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Nia Witherspoon (Playwright) is a black queer writer, theatre-maker, vocalist/composer, and cultural worker. Described as “especially fascinating” by Backstage Magazine, Witherspoon’s work creates contemporary ritual-space grounded in African-diaspora sensibilities to speak to the issues of our times. Currently in residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Witherspoon has received New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, BRIC’s Premiere Residency, Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund Grant, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival’s “Audience Award,” Lambda Literary’s Emerging Playwriting Fellowship, and a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. Her staged works, including The Messiah Complex, YOUMINE, and SHE, have been developed or featured at BRIC, HERE, NYTW, National Black Theatre, BAAD, Dixon Place, The Kraine, and Movement Research. Witherspoon holds a PhD from Stanford University, and is currently a Playwright-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts (Amherst). She currently has works commissioned by The Shed, La Mama ETC, and JACK.

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Mei Ann Teo (Director - she/they) is a theatre and film maker who works at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice. She was featured at MIT’s Symposium Next Wave: The Future of Asian American Theatre, is a National Directing Fellow, and profiled in American Theatre’s Role Call: Theatre Workers to Watch. Current work includes: Jillian Walker’s Songs of Speculation (JACK), Diana Oh’s Clairvoyance (ART OBERON), Bex Kwan and Sophia Mak’s Double Yolk Moon (BAX, BRICLAB).  She is the Producing Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory, a resident company of Playwrights Horizons. She is honored to be collaborating with Nia Witherspoon.


 Creative Team

Troy Anthony
Composer & Music Director

William Spaceman Patterson
Composer, Music Director & Sound Design

Tuçe Yasak
Original Lightning Concept

Kate McGee
Lightning Designer

Gregory Lawrence
Sound Engineer

Ada Karamanyan
Casting Consultant

Elana Boulos
Line Producer

Alexis Williams
Dramaturg

 

Stage Managers

Corinn Moreno (Stage Manager)* is an AEA Stage Manager. Notable credits include Assistant Stage Manager for The Waves at Powerhouse Theater, Production Stage Manager for Tin Cat Shoes and The Tomb of King Tot at Clubbed Thumb, for SeaWife and Romeo & Juliet at White Heron Theatre Company in Nantucket. PA for Matthew Perry's The End of Longing at MCC Theater, for Joan of Arc: Into the Fire Workshop & Reading with The Public Theater, and for The Royale at The Old Globe in San Diego. Production Intern for The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway.

Alison R. Simone (Assistant Stage Manager)*: The Public: Mother of the Maid, This Player Here, Looking for Europe, Othello. Off Broadway: ’68 (NYMF). Events: Kiss Me, Kate Benefit Reading (Roundabout Theater Company), Red Bucket Follies ’18, (BC/EFA), Gypsy of the Year ’17 (BC/EFA), Heels on Wheels (Stage 48), Roundabout Spring 2017 Gala (Roundabout Theater Company); Regional: Baskerville, Bye Bye Birdie, Crazy for You, Funny Girl, The Graduate, The Little Mermaid, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Newsies (Forestburgh Playhouse); Proud AEA member. MFA Columbia University exp. 2019

 

Cast

Erica Dorfler (Oye - Understanding)*: Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Book of Mormon, Memphis, Baby It’s You!, Scandalous. Off-Broadway: Carmen Jones (Classic Stage Company), Avenue Q (New World Stages), Forbidden Broadway (Davenport Theater), Silk Stockings (York Theatre). National Tours: Rent, Mamma Mia! Regional/NYC: The Way of the World (Folger Theatre, dir. Theresa Rebeck), Pamela’s First Musical (Two River Theater), THIS (Barrington Stage), Here’s Hoover (Abrons Arts Center, dir. Alex Timbers), West Side Story with the L.A. Philharmonic (Hollywood Bowl), Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (ART), Bull Durham (Alliance Theater). Television: “The Family”. Proud member of Actors Equity. www.ericadorfler.com

Danyel Fulton (Imo - Knowledge)* is a Brooklyn born and based actor/singer. Favorite credits: The Wiz (Dorothy, The Muny), Jasper In Deadland, (Ammut, Prospect Theater Company), National Tour: Hair (Dionne, 2nd National Tour) Ragtime (Sarah,The 5th Ave and Asolo Rep), The Trip To Bountiful (Thelma, Capital Repertory Theater), The Wiz (Dorothy, Harlem Repertory Theater), Ain't Misbehavin (Charlayne, HRT), Time To Love (Aisha, National Black Theater). Danyel received Audelco nominations for Outstanding Female Performance in a Musical for her performances as Dorothy, Charlayne, and Aisha and Broadwayworld’s Critics Choice for Sarah at The5thAve.

Stacey Karen Robinson (Ogbon - Wisdom)* is an actress and writer.  She was recently seen at The Walker Art Center, REDCAT and BAM in the touring production of Kaneza Schaal’s JACK &.  She performed her new solo work, You Never Can Always Sometimes Tell, in NYC at JACK and at Salvage Vanguard Theater, TX. The show was developed with support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Her previous monodrama, Quiet Frenzy, is published in solo / black / woman: scripts, interviews, and essays, Northwestern University Press, 2014.

Shelley Nicole (Ogbon - Wisdom) is a vocalist, songwriter, musician, actress and leader of the band Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe. As band leader she has released three albums, she who bleeds…, The Quick & Dirty EP most recently, I Am American. Shelley appeared in early workshop productions of Nia O. Witherspoon’s The Dark Girl Chronicles and is excited to be a part of this iteration, Witness. Shelley is also featured vocalist/percussionist in Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber and has appeared in a myriad of theater and music productions in New York City and around the world.

Marvel Allen (Oye - Understanding): I am so excited to have been invited to be a part of Witness. On my journey as an actor/singer, I’ve been blessed to do from commercials, jingles, film, theater, to performing on studio recordings and in live shows. I love that I get to help tell the story and hopefully “reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if I can”. Peace and love.

Terry Burrus (Keys) is known for performing on records and live concerts as a keyboardist and music director in, pop, rock, soul, jazz, gospel, classical, electronic, latin and other world music categories with a number of artists that include, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Lena Horne, Michael Jackson, George Benson, Janet Jackson, Golden Opera Voices, and many more. He's recorded 9 solo albums including "Soul Of Jazz" and "Nation 2 Nation" and a new one coming in 2019. www.terryburrus.com