By Mia McCullough
Directed by Nancy Robillard†
Featuring Elton Beckett*, Kristin D. Carpenter*, Matthew Murumba*, Jenny Vallancourt*, and Jennifer Dorr White*
A refugee from the Sudanese civil war attempts to adjust to cold weather, processed food, and a new life in Chicago. A recently-widowed socialite and an African-American Deacon from the local Catholic parish try to help him embrace his new home and all its opportunity. But assimilation is not that simple and their efforts cause each of them to question their identity. A look at American culture through the eyes of an African, SINCE AFRICA explores the tensions between blacks and whites, Africans and African-Americans, and the devout and the non-religious.
SINCE AFRICA will be performed February 20 – March 9, 2014, at The Theater at the 14th Street Y located at 344 East 14th Street between First and Second Avenues.
Thursday, February 20 @ 8pm (Preview)
Friday, February 21 @ 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, February 22 @ 8pm (Opening)
Sunday, February 23 @ 3pm
Thursday, February 27 @ 8pm
Friday, February 28 @ 8pm
Saturday, March 1 @ 8pm
Sunday, March 2 @ 3pm
Monday, March 3 @ 7pm
Thursday, March 6@ 8pm
Friday, March 7 @ 8pm
Saturday, March 8 @ 8pm
Sunday, March 9 @ 3pm (Closing)
Press Representation by Sam Rudy.
|SINCE AFRICA is registered with the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, new awards specifically for
Off-Off-Broadway theatre, and your vote will make a difference. Vote for us at www.nyitawards.org!
We participate in the TDF voucher program.
SINCE AFRICA is made possible by generous grants from the following foundation:
The Dramatists Guild Fund
For this production, the RFTC has chosen to partner with Water for South Sudan.
Water for South Sudan, Inc. (WFSS) was founded in Rochester, NY in 2003 by Salva Dut, a former “Lost Boy” of Sudan. WFSS delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water in areas of great need. Having fresh clean water every day eliminates many causes of disease, and brings greater health to all, especially children. Not having to walk miles each day to gather often-contaminated water offers life-changing opportunities to women and girls.
WFSS follows this basic principle: the ethical and moral way to create lasting change is to respect and empower people’s capacity to transform their lives. We are committed to creating hope and building initiative alongside the people we serve. Since 2005 WFSS has drilled 200 wells which are serving over 500,000 people in the world’s newest nation.
For more information please visit www.waterforsouthsudan.org
Salva’s story has also been recounted in A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park.
Elton Beckett*, Reggie Hudson
Elton has worked extensively as an actor, dancer, singer, producer, coach and teacher. In addition to stage work his first love, Elton has appeared in numerous daytime dramas as well as numerous television commercials and voiceovers. He is a founding member of both Jomandi Productions in Atlanta and New Perspectives Theatre in NYC. He coaches actors in acting and voice privately and business clients for media preparation, strategic message delivery and vocal presence. He is currently full-time faculty in the Communications and Theatre Arts Department at John Jay College/CUNY.
Kristin D. Carpenter*, Nameless One
THEATRE: Since Africa, Old Globe Theatre; Pitched, Actors' Playhouse; Remembering We Selves, NJPAC; Elegba Crossings, Madame C. J. Walker Theatre. COMPANY/CONCERT: Harlem Praises! Dance Ensemble, Thelma Hill Performing Art Center, Purelements Dance Company, Circle of Light Productions, Ohio Dance Festival, M'Zawa Danz Company. FILM: Before Dawn. AWARDS: Harlem Community Arts Fund Grantee – Director, Harlem Praises! Dance Project; Brooklyn Arts Council's Teaching Artist of the Year. EDUCATION/TRAINING: BA, Black Studies, The City College of New York, Oberlin College; Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.
Matthew Murumba*, Ater Dhal
Matthew is honored to be working with such a talented cast and crew. Theater Credits (select): Circumstances by Roger Parris, Unexplored Interior by Jay O. Sanders (Workshop, The Public Theater), The Why Overhead by Adam Szymkowicz (Access Theater), Deinde (Secret Theatre), Narrator 1 (Theater Row), Death in Mozambique (Cherry Lane Theatre). TV/Film Credits (select): Law & Order (Co-Star), two Comedy Central Pilots (Series Regular/Co-Star), Kofi (Cannes Film Festival/Heartland Film Festival). www.matthewmurumba.com
Jenny Vallancourt*, Eve MacIntyre
Jenny is a graduate of Barnard College, where she studied English and Theater. She has performed at many venues around New York City, as well as regionally with the New Jersey Repertory Company. She is a founding member of The Brewing Department (TBD), which presented her playwriting debut with The Living Room in the 2013 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. She most recently appeared as Hilda Wangel in TBD's production of The Lady from the Sea. She is thrilled to be working with Red Fern on Since Africa, after having participated in numerous readings of the play over the past couple years. Visit Jenny at online at jennyvallancourt.com.
