (The Book of Mormon), Cedric Turner (A Soldier’s Play) and Stephen Tyrone Williams (Lucky Guy). Xavier Pierce will provide the lighting design and Janice C. Lane will serve as the stage manager.
“This international day of celebration (1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY) will not only honor the playwright Charles Fuller’s groundbreaking work. It will also pay tribute to the 45th anniversary season of the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) and its co-founder Douglas Turner Ward,” Project1Voice Founder/Director Erich McMillan-McCall said.
A SOLDIER’S PLAY tells the story of the racially charged search by a black captain for the murderer of a black sergeant on a Louisiana army base in 1944. The play originally was staged and produced by the Negro Ensemble Company at the Theatre Four (now called the Julia Miles Theatre). It opened on November 10, 1981 and ran for 468 performances and won, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play, and the Obie Award for Distinguished Ensemble Performance. Douglas Turner Ward directed the original cast that included Adolph Caesar as Sergeant Waters, Denzel Washington as Private Peterson, Larry B. Riley as Private C.J. Memphis, Samuel L. Jackson as Private Louis Henson, Peter Friedman as Captain Charles Taylor, and Charles Brown as Captain Davenport.
The New York staged reading of A SOLDIER’S STORY is Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kumble Theater. Tickets are $50 general admission and $25 rush tickets for students with identification. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.kumbletheater.org, by calling 718.488.1624, or at the Kumble Theater Box Office (One University Plaza on LIU Brooklyn Campus). Proceeds from the New York reading will benefit PROJECT1VOICE to support its national programs including 1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY. “Through this one-day simultaneous event, PROJECT1VOICE seeks to highlight African-American theatre companies that continue to tell stories about black communities despite their ongoing struggles to exist.” McMillan McCall said.
For more information about A SOLDIER’S PLAY and other programs and events presented by PROJECT1VOICE visit www.PROJECT1VOICE.ORG.
CHARLES FULLER (PLAYWRIGHT) Charles Fuller was born in Philadelphia. He achieved critical notice in 1969 with The Village: A Party. He later wrote plays for the Henry Street Settlement theatre and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. His 1975 play The Brownsville Raid, won him critical acclaim. He won an Obie Award for Zooman and the Sign in 1980. His next work, A Soldier’s Play, was a critical success, winning the 1982 Pulitzer Prize, Best American Play, New York Critics and Edgar Awards. He later adapted the script into the 1984 film “A Soldier’s Story.” Directed by Norman Jewison the film and his screenplay were nominated for Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Writers Guild of America Award. Fuller has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has also written short fiction, a novella ‘Snatch: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York’ for young readers, screenplays for CBS, Showtime, NBC and PBS, and worked as a motion picture producer. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild and Writers Guild of America, East. A new play ‘One Night…’ commissioned by Cherry Lane Theatre will open in September 2013 in New York City. Project1VOICE (Producer, 1VOICE, 1PLAY, 1DAY) is a not-for-profit, performing arts service organization, advocating on issues that specifically affect African American theater. It is dedicated to the preservation of African American theater–its legacy and tradition–now and for future generations. The mission is to strengthen, nurture and promote African American theater–connecting people and communities to the arts with a continuum of experiences that reflect the virtuosity, creative and inclusive spirit of the arts. Key members of the Project1VOICE team are producer/production manager Gwen Gilliam, award-winning playwright and MOTOWN: The Musical director Charles Randolph-Wright and marketing consultant/producer Marcia Pendelton (Walk Tall Girl Productions).
ERICH MCMILLAN-MCCALL (Founder/Director, Project1VOICE) A native of Birmingham, Al, Erich McMillan-McCall received a BFA from Birmingham-Southern College. His Broadway credits include The Who’s Tommy and Chicago. He was part of the national tours of Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Chicago, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Dirty Dancin’. His television appearances include roles on “30 Rock”, “One Live to Live,” “All My Children” and “Guiding Light.” He has also worked in editorial fashion at Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour Magazines.
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. This summer Lia will appear as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Penwah, July 30-August 1, 2013.
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