MARCH ON is a 90 minute musical theater production commemorating the historic March on Washington in August of 1963. 

 

Based on interviews with March on Washington participants, this 90 minute theatre piece details the experiences that led a diverse group of Americans to make their way to the fabled March on Washington to challenge the social order of the day, and the impact that historic event had on their lives thereafter. Steeped in the music that would become known as “Freedom Songs,” renderings of the Civil Rights Songs and traditional spirituals contextualize the historical moment and galvanize audiences with the strength and urgency that informed the entire movement. 

 

Set against a montage of historical images evoking the context which spawned the Civil Rights Movement and set the stage for the historic march, five dynamic performers transport the audience through time as they bear witness to the courage, passion and urgency of that seminal moment in American history and grapple with its connections to struggles being waged across America now.

Productions

SARAH SINGS A LOVE STORY

 

ELAINE’s troubling dream invokes the spirit of SARAH VAUGHAN whose artistry has served as a muse to the art of the great love story that is her marriage to Russell. What unfolds is the arc of that relationship which is accompanied by the soundtrack of one of the great jazz voices of the 20th century.

 

Sarah Sings a Love Story is a 3-character musical that celebrates the extraordinary love affair forged by a couple who have been married for over 30 years.  Told from Elaine’s perspective, the heart of this jazz romance explores the first 34 years of their relationship from 1956 up to the death of Sarah Vaughan in 1990.  

 

The epic love story of Elaine and Russell’s journey parallels the story of Sarah Vaughan’s life and music and the unique voice that catapulted her to becoming one of the greatest jazz singers in history.  At times Vaughan’s music and sound underscore the couple’s narrative and, conversely, their story serves as an adjunct to Sarah’s musical biography. As they follow Sarah’s career and musical evolution, so does Sarah seem to follow the trajectory of their love as an African-American couple through an urban American landscape from the 1950’s through the 21st century.

Flying Fables is an urban fairytale with music spotlighting a young ambitious couple, Marie and Charles, whose marriage is in flux. The parents of two young children, they are in conflict over what’s important in their lives.  Following what has become a nightly ritual of argument, they wake one morning to discover they have had the same dream in which they discovered a trunk which symbolizes their “treasure chest” and salvation. With this, they drop everything to follow the dream’s instructions to search for the trunk, which they believe holds the key to their happiness, in the tunnels of the New York subway system. In the subway tunnels they do, in fact, find the trunk, and inside of it a book of fables transporting them to magical realms for a series of unusual life lessons from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Spain and America.  

 

Employing drama, music and movement, the performers bring fresh interpretations to traditional fables and the universal power of these tales. 

The Last Fall is a 2-character play about a middle-aged couple who find love at a crossroad in their lives. 

 

The play opens during the couple’s first meeting over a decade ago, in front of a City park on a fall evening.  A taxi cab driver and a teacher encounter each other when the woman beckons the cab. The man refuses to take the woman to her destination, and she refuses to get out of the cab.  During an extended standoff, they discover one and other.  Careening through heated debates about music, God, culture, and politics, they experience a profound intimacy one night, until finally confronting their inevitable fate; love and commitment.

 

The play is an emotional journey through their past and an unraveling of contradictory perceptions about love, commitment and life. In that place where they can’t let go, yet they can’t surrender to love, they struggle to work through their repressed loneliness, fear of commitment and sabotage. Can love prevail? 

Beyond the Oak Trees

An inventive multimedia journey alternating between present-day and historical settings, Beyond the Oak Trees follows Harriet Tubman on her final mission on the Underground Railroad. Beyond Tubman’s struggle to physically free African Americans, the story explores two pairs of young men’s psychological struggles to come to terms with the history that informs their experience in each of the two time frames.

BEYOND THE OAK TREES is a magical journey into our history refracted through a contemporary prism.

Surviving the Rhythm and Blues of Life

 

SURVIVIN’ the RHYTHM & BLUES of LIFE is a musical memory play that celebrates two American treasures: the world famous Apollo Theatre and Rhythm & Blues.  It is the story of an average American man, Buster Brown, who dreamed of becoming an R&B star. Buster grew up in an era, a culture and a community that spawned the music known as rhythm & blues.

 

A six-character play and revue, the action follows architectural contractor, Buster, who has come to restore the world famous Apollo Theatre, the fabled home of R&B.  As Buster grapples with questions of whether he could ever have been a star, and the meaning of success, SURVIVIN’ the RHYTHM & BLUES of LIFE captures the rich cultural traditions of urban African American communities over the course of two generations.   

 

The piece sheds light on the creative ways African Americans and other migrant groups derived to sustain themselves, music being chief among them.  The piece explores the interplay between the kinds of experiences that inspired the music and the way the music, in turn, inspired the culture.

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