Jennifer Dorr White*, Diane MacIntyre
JENNIFER DORR WHITE is delighted to return to Red Fern Theatre Company, where she was previously seen as Hillary/Miranda in Raised in Captivity. Off-Broadway: Call Me Waldo, Sealed for Freshness, The Flashing Stream, The “A” Word, Pera Palas, Women of Manhattan. Other NYC: Lark Play Development Center, terraNOVA, CollaborationTown, Libra Theater Company, E.S.T., Scandinavian American Theatre Company, Vital Theatre Company, NYC Fringe Festival, etc. Regional: Kitchen Theatre Company, Stamford Theatre Works, Dorset Theatre Festival, Denver Center, Westerly Shakespeare in the Park. Film: A.B.C.D., Done to Death, Aaron Bacon, What They Want, and the upcoming feature Good Enough. TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “Guiding Light,” “All My Children.” On line: Julianna McKannis on the Onion News Network, Better Left Unsaid, and the upcoming web series UnChartered. MFA: National Theatre Conservatory. www.JenniferDorrWhite.com
Evan Goldhahn, percussionist
A Montana native now residing in New York City, Evan is thrilled to be working with the Red Fern Theatre Group. Evan has worked as a drummer/percussionist and Educator throughout the Northwest and in New York City. Some of his favorite credits include: Urinetown (BSP), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (regional), Singin' in the Rain (BSP), Damn Yankees (MCT), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (BSP), and Evita (UMT). Evan is a longtime public educator and private instructor and continues to teach when his schedule allows. Education: BME: The University of Montana.
Mia McCullough†, Playwright
Hailing from New York, but now residing in the Chicago area, Mia McCullough has been writing plays for over 20 years. Her work has been produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre in Chicago, and at various theatres around the country including the Old Globe and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego, InterAct in Philadelphia, Actor’s Express in Atlanta, and the Victory Theater in Los Angeles. McCullough’s work has been developed through the PlayPenn Conference (Philadelphia, 2012), Steppenwolf’s First Look New Rep, Goodman Theatre’s New Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre (NY), Stage Left’s LeapFest, and Chicago Dramatists.
Notable awards include ATCA Osborn Award, the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition, a Cincinnati Entertainment Award, and a Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work for her play CHAGRIN FALLS. McCullough’s play IMPENETRABLE was a finalist for the 2013 Steinberg Award as well as the Jane Chambers Award. SINCE AFRICA was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize as well as a nominee for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play. Her plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Chicago Dramatists.
McCullough also writes original screenplays as well as occasionally writing and rewriting screenplays for hire. She is adjunct faculty at Northwestern University where she teaches playwriting and screenwriting. She also teaches yearly playwriting workshops in Chicago Public Schools. In addition to her writing and teaching, McCullough dabbles in stand-up comedy. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband, her son, and a variety of pets.
Nancy Robillard, Director
Directing credits include productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional and summer theatre. World premieres: Honor and the River Rosemary & I, Rosa Loses her Face, Slow Dance with a Hot Pickup, and the off-Broadway musical National Pastime. New York productions: Culture Project, Vital Theatre, Directors Company, Algonquin Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Up Theatre Company and HERE. Regional: the Kennedy Center, Walnut Street Theatre, MetroStage, Northern Stage, Luna Stage, Surflight Theatre, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Gateway Playhouse, Keystone Rep, Tri-Arts and Theater Masters’ national new play festival in Aspen/NYC. On Broadway Robillard was assistant director to Mike Ockrent on Big, and Alan Arkin on Taller than a Dwarf. Most recently she directed A Moon for the Misbegotten at Luna Stage. Robillard received an MFA in directing from Illinois State University, has taught acting and directing at several colleges and is a frequent guest director for the MFA dramatic writing program at New York University. She is Director of Evaluations for Main Street Musicals, which is dedicated to developing new musicals throughout the U.S. Robillard is a member of the Society Directors and Choreographers and the Broadway Green Alliance.
Deb Gaouette, Properties
Deb has been designing and fabricating props for Off- Broadway and Broadway for several years. Recent credits include: Off-Broadway:Handle with Care at the Westside Theater; Wife To James Whelan, What the Public Wants, The Glass Cage, Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, Is Life Worth Living?, So Help Me God!and Dr. Knock, for The Mint Theatre, Hand to God for Ensemble Studio Theater, Rocky Horror Picture Show at Bucks County Playhouse; as the props supervisor at Fordham University: Way of the World, Wedding Band, Swoony Planet, Anoy(mous), Marriage of Figaro, For a Barbarian Woman, Bulrusher, Good Person of Schezuin, Ruined, Not all Thieves Come to Harm You, What of the Night, Language Archive, Centaur Battle of San Jacinto, and Measure for Measure; Sleeping Rough for Page 73 and numerous workshops around the city. When not working on shows Deb can be found fabricating props at The Spoon Group and teaching yoga and barre sculpt classes.
