Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony Award-Winner Lillias White, Keith David, Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman and More in MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, Directed by Phylicia Rashad at the Mark Taper Forum, Opens Tonight

Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, Keith David and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, Keith David and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

August Wilson’s hard-hitting “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. “Ma Rainey…” is part of Wilson’s American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA.

Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Phylicia Rashad, who directed Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Taper in 2013, directs this groundbreaking play which depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry through a 1927 recording session in Chicago with a legendary blues singer. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey.

Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

The cast features, in alphabetical order, Greg Bryan, Keith David, Jason Dirden, Damon Gupton, Matthew Henerson, Nija Okoro, Lamar Richardson, Ed Swidey, Glynn Turman and Lillias White.

Jason Dirden, Damon Gupton, Glynn Turman and Keith David Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jason Dirden, Damon Gupton, Glynn Turman and Keith David Photo by Craig Schwartz

Scenic design is by John Iacovelli, costume design is by Emilio Sosa, lighting design is by Elizabeth Harper, sound design is by Dan Moses Schreier, the music director is Steven Bargonetti, hair and wig design is by Carol F. Doran, the fight director is Steve Rankin and the production stage manager is David Blackwell.

Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, Keith David and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, Keith David and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Tickets for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Tickets range from $25 – $85 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Glynn Turman and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton and Glynn Turman Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jason Dirden and Nija Okoro Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jason Dirden and Nija Okoro Photo by Craig Schwartz

Ed Swidey and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Ed Swidey and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton, Ed Swidey, Matthew Henerson and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Damon Gupton, Ed Swidey, Matthew Henerson and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Matthew Henerson and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Matthew Henerson and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman (background), Ed Swidey and Damon Gupton Photo by Craig Schwartz

Glynn Turman (background), Ed Swidey and Damon Gupton Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro, Lillias White and Lamar Richardson Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro, Lillias White and Lamar Richardson Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro, Lillias White, Lamar Richardson, Ed Swidey and Greg Bryan Photo by Craig Schwartz

Nija Okoro, Lillias White, Lamar Richardson, Ed Swidey and Greg Bryan Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Damon Gupton (background), Lamar Richardson and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Keith David and Damon Gupton (background), Lamar Richardson and Lillias White Photo by Craig Schwartz

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s