Sam Gordon, Lighting Designer
Sam is pleased to be lighting The Radiant for The RFTC. Recent projects include Barefoot in the Park (Surflight), King&I (Harbor Lights), and Persusasion (Going to Tahiti Prod.) Sam is a guest artist at The Ramaz Upper School since 2011, and Montclair High School since 2012. When not in the theater Sam can be found figure skating in his non-existent free time. Education: BFA in Theatre: Production/Design, Montclair State University.
Sarah J. Holden, Costume Designer
Sarah J. Holden is pleased to be making her Red Fern Theatre debut. Notable credits include world premieres: "Reasons to Be Happy"(MCC Theatre), "Bethany"(Women's Project Theater & Old Globe Theatre), "Checkers"(Vineyard Theatre), “reasons to be pretty”(MCC Theatre & Broadway), “Still Life”(MCC Theater), New York premieres: “Harper Regan”(Atlantic Theater) and “Bluebird”(Atlantic Theater) also: “Fifth of July”(Williamstown Theatre Festival and Bay Street Theatre), Robert Altman’s mini-series “Tanner on Tanner”, feature film “The Ten”(Sundance 2007), and the Comedy Central series “Stella”. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Griffin and their son August.
Jean Marie Hufford, Assistant Stage Manager / Production Assistant
Jean Marie is excited to be a part of the Red Fern Theatre family. Recent credits include Macbeth at LCT’s Vivian Beaumont Theater and the National Tour of Billy Elliot the Musical. Off-Broadway credits include Rated P for Parenthood (Westside Theater), A Little Journey and What the Public Wants (Mint Theatre Co), The Family Shakespeare (MTWorks), and various NYMF productions. Numerous reading, workshop, and regional credits. Upcoming- The City of Conversation at LCT's Mitzi E. Newhouse.
Robert Monaco, Scenic Design
ROBERT MONACO hails from Long Island, he has been designing scenery in the greater metropolitan area for more than fifteen years. Robert was nominated for an Independent Theater Award for his design for THE PALOOKA in ‘06 and received a NYFringe "Excellence in Design" award for KISS AND CRY in ‘05. Robert abridged and directed "M" -MACBETH FOR THREE WITCHES for the Fringe in '09. As a carpenter and scenic artist for The Spoon Group, Robert built props, furniture and set pieces for many Broadway shows including MATILDA, CINDERELLA and NEWSIES. Currently Robert is the Technical Director and Set Designer at Kingsborough Community College. Robert is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
Ginger Thatcher, Choreographer
Ginger has choreographed over 30 works for theatre, dance and opera. She is currently Associate choreographer for the upcoming Kennedy Center production of "The Little Dancer" with Susan Stroman, slated for Broadway in 2015. Theatre credits as Choreographer: Hans Christian Anderson, Swing (Dir.. & Chor.). Maine State Music Theatre, Warsaw, Nine, Oklahoma Nat'l Tour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Two River Theatre Co., Barrio Babies, Amas, Wild Women of Planet Wongo, NYMF, Eugene Onegin, Barber of Seville, Glimmerglass Opera, The Bartered Bride, Cleveland Playhouse, Big,Gateway Playhouse, Carousel, texArts,numerous others. Broadway credits assemble Associate/Resident: The Red Shoes, Carousel, Big,Swan Lake, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oklahoma.
Jennifer Toth, Assistant Stage Manager/Production Assistant
Jennifer is thrilled to join the Since Africa team as assistant stage manager. She is a theatre junkie and former literary agency warrior. Favorite recent theatre experiences include: Kinky Boots, Here Lies Love, Buyer and Cellar, Marie Antoinette, and Too Much Too Much Too Many. Most currently she was ASM of J.B. Heaps' Private Disclosures.
Ian Wehrle, Sound Design
Ian is an active composer, actor and collaborator on various music direction and sound design for theater. He can currently be seen starring as Jackie Mason in "702 Punchlines and Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical" at Broadway Comedy Club and runs theTuesday night Cabaret Hit Parade at Maxwell's in TriBeCa. He is credited at the Food Network, MTV, and FOX and is continually in development of new musicals and television music. He can be reached at email@example.com .
Sammee Wortham, Production Stage Manager
Sammee studied theatre at Idaho State University and recently moved to New York. She has stage managed shows such as Dr. Faustus (ISU), The Laramie Project (OTAS) as well as original work like Alone (Rabbithole Enesemble). This is Sammee’s second production with Red Fern having been the PSM for The Radiant last season.